After enduring a frustrating couple of months, our horses are really coming back into form and, following a couple of seconds at the weekend courtesy of Wings Of Smoke and Oskar’s Eva, we were delighted to see Royale Django and Tidestream combine for a double at Southwell yesterday afternoon.

The former had been purchased at Tattersalls Ireland in June after winning his only start in a maiden hurdle at Perth earlier that month.  Following a disappointing effort at Chepstow on his seasonal reappearance in December, he had run a bit better at Fakenham last time, but nevertheless yesterday’s performance was a huge step forward, as he travelled well throughout and responded generously to pressure from Richard Johnson to beat a couple of fair yardsticks in good style.

I am delighted for his owners John Durston and Nigel Harris, for whom it is a first winner with us, and hopefully there is plenty more to come from the son of Kayf Tara, with his long-term future lying over fences.

Tidestream failed to reach the frame in eight starts on the flat in France, including in claimers, but he is a scopey sort and we picked him up for €17,000 at Arqana in July.

Having struggled in heavy ground either side of a good effort at Newbury in a decent novice hurdle in December, I thought he looked on a fair mark for yesterday handicap bow and, in what looked a weak contest, he probably didn’t need to improve on that Newbury form to win, with Bradley Gibbs taking up the running before the turn in and the pair keeping on well to the line.

A half-brother to a couple of black type performers on the flat, I hope he can continue to progress and he should go very close again next time.  Well done to his owners the Delamere Cottage Racing Partners.