23rd of January
Willoughby Court under a fantastic ride by David Bass takes the Grade 2 Neptune Investment Management Novices Trial for his owners Paul and Clare Rooney. He made all in the 2m5f Novice Hurdle and appeared to love the soft ground and pushed clear of the main field three out, staying on well to come home in straight. Having won this in such emphatic style either the Neptune or the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham festival are the obvious next target. He is a horse who thrives off having a break between his races so he won't be seen before then. He has thrived this season and looks a very promising individual for the future.
On Friday Imperial Bay made all at Chepstow to come home victorious in the 3m maiden hurdle. He was given a positive ride by David Bass as we knew stamina would be his strong point in testing conditions. He jumped well in the main, making a mistake at the second last but it did not stop his momentum. David was very complimentary afterwards, and he looks tailor made for staying chases in the future, but for the moment he will stick in novice hurdles and hopefully he can give his fantastic group of owners some more exciting days before the end of the season.
Tomorrow we have A Hare Breath running in a 2m novice chase at Leicester. He won last time out at Bangor-on-Dee on his debut run over fences. He is a horse that has always impressed us and should run a good race tomorrow.
Smoking Dixie also runs at Leicester and improved a lot from his first run at Aintree when last seen at Chepstow so another step forward is hopefully on the cards
On Wednesday, Jaleo is entered in a 2m 3f Handicap Hurdle at Catterick. He has been absolutely fine after his fall in the Lanzarote 10 days ago so I would like to see him get back on track. He was due to run at Ascot last Saturday but with the meeting sadly abandoned there wasn't much we could do!
Later in the week, we will hopefully see the likes of Carlos Du Fruitier, Dolatulo, Whin Park, Paddy's Field, Pithivier and Cyrius Moriviere, all weather permitting.