We were delighted with Gidleigh Park’s performance at Newbury. Obviously it was a step up in trip and we were up against more experienced horses, so for him to put in a performance like he did was very exciting. His jumping got better the more the race developed, and they almost didn’t go fast enough to begin with but halfway down the back it kicked into gear and the longer the race went on the better he became. For him to kick on as he did was exciting and all being well he’ll head to Trials Day at Cheltenham in January for the Grade 2 Novices’ Hurdle over a similar trip.
Beat The Bat also impressed us. We knew that we were taking on a very smart mare in Dysart Enos and he was far from disgraced finishing second to her. He pulled a long way clear of the third and trying to concede 7lbs to one of the top novice mares in the country at the moment was never going to be easy. The performance sets up for the New Year, potentially some of the bigger spring handicaps although we haven’t ruled out Graded races either.
I was very pleased seeing In Excelsis Deo put in two good runs in back-to-back. He just made a couple of small errors which was enough to put him on the back foot and that probably affected his finishing effort. He’s still a relatively unexposed horse and hopefully there will be more to come. There is a similar two-mile handicap at Sandown in early February which we could look at for his next run.
We were also delighted with Martha Divine on her first start for us and The Harry Fry Racing Syndicate. We are really pleased with how she travelled and jumped, and although she got a little outpaced turning in, her stamina kicked in and she battled all the way to line. We haven’t decided where she will go next but we know she gets further on her form. She’ll give the syndicate lots of fun that’s for sure.
Silver Jet makes his debut in what looks a very competitive 2m5½f maiden hurdle (14:20), but you would expect that around Ascot. He’s a large, tall rangy individual and we’ve been very happy with him at home so it will be interesting to see how he competes against some other useful maidens. I’m hopeful of a good run.
After that, we have Might I stepping up in grade in the 2m3f Noel Novices’ Chase (15:05). He obviously made the most of a match race last time to gain some more experience which will hopefully benefit him at Ascot. It is a small field, but it’s potentially another step up the ladder. If he puts in a good jumping performance, he should go close.
Finally on Friday we run I Wont Back Down in the Listed race over 1m7½f (15:40). We’ve taken our time with him and let him come to hand, but he’s ready to go now. We’ve decided to run him in the Listed bumper rather than a race with a penalty to see where we are at against a very competitive field. We wouldn’t be able to find a more competitive race for him if we tried, but hopefully he takes a lot out of this race and progresses as a result.
The day after we have Altobelli in the Handicap Hurdle over 1m7½f (15:35). This has been the long-term plan for the horse, and it was good to get some experience into him over the course and distance last time to sharpen him up. We don’t want the ground to dry up any more than it is for him and providing it doesn’t we are very hopeful he’ll go well. It’s always a competitive handicap, as it should be for the prize money on offer! We are looking forward to seeing him back in action and hopefully he will be very competitive.
All the best,
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