The horses continued their good form with most of them running very well over the last week. Sweet Adare was lying second at Cheltenham when she hit the ditch and paid the penalty. She was going very well at the time, but it was too early to know how she would have faired – She tries again at Wincanton on Boxing Day. She is a very well bred mare whose half-brother Allart won the big novice chase at Ascot on Friday very impressively.

Howardian Hills ran his last race for the yard at Lingfield on Sunday when typically he was flying at the end and was not beaten by very far. We will be looking for a new home for him.

Last Wednesday we had as good day at Ludlow when Admirals Secret completed his hatrick of wins when trouncing his opponents in the feature race of the day. He was again ridden by Alan Johns who has a good record with the horse having ridden him 5 times in all and achieving 2 seconds and 3 wins. He is climbing the weights and this performance is recognised as his best ever and it will put him in the mix for some good Saturday Handicap Chases. In the past he has had his problems starting and 18 months ago he was close to being warned off, but a change of routine and racecourse procedure (he is the only horse that is ponied to the start in the UK under NH rules) together with his association with Alan Johns seems to have turned him around – However one senses that the demons are never far away with him and he is a very difficult horse. Hartnoll Hero also ran and finished a very close second in the bumper at Ludlow and is a very exciting prospect.

The following day Get Wishing ran in the 2.3 Handicap Chase at Exeter. He was jumping and travelling really well when he slipped and fell after the second last when challenging the first two home. Luckily he seems fine after galloping another complete circuit!

Our next runners are Minnie Escape and Sweet Adare at Wincanton on Boxing Day and River Bray at Kempton the following day.

I and everyone at Shutscombe wish you all a Very Happy and Safe Christmas.