The February Update nominated the unraced Brighterdaysahead (2/1) as a horse to follow and the well bred daughter of Kapgarde didn't disappoint on her debut at Gowran Park on Saturday. A half-sister to the stable's exciting novice chaser and four times Grade 1 winner Mighty Potter, the Gordon Elliott trained filly was well supported beforehand in the concluding mares' bumper. Confidently ridden by Harry Swan, the €310,000 purchase crept into contention before the home straight before readily sauntering clear to win hard held by thirteen lengths. Unlikely to be over raced this term, Gigginstown House Stud have another exciting youngster on their hands and she is very much a filly to follow. The four year old has a big future.
Following a dismal British debut at Sandown last month, it was pleasing to see Top 40 entry Bo Zenith (9/4) show what he is capable of in the Victor Ludorum Juvenile Hurdle at Haydock. The ex-French gelding had reportedly needed the outing at the Esher track and there was plenty of confidence behind his challenge here. Ridden by Tom Cannon, the Zarak gelding, who had beaten leading Triumph Hurdle hope Bo Zenith at Auteuil last spring, jumped much better than last time and the further he went, the better Gary Moore's runner looked. A three and a half lengths winner, he has now had three races over timber and therefore qualified for the Boodles Juvenile Hurdle at Cheltenham. It will be interesting to see what mark he is allocated because he also holds an entry in the Triumph Hurdle itself. Cheltenham will undoubtedly suit him more than Haydock because stamina looks his strong suit.
I shall be conducting more interviews this week for Ahead On The Flat - news of these will be reported in the Diary in the next few days - before heading south to Paul Nicholls' yard for the Million In Mind open day on Friday.
Please go to the Publications section of the site to order a copy of the Cheltenham and Aintree Updates, if you haven't already done so. Don't forget, the Cheltenham Update will include some Flat racing news of horses who will be running before AOTF is published in early April. Classic winning trainer George Boughey has a progressive handicapper already pinpointed for a ten / twelve furlongs handicap at Doncaster's opening meeting in late March, plus I have news on the Lincoln Handicap itself from messrs Beckett, Haggas and Boughey once again.
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