Looking Ahead To Barbury After Excellent Start

Alan_Profile Harbour Court definitely runs in the Mens Open at Barbury on Sunday. Joe rides him for the first time and he’s going to have his work cut out giving 7lbs for Ghizao, with Will Biddick up. He’s in good order but wouldn’t be fully wound up as I’m still thinking of March for him.

The ground on Sunday will be as nice as we’ll find and given that I want to ideally get two runs into him before the Foxhunters, this race looks the correct starting point. The course will suit him and I don’t want to wait any longer as the weather could close in on us. It also gives Joe the opportunity to get used to riding the horse before the Festival, if we end up going there. It’s certainly the target at present.

Alpha Native runs in the novice riders under owner Susannah Gill. He’s schooled as well as ever lately and we’re hopeful Susannah can earn a deserved victory with him this season.

Victoria is set for her second ride over fences on According To Sarah. She’s entered in the novice riders race but I’m leaning towards the Ladies Open as it looks as though that will be a six or eight runner field whereas the novice riders could end up with 16 or 17. She’ll also be riding against a better class of jockey and hopefully she’ll learn more from them as we’ve got to remember that is the most important thing at present.

I spoke to Alan King who said the ground would be “half good, half good to soft” and I’d imagine it’ll end up being perfect racing ground.

I was delighted with our two runners at Cottenham on Sunday. We thought Consigliere was in awesome form and so it proved. He’s a pleasure to train. Joe said he proabably did it equally, if not more impressively, than when winning his Opens last year.

I was over the moon with Cara Carlotta in the 2m 4f Maiden. I said to Lucy beforehand that this could be the start of a season where we have a bit of fun but I didn’t want her to leave the season at Cottenham, giving her a hard race too early. There were 15 runners so it was a bit of a cavalry charge but she jumped well and stayed on. She’ll appreciate stepping up to three miles.

Lucy rides very well and I think she’ll suit that mare because she’s done some eventing and rides with a bit of a quieter hand. Her mother has set up the “Carlotta Club” syndicate and there’s a great little gang of them. Let’s hope she can give them something to celebrate.

Minella Theatre jumped like a superstar at Black Forest Lodge, where Victoria had her first ride in a Point-to-Point. They did get a little bit detached after a circuit but her concentration was very much on the course and the jumping. It was a bit too wet for Minella to really thrive on the ground but it was a good first ride to keep Victoria progressing with better rides to come.

Quinz ran well to finish second at Sandown for Lawney this afternoon. It’s amazing to think the winner had only gone up 20lbs for winning five races since June! Our horse probably needs another circuit but Georgina gave him a great ride and we were delighted with the result.