We were really pleased with Llandinabo Lad at Haydock on Saturday. Tom Symonds’ horses are flying and this is a nice horse with a very good attitude. It was only his second run over hurdles but I liked the way he stuck to the task and he’s definitely one to keep an eye on. I think they’re planning to go to the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown next. He’s a progressive horse and a stiff test of stamina will suit him.
Dolphin Square ran a bit flat in the staying handicap hurdle which was disappointing. He certainly didn’t run the same race as he did at Newbury but I’m sure he’ll bounce back.
It was Deise Aba’s first run of the season and he just didn’t get into any sort of rhythm. It wasn’t his true running and he’ll be back out again soon.
Bristol De Mai always seems to run his best round Haydock, especially on soft ground. It was his Gold Cup really and he just looked like he outstayed Clan Des Obeaux. He’s a great jumper and stays very well so you’d think the Grand National looks a logical target. He’d have to carry a huge weight but would be the class horse in the race.
Clan Des Obeaux is the horse you’d take out of Haydock for the King George. He ran really well and we know he loves it round Kempton. I spoke with Robbie Power after the race about Lostintranslation and he said the horse couldn’t cope with the testing conditions. I wouldn’t be writing him off, though, he will have bigger days ahead this season.
It was a nice start to the week with a treble at Ludlow on Monday. On the whole the horses are running well which keeps us nice and busy.
KANUKANKAN – 12.15pm Newbury
He’s a nice horse and was running a very promising race first time out at Exeter but jinked left and unseated Tom O’Brien at the second last. I think that was just greenness because he’d jumped nicely up until that point. On that form you’d like to think he’d run a decent race here, but Newbury maiden hurdles are always competitive and this is no different. Hopefully he has a decent each-way chance.
ZOFFEE – 12.45pm Newbury
Zoffee has only had two runs over fences but he’s taken to them very well, finishing second to Getaway Trump at Warwick and then winning at Exeter. He enjoys a decent surface and the ground has been drying at Newbury so conditions will definitely suit. He gets the four-year-old allowance which will help and he’s done absolutely nothing wrong so far.
MUSICAL SLAVE – 2.25pm Newbury
I won on him on New Year’s Day at Exeter when he put in a really good performance. He’s a nice horse but he improved for his first few runs last season and you’d expect he will improve again after this.
THYME HILL – 3.00pm Newbury
He is one of the most exciting horses in Philip’s [Hobbs] yard and he’s in really good form at home. I schooled him on Monday morning and we couldn’t be happier with him. The problem is this is almost a Stayers’ Hurdle in November, the best of the British are all here. Of course he has to step up from novice company but we hope he can make that leap into these top graded races. There is more improvement to come.
Paisley Park is the one we all have to beat, he has the best form. He didn’t run his race in the Stayers’ Hurdle but we know he’s a very good horse. Lisnagar Oscar won the big one in March and he’s a very talented horse, while McFabulous showed he’s in fantastic form at Chepstow and is still improving. It’s wide open and after this we’ll have a strong idea who is the best of the British.
SAMBURU SHUJAA – 3.35pm Newbury
He ran over fences last season and we’re starting back over hurdles. He’s a very big horse and normally takes a run or two to hit top form, but he’s in good form at home and he is definitely up to running a decent race.