Click for Video Review of 2019
WARTHOG, third in the BetVictor Gold Cup at the course in November, was up with the pace throughout and showed a cracking attitude to battle back on the run-in to take December’s Grade 3 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup for David Pipe, Bryan Drew and Professor Caroline Tisdall. A return to 3m should be well within range, bringing into play the Ultima on day one of the festival.
On the first weekend of November, THE WORLDS END won the Grade 2 West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby, then finished 3 lengths behind stayers hurdle favourite Paisley Park at Newbury before following up in The Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot just before Christmas. The 8yo son of Stowaway is now a dual Grade 1 winner and has collected £220,000 in prize-money for Tom George and The McNeill Family.
Christmas was a fruitful time with three Grade 1’s in a week. Firstly SLATE HOUSE took the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase on boxing day. This was slight compensation for Colin Tizzard and his band of owners for coming down looking like he was full of running in the Bet Victor Gold Cup in the Autumn.
DELTA WORK solidified his Gold Cup claims when adding the Grade 1 Savills Chase at Leopardstown to his three Grade 1 novice titles. This was a big turnaround from his season debut at Down Royal 8 weeks earlier and now all roads lead to the Dublin Racing Festival for the Gigginstown House Stud Horse.
Another Gordon Elliott trained horse, ENVOI ALLEN won two Grade 1’s in 5 weeks. The Royal Bond at Fairyhouse and the Lawlors of Naas Hurdle. He remains unbeaten, a fabulous prospect and 7/4 fav for The Ballymore.
NATIVE RIVER returned at Aintree in December to win the Grade 2 Many Clouds Chase by 30 lengths. This was his first run since being placed in last season’s Lancashire Chase, King George and Cheltenham Gold Cup. He has the Welsh National, Gold Cup and Grand National on his agenda this season.
The Troytown Chase is one of the highlights of Navan’s calendar and CHRIS’S DREAM kept his unbeaten record at the track to win this 23 runner race going away by 10 lengths. He was bought at Tattersalls Cheltenham from Eugene O’Sullivan and this was a career high best, putting him in the Gold Cup picture for Henry DeBromhead.
Once again DELTA WORK wins a Grade 1. His 5th over fences alone! Jack Kennedy was again in the plate here as he takes the Irish Gold Cup at the Dublin Racing Festival. He has now won 6 of his 8 starts over fences and over half a million Euro’s for Gigginstown. He has come an awful long way since finishing midfield on debut in a 3yo bumper in Cluny.
Not to be outdone, NATIVE RIVER gets a temporary new jockey in Jonjo O’Neill Junior, but the result is the same. His third win in the Grade 2 Denman Chase makes him a Millionaire! Garth and Anne Broom’s gelding has never out of the first four over fences in 18 starts. Amazing to think that he fell over hurdles and unseated in his only point to point after which we bought him.
We bought HOGAN’S HEIGHT after placing in two points for Sam Curling. He has now won 6 races under rules including 4 of his 6 starts over fences and 3.5 times his purchase price. The Grand Sefton at Aintree in December was his first sighting of the National fences when he won by an increasing 16 lengths and he shares his sire with stamina laden staying chasers Native River, Madison Du Berlais and Step Back. Quite rightly on that basis, Jamie Snowden, who was already well on his way to a seasonal best number of winners, was quietly confident of a good showing in the Grand National itself.