With what was to be a memorable weekend looming it was business as usual for the team and Thursdays meeting at Ludlow was no different. Who Dares Wins made his start over hurdles, a smart performer on the flat for Richard Hannon achieving a mark of 85. He put in a good round of jumping and took the race on 3 hurdles from home with the well regarded Fouburg of Dan Skelton’s providing a solid challenge. A battle hardened performer on the flat, Who Dares Wins knuckled down to the task very well eventually winning by 3/4 of a length with the 3rd place horse a further 10 lengths behind.
Oceane took a big step up in class in the JCB Triumph Hurdle Triumph Trial and gave a very good account himself finishing 4th out 5 runners only beaten 9 lengths. It was a good performance and Wayne felt the ground was too soft for him and was confident he would be very effective at this level on a sounder surface.
Annacotty provided the yard with a day we will never forget when taking the Paddy Power Gold Cup in determined style. Having his first run for us and Ian Popham having his first ride for the boss, and despite struggling to travel of what was a strong early pace the horse and Ian battled bravely up the hill, leading after the last fence and fighting off the challengers in gritty style eventually winning by 1/2 length.
Shadarpour put up a fantastic performance in the Conditional Jockey’s Handicap Hurdle, ridden by William Featherstone for the 2nd time, taking his time in midfield and making his challenge 2 hurdles from home staying on strongly and finishing an excellent 2nd.
The Unit got his season underway in the listed bumper, the final race of the Paddy Power meeting. A good race on paper, and some good looking individuals in the paddock before the race, this looked to be a strong renewal. Sadly The Unit could only finish a disappointing 7th after pulling early on in the race and effectively scuppering his chances of giving a true account of himself. With that race under his belt that will have now got the freshness out of him and we can now look forward to see what the rest of the season holds for him.