After a busy period, we look back at December’s results and look ahead to the racing over the Christmas period.
In The News
First of all, from all of us at Bobble Barn Farm, all the best wishes for Christmas and the New Year. We hope you have a great few days with your families and loved ones. Hopefully, Santa will bring us some more winners!
It’s has been a busy month with plenty of racing going on for us during December and we’ve finally got one on the board for the season when Eureu du Boulay won at Catterick last week. We haven’t had much luck with a few runners hitting the frame, but not quite getting their nose in front. Lord Du Mesnil has been especially unlucky with a couple of second places, so it was nice to finally get one home in front. Perhaps the schooling session with wonderful Yogi Breisner was the catalyst, since he’d been in only six days previous. He’s a great teacher on getting horses to jump, but perhaps one of them took the lessons too well. While we were out at Catterick, one of the horses back home decided he wasn’t content standing in his field, took a run up and popped himself over the gate. He ran loose for sixteen or so minutes before turning back up to tell the lads in the yard to catch him. Luckily no one was hurt and all was well that ended well, but it made for some funny footage on the CCTV.
There’s plenty of action for us to catch up on, starting with Filipine, who ran in a junior bumper at Warwick. She was prominent early on but was well beaten in the end, behind two very nice looking types. She’s not fulfilling the potential she’s shown at home, she’s going to need more time, but she’s only young so she does have time on her side.
Discko Des Plages ran in a competitive maiden hurdle at Newbury. He travelled well and jumped well, making some nice headway coming into the straight, but ultimately couldn’t quite go with the leaders. He wasn’t suited by the race at Bangor following that, where he was on the back foot from the off when the field set off with about fifteen lengths headstart as they went off strung out like the washing. He made more headway late on, travelling well, but couldn’t get further than ninth
Lord Du Mesnil has been unlucky really. He made up a seventeen length deficit from his previous race with Beakstown at Newcastle, only to be beaten into third in a blanket finish by a 50/1 shot in Ask Ben, having jumped the last just in front. He stepped up in trip to over three miles at Carlisle next time out in a Pertemps qualifier under Danny Cook. He looked set to win when sweeping through the field around the home turn, but a dour experienced stayer in Isaactown Lad picked him up on the run between the second last and the last. He did switch across us to the rail on the run in, but not sure it would’ve made much of a difference. On the plus side, he is now qualified for the final at Cheltenham and he’s picked up over five grand in prize money with two places, which is more than you get for some wins!
Extra Bald has been travelling with Lord Du Mesnil the last twice, first accompanying him to Newcastle. He hit his first hurdle jumped in public but jumped well enough after that, still in the lead jumping the last but one, but while Alain Cawley was hard at work in the run to the final flight, Barry Geraghty was sitting quietly on a JP McManus horse that ultimately won well. Extra Bald was just edged out into fifth on the line. He improved one place at Carlisle next time out, travelling well and jumping well, but he got a bit outpaced on the home straight and then again lost a position on the run in. If he keeps improving though, he’ll get his nose in front at some point.
Allysson Monterg made his seasonal reappearance in a hot race in the Ladbrokes Trophy and while he was seventh of the eight finishers, I don’t think he ran badly. He travelled well enough, but could never land a blow, despite catching the eye down the back straight on the final circuit. The lack of a prep-run was something that we mentioned beforehand and we hope he comes on for the run now that he’s had one.
Eureu du Boulay wasn’t at his best at Southwell, where he made a mistake at the third and gave Jamie Bargary a few nervous moments in the saddle. He recovered, but wasn’t always fluent and perhaps the mistake had knocked the stuffing out of him a bit as he was outpaced down the back. He went up in trip to two and a half miles next time out at Catterick and under a positive ride from Danny Cook, made all, putting in a superb round of jumping to clinch a victory. It was obviously the change of colours that did the trick after Nick Allen bought a share in the horse. Hopefully it won’t be his last winner!
Echo Watt has made two appearances at Exeter, over three miles and over two mile five, but has struggled on both occasions to land a blow. He’s probably high enough in the handicap after a few decent showings at the start of the calendar year and has taken a while to come down to a reasonable mark. He’s still only four, so there’s plenty of time for him to improve, it may just take a while to get most out of him. He’s been far too keen over three miles to get home, so a step back in trip is on the cards.
Surf And Turf returned from a long absence to make a long journey up to Musselburgh to find his preferred good ground. He’s had some issues over the summer, perhaps not surprising at his age, but he ran well enough to finish third over two and a half miles, not beaten far. He still seems to be enjoying his racing and if we can keep finding him some decent ground, we’ll look to get him out over the winter months.
Valadom went to Bangor for a three-mile handicap hurdle under Rex Dingle. We tried holding him up out the back, but he was keen to get on with it quicker, which may have cost him some vital energy in the latter stages. He travelled well in the first three-quarters of the race and looked in with a chance, but the winner was a well-handicapped sort who fairly bolted up in the end, leaving Valadom to settle for third.
Finally, Fanzio ran a decent third in the juvenile hurdle at Catterick. He’s come over from France where he ran in a few APQS bumpers and we haven’t really had him long. He’s still quite a weak horse that can only get better as time goes on. Once he fills out a bit more and has some time on his back he’ll be a better horse. He’s shown us enough in morning work to suggest he has a future in this game.
This Weeks Runners
Three runners pencilled in for the week, starting with Eureu du Boulay heading to Sedgefield on Boxing Day for a two and a half mile handicap chase with Thomas Wilmott’s seven lbs claim negating his penalty for his win at Catterick. He should have a decent chance if he can jump like he did at Catterick and staying the trip shouldn’t be a concern.
The big one on Boxing Day is at Wetherby where Allysson Monterg takes his chance in the Grade Three Rowland Meyrick Chase under Adam Nicol. He’s in great order at home and conditions should be soft enough to suit him. Hopefully, he can run a big race in this decent field.
The final entry of the week is newcomer Defi Sacre who has joined us from France, having won a chase there. He is entered to make his debut over hurdles over two miles in a novices’ race. By Network, sire of the likes of Sprinter Sacre, out of Iowa Sacree whose Damsire is Trebrook, also Damsire of the likes of Blazer. We’re hopeful he’ll make into a decent jumping prospect.
There was a couple of winners for the Bloodstock business, both for Robert Walford. Firstly Walk in the Mill claimed the Becher’s Chase at Aintree under a great ride from James Best and three days later Fresno Emery followed up at the first time of asking over hurdles, having been bought from France over the summer.