Trainers generally are frustrated with 2nds as all we want is winners however occasionally a 2nd place isa fantastic result and Samtara’s 25-1 second at Cheltenham yesterday has to rate as one of those. Homebred by Roger & Yvonne Allsop, he eventually broke his maiden tag at Hereford recently when he won under Harry Atkins who was on board again yesterday. He was only entered as I was tracking entries and, until the last few minutes there were no horses rated anywhere near the 135 ceiling and I thought Samtara may just sneak in at the bottom of the weights. Even when a couple came in late, they were 7lbs lower so I rang Roger and he agreed for me to enter him.
Harry Atkins has only just turned Conditional and horses do seem to jump well for him and he followed riding instructions to the letter and they were still in front jumping the second last. Briefly headed approaching the last, he battled back and we started to get very excited up the hill until we saw the favourite, on the other side of the track – too far for Samtara to see and battle against – finishing faster than them all. Never mind, the Allsops were rightly thrilled with their boy and so were all of us. Jasmin Richards, who left us a few months ago, came back to lead him up as he was always one of her favourites and she had as big a smile as anyone.
Champion Jockey Brian Hughes in this morning to join James Best & Harry Atkins schooling and Freddie schooled 1st lot too. We schooled Pinnacle Peak, Redbridge Rambler, She Has Notions, Spanish Present, Wide To West, Come On Me Babby, Genovese, Herecomeshogan and Brianna Rose. They all jumped well.
Cheltenham again today and their Mares’ day. A big day for Zestful who is so far unbeaten in two starts over hurdles. A huge step up in class today though but hopefully she’ll run another solid race. Bobbi’s Beauty then makes her bumper debut in the concluding race and is a mare we like alot. She has won a point to point and goes nicely at home. Obviously it’s a competitive bumper but she should run well. Brian Hughes rides both.