Pic D’Orhy’s thumping victory at Kempton on Saturday was the highlight of a week which began with four winners on Monday at Taunton that brought up our century of winners for the twenty first season .
We were hoping to reach that milestone by the end of 2022 until racing was frozen off for ten days shortly before Christmas.
It’s encouraging that horses remain in top form with a strike rate of 30% and have already earned close on £2 million for their owners and not sure we have ever done that before 1st febuary .
Pic D’Orhy is one of many to shine this season. He has loads of ability, continues to improve, and brought up his hat-trick for the campaign by dominating the Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti Chase from start to finish.
While I was a bit worried about the testing conditions for him at Kempton, it is not a stiff track and his jumping was brilliant as he bolted in by fifteen lengths. He will go next for the Grade 2 Betfair Ascot Chase on February 18.
Red Risk ran a blinder too, in the Lanzarote Hurdle before being chinned on the line by West Balboa in a tight finish. He was given a great ride by our talented and ever improving young conditional Freddie Gingell.
Harry Cobden reported that Outlaw Peter hated the ground at Kempton which saw only four horses finish in the Lanzarote. We will keep him fresh for further targets in the spring.
Two more of our runners finished second on Saturday and would probably have preferred drier ground conditions with Makin’yourmindup narrowly failing to bring up a hat-trick over hurdles at Kempton.
At Warwick Complete Unknown didn’t quite stay three miles in the Grade 2 Novice Chase and will drop back in trip next time while Knowsley Road was far from disgraced in finishing third in the Grade 2 Ballymore Novice Hurdle.
Threeunderthrufive travelled and jumped well for a long way in the marathon Classic Chase but he was giving weight all round and twelve stone on his back began to tell after jumping the second last. He is likely to go for the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham which is sponsored by his owners. Further ahead he could have a crack at the Scottish Grand National or the bet365 Gold Cup.
We won with some nice young prospects at Taunton on Monday including the four year olds Afadil and Rare Middleton who will both have an entry in the Triumph Hurdle. Afadil enjoys soft ground and could go for the Victor Ludorum Hurdle at Haydock on February 18 and Rare Middleton probably heads to Kempton for the Adonis Hurdle seven days later. Iliko D’Olivate looks nice a nice prospect and might go for the listed novice hurdle at Exeter feb 12th .
We will have some interesting entries this coming weekend at Haydock, Taunton and Ascot. Frodon goes for Taunton’s biggest race of the year the Portman Cup which we have won for the past three years with Yala Enki, and Stage Star is on course for the Grade 2 Novice Chase at Haydock and Toothless for the grade 2 novices hurdle .
For the latest news on my runners on Saturday please do turn to my Betfair column which goes live the previous afternoon.