Mrs Burbidge continued her good run of form with another convincing win at Uttoxeter. She's likeable because she's so tough and genuine and hopefully she can continue in the winning groove over the Christmas period and into the new year. I thought Impulsive Star ran a very fair race at Cheltenham in the three-mile Grade 2, staying on well up the run-in after being a touch outpaced when they quickened in the straight. There are plenty of races to be won with him and he is a real nice type for the future, which for him will ultimately lie over fences. Unfortunately a combination of a long journey, misbehaving in the parade ring and being very keen going to post, meant that Bubsy Burbidge had run his race before the off at Carlisle. It was very frustrating as it was a long trip wasted but these things happen and we are confident he can put that behind him next time out. Danimix never really looked to be enjoying himself and after speaking with his owners we've decided to call it a day with him. A talented horse in his prime and a complete gentleman, he will be in good hands to enjoy his retirement as his besotted regular rider Emily has offered him a home. We always make every effort to ensure that horses find suitable homes after their career on the racecourse has ended and with Emily we know he will be very well looked after.
For the first time in my career as a trainer I requested a printout of the photo finish between Tikkanbar and Jonjo O'Neill's horse in the bumper at Ffos Las. Like nearly everyone else, including Jonjo himself, I was convinced we had won. Despite being keen early on and hanging across the track, Tikkanbar ran a mighty race and I still can't believe we didn't win it. He'd shown plenty of ability at home and to be beaten by a nostril was very frustrating. Noel was very happy with him and he's sure to be winning soon. I'd recently purchased his full sister who we have just begun to break-in at home, so it was good to see him put together on the track what we had been seeing on the gallops.
I was delighted with Soupy Soups who won in assertive style at Wincanton on Tuesday. He'd been in good form at home and we learnt a bit about him during his last run so we were hopeful he could run well in what looked a competitive enough handicap on the face of it. The further they went, the better he looked; he's a real hardy galloper that doesn't know when to give up. A step up in trip wouldn't be out of the question in the future but we'll see what the handicapper does before planning our next move. Pinkie Brown went close at Lingfield on his final maiden run, beaten a couple of necks into third. He has been in good form over fences but he has so much speed that I am sure he is capable of winning on the flat, so he's another one that we will wait and see what the handicapper gives us before making a plan for him. He certainly wasn't stopping at the end and a step up in trip could hopefully eke out some more improvement.
We have some nice horses entered up this weekend, including both Indian Brave and Walt who both finished a close second on their seasonal debuts. Hopefully they have both improved since then and can be involved in the finish in their respective races. Today we run Kalondra who goes to Ascot in a competitive looking handicap and Sean takes off a handy 3lbs which will aid their cause. Elsewhere our first runner for leading owner JP McManus goes in the bumper at Uttoxeter, Dead Right. He's a nice type who we have been pleased with at home and hopefully he can run a promising race on debut.
In other news Carole's Destrier remains in grand form at home and is on course to run in the Welsh National where he could be joined by stablemate Goulanes if we are happy with him in the days leading up to the race. He has had his training problems in the past but is a horse with a lot of ability and if we can keep him right we are going to have a lot of fun with him this season.