Noel Fehily warned me in the summer that this would be his last season.

I’m delighted he managed to get another winner at the Festival before bowing out, particularly after what he’s been through with his health this winter.

Hopefully we can have his services for a few more weeks and get him a nice winner to go out on.

I think it’s great that he’s been able to go out on his own terms. That’s how any sportsman would want it.

We’ll sit down over the coming days and make a plan about when he retires, and fully support whatever he wants to do.

There are no plans to replace him until we know more about when exactly he’ll retire, but there are plenty of good jockeys out there.

Sean Bowen obviously stepped in and rode a fair bit for us while Noel had his appendix out, but no plan has been made.

For now, we’ll just have to treasure him while he’s still riding. He’s a brilliant jockey.

Hell’s heads to Melling Chase after Champion Chase fourth

We knew coming into Wednesday’s Betway Champion Chase that Hell’s Kitchen needed the outing, so it was a massive run to finish fourth.

He was not beaten all that far in the end, and that run sets him up very nicely for a crack at the Melling Chase at Aintree.

The frantic pace of the race really suited him. He can be a quirky horse but he didn’t have any time to think about that.

When he’s on song he’s a top quality horse, and we’re now looking forward to stepping back up to 2m4f.

He beat Mr Whitaker over the trip at Kempton on Boxing Day the year before last and should have a massive chance if turning up on his A-game again.

On Thursday, the ground was against both Black Mischief in the Pertemps Final and Just A Sting in the Kim Muir, but both ran well

Black Mischief made good progress coming down the hill until he ran out of gas.

Three miles was just a bit too far for him, particularly on the testing ground.

The plan would be to drop him back in trip again and he may actually go chasing next season.

He’s got plenty of size and jumped great on Thursday despite not seeing a great deal of his hurdles from the rear of the field.

As for Just A Sting, Mike Legg gave him a lovely ride. He went well for a long way, had every chance coming down the hill, but the ground was against him.

He needs to bounce off the ground to be seen at his best.

We’ll be stepping him up in trip again with both the Irish and Scottish Nationals on the agenda. He could also run in the feature race on Sandown’s Jump Finale day.

Thursday had a real feel-good factor. The Ryanair was a thrilling race to watch as both Frodon and Bryony Frost put in top class performances.

The horse was all heart and Bryony impressed again onboard.

It was a fantastic story, as too was Paisley Park in the Stayers’ Hurdle. He had a lot of work to do turning in, but made it look effortless in the end.

He even made a mistake at the last but, ears pricked, he ran on all the way to the line. I think he could go on to dominate the division for years to come.

Something else that put a smile on my face this week was seeing Ian Renton, Chief Executive of Cheltenham Racecourse, having his ID checked by the stewards!

American dream at Uttoxeter


American  will carry top-weight in the Midlands National (15:35). He’ll certainly have his ground conditions, so we’re just hoping it won’t get waterlogged now.

It’s a huge ask for him to carry that weight over 4m2f on the ground, but he will relish conditions.

We’ve been itching to run him for the last month or more, but he just hasn’t had his ground.

He’s been a very fragile horse and we’ve done everything we can to keep him threaded together. He’s ready to take his chance again.

It’s a bit of a roll of the dice but if he bounces back to any of his old form you’d have to give him a chance.

Before that, I’m doubly represented in the valuable 2m4f handicap hurdle (15:00) with Jolly’s Cracked It and Air Horse One.

Jolly’s Cracked It won nicely earlier in the season at Ascot, and was then outpaced on better ground in the Grade Two Betway Kingwell Hurdle.

He’ll enjoy these slower conditions, so the step up in trip shouldn’t be any concern.

Air Horse One is our other runner. He’s been struggling up against the handicapper and may still need a bit more help. Kieron Edgar takes off a valuable 3lb.

He did run well to finish second at Taunton two starts ago, but that was a seniors’ race and this looks tougher.

Onefortheroadtom could have gone to Uttoxeter to run over three miles but the 2m4f Silver Bowl (15:15) on better ground at Kempton looked more to his liking.

Things haven’t quite clicked yet, but he’s been falling down the handicap and we’re hopeful of a better performance.

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