MARKOV and RAVEN'S TOWER gave us a day we will remember for many years to come. Alan Marsh’s MARKOV made an impressive winning seasonal and chasing debut at Fontwell on Sunday under Tom Bellamy who fresh from his Betvictor Gold Cup win gave MARKOV a peach of a ride. He officially became our 100th winner and then two races later with the wonderful RAVEN'S TOWER, under a determined ride from James Banks, we had our 101st from the horse that gave us our 1st four years ago! RT is still flying at home and loving life more than ever which is always great to see. He owes nothing to anyone and he really is an incredibly special little horse. As most of you know he was purchased for £2000 and has won 6 times, placed 19 times and has now won over £67k in prize money. What a Gem!
EQUUS PROVIDES MID-WEEK JOY
On Tuesday the team headed to Southwell and the Bourtoneers' EQUUS SECRETUS took centre stage in a hot Novice. He was carrying a penalty after his gutsy win at Huntington last time out. We were very aware that this would not be an easy race as Tom George's Another Stowaway had a big reputation after just being beaten by the Nicky Henderson trained On The Blind Side up at Aintree in October. Both horses did not disappoint in providing a spectacle. Equus ground it out from the front under Daryl Jacob showing tenacity and determination to score on his second start over hurdles. The success of this horse is very much down to Danny who has ridden him since day one, looks after him and puts in all the hard work so huge congratulations to him. He has been given a very lofty mark of 139h so let's hope he can live up to it as that is pretty steep for an opening mark.
KILDISART HAD THAT FRIDAY FEELING
The Simon Munir and Isaac Souede owned KILDISART headed the betting in a very competitive Maiden Hurdle at Ascot on Friday and he did not disappoint. A horse we have always thought an awful lot of and it was great to see him demonstrate his talent on the track. His jumping was slick and he showed his class between the last and the line with a fantastic turn of foot. This provided the team with their first winner for the famous two shades of green colours. An exciting horse and all being well he looks to have a bright future.
CONTINUING THE DOUBLE GREEN STREAK!
With Saturday, came two big days in the National Hunt Calendar at Haydock and Ascot. DELIRE D'ESTRUVAL headed to Haydock for the 2-mile Novice Listed Hurdle. They had had plenty of rain so we knew conditions would suit this lovely French recruit. We decided to make it a stamina test, and Delire showed his incredible professionalism and demonstrated what a gutsy little horse he is by really battling up the home straight to keep his head in front. A fantastic ride by Daryl which would kick off a fantastic day for him and Delire's owners who won The Betfair Chase so huge congratulations to them.
At Ascot Sue Davies' NESTOR PARK proved himself to be a very exciting prospect taking what we believe will turn out to be a very hot bumper under a strong ride from David Bass. He gamely went on to score after a tussle with the Warren Greatrex trained Portrush Ted up the home straight. We don’t doubt that both of these horses will have bright futures after pulling clear of the rest of the field. It really was a brilliant end to a great week
PERFECTION FROM PIRATE
After the success of last week, we were excited for the week ahead and the team did not disappoint. STAGE SUMMIT and LINENHALL ran gallantly hitting the crossbar a couple of times.
Then came the turn of PERFECT PIRATE who headed for his Seasonal Debut at Towcester. This plucky little horse made a superb start to his chasing career and season to win the 2m4f Novice Chase gamely for his owner's Masters Racing. He flew up the Towcester Hill under Daryl and went on to win in style. Another bright, young Novice which we hope will provide his owner's with some great days ahead.
WILLOUGHBY HOLDS COURT
The Ladbrokes Winter Carnival takes centre stage this weekend in the National Hunt Calendar and the Grade 2 Novice's Chase was set up to be mouthwatering, as both Grade 1 winning hurdlers Yanworth and WILLOUGHBY COURT lined up amongst a competitive field. No words can describe the high regard we have for this very special horse and he did not disappoint again. He jumped superbly and to quote the Racing Post he was ‘Big, bold and brilliant’. He provided the team with another top class win and it was great to see him becoming the chaser we hoped he always would be.