Paul Nicholls' tremendous start to the season continued at Chepstow on Wednesday with the champion trainer sending out three more winners - all featured in his interview in One Jump Ahead. Tahmuras produced a particularly taking performance when winning the second division of the two miles maiden hurdle. A former point-to-point winner for Donnchadh Doyle, the five year old was also a bumper winner last season and looked a smart prospect when bounding eight lengths clear. A big imposing gelding by Falco, he jumped fluently and lengthened away on the run-in. He threatens to be even better over further later in the campaign.
As discussed, Paul highlighted eleven unraced bumper horses on pages 111 and 112 of OJA and following the victories of Fire Flyer (7/2) and Lime Avenue (11/4), the impeccably bred Isaac Des Obeaux (5/2) also scored at the first time of asking in the concluding event. From the family of the currently sidelined and dual King George winner Clan Des Obeaux, the four year old was bought for €100,000 a couple of years ago. Always to the fore, he stayed on strongly to edged out the well touted Range to prevail by three parts of a length with nearly five lengths back to the third. The Kapgarde gelding looks a smashing long-term prospect who won't be over raced this season and kept to bumpers.
Supporters of St Helens Rugby League Club will have smiled when they saw both Knowsley Road and Wide To West lining up in the two miles three maiden hurdle at 2.22. The former confirmed the promise of his runs in an Irish point and bumpers by running on well to win over his hurdles bow by a length and a quarter. A huge horse, he will be at his best when jumping fences in due course.
Gordon Elliott is set to dominate the two day meeting at Down Royal on Friday and Saturday unleashing a whole host of exciting talent. The ex-point winner King of Kingsfield has been the subject of significant support for the Cheltenham Festival bumper in recent days. By all accounts, the gelded son of Vadamos worked like a top-class horse in a recent schooling event and it will take a very good horse to beat him on his Rules debut in the bumper at the Northern Irish track on Saturday - Elliott has won the event for the last seven years including with Sir Gerhard (2020) and American Mike (2021).
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