Saturday was truly a day with something for everyone. There was end of season racing on the flat at Doncaster, with trainers scrambling for black type and sending out those horses with some miles left in the tank. Over the sticks, there was competitive action on C4 at Aintree and Wincanton. It was in Ireland where the eyes of the jumping world were truly watching over as the first ex-Mullins and Gigginstown horse made an impact at Down Royal, with Henry De Bromhead the benefactor. The Breeders Cup continued in the US and the Europeans did not falter under the heat. Queen’s Trust was victorious for the evergreen Sir Michael Stoute and Highland Reel added another, yes another, notch to AOB’s G1 tally for the year.
2 35 VALSEUR LIDO (H D Bromhead) 2/1, G1 Champion Chase, 3M, Good
In the big race of the day, Valseur Lido was far too good for his rivals in the day, cruising home by over ten lengths. Ruby Walsh always looked ready to pounce, and never panicked positioning him stealthily as one by one the opponents dropped away. Silviniaco Conti and The Last Samuri provided the running and ultimately paid for this as Ruby pounced a couple out. De Bromhead will be over the moon at this gift of a horse that has landed in his yard. The jumping was better today and if this continues to hold up and stamina doesn’t prove any issue, the Gold Cup suddenly looks a serious prospect with little showing authority yet. Connections were unable to reveal any immediate targets, but this makes complete sense as the new arrivals are still settling and there is lots to learn before making anymore big decisions.
2 10 SCEAU ROYAL (A King) 4/6, G2 H’Cap Hurdle, 1M6.5F, Good
The impressive start to the 16/17 campaign continued for Sceau Royal at Wincanton. It was another small field contest due to the ground, but he saw off a couple of decent horses with relative ease. Zubayr ran closest to Alan King’s hurdler before falling at the last, but still looked held anyhow. It was done in similar fashion to the race at Cheltenham two weeks back, with the horse doing what he had to do on ground that isn’t ideal. It was more a confirmation of this prior run, and it’s not a race you will exactly learn much from. Last years juveniles are slowly coming to the fore across the park, barring the strange run of Apple’s Jade on Friday. The steady progression continues and under another positive run the future looks bright.