Sun Racing ambassador Megan Nicholls is back as she looks forward to a massive weekend for Team Ditcheat at Kempton, Chepstow, Newcastle and FontwellFebruary 23, 2019
What a week it’s been for Team Ditcheat!
First Dad hit an eight-timer at Ascot last Saturday, then he reached 3000 winners at Taunton on Tuesday.
Hitting that figure is a massive achievement and I’m over the moon to have played a small part in everything that’s happened.
Over the years we’ve had a great team and some great horses and some very supportive owners – without them it definitely couldn’t be done.
Dad doesn’t take the credit he deserves as he’s got himself in that position and it’s not something that everyone achieves.
Tuesday was a special day and I don’t think it will be long until he wants to be knocking down the 4000 door!
As for the eight-timer, we saw a couple of brilliant performances from Cyrname and Clan Des Obeaux.
A lot of people have been talking about Cyrname’s rating, which was put up to 178 after his win in the Ascot Chase.
Beating the horses he did, I don’t see why he would be rated any less.
Now we can look forward to taking on Altior in the Celebration Chase at the end of the season.
The champion chaser certainly won’t get an easy lead like he did last time and he didn’t seem to enjoy going right-handed, whereas it suits us perfectly.
It’s still up in the air as to whether our lad goes to Cheltenham or not.
Aside from Ascot, the real highlight for me was both Harry Skelton and Daryl Jacob riding winners.
Harry’s not done the business for us in six years! It was great to have them back on board.
latest in horse racing
It’s another busy weekend for us and we’ve got a few nice ones running at Kempton this afternoon.
Secret Investor goes in the Pendil Novices’ Chase and he’s fresh and well.
He’s had a nice break at Warwick and although he has to reverse the form with Bags Groove, it’s a different day and a different track so who knows.
We’ve got three in the Adonis, a race we’ve won before with Zarkandar, Zubayr and Hebridean.
I’d say our number one hope this year is probably Red Force One, who I rode when he just got beaten on the Flat at Kempton last time.
He’s got experience running in big fields and now goes over hurdles for the first time so hopefully he can jump and settle.
Deadline Diva gets weight from her rivals and Paddy Brennan is a rare jockey booking for us.
She fell at the track on her first run for us but has bounced back in good form and felt very well.
We haven’t got her super revved up as we wanted to look after her. It’s nice to get her back on the course and hopefully she’ll come back safe and sound.
Ecco is our final contender and he’s just taken a bit of time to come into himself after a gelding operation.
He’s ready to go now, though you’re unlikely to see the best of him until next year.
The one to beat is probably Nicky Henderson’s Fusil Raffles. He could be anything.
The Winter Derby is a cracking contest.
Hathal’s won his last two quite smartly but will need to step up massively.
They’ve all got a lot to find on Wissahickon, though. He’s been very impressive in his starts this year and will take all of the beating.
It’s a shame Kachy won’t be running in the sprint but Gorgeous Noora ran well behind him last time and Hollie Doyle takes the ride again.
Encore d’Or has been around for a while now and has done well in these sort of events. He made a winning return and looks the obvious one to beat.
It’s nice to have some of these better horses running on the flat again.
We run Southfield Stone in the Dovecote.
The form of his third in the Tolworth now looks strong after Grand Sancy won the Kingwell last weekend.
He’s had a hard enough season so far and others are probably a bit fresher but he seems well and this was the obvious race to go for.
In time, he’ll be better over further.
Angel’s Breath is held in high regard and looks the one to beat, while Tokay Dokey is unbeaten and is one to look out for.
The ground is a massive plus for our runners in the 888Sport Handicap Chase.
Adrien Du Pont won at the track last time in good style. He’ll need to settle but if he does then he’ll have a big shout.
There’s a slight question mark over Modus and whether he stays the trip, but it’s a sharp track so we’re hopeful he will.
Romain De Senam bounced back nicely at Taunton last time and that was a nice confidence booster for him.
