Autumn Winter 21/22
The 21/22 jumps season started with a bang as Orbys Legend won the Grade 3 Silver Trophy at Chepstow at the jumps opener for Highclere Thoroughbreds and Philip Hobbs. The Milan gelding won again on Boxing Day and was yet to jump a fence in public but unfortunately paid the ultimate price after a fall at Newbury in April.
Riviere D’Etel marked herself down as a filly with considerable promise over fences for Gordon Elliott and Bective Stud when taking both the Grade 2 Novice Chase at Punchestown and the Garde 3 at Navan in the space of three weekend’s. The juvenile became the first 4yo to win The Craddockstown Chase since 1995. She had a busy season in Grade 1 company thereafter becoming runner-up at both the Christmas and DRF Leopardstown meetings, then was 5th in the Arkle and third in the Grade 1 at Fairyhouse’s National meeting.
Paul Nicholls has never made a secret of the high regard in which he holds Bravemansgame and he put his cards on the table when launching him into intermediate company for his chase debut at Newton Abbott in October taking on the 156 rated Fusil Raffles. His fluent jumping is anything but novicey and he then took the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton in scintillating fashion before winning a handicap off a mark of 159 in Feb before missing Cheltenham and was found to be suffering from ulcers after a lacklustre showing at Aintree.
One of the most remarkable stories of the season was Coole Cody. It is still hard to believe that he cost only £5,200 at Ascot Sales in 2016. He has since won eight times under rules (four times at Cheltenham where he almost runs exclusively nowadays) including both Grade 3 handicaps before Christmas and the plate at The Festival reaching earnings of over £300,000. A testament to the training of both Michael Blake and more recently Evan Williams.
Our second Cheltenham Festival success this year came in the shape of Delta Work who spoilt the Tiger Roll retirement party (in the same Gigginstown House Stud/Gordon Elliott team) by heading the legend on the final climb to win the cross-country race. The five-time Grade 1 winner bought after winning a French AQPS bumper went on to finish third in The Grand National under 11st 9.
Aintree success came in the form of Hacker Des Places who improved with every run this season culminating with a victory in the conditionals and amateurs race in Liverpool for Paul Nicholls and the Owners Group Syndicate.
Envoi Allen began his second season chasing with Henry DeBromhead and a Grade 2 win before dropping in trip to win a Grade 1 at Leopardstown and this Spring was placed in the Grade 1 Queen Mother and the Champion Chase at Punchestown. He has to date earned just shy of £500,000.