Plenty of positives on Thursday despite a bout of second-itis

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November 9

Frustrating with a capital F. No fewer than four of our six runners today finished second, with perhaps the hardest to swallow being The Doyen Chief going under by a short head on his hurdling debut at Ludlow.

However, it was a day with a lot of positives, Emitom, I’m A Lumberjack and Star Turn also running absolute blinders, and, hopefully, it won’t be too long before the quartet go one better.

It’s a relatively quiet weekend for Barbury, with just the two runners at Wincanton on Saturday and none on Sunday, but Alan is delighted with the way the horses performed in October, and the team have maintained that good form into November.

Alan has done really well with his young horses in the early part of this season, and Dancing In Brazil, who represents us in the opening novice hurdle, is another who he thinks might have a big future.

A son of Blue Brasil, sire of the unbeaten Champion Hurdler Constitution Hill, Dancing In Brazil was a useful bumper horse and looks  just the type to take to jumping.

Alan said:”He is still an entire, but he has schooled well and has pleased me in his work at home. He is much more mentally mature than he was last season, when he was on the weak side. He was a black type performer in bumpers, so, hopefully, he might prove decent.”

Our other runner is Baskerville in the bumper. He was a bargain £5,000 buy at the sales 18 months ago, and, having been gelded, he was given plenty of time, making a hugely promising debut in a bumper at Stratford at the end of August.

Despite unseating Tom Bellamy and getting loose before the start, Baskerville made an encouraging debut, running green early on, which left him towards the rear, but picking up well in the last three furlongs to finish second. Remarkably, he was only beaten half a length by the favourite, and the pair pulled 19 lengths clear of the third, so it will be interesting to see how much he has learned from that first experience.