Yala Enki was the star of the show at Taunton on Saturday as he landed the marathon Portman Cup for the second year running.
With Politologue running another fine race in finishing second to First Flow at Ascot in the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase our team has now earned in excess of £1.5 million for their owners this season which is quite something when you consider how much prize money has been reduced for the past eight months.
Yala Enki continues to improve despite a busy schedule. He looked set for a ready success from the front at Taunton until a serious mistake at the fourth last fence which could have cost him dear. Bryony Frost did really well to keep the partnership intact and sensibly gave him time to to recover before sending him into the lead again two out on their way to a superb five length victory over If The Cap Fits.
It was another cracking performance from Yala Enki just a fortnight after finishing third under top weight in the Coral Welsh National. Most horses would have been finished by the type of jumping error he made at Taunton but he is amazingly tough and keeps galloping.
He ate up on Saturday night and was in such good form on Sunday morning that I might just give him in an entry in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday. It is a valuable race, he escapes a penalty, he is in the form of his life and we know the trip and ground will be right up his street.
Although Politologue couldn’t match strides with First Flow in the closing stages at Ascot I thought he ran a blinding race and I loved the determined way he kept going to hold onto second place. He finished in front of the horses we thought were the main dangers but couldn’t beat First Flow who is much improved.
It was a very good run by Politologue who heads next to Cheltenham to defend his crown in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
One or two of ours couldn’t handle the deep ground on Saturday including Jeremy Pass in the EBF qualifier at Ascot. I was in two minds about running him in the conditions and wish I’d kept him at home. He will be much more effective on better ground on a flat track.
With the going already heavy at Cheltenham and Doncaster at the weekend and more rain forecast in midweek I might not have many runners at either meeting. While they call it Trials day at Cheltenham I obviously wouldn’t want any of our Festival hopes to have a hard race on seriously testing ground.
For up to the minute news on my Saturday runners please turn to my Betfair column which goes live late on Friday afternoon.