Happy New Year!

Our final runner of 2016 ensured we saw the year out with a bang, as Theligny provided us with our 60th winner of the calendar year when taking a hugely-competitive handicap hurdle at Newbury in great style under Alan Johns.

He has made relentless progress this season since returning in September a thrice-raced maiden, with yesterday’s success his fourth from five starts this term, having finished runner-up in the Listed Gerry Feilden on the only occasion he hasn’t got his head in front.

Returned to 2m4f after that defeat over the minimum distance, he relished the step up in trip and, travelling noticeably well and hurdling fluently, he was sent on before the second last and galloped on resolutely, defying the well-backed favourite with something to spare.

He is now showing a smart level of form and, though there is some way to go yet, I am very hopeful that he could develop into a contender for one of the big spring novice hurdles, with the Sefton at Aintree, a race we have won before with Saint Are, looking an attractive target.

I am delighted for his owners Dave & Jodie Pearn, who are tremendous supporters of ours and were present at Newbury.

(photos courtesy of Francesca Altoft)