Nobby looks for compensations at Southwell on Tuesday

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May 24

May has not been our most fruitful month, not helped by the unseasonal temperatures and ab0ve-average rainfall, but we might have guessed Lady Luck was giving us a miss when Nobby was beaten at 2-5 on May 1 at Hexham.

This useful bumper horse had previously run really well to finish third on his jumping debut at Newbury, so here’s hoping that he can get back on track at Southwell on Tuesday.

Alan can still boast more NH performers than Flat horses, though he looks like having his biggest team yet on the level this season, with close on 20 juveniles keeping the dream alive.

Not one to rush his youngsters, Alan, who always goes to the sales looking for long-term prospects rather than precocious individuals, has been busy at the various bloodstock auctions this spring.

Among those he bought at the Tattersalls Guineas Breeze-Up Sale were four colts, one by Noble Mission (75,000gns), two by Kodiac  (33,000 and 25,000gns) and one by Australia (40,000gns).

The last-named is a half-brother to Lemista, who was smart at distances around a mile with Ger Lyons, winning four races, one carrying G2 status and the other G3, while she was beaten only half-length when having her first race for Chad Brown at Belmont three weeks ago.

Alan also bought a three-year-old Mount Nelson at the Goffs Spring Sale. He cost 42,000gns but he is a half-sister to Osco Mosco, who was three times a winner for Gordon Elliott in Ireland, so there is plenty of room for optimism.