The Spring Cup was the feature race on the card at Lingfield Park on Saturday, and it looked very competitive on paper.

With all of these three-year-old races – and we’ll see plenty more of them as we move into the Flat season – you never know if the two-year-olds have progressed, but that wasn’t the case with the winner here.

Malotru didn’t break very well and suffered numerous traffic issues but came home very well and has clearly improved.

He ran well in both the Gimcrack and the Mill Reef as a two-year-old, so onbiously has ability and is one to keep on side in the early part of the season.

Flight Deck

Whenever a JP McManus horse who was beaten out of sight in maiden hurdles makes his handicap debut and is well-supported, the writing is usually on the wall.

That was the case again at Newbury on Friday as Flight Deck travelled well and outstayed his race-fit rivals.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him run again this week and he’ll take some stopping if he’s in the same vein of form.

National Hunt Jockey’s Championship

Richard Johnson has made a cracking start to his comeback from injury in his bid to retain his Jockey’s Championship, winning on four of his first five rides.

He’s going to have some ammunition from plenty of supportive yards and he’ll be chasing Brian Hughes all the way.

The Championship usually a one-horse race, so it’s good to have a competitive campaign this time around as we head into a busy end-of-season period.

This week

Cheltenham is just around the corner and the excitement is really starting to build but, before that, Sandown Park plays host to the Imperial Cup on Saturday.

I’m looking forward to seeing if Shakem Up’Arry gets in for trainer Ben Pauling, who sounded very excited about his prospects when asked about them at a recent press day.

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