We decided the ground had dried out a bit too much for Shantou Bob to take his chance at Chepstow on Saturday. I also felt it probably wasn't ideal for us to have our first proper runner of the season in such a big race, I could do with finding out where mine are as a string before we do that.

It’s going to be a long old season for Bob anyway, so I’m in no rush with him, but we are now looking at the Grade 2 Lismullen Hurdle at Navan on November 8th. Two-and-a-half miles around there will suit him well, as will the likely testing ground conditions, and it gives us a bit more time to make sure he’s spot on for his first assignment.

Ground was also the reason we didn’t run Morning Symphony at Worcester last Thursday but I expect conditions to be more in his favour back at that track this week, and he will have a very good chance in the maiden hurdle on Wednesday.

We have two entered at Carlisle on Thursday; Horsted Valley will enjoy the stiff nature of the track and he goes there in excellent form having won his last two races. He never wins by far though, he's the sort that does just enough, so I’m hoping he can defy another small rise in the weights and complete the hat-trick.

Groundunderrepair might make his debut in the bumper and he’s more than ready to get his career up and running. He’s by Milan, so is a long-term chasing prospect, but he’s fit and ready to go, and I think he’s got enough ability to make an impact in bumpers.

It’s a relatively low-key start to the season but I expect us to have more runners next week as we begin to get the team rolling.


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