Five winners over the weekend maintained the smart form of the team with pride of place going to Rubaud after his impressive victory in the £50,000 Listed two mile hurdle at Kempton on Sunday.
I did consider going chasing with him this season but he was so progressive over hurdles in the spring that I felt he deserved a crack at a decent prize over hurdles. He was in charge from start to finish at Kempton with the help of nicely judged ride from the front by Harry Cobden and kept on strongly on the flat to win by two and three quarter lengths.
I was thrilled with this very professional performance by a classy horse who is bound to improve for the run. He will be staying over hurdles this season with his next outing in the Grade 2 Elite Hurdle at Wincanton on November 11.
We ended a rewarding weekend’s work with the jaunty victory of my daughter Olive on Oscars Moonshine in the two mile, five furlong handicap hurdle at Kempton. They ended last season with a clear cut triumph at Wincanton and looked just as good on Sunday as they stretched clear of Shallow River in the closing stages.
Oscars Moonshine has had his share of problems but I’ve had a clear run with him this autumn and knew he was right yesterday. He could return to Kempton for another handicap in three weeks time. Olive has had quite a bit of experience now, is improving all the time and is very good value for her 7lbs claim.
The previous day Team Ditcheat completed a treble at Newton Abbot in just over an hour with Complete Unknown, Farnoge and Take Your Time.
Complete Unknown enjoyed an ideal prep for the Coral Gold Cup in the Class 2 Intermediate Chase on testing ground that plays to his strengths. He made just about all the running, jumping well, before holding off the chasing debutante Might I who was in receipt of 10lbs.
Farnoge then made a pleasing debut from the front over hurdles in a qualifier for the EBF Final at Sandown in March which could well be his long term target.
He is a highly promising individual who was runner up in his only Point-to-Point in Ireland before a tidy success on his debut for us in a competitive bumper at Uttoxeter in March. He should have a bright future and could run next at Newbury at the start of December.
Harry Cobden completed his own treble for the yard on Take Your Time on his first start over fences in a Class 4 Novice Handicap Chase over three and a quarter miles.
This horse had questions to answer after a below par campaign last winter when he was unplaced on all three starts. He stays all day and seemed to enjoy the switch to fences as he jumped soundly on his way to a narrow defeat of Investment Manager.
The disappointment of the day was Iceo who seemed to run a bit flat in the Novice Limited Handicap Chase in finishing last of the three runners. He was giving plenty of weight to his two rivals and time could show that he was facing a tough task against the winner JPR One.
Iceo might also be best fresh so we will give him a little break before aiming him at the Henry V111 Chase at Sandown.
We are looking forward to a busy time at the weekend with runners at Cheltenham’s two day meeting on Friday and Saturday and we will also be well represented on Sunday at Wincanton and Aintree where Hitman again starts his season in the Old Roan Chase.
The card at Wincanton is in aid of the Bob Champion Cancer Trust and I’m pleased to report that Chloe Humphries will make her debut as a jockey for us on Rare Middleton in the charity flat race that opens the card. If you’d like to support her please CLICK HERE to donate.
Chloe has been a popular and talented member of Team Ditcheat for a number of years and partners Greaneteen each morning on the gallops. She has already raised £2,500 for the RCCT on her JustGiving page.
For all the latest news on all our weekend runners please be sure to turn to my Betfair column which goes live mid afternoon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.