Glen Rocco looks the one to beat. He likes Kempton and the form of his second behind Glen Forsa now looks very good.
National Spirit and rest of Fontwell
There’s some really good quality racing at Fontwell on Sunday and we’ve a few good chances.
Amour De Nuit takes on three rivals in the novice chase at 2.20.
We’ve freshened him up and the drying ground is a big plus.
He tends to run well fresh and I’m a massive fan of his so hopefully he’ll produce a big performance.
Old Guard goes in the big one, the National Spirit Hurdle.
He won the race last year when beating Lil Rockerfeller, and hopefully he can repeat the dose.
If The Cap Fits beat him last we met him and looks the one to aim for.
We think a lot of Ashutor, who goes in the novice hurdle at 3.25.
He wasn’t beaten far on debut for us and we were slightly disappointed he couldn’t win first time up.
He does things very easily at home so hopefully he can begin to reproduce that on the racecourse.
Ostuni is a bit of a head scratcher but he’s off a low weight in the 3.55 and hopefully he can do better.
We’ve put a first-time tongue-tie on him to help his breathing and sharpen him up.
Southfield Vic has his first start in a hunter chase at 4.25.
He always used to run well in open company for Bryony and hopefully he’s been sweetened up a bit.
He doesn’t like to be bullied and Natalie Parker, who knows him well, should make sure of that.
Hugos Other Horse is an interesting contender in the bumper.
He really caught the eye last time as he was a bit green and ran on nicely.
He should step up a lot on that performance.
Earlier on the card we run Rhythm Is A Dancer.
He’s had a bit of a break since Wincanton and he’ll enjoy being back on a flat track.
There are a couple in there – Erick Le Rouge and Burrows Edge – that look capable of running well, but hopefully our lad will have their measure.
Enrilo runs in the bumper and he’s a horse I like a lot.
He won on debut before getting no luck in running last time but he stayed on well and wasn’t beaten far in the end. He should be bang there.
I think the one to beat is Nick Williams’ horse, Faire Part Sivola.
He beat one of ours at Wincanton, though he’ll need to step up on that if he wants to beat Enrilo, who has a bit more speed.
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Over at Chepstow, we run Choix Des Armes in the opener.
He’s not been seen for a while but was progressing at the end of the last season.
He’s come back from a break really well and I think he could have a massive chance.
Lorcan takes off a handy 5lb and he’s got a nice weight.
Highest Sun and Melchoir King look the ones to beat.
Nineohtwooneoh runs in the 2.30 for JP McManus and Bryony Frost takes the ride.
He’s a big, backward horse who needs plenty of time and strengthening up so he’ll probably improve for this.
Kapcorse goes for the same owner/jockey combination in the Pertemps qualifier at 3.40.
He’s very well and everything’s in his favour. He’ll hopefully take this before going to Cheltenham for the Pertemps itself.
El Bandit also runs in that race but he just needs to rediscover some confidence. We’re putting him back over hurdles and hopefully he’ll get round.
Samburu Shujaa looks the one to beat for Philip Hobbs. He won really well in maiden company last time and looks on a good mark for his handicap debut.
On previous form, Capeland should take the beating in the 4.15.
He’s had a bit of a break after running regularly earlier in the season and this is his first start since a wind op.
He seems in great form and if he can continue in the same vein then he should be there or thereabouts.
Golden Gift runs in the bumper and he’s one we like for the future.
He’s a massive horse who’ll be much better for a fence, so anything he does in bumpers is a gift – if you’ll excuse the pun.
He’ll definitely come on from his last run and goes there with a nice chance.
I think Imperial Esprit is the one to beat.
We have one runner at Newcastle, Vicente in the Eider.
He’s won two Scottish Nationals for us and has been an absolute star – hopefully he can add to his tally.
The track was a bit sharp for him at Taunton last time so this step back up to four miles plus will help a lot.
He needs a bit of luck but has been in good form at home.