Another wet morning, but there were a lot of positives from the schooling at Kilduff. Sammy B jumped the chase fences really well alongside Ballycool, and Green Flag showed his enthusiasm of younger days when bounding up over the open ditches. Island Heights had a visor on for the first time and was much slicker, while Star Of Milan continues to improve, and Miss Tiggy jumped straighter than before; she had a hind cannon stress fracture last winter and it has taken time and rehab to get her equally strong in both hindquarters.
On schooling mornings we miss Derek and his positive input, however with able deputies Blair, Steven, Thomas, and Maisie jumping this morning there was plenty of optimism for the next few weeks.
Derek is at home in Sligo resting and taking the time to recover. We are looking forward to him being back on the yard and at the races.
We head to Hexham tomorrow with five, some first time novices and a couple of favourite handicappers.
Saint Freule impressed us in his point to point in Ireland and having watched him demolish a field of well regarded youngsters we stepped in to buy him. He should be fine on the going, and his only issue is keeping him settled as he can run free. However, both Scu and Derek have done wonders with him and we are looking forward to his run.
Haul Us In has her first chase start and she has had a lot of schooling over the past few months. A mare with plenty of scope she needs to improve on her hurdle form, but she has ability and a clear round will set her up for a novice season chasing.
Rossamilan ran a little better last time at Perth and the stiff track should suit him more tomorrow. Soft or heavy ground will be fine.
We love our older horses and Green Flag has been a big personality in our yard for five years. He started to show his old form last spring and while he may be 10kgs heavy for tomorrow he has been behaving like a youngster at home.
Finally, we run Island Heights in the three mile hurdle. Back from a veterinary enforced break, he has been showing plenty on the gallops and if the visor can make his jumping slicker then he could have a great chance at a bigger price.