Wednesday 30 December
Bold Conquest ran a career best in Doncaster yesterday afternoon, where he was beaten just under 5 lengths into fourth, in, without doubt the strongest heat he has ever encountered. Paddy was delighted with him, and said he was a cracking horse, and that he would stay all day!! He suggested jumping a fence (all the jockeys do), and we will weigh up options, although we do feel that he would be better over fences off of better ground, so we may have to wait until the spring for that. He seems fine this morning, and as he is in fine form, we will look for another race for him in about a month. Great to see so many of his owners make the trip up! Sorry I didn't get to see everyone after the race - a pressing engagement with Kwik Fit called, as I had a tyre that had begun to shred its tread on the way up, and I needed to get a new one sharpish! Thanks to the staff at the Doncaster Kwik Fit, they were great, and we were back on the road in no time and home before 6pm. We have had a look at both of Sneaking Budges entries, and we are looking to go to Sandown on Saturday. There are 11 entered there, and it looks like it will cut up to 5/6. They are decent opposition, but the other option is Ludlow on Monday, where there are 30 entered and he has a ballot of 5, which means he is far from certain to even get in, and if he does there will be a maximum field. This heightens the chances of getting jumped into or struck into round a sharp track like Ludlow in a big field of very inexperienced young horses that are coming off of the flat, and will want to get on with things. He is less likely to be competitive in Sandown, but is almost certain to be less at risk! It will all be useful experience for the big son of Nayef, and will do no harm. One that looks likely to go to Ludlow on Monday is Cloonacool, who looks to have dropped on a nice little race. Right handed will help, and the fast track should suit. Soft ground not ideal, but a little like his novice hurdle campaign, he could well get away with it in this grade. He has scoped clean this morning, and will work tomorrow, if all is well he will head to Ludlow. Christmas Twenty is still on course for Fakenham on Friday! He is in great form!