We missed being at the Grand national today but had a good day at Newcastle with a double from Rivabodiva and Grand Morning.
Rivabodiva, pictured, has been a super mare for Mark and Susie Russell, the yard and especially Thomas Willmott who rode out his 10lb claim on her this afternoon. Winning for the second time this season and having been placed in all of her other races, Riva is a model of consistency. The heavy ground suits her and she looks to be progressing now that we have found her niche.
Grand Morning is another progressive type. He is still immature and was babyish at the first few hurdles, but once let down he galloped well and won this race that we have targetted for a couple of months. No doubt he will be chasing next season, but he still needs to learn a bit more about racing. It is fabulous to have such an exciting young horse for his owner.
Our other two runners unseated their jockeys. Ballycool was most unfortunate to stumble on landing two out when mounting a strong looking challenge. If we can keep him fresh he should have a productive summer. Arizona Bound jinxed coming into the second last, unseating Calum Bewley; he had not enjoyed the going and will be better on summer ground.
We are back at Newcastle tomorrow with four more rerouted from the abandoned Hexham.
OrionInverness is back to his winning mark and will be fine on the ground as he attempts to better his fourth placing last time out.
Chasseur De Tetes takes on old rival Snougar and he will need to improve just a few pounds to win this time.
Behindthelines should relish the step up in the trip and while he has a few pounds to find he seems to be thriving this spring.
Finally, we have the tongue strap back on Moorstown; he resented it last time he wore one but we are using a different type this time, and hopefully, it will help him finish his race.