Our three runners at Taunton yesterday all finished runner-up, bringing us to nine seconds from our last 18 runners! Though I am delighted with the form of the horses, we could certainly do with a change of luck!
Minella For Party took a big step in the right direction in the novice hurdle, racing a little keenly once again but keeping on very well up the straight to finish second to a smart rival. He is a lightly-raced sort and, despite having won his Irish point nearly two years ago to the day, the penny is only really beginning to drop with him now.
Silky Bob had shown little in five previous starts but, returning from a short break, he put in a much better effort in the 3m1f handicap hurdle yesterday under Michael Byrne, going clear in the home straight only to be passed in the final couple of strides by the Richard Johnson-ridden The Last Bridge! Standing at over 17 hands, his should provide his owner Robin Clay with plenty of fun when going chasing in the autumn.
I was very pleased with the effort of Shadow Cruise in the concluding bumper, who looked the winner in the final furlong only to be run out of things late on. He is still green and I am sure there is plenty more to come from him, especially given he has already schooled very well over hurdles.