We were justifiably delighted with the run of Max Appeal who won the bumper this afternoon at Ayr for One Team One Dream. A big chasing type with a strong pedigree the five year old was green but galloped away from his rivals in the closing stages to win on his debut. Anthea Smythe who bred Max, and her team of friends have a super type on their hands and we are looking forward to the future with this scopey five year old.
Max rounded off a good day at Ayr which saw the veteran Vengeur De Guye run probably one of his best races to be second in the two mile handicap chase. Still suffering from a crazy rise in the weights for winning an oddly run race back in October, Vengeur has been mixing chasing and hurdling and he looked confident and bold today under Thomas. Similar conditions should see him continue his good form.
The novice chaser Buddha Scheme galloped on through the mud to be a stout staying on third, while we were proud of Calle Malva who ran a blinder for a novice to be fourth in her first handicap; she will have learned a lot from the experience.
On Thursday at Carlisle, we had a day of fourths with Le Frank, OrionInverness and Cockle Bay all running solid races that they can improve on while Emissaire did not stay the extra half mile and will be back to two miles next time. His fifth place was not without hope though, as he jumped and travelled sweetly until the final few furlongs.
We now await the declarations to be finalised for the Ultima Chase on Tuesday at Cheltenham; Big River has been in great form at home and feels really well on the grass gallops. He has the Ultima as first preference having run a blinder in it last year when fourth. Mighty Thunder's connections are also awaiting final decs for the Pertemps Final; he needs five to come out to guarantee a run and if the ground was not too soft his stamina should ensure that he runs a big race.