We had some good chances at Chepstow’s Welsh National meeting yesterday, none more so than the exciting juvenile hurdler Swnymor, who was sent off second-favourite for the Grade 1 Finale Hurdle on the back of an impressive debut success at Newbury last month.
Always travelling well under Richard Johnson, he took up the running between the final two flights but, having wandered into the last, he failed to pick up at the flight and, with the race seemingly at his mercy, took a heavy fall.
Though it is obviously very frustrating to have come so close to another Grade 1 win, we can take plenty of positives out of the race, not least that he appears to be right up there with the best of the juvenile hurdlers seen out so far this season.
Thankfully, he is fine this morning and we’ll now look to give him a confidence booster somewhere before, all being well, looking to the Triumph at Cheltenham in March.
I was delighted with the run of Our Island in the Welsh National, in which he finished 5th under Dougie Costello. The visor has seemed to bring about an improvement in his jumping as well as the way he travels through his races and it was a big improvement on his performance in the race last year. We’ll look for another stamina-sapping test for him next (the Eider looks the logical next race), but he’ll be back for a third attempt at the Welsh National in December and I hope he can develop into a genuine contender.
Destroyer Deployed again ran well in defeat in a competitive handicap hurdle and hopefully he can find one come his way, while Be Bop Boru finished runner-up under a penalty in what looked a good little bumper and he is likely to have a short break now before coming back for one of the better bumpers in the spring.