On Monday I interviewed Ian Williams for Ahead On The Flat. The dual Chester Cup winning trainer has recruited heavily during the Autumn/winter and has built up a strong team of Flat horses. The Midlands based handler did a fine job with Magic Circle last season winning the Chester Cup and Group 3 Henry II Stakes. I am sure readers will find the interview informative and profitable.
It has been a busy few days because I was working in London on Saturday and then Carlisle on Sunday for Racing TV. While it was disappointing to see the likes of Angels Breath and If The Cap Fits get beaten over the weekend, the performances of Epatante and Dickie Diver oozed class. The Top 40 Prospects has some cracking horses for the Cheltenham Festival and there is plenty to look forward to. Fury Road also provided the section with another winner taking the concluding bumper at Fairyhouse on Saturday. Gordon Elliott's former pointer looked a relentless galloper as he powered away in the closing stages.
Fusil Raffles (4/1) was highlighted as a horse to follow in the November Update and the ex-French gelding made a sparkling start to his British career with an impressive success in the Grade 2 Adonis Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday. Unfortunately, he returned with a nasty cut which has ruled him out of the Festival. Fingers crossed he recovers in time to run at Aintree.
I am heading to Paul Nicholls' Ditcheat yard on Sunday for the Million In Mind open day. I have been fortunate to visit the former champion trainer's stable for a number of years now and invariably leave with some significant pointers for the forthcoming Festival. Paul has assembled a very strong team for this year's meeting and I am very much looking forward to heading down the M6 and M5 at the weekend. I will include a full report of the day in my Festival Update, which can be purchased for £10 in the Publications section of the site.
Next week, I shall be attending three Cheltenham Festival preview nights, including the Sky Bet sponsored one at Doncaster racecourse and my traditional visit to Scotland. The venue of the latter has changed - I am heading to Motherwell on Friday week.
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