We are on a high after a brilliant day at Newbury
Alan is a off for a day’s shooting in the West Country today, and if his trusted gun is in the same sort of form as the Barbury horses then maybe the pheasants should stay in the warm.
Two winners at Newbury yesterday, plus a neck second in the bumper, illustrate just how well the team are going into the Christmas period, and both Our Power and Chosen Path are already pencilled in as possibles for the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Our Power was given a 33-1 quote for the four-year-old hurdling crown after grinding out a second victory at Newbury, and, assessing the performance, Alan said:”I was slightly disappointed when he got beat at Cheltenham, but he is better going left-handed.
“He had jumped badly left at the first before winning at Market Rasen, and we have done a lot of schooling with him since so I wasn’t surprised he was better here.
“The Finale Junior Hurdle at Chepstow would come too quick, and, in any event, the ground at Newbury would have been as soft as he wanted, so we’ll wait for Cheltenham at the end of January.”
Equally delighted with Chosen Path, who toughed out in the three-mile novice handicap chase, Alan added:”He found two and a half too sharp around Plumpton and appreciated this step up in trip, though Wayne (Hutchinson) confirmed that he wouldn’t have wanted the ground any softer.
“Chosen Path learned a lot from Plumpton, and he jumped really well. He, too, will be aimed at Cheltenham at the end of February, and if all goes well he could back there in March for the Ultima.”
That would be an appropriate target as Max McNeill, boss of Ultima, is part-owner in Chosen Path, while Greg Stones and Russ Barley, two of the horse’s other owners, ironically sponsored the Newbury race.