Ritual Of Senses heads to Huntingdon to contest the bumper at 4.20 and we’re looking forward to getting him back on the track. He should have won at Taunton on debut but was very green and he threw the race away by hanging across the track. If he hadn’t done that he would have won.
He’s done well for a summer break and has come on plenty, both physically and mentally, but we’ve been waiting for better ground with him so conditions might not be ideal, and it looks like quite a competitive heat. His work at home has been good and we need to get him rolling again.
Horsted Valley (Doncaster, 2.30) has been slightly disappointing but he did run better at Kempton than the bare result suggests. He travelled really well in the first-time cheekpieces that day and was much sharper than he had been previously. Despite dropping away, he showed me a lot more enthusiasm that day so we are keeping the cheekpieces on and he’ll appreciate the better ground he’ll encounter at Doncaster.
Dolatulo heads to Doncaster on Saturday to run in the Sky Bet Chase (3.15) and I think he’s a solid each-way chance in what looks a wide-open race.
He’s only had one run this year so he’s very fresh and is in great form at home. The track and ground will both suit him and although he’s more exposed than some of his rivals, I think he’s more likely than many to run his race. There could be something lurking but Dolatulo always runs his race and he’s proven in these competitive handicaps. He’s solid.
Chef D’Oeuvre takes a huge step up in class when he runs in the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham on Saturday and, although I possibly didn’t expect him to win as easy as he did at Lingfield, you had to be impressed by the way he went about his business in that race despite the favourite not looking to handle the ground.
The softer the ground the better for this fellow, that’s why he heads to Cheltenham, which will be very testing by Saturday, rather than go to Doncaster. It’s still very early days with him and this is obviously an infinitely better race than the Lingfield one, but he’s not a horse who shows a great deal at home, which makes it hard for us to know exactly how good he is at this stage.
The owners are keen to run him in this so that we can learn more about him and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he ran well. Whatever he does, he’s still an inexperienced horse who is open to a lot more improvement so I’m hoping he has a bright future. We’ll all know a lot more on Saturday evening.
All the best,