Our small summer team is in great form at present and, following a double at Uttoxeter yesterday evening, we are now into double figures for the 2014/15 National Hunt campaign!
Nathans Pride is progressing nicely and the former Irish bumper winner made it two wins from his last three starts over hurdles with a fluent success in the conditional jockeys novice hurdle yesterday under a confident ride from Alan Johns.
Always prominent, he hurdled well throughout and, hitting the front between the last two flights, stayed on in good fashion to win comfortably. Rated 130, he is certainly capable of adding a third novice win in the coming weeks, especially as he evades a penalty for this latest success.
Spanish Optimist has had his share of problems and, returning from 18 months on the sidelines, he was unable to show his best in four runs last term. However, back from a short break and given a chance by the handicapper, I was delighted to see him return to form yesterday, jumping well and always holding his rivals up the home straight to win by 7 lengths. Congratulations to his owners Hugh Doubtfire and Tony Evans, who have been tremendously patient with him.