The horses have been running really well of late and I was delighted to record a double at Uttoxeter yesterday courtesy of Akula and Ashford Wood.

Akula had run a couple of fair races on the flat at Wolverhampton on his two previous starts, but he took a big step forward on his fourth outing since joining us, making all under a very well-judged ride from Alan Johns to score by 28 lengths in the 2m handicap hurdle.

One can only hope the handicapper doesn’t take the form too literally, with Alan having been gifted a very easy time of it in front, but he looks on a good mark for the flat turf season and there should be opportunities for him on the level in the coming weeks.  Well done to his owners in the Itsfuninit syndicate, as it was their first winner at what is their local track.

We had found Ashford Wood to be suffering from stomach ulcers since a disappointing run at Ffos Las in January and, returning from a break and dropped in trip, he duly returned to his best with a game front-running success under Michael Byrne. Congratulations to his owners David and Sue Luke.