Monday 10 December
Luck has certainly not been on the Fences Farm side recently. Smart Exit was fancied to run well and disappointed (more on that in a bit), Tannerman was expected to go very close if he sorted his feet out, which he did, only for his breathing to let him down! And on Saturday Justazippy looked like collaring Kentford Grey Lady in the valuable Mares Hurdle in Sandown, only to miss the last and take a heavy fall! Such bad luck for Zips, who has done her owner Michael Lawrence proud since switching from the flat - but the good news is that she seems fine (if a little sore) after her tumble and lives to fight another day! That aside it was a fantastic day at the Esher track - Sprinter Sacre looks like the real deal, and I heard Barry Geraghty say on the way back in that he was a Champion - it will take a very very good one to beat him! To watch SS do that was a great thrill, but the best moment of the afternoon was in the O&T bar as Hello Bud defied 14 yrs of age to land the Becher Chase - the whole bar erupted in cheers and applause as he crossed the line - an indication of the place that Hello Bud has earnt in racing folks affections! Great for the sport! We have a few entries this week, Benefit Cut (Huntingdon Thurs, Bangor & Cheltenham Fri), may have to wait until next week after an indifferent scope this morning. Colebrooke (Huntingdon Thurs, Lingfield Sat) will run as he is in fantastic form, a decision on his target will be made in the next day or so. Ogee (Cheltenham Fri) will need the rain to stay away. Other plans are looking like Smart Exit who has scoped dirty this morning (which explains his last poor run) will be cleaned up and aimed at Uttoxeter in 3 weeks. San Telm is in great order and will be aimed at Haydock (22nd) or Kempton (Boxing Day). Tannerman will sport a tongue tie when he heads to Market Rasen on Boxing Day, he is in great form! Hopefully all the plans come off and we can get the turkey money!! Congratulations to Sam, who gave Fulgora one of the best rides you will ever see to win the Novice Chase at Warwick yesterday. The mare is only tiny, and Warwick takes some jumping, but he gave her a great spin to win. They were left in the lead at the last, but I think they would have won anyway! Great ride - hopefully his second win in a week will get his confidence up!