Most of the focus is now on Cheltenham and rightly so, but this is an exciting weekend for our team because we run The Nipper in in the Listed mares’ bumper at Sandown on Saturday and she’s got a great chance, but more about her later.

Before then, I’ve got two runners in the 2m5f handicap hurdle at the Esher track on Friday. It’s pretty rare for me to have two runners in the same race but our options for Bells ‘N’ Banjos have been fairly limited and we want to get a run into him despite the ground being far from ideal. He’s got a tough task under top weight and I would expect Bon Enfant to fare much the best of the pair.

Bon Enfant is an improving horse who will make a smart chaser one day but for the now, this looks a good race for him after his cracking run at the track last time. I thought he was a bit unlucky that day - the removal of the final flight didn’t help him at all as he is still a bit green and being in front so far out was far from ideal.

The winner has run well in defeat since, giving the form a bit of substance, and hopefully Gavin [Sheehan] will be able to hold on to him for a bit longer this time. Bon Enfant is by no means the finished article – he’s a bit of a ‘Jack the lad’ at home but I think he’s very talented and he’s improving all the time. He should run well.

The Nipper will be our only runner on Saturday and she’s a big runner in the Listed mares’ bumper. It’s a big jump from a couple of small-field Bangor bumpers to this potentially hot event but we’ve thought a lot of The Nipper for a long time now and I’m pretty confident that she can take the step up in class in her stride.

She’s been purposely kept fresh for this and is in great shape at home, I couldn’t be happier with her. The stiff track will suit, she will go through the ground and although it’s a good race, we go there with high hopes – we’ll certainly find out a lot more about her.

Of her rivals, Woolstone One looks a danger as Gavin [Sheehan] has ridden her to victory on both starts and I know he rates her quite highly.

All the best,


The Nipper - 1pt @ 9/2