With a few weeks passing since my latest blog it is difficult to know where to begin this one as I sit on a windy Ditcheat hill watching third lot canter by me on a drizzly Tuesday morning.
I have concluded I will start with my highlight from those past couple of weeks and that came in the shape of Kapcorse, who won the Sir Peter O’Sullevan chase at Newbury on Saturday.
Kapcorse is one of the best-looking horses I have ever set eyes on, but sadly throughout his career he has been plagued by small injuries that have kept him away from the track and without a clear run for quite a while.
From the start of this season he has been ridden by a young man called Walter, who has just reached the final 10 in the Godolphin Stable staff awards for the newcomer of the year, so congratulations to him.
Happily, Kapcorse has enjoyed a clean bill of health this season and trained really nicely. He has always been a horse with a good level of ability we just have not been able to see it that much so to get to the track in that type of form was very satisfying.
I am really hopeful he will stay sound and everything keeps going the right way with him as I am sure there is lots more to come from him in staying chases.
That win from Kapcorse on Saturday was part of a four timer for the yard which obviously made for a hugely satisfying day’s work as Flic Ou Voyou got off the mark over fences, while Mr Glass remaining unbeaten over timber and continuing to look a fine prospect.
Il Ridoto also created an excellent impression winning the last at Newbury. That was a plan that came off in great style with Paul a month before telling me what he was thinking of doing with him. Paul had won that race in 2012 with a four year so it was sweet that the plan came together. He may have a go in the Grade One Henry VIII this Saturday at Sandown if everything is ok with him.
My last talking point from Saturday was in winning the Sir Peter O’Sullevan we were presented the prizes from impressionist Rory Bremner. He congratulated us on the win, gave us the trophy and I explained what a big fan I am of his work.
With that he burst into an impression of Sir Peter and seamlessly into Boris Johnson after that. A hilarious man who is mind-blowingly good at impressions. It was very cool to have met him.
For those of you that have not heard, Paul has been stuck inside with Covid for the last week so WhatsApp and the telephones in Ditcheat have never been busier, constantly touching base with plans, schooling session videos and everything else in between. Happily, he will be out of incarceration later this week and I am sure he will be happy to be back on the gallops every morning.
Since the last blog there has been more good wins from Bravemansgame who jumped brilliantly at Haydock, Stage Star who continued on his merry way to the Challow hurdle over Christmas with another straightforward victory at Newbury.
Jeremy Pass jumped beautifully at Ascot to win under Bryony while Flemenstide looked a seriously smart staying prospect for Mr Barber and Mr Vogt.
In all of his schooling, the latter has been extremely novicey so although he was green at Ascot it was very satisfying to see him jump so nicely.
It has been a great couple of weeks for Gordon and Su Hall who have enjoyed winners with Le Chiffre D’or and Roque It at Hereford and Taunton while Lallygag won the first race of his career for Mr Staddon having sent him to join Paul’s stable this summer.
Back at home things, as ever, are incredibly busy with loads to do every day. One Journey continues to progress nicely, we are just waiting for a little more rain to come to get some of our juveniles back on grass for some schooling.
Last Tuesday was a real treat with all of this season’s bumper horses having a school too. The majority of them have had a run now and after some quiet weeks they are getting back into some more vigorous work so it was lovely to watch them all have a jump.
Although they will not run until next season over hurdles we will school them throughout this year so when the time comes they will be ready for it.
Talking of the youngsters with no racing this week until Thursday it has given me a chance to have a look at lots of the three-year-old stores housed at Will Biddick’s yard for this season.
As with every year, they are learning their trade with Will, cantering on the gallops, going in groups of six or eight round the fields, regularly schooling and generally being taught the ropes.
They are a beautiful collection of proper National Hunt bred horses and I would imagine looking at them all for the next few seasons will be super exciting for Paul as they develop.
Will does such a good job with them all. They are all relaxed in their work, behaving themselves well and hopefully turning into tomorrow’s champions.
I’m just going to finish on a non racing topic that has caught my attention recently and I am sure many of yours and that is of Kevin Sinfield the former Leeds Rhinos captain.
Kevin has recently run 101 miles in 24 hours in aid of his best friend Rob Burrow who his suffering from MND.
I have been touched by Rob’s story from the start and to watch Kevin do the things he has for Rob over the past year has been nothing short of inspirational.
I have never had the honour of meeting Kevin, but I should imagine to have a best mate like him would be pretty special indeed.
In a world constantly filled with bad news stories at the moment I would suggest Kevin and Rob’s friendship is something everyone can celebrate.
Until next time, go well.