The yard took full advantage of a break in the weather last Wednesday to send no less than eight runners down the road to Wincanton for their afternoon meeting. Riding instructions in the paddock were a challenge in the novice hurdle where five jockeys needed to be briefed ahead of the race! Several of the novices were ready to run and with not many opportunities having been available due to abandonments and heavy ground, the chance to get them all into a race was one that needed to be taken!
Friday was, however, the most notable day last week with two runners and two winners. Exelerator Express made the trip up to Doncaster where he was ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies. He benefitted from one of the leading fancies being declared a non-runner but looked up against it with a long odds-on favourite in opposition. After tracking the leaders throughout, Exelerator Express moved up to challenge the favourite at the last and he stayed on really well to pull away to a five-length win.
Forty minutes later it was the turn of Indian Brave at Newbury with Robbie Dunne on board. Never having placed at distances beyond 2 miles and 4 furlongs there was some concern about how well Indian Brave would see out the 2 miles 6 and a half furlong trip at Newbury on soft ground, but as it transpired, no such concern was necessary! Indian Brave was always going noticeably well behind the leaders and made smooth progress down to the last fence where he looked to be going the best of those in contention. Robbie sent him to the front on the run-in and he kept on strongly to the line to record a 3/4 length win.
All in all a pretty good hour of racing for the yard!
It has been good to see some slightly better weather during the early part of this week and perhaps we will see some drying ground soon which will allow some of the horses that prefer better underfoot conditions to get back on track.
Next week is, of course, the Cheltenham Festival and whilst the yard has a number of horses entered, none appear to the fore in the betting markets with currently Fingerontheswitch in the Kim Muir being the shortest-priced at 16-1. Decisions on running plans for all the entries will be made in the coming days and let's hope that those that do run are able to give a good account of themselves and provide their owners with a great day out.