It is early days to be thinking about the Triumph Hurdle but Philip Hobbs may have another above average juvenile on his hands in the shape of ex-French gelding Gumball. Third on his hurdles debut at Dieppe in April, the son of No Risk At All was bought on behalf of Terry Warner and made a spectacular start to his British career with a thirty one lengths victory at Stratford this afternoon. Very heavily supported, the three year old sauntered clear and bigger and better targets lie ahead. It will be interesting to see how far he can progress and whether something like the Wensleydale Hurdle at Wetherby in early November could be on his agenda.
The Minehead trainer was complimentary regarding Kayf Adventure's forthcoming chasing career in One Jump Ahead and the six year old didn't disappoint on his fencing bow in a competitive four runner novices' chase at Newton Abbot. Overcoming a mistake at the second last, he got the better of Emerging Talent who was returning from a lengthy absence. The winner enjoys plenty of cut in the ground, while it won't be long before Paul Nicholls' runner-up goes one better.
Switching codes , Enable provided the weekend's highlight with another brilliant display in the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe. Her two and a half lengths victory from Cloth of Stars at Chantilly crowned a magnificent three year old campaign, which also includes wins in the Oaks - English and Irish, King George and Yorkshire Oaks. Frankie Dettori's mount soon got herself in a decent position from her low draw and it was a case of when the Italian pressed the button. The response was electric as she soon left her rivals trailing in her wake. Ulysses ran a cracker in third but found it impossible to concede ten pounds to John Gosden's filly, especially over a mile and a half. Order of St George filled third position last year but could only finish fourth this time around. The run confirmed that that Aidan O'Brien's five year old is a top-class stayer and a high-class middle distance horse. He hasn't got the pace of the very best over a mile and a half performers.
Battaash was brilliant in the Prix de L'Abbaye reversing York form with Marsha following their clash in the Nunthorpe Stakes previously. Charlie Hills' gelding got worked up on the Knavesmire but was much calmer in France and made all before powering four lengths clear of Sir Mark Prescott's runner-up. There have been some vintage sprinting performances this year from the likes of him, Harry Angel, Lady Aurelia and Carravaggio.
Don't forget to order your copy of One Jump Ahead - the Talking Trainers section (2 winners for Philip Hobbs today) is just about to start firing in the winners.
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