Monday 29 January
Maria's Benefit showed another weapon in her armoury on Saturday, when she had to dig oh so deep to win the Grade 2 Rose of Yorkshire Mares Hurdle. She really had to battle, and she would not be denied - a gutsy win. Thrilled for Jan and Paul, who were there to welcome her back, and all eyes are now turned to Cheltenham in March. Classic Ben will not join her there - he was found out by the step up in grade, and the softer than ideal conditions. We will think again with him - his form would suggest that he should have been a lot closer to the front on Saturday - so we can either try him in a handicap, or drop him back to novice company, and get him back on track. He is a lovely horse, and there will be more good days to be had with him! Back at home Queenohearts' form looks solid, with a couple of good runs in the mares bumper in Doncaster from mares that were trailing in her wake when she won in Cheltenham, she is still on course for Sandown in March. Pull Together seems fine after his run last week, and we wait to see if the handicapper will give him a mark tomorrow, or if he has to run in another novice. Land League is very well - the team have been trying different things out at home with him, and he seems to be training well. He will be out again when there is a bit better ground around. Apasionado has quickened up a couple of times, and Stuart has been delighted with him, he has done it very easily, and fingers crossed he carries on going the right way. Sneaking Budge is fine, and we will look at the programme book for him later this week. Wherever he goes he will sport some headgear next time. Molly Childers is also in good heart, and she has some some good work lately. She could have a run in the next couple of weeks, and I have half an eye on a decent mares race in Doncaster for her in March, she could run before then, or she could go straight there. Chandos Belle is in fine form, and she goes to Leicester on Wednesday. Kaloci is also in good order after last weeks win, and she will be out again in 3-4 weeks. The photos of her win are through, and can be seen - they can be ordered from Tony Knapton of Proshot Photography firstname.lastname@example.org (07740 940809).