It's been a little while since my last post but at an important and very busy time of the season, there has still been plenty going on. In the last two weeks or so we have sent out six winners which has been great, though we've thankfully been very consistent all season. The majority of the horses have remained fresh and well and those that appreciate the better ground are back in full work ahead of a Summer campaign.
One of those was Perfect Timing at Plumpton who returned in the same winning mood as when he last ran back in October. He is steadily climbing in the weights again but he should come on for his reappearance and has won off a higher mark in the past. He looks great in his coat at home and we are hopeful of a successful summer with him. Most Celebrated provided us with a double on the card to win cosily, but he is the type of horse who only just does enough to win. He remains a nice horse for next season and he's now out for his summer holiday.
Code Of Law, Coole Charmer, Cor Wot An Apple and Fool To Cry all ran solid races to be placed before Doing Fine was victorious at Cheltenham after a string of frustrating but encouraging second place finishes. He has come out of his race especially well and goes to Sandown tomorrow where he has been installed as the favourite for the Bet365 Gold Cup, a race we won last year with The Young Master who lines up off the same mark as when successful 12 months ago. The Druids Nephew is our other runner and the handicapper has given him every chance of running a big race too. We've applied the first time visor and this has been his target all season. They all seem well and in good form so it's a case of hoping one of them can come home in front.
Soupy Soups rounded off a successful season with a decisive win up at Sedgefield under Brian Hughes. That was this progressive 6yo's third win of the season and he has definitely earned his summer holiday. Hopefully there will be even more to come from him next year. At Cheltenham last week, Indian Stream ran another solid race for third off top weight, while I was particularly happy with The Wicket Chicken who ran very well to be third and not beaten far at all in the bumper. She's a nice mare to look forward to. I must mention Kalondra who was having his eleventh run of the season when finishing a solid forth up at Ayr. It's a testament to his toughness and ability that he has been holding his form all year, winning four times as well as being placed on three other occasions. He's been very progressive, climbing 32lbs in the weights throughout the season and is just the type of horse trainers and owners want to be involved with. He's another who will now enjoy a nice break over the Summer.
Lubatic showed the benefit of his first run to win at the second time of asking in the bumper at Wincanton last weekend. He's a horse that had shown up well at home and despite still running a bit green, his best work was at the finish and he is a nice horse going forward. Elsewhere, Earls Fort ran a most pleasing comeback second at Warwick, only missing out on the win by a length. He is likely to come on for that run and hopefully he can continue where he left off before Christmas next time out. Patience was rewarded for Stealing Mix's owners as he gained his breakthrough win at Exeter on Wednesday. He has had one or two issues which have prevented him from showing his best form on the racecourse, but this victory would have done his confidence the world of good. Hopefully we haven't seen the best of him yet.
Finally, it was very satisfying to see Dead Right come home in front at Punchestown yesterday for J P McManus, excellently ridden by Jonjo O'Neill Jr. He's always been a horse we have thought plenty of and to see him put in a performance like that was very exciting. The form looks solid and it was great to get a winner in my native Ireland; he is an promising horse for next season. I must mention Pinkie Brown who ran a cracker to be third in the handicap hurdle. He was beaten less than two lengths and is such a tough and versatile type. He's only a 5yo but has run on the flat, over hurdles and over fences but his best days hopefully still lie ahead of him.
Tomorrow is the final day of the season and aside from our three in the feature race, Shantou Village also takes his place in the Novices Handicap Chase. He recently gained a confidence boosting success around Fontwell which will hopefully have put him spot on for a bold show here with Noel back on board. The partnership is yet to taste defeat and it would be nice if that could remain the case tomorrow!