Kalashnikov guns them down in Betfair
The horses have continued in a rich vein of form this year and I certainly hope that it continues. The Cheltenham Festival is just under three weeks away and all being well we shall have our first runner, with Kalashnikov set to contest the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. It was a great performance by him to land the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury nine days ago and I could not be more proud of him, Jack and the whole team.
With all the rain that fell in the morning I seriously deliberated taking him out, but he was in such good form I couldn’t not run him, despite the ground once again being against him. Although the ground was completely different to Sandown, in that it was loose and he could run through it. I am sure many of you will have seen photos from after the race and saw he was covered in mud!
To win the richest handicap hurdle race of the entire season with him was great and I would like to thank all the well wishers for their comments after the race. We can only date to dream over the next three weeks....
(A mud splattered horse and jockey after the Betfair)
A week earlier Mercian Prince landed a second successive Saturday win at Wetherby. After walking the track with Jack we decided to go wide all around the straight and tight in on the rails and the plan came off, although only narrowly. He will go in search of further riches a week on Saturday in a Gr.3 at Newbury.
Tupolev also ran at Wetherby the same day and pleased me greatly, running third to a pair of point-to-point winners, in what Jack said felt like a strong race. He will be out in similar company before the end of the season is out. Hawthorn Cottage made her debut for the yard at Huntingdon two weeks ago and ran a very pleasing debut, she won a heavy ground point-to-point before her purchase by Lucy Barry on behalf of the Melbourne 10. We were aiming to get her into the first six. She surpassed our expectations, running third and was bang there until a furlong to run. Lucy Barry, who is sponsored by the Melbourne 10, gave her a great ride and Hawthorn kept finding. She will run at Plumpton on Monday.
(Kalashnikov out in the paddocl the following morning)
It’s not just the National Hunt horses that have been in form. Thaqaffa landed a third win for us since New Year at Kempton Park on the 1st February. Racing off a higher mark, he got to the front near the line and kept on well to win over a mile and three. Life will be tougher, having been raised again to a mark of 81, but lets hope that he can continue his fabulous form for The Champagne Club over the coming weeks.
(Thaqaffa in the middle out in the paddock enjoying himself)
The flat horses for the up and coming turf season are coming along nicely and the two year olds are all doing everything asked of them at present, the more precocious ones are starting to do a little bit of faster work now that the first two year old races of the season are only 6 weeks away!
Finally, Mercian King is set to be a travelling companion for Mercian Prince to Newbury, where he is set to be ridden by Sheikh Fahad in a charity race. His new rider has already been to the yard and ridden him out, while King has also had a day out hunting as well. After the charity race it will be all systems go for the summer jumping season for him and a couple of others.
(Mercian King and I enjoying a day out hunting)
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