Wednesday 10th February, 2021

Three runners at Kempton tomorrow with the BHA putting on an all-weather ‘jumpers bumpers’ card.  Robin Des Smoke runs in the mares race at 1.05pm.  It is inevitably a hot contest with so many horses wanting to run due to meetings being abandoned or the ground being bottomless.

Smokey ran well until the two furlong marker in a decent bumper at Doncaster a month ago and although we declared her for Ludlow today over hurdles, with that fixture being off it will be good to get her out and about.

Minella Whisper and Muthabir are declared in the 4.15pm and 4.45pm respectively.  They would both prefer good ground on the turf and without any around for the foreseeable future, it will be good for them to have an outing to put them right for when conditions are more suitable.  It is always hard to know how horses take to such races but hopefully all three will enjoy the experience.

It was great to welcome Great Star (pictured) to the yard yesterday.  Purchased at Goffs UK last summer, we are delighted that June Watts has supported us with this very handsome, athletic grey.  Having been educated by Martin Jones, he arrived with us yesterday in order to continue his education and we look forward to this four-year-old son of Dylan Thomas giving us some great days in the future.

Pricewise today goes through the Supreme Novices Hurdle and no surprise to see him pick out Ballyadam and Soaring Glory.  Both horses went into my notebook last year having been very impressive bumper horses.  Ballyadam ran an excellent second to Appreciate It at the weekend and travelled very well into the race before being out-gunned by the short priced favourite on soft ground.  With the prospect of better ground at Cheltenham in March and the chances that the Elliott stable will be in better form, he looks a good each way bet at 9-1.  Soaring Glory is fancied for the Betfair at the weekend and should he run well in that, he will be shorter than 33’s if he takes up his Supreme option.

Very sad to hear the passing of Robert Armstrong.  I always enjoyed catching up with him on my visits to Jersey in his retirement.  He trained many a good horse in the seventies and eighties including Moorestyle and Never So Bold.  He was a prominent figure in a golden age of flat racing and coming from a racing dynasty that have achieved so much.  May he rest in peace.