Tea Clipper (11/8) is Tom Lacey's horse to follow in One Jump Ahead and the winning pointer retained his unbeaten record when taking the opening two miles novice hurdle at Warwick on Thursday on his Rules debut. Racing keenly early on, the gelded son of Stowaway took charge down the backstraight and, despite being challenged after the last, the four year old stayed on strongly to win by three parts of a length. It looked an above average contest for the time of year and I would take a positive view regarding the first three home. The Herefordshire trainer has a strong team for the season ahead and holds Tea Clipper in high regard. Fencing will ultimately bring out the best in him but there are plenty of more races to be won with him over hurdles in the meantime.
The concluding bumper at the Midlands track looked an intriguing affair and it lived up to the billing being dominated by two talented performers. The former Irish pointer Truckers Pass was all the rage in the market but he couldn't the withstand the late challenge of the well supported debutant Soaring Glory (7/2). Featured in Jonjo O'Neill's interview in the Talking Trainers section of OJA, the four year old is from a terrific family being related to Direct Route and Joe Mac and he travelled like a smart horse and found plenty for pressure in the closing stages. The pair pulled well clear of the rest and time is likely to show they are both well above average.
I am heading south to London tomorrow for the Racing TV studios on Saturday but will be back to update the Diary on Sunday. In the meantime, please head to the Publications section of the site to order a copy of One Jump Ahead - following the recent rainfall, the season is beginning to gradually step up a gear or two and OJA is already unearthing promising horses for the future, including those discussed at Warwick on Thursday. Enjoy the weekend.
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