Thursday 6 November
Smart Exit put in a wonder show of jumping and resolute galloping to win on his seasonal bow in Chepstow yesterday. SE is a winner in each of his last 3 seasons, and has been a model of consistency since going chasing. I have always believed that he would deliver for his owners, and was convinced he was better than he had been showing us on a racecourse. It was the way he reacted to the application of the visor towards the end of last season, when he resented them to such an extent that he was quite reluctant, that we had a feeling he may just be resenting the cheekpieces as well. So through the summer we hatched a plan, that his first run this time would be without the headgear. It was a fifty fifty call if it would work, but we knew we were on to a winner soon after the tapes went up - as he picked up the bridle and dragged Jamie into the first - he has never done that before. After that Jamie gave him a peach, letting him get into a beautiful rhythm and getting him jumping for fun. He stormed up the home straight, pulling clear after the last for a superb 7 length win. Carrying top weight, in soft ground around a big track like Chepstow was a fantastic performance, and one I believe he can build on! A great day! SE ate up and seems fine this morning. Fakenham didn't go quite so well today, Mr Maynard not liking the rain softened ground - he will have a holiday, But Inca Dove ran ok to be a distant third. She can gallop, and will be winning over hurdles - she has schooled very well. Native Princess is entered in Lingfield next Tuesday. An all weather bumper wasn't the plan, but although the track may not be ideal, she will take her chance and get the run out of the way before heading over hurdles. Dawn Commander is entered in the £80,000 handicap hurdle in Haydock on the 22nd, but we will also look at races in Cheltenham on the 15th, and Market Rasen on the 20th - ground will be the key.