In the News
It’s all systems go at Bobble Barn Farm as we head for Aintree tomorrow. The meeting was very kind to us last year when we had just one runner, but a winning one at that when Dame Rose claimed the Grade Two Mares Bumper. We only have one runner again this year as Shantou Flyer heads over for the Grand National. We’re not the biggest of yards, so it’s great to have a runner in arguably the most famous race in the world. And it’s especially great for his owner Carl Hinchy, who is local to the track. Carl has given us plenty of support this year and we’re delighted to have been able to train a few winners for him in return. Alas, it hasn’t happened yet for Shantou, who has run his heart out since the turn of the year, finishing second on four consecutive occasions, but always seeming to bump into a well-handicapped one. Maybe we’ll get a bit of luck this time to help us along.
Further afield, we’re looking forward to the two-day meeting at Cheltenham next week, where we’re hoping to have some runners, providing the rain stays away. The weather hasn’t been especially kind this season, with a lot of rain and we’re hoping that we can get some better ground towards the end of the season to finish on a high.
We’ve still got three runners to catch up with, two from last weekend and one from Thursday, starting with Chic Name who made the long journey up to Kelso for a Handicap Chase over three miles. He was just coming into contention when he made a mistake seven out and that kinda stopped him in his tracks. He couldn’t get going again after that and James Bowen swiftly pulled him up. He’s got an entry in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown, but we’ll have to see if he makes that engagement.
The other horsebox on Saturday didn’t have quite as far to go, but it was still a decent trek to Uttoxeter for Allysson Monterg, who picked up a little bit of prize money for finishing third. He had to give a fair bit of weight away, 8 lbs to the second and over a stone to the winner, so he wasn’t disgraced at all. It was tough to carry the weight in deep ground, but he ran well enough, jumping much better than at Cheltenham and hopefully that will have boosted his confidence again going forward.
Eureu du Boulay was our final runner of the week, but he disappointed in finishing last of five to finish over at Taunton. He was never really involved in the race and we’ll have to go back to the drawing board with him.
This week’s runners
As already mentioned, Shantou Flyer is our main runner this weekend, taking on the gruelling test that is the Grand National. He was pulled up in the same race last year after being broadsided when still trained by Rebecca Curtis, but he’s a much stronger horse this year. He’s been unlucky to have run into some progressive, well-handicapped novices, but he’s officially well in by four lbs. James Bowen will take the ride again and he gave him a cracker in the Ultima at Cheltenham. We’re delighted to give him the opportunity and hopefully the pair can go one better this time around. It’s hard to be confident in a race like the National, but we’re in a great place and if we finally get that big of luck for Shantou, he could run a big race.
Elsewhere, Discko Des Plages is entered at Chepstow on the same day. He travelled very well last time out before emptying out in heavy ground. Hopefully, it won’t be as bad this time and he’ll have learned from the experience and can come forward a bit.