Week In Review
Goodtimecrew – 1st at Wincanton, February 2nd
We were delighted to see her make a winning stable debut in an 18-runner mare’s bumper around Wincanton. To say she’s been a challenge at home would be an understatement in terms of her behaviour. She has certainly tested us. Hugo Hunt, our assistant trainer, rides her every day and has done a really good job on her, getting her to behave so that we can train her, and that was the reason she was led in at the back. On the face of it we were setting quite a tall order facing 17 runners. Johnny was able follow round and there was only one horse behind her turning out the back, so to see her pick up in the straight and pass the field and win going away was a very encouraging start. We are probably leaning towards running her at Sandown on the Saturday before Cheltenham in the listed mares’ bumper. We’ll see how she gets on there, before making any further plans.
Armathia – 3rd at Wincanton, February 2nd
In the same race we had Armathia, who had been third over course and distance and was getting weight for age allowance. If you’d asked me beforehand she actually looked like she had the stronger chance getting that handy weight for age allowance. However she did slightly over race and that just told in the final furlong. She’s certainly backed up the promising debut she made, so hopefully if can we get her to settle next time and switch off, she will have no problem getting her head in front in a similar contest.
Ree Okka – 3rd at Chepstow, February 3rd
He ran another solid race, jumped well, and looked to have every chance turning in to the straight at Chepstow. Ultimately, he was just outbattled going to the third last and he’s promised more than he’s delivered so far this season. There is no apparent reason for that, he’s run to a similar level each time however others seem to be developing past him at the moment. We had hoped for more from him this season up to this point. Hopefully his turn will come before the season’s out.
Hot Rod Lincoln – 3rd at Sandown, February 4th
He ran a much better race having just missed the second last. We were pleased to see him run to a similar sort of level as he did on his debut for us back at Chepstow. It was a step back in the right direction. We will aim to step him back up in trip the next day and that should bring about more improvement. He’s a winning three mile point-to-pointer, so his future definitely lies over fences long term next season. Hopefully he can get his head in front over the smaller obstacles before the season is out.
Monjules – 1st at Fontwell, February 6th
Made it 2 from 3 this season and bounced back from the disappointing run at Huntingdon which we had no real excuse for. He showed good battling qualities as he didn’t get the clearest passage up the straight. However once Lorcan Murtagh found clear daylight he stayed on strongly up the Fontwell hill. Hopefully we can find a similar sort of race for him in which he can remain competitive as long as the handicapper doesn’t put him up too much!
Love Envoi – 14:05 Warwick
She’s in good from. We were delighted with her performance at Sandown, she took that race in her stride and came out of it in good order. We’ve been working towards this race. Marie’s Rock won this race before going on to win the Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. The ground is obviously drying out, Warwick haven’t had any rain since the Classic Chase Day, which for this time of year is quite extraordinary. That just seems to sum up this season really, going from one extreme to the other and nothing in between. We are keen to run if ground conditions suit, so we will be making sure the ground is safe first and foremost. If we decide to err on the side of caution, we will take her straight to Cheltenham all being well.
One To Watch Next Week
Altobelli – Sandown on Thursday
He got off the mark at the first time of asking in a maiden at Ffos Las. He is likely to go to Sandown next Thursday for a novice hurdle, so hopefully we will have had a bit more rain by then! He’s pleased us since Ffos Las and we’re hopeful he can continue on an upward curve as we’d like to think he’ll be better for that experience. We will be looking to see him jump better with more confidence and taking a step forward.
We decided to take him out of Saturday’s Betfair Hurdle on account of the drying ground. He missed a year prior to joining us with a tendon injury and it’s frustrating having had this race in mind since the Greatwood Hurdle. However, with the Spring Festival’s just around the corner, we’ve opted to be patient and go straight for a crack at the County Hurdle. He was a runner-up at the Punchestown Festival last year, so we’d like to take him back there as well.
Have a great weekend.