Monday, we start at Windsor. There was a dead heat in division 2 of the one-mile handicap between International Law and East Coast Lady. Is it just me or are there more dead heats these days than years ago? The claimer on the card went to Ballesteros for Richard Fahey and Paul Hanagan. At Pontefract, the Phil Bull trophy went to Dominating by three parts of a length from Sueggio. Dominating made it a great day for our members. Ballesteros 240 Windsor (6/5) & Dominating 450 Pontefract (6/4) advised to our members 2pts win double both won. The win for Dominating also meant Mark Johnston marched ever closer to becoming the most numerically successful trainer in British racing history when Dominating gave him his 4,000th domestic Flat win at Pontefract on Monday.He is only the third trainer to have sent out 4,000 winners in Britain, with his overall tally boosted to 4,005 by five jumps victories.Johnston stands number three in the all-time list of British winning trainers behind Richard Hannon snr, who retired with a tally of 4,193 (4,145 on the Flat), and Martin Pipe, who was ten adrift on 4,183.
Dominating was Johnston's 202nd winner of the year and was also a notable landmark for rider PJ McDonald, who was hitting notching a century for the season for the first time. The feature race on the Pontefract card was the Silver Tankard Stakes went to Clive Cox and Adam Kirby with Connect. The disappointment of the race was Old Persian who raced a bit keen. At Plumpton, there was a terrific race in the novices handicap chase. Ridgeway Flyer got the better of Resolution Bay by a half-length for Paul Nicholls. This race showed the best of Sam Twiston Davies and Richard Johnson in a driving finish.
Tuesday, we start at Yarmouth there was a double for William Haggas with Dramatic Queen and Talaaqy. There was also a double for trainer Charlie Fellowes and jockey Stevie Donohoe with Hajaam and Sentinel. At Newcastle, there was a double for Josephine Gordon with Boy In The Bar and Fruit Salad. At Exeter, the feature race was a three-mile handicap chase it went to Gingili who made it two wins from two starts at Exeter. Gingili could come back for the Devon National later on in the year at Exeter, that race could suit Gingili very well. The card also featured the chasing debut of Yanworth who jumped a bit big early, however, got better as he went on. Yanworth is never flashy I would be waiting to see what he does next, to be honest. At Kempton, nothing caught my eye in truth. At Fairyhouse, Colin Keane lit up the concluding race at a low-key Fairyhouse meeting today as the rider looks to have to put the seal on a first Jockeys’ Championship with a win on Les Areaux in the concluding Christmas Parties December 16th Handicap (division 2). I think Pat Smullen needs a miracle to catch Keane now in the race for the Irish flat jockeys title.
Wednesday, we start at Newmarket. There was a double for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori with Wild Impala and Timpani. There was also a double for William Buick and Charlie Appleby with Key Victory and Brundtland. The win for Key Victory was really impressive as Key Victory looked in real trouble, however the turn of acceleration was striking. Key Victory could be very good. At Worcester, there was a double for Gary and Jamie Moore with All Currencies and Remind Me Later. At Sedgefield, there was a double for Tom Scudamore and Neil Mulholland with Vancouver and Kallondra. At Kempton, there was a treble for Oisin Murphy on board King and Empire, Di Fede and Belgravian. At Navan, Pat Smullen and Colin Keane exchanged winners on board The Broghie Man and Il Piccolo Grande.
The day ended with the dreadful news Fayonagh had been killed on the gallops.Cheltenham Festival winner Fayonagh was showered with praise on Wednesday after suffering a fatal injury on the gallops, the six-year-old seemingly having the world at her feet after her dual Grade 1 bumper exploits last season.Jamie Codd described Fayonagh, whom he rode to three bumper wins last term but had to be put down after suffering a broken leg when cantering, as a "very special mare", while trainer Gordon Elliott said she was an "exceptional talent".
Thursday, we start at Ludlow. Gary and Jamie Moore have been in good form they were on target again with Darebin in the novice handicap chase. I was impressed with Drinks Interval in the mares novice hurdle who carried a winners penalty to victory here for Colin Tizzard. At Southwell, it was over the jumps Undefined Beauty won for Olly Murphy. At Carlisle, there were two short-priced winners in Donna's Delight and Barrys Jack. At Chelmsford, it was a winner for Sir Mark Prescott with Bath And Tennis who made it two wins in October. At Thurles, there was a double for Liz Doyle with La Bella Vida and Gran Ceste. I liked the performance of Carrigready in the handicap hurdle. It was a case of patience rewarded for Noel Meade as Monksland took the two miles six-furlong hurdle. Sean Flanagan was completing a double on the day having also partnered La Bella Vida to take the opening mares’ beginners chase.Meade said of Monksland, "It was hard work and Sean said he never traveled at all and the ground was a bit quick for him."He has had plenty problems over the years and when the ground is anyway good, he was knocking the top off it and needs soft ground to be at his best. He is a ten-year-old now and has been around a while, and that is part of it too but today was the plan.
Friday, we start at Cheltenham there was a double on the day for Martin Keighly with Brillare Momento and Bobble Emerald. There was a winner for the resurgent Donald McCain with What Happens now who took the amateur riders race by nine lengths. The class 2 novice chase over just about two miles was a very intriguing race, in the end, it went to the very talented North Hill Harvey who saw off the equally talented Sceau Royal by a neck in a blood and thunder duel up the Cheltenham hill. Sceau Royal conceded 5 pounds to the North Hill Harvey, however, this is the time of the year Sceau Royal is at his best. I think these two horses are decent and will take high rank among the UK novice chasers.I actually backed Movewiththetimes here who ran fine, I thought Movewiththetimes got done for speed and should step up in a trip. It was a promising first run over fences. The other class 2 novice chase this time over three miles, saw Black Corton win again. I thought the top of the market was all wrong in this race and so it proved. Black Corton was all set to fight it out with Sizing Tennessee when that horse crashed out at the second last. We will never know what happened, it is academic as Black Corton won by ten lengths in the end. Black Corton was advised to our member's 2pts win at 9/2.
