IT WAS great to saddle two winners at last weekend’s November meeting at Cheltenham.
DUC DE BEAUCHENE got the job done nicely in the opener on Sunday and it was particularly special to send out a winner for JP McManus who has been such a fantastic supporter of our yard over the years.
As for ISRAEL CHAMP, he was really good in the last race of the meeting and we will stick with bumpers for the rest of the campaign. He is a nice young horse who is an exciting prospect.
WARTHOG ran a cracker to be placed in the BetVictor Gold Cup where EAMON AN CNOIC came down early.
The City AM syndicate horse COLLINGWOOD COURT continues to work well at home and his next start will more than likely be over hurdles.
We may just tinker with his wind ahead of that next run which is likely to be around Christmas time.
Looking ahead to tomorrow and we plan to run UMBRIGADO in the Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle at Haydock (2.25pm).
This has been the plan for some time and it’s a race we have had some success in over the years with the likes of Grands Crus, Dynaste and Gevrey Chambertin.
It would be great if we were to be able to mention Umbrigado in the same breath as some of them in years to come!
He hasn’t been seen since finishing sixth in the Grade One Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree in April where he wasn’t actually beaten that far.
That run came at the end of a long season and he seems to be working really well again.
On face value a mark of 142 looks plenty high enough, but he has always been a horse we like and I hope he will go close.
The ground shouldn’t be really bad as it can sometimes be and that’s a plus as this is his first go at a trip like this.
I haven’t decided yet whether we will run KNOW THE SCORE in the staying handicap chase at Haydock (3.40pm) or go to Ascot for their handicap chase (12.55pm) instead.
We will have a good look at the entries, but I’d say that Haydock would be the most likely.
He looks an out and out stayer, so that extended 3m 4½f trip looks just his bag.
I mentioned before that the ground has dried out a fair bit at Haydock and even with a little rain it should ride nearly good to soft.
If that’s the case, then I’ve a feeling that Lostintranslation could be the one in the Betfair Chase (3.00pm).
Bristol De Mai will be hard to beat as he bids for the hat-trick, but conditions may not be testing enough for him.
As for the big match over at Ascot (2.05pm) between Altior and Cyrname, I reckon the former has to be the one to beat.
The handicapper has Cyrname rated 1lb higher, but the formbook doesn’t lie and if Altior turns up he should be very hard to beat.