We ended a highly productive week with a four timer on Saturday at Ascot, all well ridden by Harry Cobden, and a good run by Bravemansgame into second place in the Betfair Chase at Haydock.
The positive results moved us clear at the top of the trainers’ table with £900,000 in prize money from 44 winners at a strike rate of 25%.
Bravemansgame was in top form going into the race and travelled and jumped with his usual zest before perhaps just getting outstayed by Royal Pagaille from the back of the second last. He got a great ride from Daryl Jacob and was fine on Sunday morning. We will get him fresh and well for his bid to land the King George V1 Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day for the second year running.
Brave Kingdom’s fine victory at Plumpton on Monday on his return from a long absence set the tone for the week. He was given an excellent ride by Bryony Frost.
We then enjoyed doubles at Wincanton on Thursday and Chepstow on Friday before all four of our runners were successful at Ascot on Saturday.
Farnoge was the first to strike with a fluent win under a penalty in a Class 2 Novice Hurdle over two miles, five and a half furlongs. He is a horse I really like and could be one for the Leamington Spa Hurdle at Warwick. It wouldn’t surprise me if he becomes a candidate for the Albert Bartlett Hurdle.
Pic D’Orhy was then well on top in the Grade 2 Nirvana Spa 1965 Chase. Obviously it helped that the favourite Shiskin refused to start but Pic D’Orhy was hard fit and I was confident beforehand. He is a big horse and might have found the ground at Ascot quicker than ideal after a dry week. I’ve not made a plan for him yet.
Blueking D’Oroux completed a rapid double for the de la Heys with a really pleasing victory in the Grade 2 Coral Hurdle.
While he had a bit to find on ratings I was expecting a decent show and he didn’t disappoint as he stayed on stoutly to beat Strong Leader by a length.
Blueking D’Oroux is still only four and has an exciting future in staying hurdles as he grows older. I’m not in a rush to turn him out again quickly.
We ended the day at Ascot by landing the Class 3 bumper with Regent’s Stroll in the colours of Chris Giles.
He is a lovely prospect out of a half sister to Denman and kept finding when challenged turning for home and was pulling away again at the end. At this early stage I’d put him on a par with our other recent bumper winners Touquet, Kap Bay and Captain Bellamy.
Harry Cobden loved Regent’s Stroll who has time on his side and is likely to be seen next in a decent bumper in the spring.
We have a few promising youngsters to run in the next few days before turning our attention to Newbury’s two day meeting at the weekend where Hermes Allen could turn out on Friday and Complete Unknown goes for the Coral Gold Cup on Saturday.
For all the latest news on my runners on both days please check out my Betfair column which goes live early in the afternoon the previous day.