At Dundalk, the feature race was the listed Cooley stakes for fillies it went the way of the really well-bred Goldrush for Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning. The victory for Goldrush was good news for our members as Goldrush was advised to our member's 2pts win at 5/2. The good news did not end there as Black Corton 345 Cheltenham (9/2) & Goldrush 730 Dundalk (5/2) advised to our member's 1pt win double both won. A great day. The rest of the Dundalk card saw Colin Keane pick up a double on board Art Of Unity and Carried. At Newbury, there was a double for John Gosden with Military Law and Precious Ramotswe. At Doncaster, there was a winner for Harry Fry on the flat with Golden Birthday. There was also a double for Ryan Moore on board Breath Caught and Amplification. At Wolverhampton, there was a double for Tom Dascombe with Fire Diamond and Story Minister.
Saturday, we start at Cheltenham. There was a treble on the day for Nigel Twiston- Davies with Cogry, Foxtail Hill, and Calett Mad. The first two horses formed a double for Sam Twiston - Davies. Cogry could have a great season in staying chases and could come back for the three and a half mile chase at the open meeting here. Foxtail Hill gave a tremendous display of front-running display seeing off Le Prezien by a neck. Foxtail Hill advised to our members 1pt each way at 8/1. There were two horses who I think will come on very much for the runs on Saturday both finished second Singlefarmpayment and Two Taffs.The Cheltenham two day meeting was really good and the ball is very much in play for the jumps season now.
At Doncaster, It was a day to remember as Aidan O'Brien. Saxon Warrior was O'Brien's 26th Group One success in 2017 with a battling performance in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster on Saturday. The master of Ballydoyle has now had his talents recognized worldwide with this world record. I think Ryan Moore said it best."Obviously, there's a lot of dedication and hard work goes in, but I think it's just a very natural feel that he has," he said. "He can see where a horse is going and how he can get it there. He understands them and gets them to perform at their best every time, but they still keep improving."He's been doing it for a long time and will continue to do so."
The rest of the Doncaster card saw Ryan Moore complete a double following the earlier win of Saxon Warrior. The double was completed by Sir Dancealot. I was really impressed by Al Hajar who destroyed the field in the seven-furlong nursery. Al Hajar could be a very good horse in my view. At Kelso, Paul Nicholls made the long trip pay as his charge As De Mee took the feature race. At Wolverhampton, there was a double for James Tate and Luke Morris with Mraseel and Dreaming Time.
It's to Leopardstown we go next our syndicate horse Mokhalad was in action. It was tremendous to have a runner at Leopardstown and we were treated really well. Mokhalad ran sixth of seventeen to Famous Pearl from the John Oxx yard. Mokhalad stayed on really well after being impeeded. We now know Mokhalad can go back to the turf for next season. Mokhalad was racing on softer ground for the first time and went well on it. A combination of a bad draw and a needed run made this a respectable run. Mokhalad has lots of options now and we will explore them all. Mokhalad was A1 after the race, I spoke to Damian late last night. We expect Mokhalad to go back to Dundalk in November. The rest of the Leopardstown card saw a double for Aidan O'Brien with Sarrocchi and Flag Of Honour.
Sunday, we start at Aintree. Nicky Henderson had an impressive winner of the maiden hurdle with On the Blind Side who stuck at it well. The veterans chase series has been a great addition to UK racing. This event went to The Romford Pele who I think was lucky as Gas Line Boy was in the process of bolting up when crashing out at the third last. The two-mile four-furlong handicap went to Bags Groove who was a good winner for Harry Fry. I think the Coral Cup could be a long-term target for Bags Groove as he needs the decent ground. The Monets Garden Old Roan chase was fittingly fought out between two greys. Smad Place saw off Cloudy Dream by three parts of a length. They were nine lengths clear of the third horse Oldgrangewood. Cloudy Dream was advised to our members 1pt each way at 9/2. The novice chase went by eighteen lengths to Vintage Clouds from Lovely Job and Ballyartrthur. I have to say this is a real hobby horse of mine was again at this meeting half the fences were not jumped due to a low sun. This needs to be looked at as it keeps happening. Ballyarthur was advised to our members 1pt each way at 7/2.
At Wincanton, the feature race went to Mr Mix for Paul Nicholls seeing off Forgotten Gold and Gentleman Jon in what could be a good guide to the Badger Ales. Gentleman Jon was advised to our members 1pt each way at 7/2. It completed a winning day for our members as Gentleman Jon (7/2), Cloudy Dream (9/2) and Ballyarthur (7/2) advised to our members 0.5pt each way Trixie all placed. At Wexford, No Pressure Pat followed up a recent Tipperary win to get on the board again here winning by a head from Dromore Lad. I was really impressed with Without Limites who bolted up in the beginners' chase for Liz Doyle. Without Limites jumped superbly and could take a handicap in I reckon. At Galway, Gordon Elliott suffered another blow. There was a tragic end to the maiden hurdle in Galway as the winner, Lucky Pass, sustained a fatal shoulder injury after passing the winning post. The six-year-old gelding was making his first start for Elliott having been off track for 670 days.The remarkable Kylecrue won over hurdles and will now head for the Bet Victor Gold Cup at Cheltenham.