Everyone connected with the yard was obviously delighted with how the Betbright Chase unfolded at Kempton over the weekend. Big Saturday winners are what we all work so hard for and Pilgrims Bay was given a quite brilliant ride from James Best to be nursed home after the last. The horse has his quirks and sure enough he dropped his shoulder as James was pulling up and threw him off. Thankfully he was okay to get back on to walk in to the winners enclosure and he certainly wouldn't have been the first person to have fallen off him! It was great to provide a big winner for Wayne Clifford who is not only a big supporter of our yard but also racing as a whole and we couldn't have been happier with the horse. He could line up in the Ultima at the festival which is two weeks today but we'll see how he gets on over the next week or so before that plan is set in stone. A great day all round.
Our other runner in the Betbright Chase Fingerontheswitch ran a solid enough race and there will definitely be other days for him. I have a feeling we still haven't seen the best of him yet and he would really be a horse for next season as he is only a 7yo and we know he has plenty of ability. Peter The Mayo Man ran a super race in the Dovecote to not be beaten far for third. He'd already had a run since his summer break but he may even just come on a bit for that run too which should put him spot on for Cheltenham. He's come out of his race fine and it's all systems go now for him. Soupy Soups was still in there pitching three out but it's a long way home at Chepstow and being keen early on and the ground being slightly softer than ideal just found him out in the closing stages. We'll see how he is over the coming days before making any plans with him but he can be forgiven that run in any case.
We've had a couple of quiet days since Saturday with no runners but we have three heading to Wincanton tomorrow where we've enjoyed some good luck this season and Johns Luck heads to Ffos Las. It's a nerve-racking time of year to be a trainer and we are just praying that our Cheltenham hopefuls get a clean run to the festival and we get them there in good form. We took eight of them to Lambourn this morning for some fast work and I was very happy with them all. It's two weeks today till the roar of the crowd as the Supreme gets underway and the excitement is building in the yard as we have our biggest and strongest team heading there to date.