Monbeg Theatre strikes at Southwell
I was over the moon to start the week with a winner at Southwell on Monday. We have always thought a lot of Monbeg Theatre (pictured below) and after he won his bumper last season, we looked after him with a view that he was always going to be a better hurdler and in time a better chaser.
He stepped up from his hurdling debut when he was second over an inadequate two miles to win impressively relishing the extra half mile.
Gavin Sheehan gave him an uncomplicated ride and he won going away at the line. He should be able to defy a penalty before we think about stepping him up in grade in the spring. I was also pleased with Borguy, who was fourth at the same gaff – he’s improving all of the time and now qualifies for a handicap mark.
Close but no cigar for the major
Major Milborne finished third in a novice chase at Ffos Las on Sunday. He wasn’t beaten far but I was disappointed as I believe he could have won. Unfortunately he hit the front four fences out and just wandered around in front and lost momentum and when Brendan Powell, who is a great young horseman, got him back into his stride, he was then squeezed out after the last. It has to go down as a missed opportunity.
Favourite Elvis in savage form ahead of Paddy Power
Our next runner will be Present View (pictured above in his box) who is on target for the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday.
This fellow is known as Elvis and I’m hoping that it’s a case of Heartbreak Hotel for the bookies at the weekend as I see his price has more than halved from an opening 14-1 into a current 6-1 favourite.
He is in terrific form and this major race has been the plan ever since he won at the Cheltenham Festival last season. We gave him a prep run over hurdles at Cheltenham four weeks ago when he ran a cracker to be beaten a head after a terrible blunder at the last and he was unlucky.
Unfortunately he came back with an annoying skin cut to one of his legs, but our head girl and vet have worked wonders and he’s in great nick for Saturday.
We had a big press day on Monday and there have been some lovely articles written about us. We are in an incredibly privileged position that being a smaller yard we have had some great publicity leading into the big race and I only hope our lad runs as well as we hope he can.
He’s done his last bit of work now and he’ll school on Wednesday in front of the Channel 4 cameras and then we’ll just tick him over until Saturday. Fingers crossed….