IMG_4756.JPGFollowing three seconds last week, it was a relief to see Vodka Island make a winning handicap debut over hurdles at Ludlow yesterday!

Ridden by our new conditional jockey George Blackwell, for whom it was a first National Hunt winner, it was a much-improved performance from the daughter of Turtle Island, who showed a resilient attitude to reel in the eventual runner-up, who had jumped the last in front.  I am delighted for her owners Folly Road Racing Partners (1996)!

She is absolutely fine after the race (pictured right with Erin, who looks after and rides her at home), but we’ll give her three weeks before her next run and hopefully she can continue to progress.

I was pleased with the runs of our French-bred four year olds Bassarabad and Theligny, runners-up at Chepstow and Leicester respectively last week, though the former’s 5lbs rise and the latter’s opening mark of 119 will demand further progress. I am also pleased to report that Bleu Et Noir is none the worse after his fall at Huntingdon over the weekend.

With the main gallop now fully back in use, we should start having more runners in the next 10-14 days after what has been a relatively quiet period and hopefully there will be plenty of winners to celebrate in the run-up to Christmas!