After a fine start to October with two winners from five runners, we have had plenty of runners in past seven days who have performed admirably. It was very good quality racing over the weekend and it has been great to have had the horses to compete in those races. Even though we didn’t have a winner in that period, there was a great deal to be positive and excited about especially looking ahead to the start of the jump season.

The weeks runners got underway at Windsor on Monday where Amadeus Rox finished 9th in the maiden, he ran green early and struggled to land a blow in the soft conditions, having said that he definitely has a future in handicaps after receiving a mark of 57 last week. Later in the card City Dreamer made his debut in handicap company finishing a promising 7th , he was only beaten 5 lengths and showed good courage too stick on well up the straight. He should go close to winning in a similar bracket before too long. On the Wednesday we had 3 runners with the day starting off at Ludlow in the juvenile hurdle with Jim Dandy finishing a satisfying third. He only found two classy flat recruits too good and continues to run consistently. Now with further hurdling experience it should bode well on his next start where we hope he can break his duck before heading to Doncaster sales. We then sent two up to Nottingham with Inn The Bull finishing 10th in a large field handicap, even though he wasn’t heading in to the race in great form we were hoping the softer ground would give him a chance. Looking how the race panned out after, nothing finished from off the pace and it was fought out between the pacesetters up the straight. Moving forward he should be competitive off his mark wherever he is placed next. The day came to a close with Burguillos running a brave third in a deep looking 0-85; he battled on strongly up the straight and showed off his mark of 82 he will be up to winning in a similar bracket. It was great to see the re-opening of Hereford racecourse where the racing public turned up in there thousands. Alan ran the in-form The Tourard Man who ran a below-par 5th in the feature race. Although it was a small field, all the horses lining up were there with a winning chance. It was a rough race and he never really got in to a rhythm which didn’t help his cause. He is now likely to be given a hurdling campaign this season, where his main target will be to get him qualified for the Pertemps at the Festival.

Heading in to a very busy weekend with 4 runners on the Friday, the day kicked off at York where Master Blueyes finished an excellent second in a strong handicap, where six of the runners had won on their last outing. He went down fighting to only be beaten a head by what looked a very well handicapped horse of Brian Meehan’s. He continues to improve with racing but is likely to be saved to go juvenile hurdling this upcoming jump season. We then had two progressive horses lining up in a very valuable 1m 4f handicap at Newmarket with Sir Valentine & Cosmeapolitan. Sir Valentine raced prominently through-out but with the combination of fast ground and running too free early couldn’t quicken entering the final two furlongs. He is well regarded by the team and his best days are ahead of him, bearing that in mind he will now be put away until next flat season with a lot to look forward to. Cosmeapolitan ran a lot better than his finishing position suggested, although he finished 9th he was only beaten 6 lengths and he made up around 8-10 lengths coming from last to nearly first entering the final furlong. After a terrific flat season he is now going to be sent juvenile hurdling where the future looks bright. The day drew to a close with Tengri running in the bumper at Newton Abbot. There were a couple of highly regarded horses lining up, a long with 1 or 2 nicely bred newcomers. They didn’t go very fast early and as a result was over-racing slightly, then as the race took shape he found it hard to quicken when the pace lifted, finishing 11th. Next on the agenda will be to go novice hurdling where he has the scope to improve in that sphere.

It was a brilliant days racing on the Saturday under both codes. The day begun at Chepstow in a handicap hurdle with Gibralfaro running a fine third, to only be beaten by two well handicapped rivals (winner won at last years Cheltenham Festival). Plus he had top weight, so plenty of positives could be taken; therefore he is an exciting horse to have in the yard leading in to the new season.

A few races later Who Dares Wins returned back over hurdles after a successful campaign on the flat finishing a pleasing fourth – only beaten two lengths. There were plenty of progressive horses in there, however he ran on well up the straight and was closing on the winner fast at the line. He should be up to winning in the same sort of grade this season. We then moved on to the Cesarewitch at Newmarket where we were double-handed with Grumeti (last year’s winner) and First Mohican lining up. They both ran extremely well and it was probably a career best effort from First Mohican who made up a lot of ground to finish second. He is very consistent and that was the eighth time he has been placed this year. We then closed the weekend with Rainbow Dreamer running in the first at Chepstow making his hurdles debut where it looked a match up between us and Paul Nicholls horse. Given Paul’s put up a perfect jumping display from the front we found it hard to make a challenge. Now with the hurdling experience under his belt, he should go close on his next outing.

With only a handful of runners last week we still managed to notch up two winners. War Chief was very impressive in a 6 furlong maiden on Monday at Salisbury winning by 5 lengths, making it a special day for Mr King being both the Owner and Trainer – he gives connections plenty to look forward too.

It was another great day at Huntingdon on Tuesday where the highly regarded Keep in Line made his hurdles debut . He was very well placed by Alan beforehand and made no fuss of getting off the mark with a comfortable success, he particularly impressed with quick accurate jumping over the last few hurdles. He has plenty of natural ability and should hopefully work his way up the ladder as the season progresses.