Gud Weekend.

I’M back on the road again this weekend, as I head north to Haydock for one last run before I finish for Christmas. I am very excited and, hopefully, I can get another win.

Yard update.

Bradley was unlucky at Cheltenham on Friday when he started favourite and had a really good chance of winning but unfortunately he pulled off a shoe and, with the heavy ground, he never got into a rhythm and ended up coming fifth. He told me he’ll be back to his best in his next race, which is likely to be the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow on December 27. But Doubletoilandtrouble had a better race, finishing second at Hereford on Sunday. Sadly, it was the last ever meeting at Hereford.

Looking ahead to the weekend, Fiddlers Bid said he’s hoping to repeat his win last month at his new favourite track, Ascot, on Saturday. Joining him at Ascot will be Farmer Matt, who will be seeking two wins on the bounce after his exploits at Exeter last time out.

Bye Bye Hello Bud.

I MENTIONED in last week’s column that the 14-year-old veteran and my long-time hero Hello Bud won at Aintree over the big Grand National fences earlier this month, and as a result his owner and trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has now decided to let him go out on a high and retire him. The old boy had a fantastic career, winning nine times with his last two coming in the Becher Chase at Aintree. I hope he enjoys a long retirement.

Local Trainers.

OTHER horses in the Twiston-Davies yard had a mixed time last week, with only Changing Times claiming a win. Looking ahead to this weekend, Nigel has Double Ross in the Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot, as well as Kayf Aramis in the Long Walk Hurdle.

Jonjo O’Neill will be pleased with Open Day, who came second at Cheltenham, while Even If went one better and recorded a win at Bangor in the bumper. Jonjo also has an entry in the Ladbroke Hurdle with It’s A Gimme, and will be hoping that one of his stable stars, Albertas Run gos well in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day – a race won a record-breaking five times by the legendary Kauto Star. We’ll all be watching Kauto’s progress in the coming months as he takes his first steps into a new career – that of dressage horse with Laura Collett at Membury.


IT WAS a quiet weekend for our ten to follow, with only Boston Bob in action over at Navan in Ireland but he did well, winning in the hands of Ruby Walsh. Looking ahead to this weekend we have Simonsig running at Ascot in their prestigious pre-Christmas meeting so hopefully he can bring in some points as well.

However, it was a real blow to hear that Big Buck’s, unbeaten in 18 starts over hurdles, is likely to be out for the season. We wish him, and his stablemate at Paul Nicholls’ yard, Al Ferof, a speedy recovery.

Happy Christmas everyone – hope to see you all on a racecourse in the new year!

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