I AM delighted to be writing my first column in City AM today as the jumps season really starts to get going at Cheltenham this afternoon.
Frustratingly, we don’t have any runners today as we haven’t got that winter ground yet.
Cheltenham can’t be blamed, and they have done an excellent job producing the good, safe conditions they have.
It’s just when you have a stable full of ‘winter ground’ horses you have to sit tight.
We’ll have some runners there tomorrow, though, starting off with DELL’ ARCA in the opening 3m1f handicap chase (2.00pm).
He’s had a great summer, winning over hurdles at Uttoxeter in July, on the Flat at Newbury in August before running a really brave fourth in the Kerry National last month.
He’s up another 4lbs here but seems full of beans at home so hopefully he should go well.
The plan is to give him a bit of a holiday at some point, but while he is in such good form we will keep going.
He’s versatile ground-wise too, so the decent surface won’t bother him.
Obviously, we won’t be making our final declarations for tomorrow until later this morning, but another likely runner will be TIMEFORBEN in the Pertemps Hurdle (3.45pm).
She’s another who has done really well over the summer and is a very nice mare who should love the ground.
It will take a career best to win this as she keeps gradually creeping up the weights, but we are hopeful of a big run.
Looking ahead to Aintree on Sunday, and one horse more than likely to run for us is THREE STAR GENERAL in the conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle (1.15pm).
He ran a nice pipe-opener on the Flat at Bath over a week ago which will hopefully have put him spot on for this