We enjoyed another fruitful weekend with a treble on Sunday twenty four hours after Blueking d’Oroux gained a very professional victory in the Class 2 Masterson Holdings Hurdle at Cheltenham.
He had me pulling my hair out early last season with two baffling runs but turned a corner after wind surgery with a shock win at Ascot at 50-1 before a fine run into second place in a competitive handicap at Aintree. I felt he had improved no end for a summer at grass and he showed he is totally different now with a lovely performance at Cheltenham where he travelled and jumped well before drawing clear on the turn for home to give Harry Cobden his 50th success of the season.
Blueking d’Oroux will be staying over hurdles this season and could be one for the Betfair Hurdle at Ascot before Christmas but does have an entry in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham next month.
On Sunday Harry did well to win on the giant Inthewaterside on his debut over hurdles at Aintree because the horse was fiercely keen for most of the race. There is improvement to come from his jumping and I loved the way he buckled down in the closing stages to beat Jagwar in a tight finish. He is really talented, unbeaten in all three starts, and has an exciting future.
A big disappointment at Aintree was Hitman who dropped out quickly in the finishing straight in the Old Roan Chase after travelling handily behind the leaders. We will check him out but he has had one or two issues in the past and we will investigate today .
At Wincanton I was delighted to see Liari give Neil and Alfie Smith their first win since they sent me some nice prospects this season.
Formerly owned by the Aga Khan, Liari is a striking individual who won once on the flat from three starts in France and has the scope to become a decent juvenile hurdler. He jumped neatly for Lorcan William on his way to beating Inside Man by three-quarters of a length with the rest of the field some way adrift.
The day at Wincanton had begun with a first triumph for Chloe Humphries on her debut as a jockey in the charity race on Rare Middleton. Chloe rides very well, has been with us for quite a few years and delivered Rare Middleton with a timely challenge to beat Tidal Storm partnered by my niece Amy Derham. A big well done to Chloe for raising over £2,500 for the Bob Champion Cancer Trust.
Oscars Moonshine and my daughter Olive then concluded a fine afternoon for the team by completing a hat trick together in the Class 4 two mile handicap hurdle. Horse and rider are both progressing quickly.
We should have some interesting runners on Saturday at Ascot and Wetherby where Pic D’Orhy or Bravemansgame could return to action in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase.
For news of all my runners at the weekend please be sure to check out my Betfair column which goes live the previous afternoon.