Thursday 10 December
A busy few days - Pine Warbler ran a cracker in Leicester yesterday, travelling and jumping well - apart from the first, and ultimately the last where he took a tired fall when in third place. He was bang there, and showed plenty of promise. He seems fine after his spill. Today we headed out to Warwick for Sneaking Budges hurdling debut. Very soft ground not ideal, but he had to start somewhere. A little keen early, he travelled very well and jumped like a buck, right up until the point that he need a good jump at the third last, where he made a jolting error, which stopped him in his tracks, taking him from third back to a standing still fifth. After that Josh was easy on him and just coaxed him home. Josh had to dash down to Taunton straight after the race, but as he jumped off he reported SB to be a nice prospect for the future, and we were to look after him with that in mind. Josh then phoned Stuart with a full debrief when he was on his way, and said that he liked the horse, thought he travelled and jumped really well, but the mistake 3 out really did for him - he said he then showed his weakness by finding it tough to gather himself after the mistake, and that he was easy on him therefafter. The ground wasn't an issue, so SB will have another run in January, and one in February, after which we will look to run him in handicaps where he will receive a hefty allowance as a 4 yr old. Staying is his forte, and I think today was a very acceptable start to his National Hunt Career. We can look forward to a nice handicapper in the future. Cheltenham tomorrow, and a few to look at at the sales. Wolf Of Windlesham heads down there on Saturday - good luck to everyone!! Cloonacool is entered in Plumpton on Monday - the race looks like cutting up a bit, but Cloonacool will only go if the ground isn't too bad. I will be in touch with his owners on Sunday morning if we decide to go!