We experienced a roller coaster ride at Wincanton on Sunday but the day started perfectly with Sarah West on Celestial Force beating Hannah Roche on Wise Glory by a nose in the charity race that opened proceedings.
Top marks to both of them who are brilliantly efficient at running our office through the week and both raised approximately £2,500 for Racing Welfare.
Sarah and Hannah had been working hard on their fitness in recent weeks and I couldn’t be prouder of them.
Mon Frere also scored at Wincanton while I loved the way Gelino Bello put his seal on the race at Aintree on his first start over hurdles in a competitive maiden over two and a half miles. He was never stronger than at the finish and was given a top ride by Harry Cobden.
Earlier in the week at Exeter Mick Pastor again impressed over fences and could run next in the two mile novice Chase at Cheltenham’s November meeting if the ground doesn’t turn soft by then.
On Wednesday I was thrilled to win both divisions of the bumper at Worcester with promising youngsters owned by Andy Stewart’s family.
I spoke to Andy every day for the last twenty years and miss him badly. I know he was up there watching with a smile on his face as Onethreefivenotout and then Hugos New Horse both won. He left a great legacy which is being carried on by his sons and they have some lovely horses that will continue to run in the family’s name.
Had he still been alive on Wednesday I’ve no doubt he would have sent me his usual text predicting that his winners would be winning the Cheltenham bumper or even the Gold Cup. As well as being a wonderful friend, owner and supporter he was never short of ambition.
We are going to be busy this week starting at Chepstow on Tuesday where I run some promising novices including Stage Star and Mr Glass.
On Saturday Frodon is off to Down Royal for the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Chase. He caused quite a stir when I took him to work at Lambourn recently as a change of routine. Some wag posted a photo of our horsebox in the village under the heading Aliens in Lambourn.
We also run a strong team at Wetherby on Saturday including Cyrname in the Charlie Hall Chase, Master Tommytucker in the Grade 2 three mile hurdle and Miranda in the Listed Mares’ Hurdle. In addition we will be well represented at Ascot the same day. I need seven winners by end of the month to get my target of 50 by Nov 1.
For all the latest news on my Saturday runners please turn to my Betfair column which goes live late on Friday afternoon.