The rain arrived in time for Taquin Du Seuil as Jonjo O'Neill's former Festival winner turned back the clock and captured the BetVictor Gold Cup under 11st 11lb and a rating of 156. Given a patient ride by Aiden Coleman, the dual Grade 1 winner reeled in the gallant Village Vic to prevail by a neck. The runner-up ran a cracker attempting to make all, while Buywise once again stayed on strongly to finish third and was only beaten a couple of lengths. Evan Williams' gelding wouldn't have appreciated the overnight rain because he is definitely a better horse on quicker ground. That is the third time he has run well in the race without getting his head in front. Although Sizing Granite ran an abysmal race on his first start for Colin Tizzard, Taquin Du Seuil was a good result for the One Jump Ahead Update having advised Jonjo O'Neill's runner at 10/1. Thank you to those clients who have emailed this afternoon/evening.
Defi Du Seuil was an impressive winner of the opening juvenile hurdle. Featured on page 150 of OJA in the French Revolution section, he took the step up in grade in his stride as he smoothly disposed of his rivals to win by a hard held one and three parts of a length, a margin which grossly flattered the runner-up. Philip Hobbs described the ex-French gelding as 'brilliant' following his bloodless win at Ffos Las last month - I have never heard the Minehead trainer speak so glowingly about any of his horses over the years. While quotes of 8/1 for the Triumph Hurdle appear premature, he is clearly a smart juvenile.
Unlike yesterday, it wasn't the best of days for the Top 40 Prospects with a couple of losers. Koshari was never travelling in the conditions hurdle at Naas and finished last of four over ten lengths behind Missy Tata. It was later reported the gelding had struck into his right fore. Hopefully, it is nothing serious and at least there was a legitimate reason for his below par effort. I was keen on the chances of Bun Doran on his chasing debut at Uttoxeter and, while he ran well enough, I think he should have finished a lot closer. Given an overly aggressive ride in testing conditions, Tom George's charge had nothing more to give after the second last. Given a more patient ride, it may well have been a different result. Provided this hasn't left its mark, he remains a bright chasing prospect because there was nothing wrong with his jumping. It is a pity stable jockey Adrian Heskin was at Cheltenham.
As discussed, Buywise ran well at Cheltenham and his trainer Evan Williams sent out a double at Uttoxeter - following a lean spell (no winners in October), the Welshman is hitting form and it is a yard to keep an eye on. Finally, Brian Ellison informed me that his runaway Market Rasen bumper winner Ravenhill Road is set to make his hurdles debut at Doncaster later this month (25 or 26th November). The former Stuart Crawford trained gelding looked a very good prospect when troucing his rivals at the Lincolnshire track last month.
I am taking part in Racing UK's jumps preview programme on Monday alongside Ruby Walsh. I am therefore travelling down tomorrow and will update the Diary on my return early next week. Fingers crossed for the Update selections on the final day of Cheltenham's Open meeting.
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