It has been a very successful fortnight for the yard, with 9 winners and six seconds from 28 runners in the last fortnight!
A double on Thursday courtesy of Captain Dash (winning his second race in a week under Michael Byrne at Wincanton) and Gallox Bridge (impressive on his debut for the yard in a maiden hurdle at Uttoxeter) was the perfect start to a busy weekend period and I must admit to being delighted at the way our runners performed.
Though we came away from Cheltenham without a winner, once again our runners were very competitive, with all four runners finishing in the first four, and Judiciary (beaten just 3/4 length in the maiden hurdle on Friday) and Definite Dawn (found only one too good in the 0-150 handicap chase on Saturday) both finishing runner-up, a position we have unfortunately become accustomed to at Prestbury Park this year, with both Beshabar and Destroyer Deployed having finished runners-up at the Festival in March!
I was very pleased with the comeback run of First Fandango on his debut for his new owners, WRB Racing & Premier Chance Racing and I am sure he can make his mark in a good handicap in the coming months.
We had two runners at Kempton Park on Sunday and I was delighted to come away with a double, courtesy of Elsafeer and Fennis Boy.
Elsafeer has done nothng but improve since we purchased him privately in the summer and his win in the Listed hurdle was certainly a career-best. I would be surprised should he go up too much in the handicap for that and hopefully he will remain on a mark off which he can be competitive in a good quality race in the coming weeks. Longer-term, we are looking at the E.B.F Final at Sandown on Imperial Cup day in March for him.
Fennis Boy is another recent Irish import to the yard and he was impressive in getting off the mark in the concluding National Hunt maiden hurdle. He had shown plenty of ability in Ireland for his former connections and had made a promising debut for us at Worcester last month, so the win came as no surprise and I am confident he can progress further this season.