26th November can only be described as Super Saturday for us. In the space of 15 minutes Irving bounced back to form by taking his second Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle, holding off the lunging Apple’s Jade in a photo, then down in Newbury, Native River sluiced up in the Grade 3 Hennessy Gold Cup and is now as short as 14/1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Earlier in October, Third Intention also proved he was still a force as a chaser, enjoying the track conditions when winning the Grade 2 Old Roan Chase at Aintree. Down in Wincanton there was also a popular local victory for Gentleman Jon in the Badger Ales Chase.
Back on the flat, My Dream Boat continued to do us proud running respectably in the Group 1 Champion Stakes on both sides of the Irish Sea, taking 5th in the Irish version and 4th in the English renewal behind Almanzour.
Of the up and coming youngsters, Present Man continues to improve at an alarming rate and made use of his jumping by making-all and holding off every challenger in the Grade 2 December Novices’ Chase at Doncaster. Capitaine also showed jumping was his asset at Ascot to win the Grade 2 Kennel Gate Hurdle, a Supreme Novices’ Trial. Of the hurdle debutants, Give Me A Copper won his novice hurdle by 14 lengths and Finian’s Oscar made light of a good field at Hereford.
We now have over 320 winners for the calendar year, well over any previous seasons including a Cheltenham Festival Winner, an Aintree winner and of course a Group 1 Royal Ascot success.