Though we have had a quiet couple of months on the racecourse with a considerably smaller summer team than has been the case in recent seasons, behind the scenes it has been a very busy time at Pant Wilkin as we prepare for what promises to be an exciting autumn.
The top yard, in which the 52-box barn was completed last October, has had something of a makeover in recent weeks and it looks all the better for it! Meanwhile, the most popular upgrade this summer was the tarmacking of the drive from the main road all the way down to the yard, which has been a long time coming but already I don’t know how we coped without it all this time!
We have also been busy buying at the sales in the past couple of months, with some top-class prospects joining the yard. New form horses include the very impressive four year old point winner Copper Gone West, who is out of a half-sister to the likes of Give Me A Copper and Copper Bleu, as well as Exeter bumper winner Jaunty Flyer, a half-brother to three black-type performers and who looks the type to improve markedly when sent over hurdles and fences in due course.
We also have a host of lovely stores that were purchased at the Goffs UK May Sale at Doncaster and at the Land Rover and Derby sales in Ireland. I couldn’t be happier with our purchases and thankfully they have all shown an exemplary attitude when getting broken in, which is a good start! Sons of Arcadio, Jeremy (x2), Martaline, Multiplex and Shirocco, they will now have a later summer break than their older stablemates, before coming into training in early September.
It is such an exciting time of year, as the majority of our winter team has now come in from the paddocks and therefore the work begins as we prepare them for their racecourse return in the autumn. We have a tremendous group to go novice chasing, headed by Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle third Debece and Dadsintrouble, who was a dual winner at Haydock and finished third in Grade 3 company on his final outing. Theligny, who won four last season and was runner-up in the Listed Gerry Feilden at Newbury, is likely to stay over hurdles this term before going chasing in a year’s time and he is a high-class prospect for top handicaps in the months ahead. I am very hopeful the seven year olds Tanit River and Bells Of Ailsworth can continue to progress as staying chasers, with the Welsh National in mind for the former, while we have a host of young, progressive types to go over hurdles, so there is a lot to look forward to!