Following a blank weekend at Chepstow and Hexham, it was good to see Philip Hobbs back amongst the winners at Huntingdon. The West Country spoke fondly about Cotswold Way (11/2) in One Jump Ahead and the gelded son of Stowaway got off the mark at the fourth attempt in the two and a half miles maiden hurdle at the Cambridgeshire track. A three and a half lengths winner, he raced enthusiastically throughout and proved too strong for short price favourite Before Midnight.
Tom Lacey sent out Snapdragon Fire (9/2) to win the two miles handicap hurdle off a mark of 116. The Getaway gelding is due to go chasing sooner rather than later and, judging by the way he jumped on Tuesday, one gets the impression he has already been schooled. Robbie Dunne always looked happy aboard and his mount and he ran on well after the last to beat Third Estate by a length.
Thankfully, the northern jumping scene cranks up a few notches over the next couple of days with Wetherby (Wednesday) and Carlisle (Thursday) staging their first meetings of the proper season. I am working at the latter venue later in the week and can't wait to return to the Cumbrian venue, which always stages some terrific meetings pre Christmas.
Don't forget if you haven't already ordered a copy of One Jump Ahead, please head to the Publications section of the site. Only £9.99 for 172 pages. Read about all those exciting new recruits from France (42 horses featured in the French Revolution section) and Ireland (54 horses in Declan Phelan's Irish Pointers feature) - they may not be household names at present but that could have all changed by next spring.
A big thank you to press room colleagues John Hunt (ATR) and Sam Turner (The Daily Mail) for giving OJA a favourable plug in recent days, it is much appreciated.
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