What a weekend of racing! For the National Hunt fans, it had everything – the clash of the titans at Ascot and the emergence of a new Gold Cup favourite at Haydock.


I’ve long been a fan of Lostintranslation, who claimed the scalp of Bristol De Mai at Haydock, but I’ll be the first to admit that I thought he’d struggle against such a proven Haydock specialist.

He jumped, he travelled, and he stayed on, and he’s going to be very tough to beat at Cheltenham come March.

Cyrname and Altior

I was at Ascot on Saturday to watch the epic battle between Altior and Cyrname.

Before the race, I said I’d be happy if they were not too far apart coming down to the final two fences and then the best horse would win, and that’s what we got.


I must say, while I thought Altior was much the superior horse, Cyrname lacked nothing in the fitness department. He looked absolutely tremendous.

I’m looking forward to the rematch as I’m sure Altior will come on plenty for that run. If they all turn up in the King George along with Lostintranslation, Clan Des Obeaux and Footpad, it would shape up to be one of the greatest races of the decade – with five days to spare.


Having backed Tedham in the Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle at Haydock, I was both pleased and gutted with his third-place finish.

I thought he was going to be tailed off as they came into the home straight, but he absolutely flew home and will soon be winning races. I’ll be keeping him on my side, that’s for sure.

Honourable mentions

It was great to see Laurina come out and win her first start over fences. It’s going to take a good one to beat her and I’d be very surprised if she didn’t go off favourite for the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival – a race that, as usual, I can see cutting up.

Soaring Glory took the bumper at Ascot in great style, but it’s Truckers Pass, the horse he beat at Warwick, that I would be more excited about.

The Philip Hobbs team hold this horse in very high regard. He ran very green that day and, when he comes out next, he’ll be tough to beat in either a bumper or a maiden hurdle.

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