Though we may not be competing at the top of the table in terms of winners at Cheltenham, there can’t be too many yards with more seconds at Prestbury Park than ours this year, with Rev It Up adding to our tally of runners-up at the home of National Hunt racing when finishing second in the Grade 2 Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle.
An impressive winner of two novice hurdles from two starts this season, the considerably faster ground was against him but he once again displayed an excellent attitude and significant ability in finishing second, with the last-flight demise of the favourite having left him in front starting up the run-in. He is likely to go for a similiar event in the next month or so, with the Grade 2 River Don at Doncaster a possible target at this stage.
Saint Are ran very well in defeat in the 3m novice chase at Doncaster but again didn’t quite match the form of his chasing debut at Aintree, where he had shaped with so much promise. He is still a very exciting prospect and hopefully his form will take an upward curve in the coming months, with the Mildmay Novice Chase at Aintree, the scene of his Grade 1 success last season, the long-term target.
The very sad loss of War Of The World following a fall at Doncaster on Saturday was felt by everyone in the yard and our condolences go to his owner Ian Griffiths. War Of The World had recently returned from an absence but had been showing all his old exuberance and ability in his work at home and had shaped with promise in a couple of starts over hurdles, so we were very sad to lose him.
We had a couple of runners at Hereford on Sunday and the win of Ballyrock was very warmly received, as he had several niggles since his last run that had prevented him from making it to the racecourse. I am sure there is plenty more to come from him and though we will take things slowly with him, he is sure to be seen to best effect on good ground in the spring and I am very hopeful he can develop into a useful performer this season.