We've experienced an unusually quiet period over the last couple of weeks but we put that right on Wednesday at Sedgefield where we enjoyed a satisfying double, as both Vancouver and Kalondra put in nice performances to land the handicap hurdle and the novice chase, in which Kalondra was making his debut over fences. He put in an astute round of jumping under a no nonsense ride from Tom Scudamore and the way he came up at the last was a sight to behold - we couldn't have been happier with him. I nominated him as our dark horse to follow this season in the Racing Post and there should be lots of winning opportunities for him in the novice chasing division this season. Vancouver bounced back to form with a dominant display and I was really impressed with how quickly he put the race to bed. He's an improving horse and we'll see what the handicapper does before making any concrete plans with him just yet.
It looks like being an exciting weekend as we have runners at both Cheltenham and Aintree. On Saturday, Doing Fine runs in the opening stayers handicap chase at Cheltenham and we were happy with his reappearance run so hopefully he can run a nice race. On Sunday we are represented by Shantou Village in the Grade 2 Old Roan Chase at Aintree and he seems in good form at home. We were never 100% happy with him last season but he still managed to win four of his five starts - we still think the world of him but as I mentioned in the Racing Post, he's got to go out there and do it now. Noel Fehily takes the ride and they get on particularly well together, having never tasted defeat when he's been in the saddle. Miss Molly Mae also makes the journey north and she has a nice attitude, though it is a competitive event as you would expect.
Thankfully the horses seem to all be in good shape at home and I have made plenty of entries going forward. We have been sent many new horses for the season ahead, which we are obviously very happy about and it's great to watch them progress and develop. It's very much business as usual otherwise and hopefully we can enjoy a successful period over the coming days.