The stylish victory of Monmiral in the £50,000 Grade 2 Juvenile Hurdle at Doncaster on Saturday more than confirmed the promise of his pleasing debut in this country at Exeter last month.
We bought him shortly after he won at Auteuil back in March in the belief that he had the size and scope to become a smart chaser in time. He has improved since Exeter, and looked a class apart at Doncaster where his jumping was slick apart from an error at the second last which was probably down to lack of concentration.
Monmiral was already in command by that stage, quickened up smartly going to the final flight and stretched further clear on the flat to best Gold Desert by eleven lengths. Sean Bowen was certainly impressed by Monmiral who is really exciting recruit, a lovely, beautiful looking horse that needs looking after so we will not be rushing him. It’s likely he will run next at Cheltenham at the end of January before we decide whether to aim him at the Triumph Hurdle or keep him for Aintree’s Grand National meeting.
Monmiral was the second leg of our double at Doncaster initiated by Wild Max who hacked up in two mile handicap hurdle. He is suited by racing on flat tracks and could go to Musselburgh on New Year’s Day.
Wild Max was well ridden by our young amateur Angus Cheleda who then stepped in at the last moment to take the mount on Give Me A Copper when Sean stood himself down for the rest of the day.
Angus got changed just in time to give a peach of a ride to Give Me A Copper who stayed on willingly and closed to within half a length of Rocky’s Treasure at the line in the three mile handicap Chase.
It was a highly promising display from Give Me A Copper who will be trained for the Grand National and might have one run before Aintree.
Some of our horses struggled on the deep ground at Cheltenham but I was very encouraged by the improved form of Eglantine Du Seuil who was second under top weight in the mares’ handicap hurdle. Master Tommytucker also ran all right under a big weight in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup and will now have a short break.
On the same day at Hereford Fast Buck was unlucky to come down a stride after the second last fence just as he seemed to be taking command.
We need twelve more winners to achieve our century before January 1st and will pushing on this week with plenty of runners. It would be handy to get to 92 or 94 by Saturday when Miranda, Malaya, Sir Psycho and maybe one other will have entries in the Betfair Exchange Hurdle at Ascot.
For up to the minute news on my weekend runners please turn to my Betfair column which goes live late on Thursday and Friday afternoon.