It's been a good few days with two winners from my last two rides, so I don't have much to complain about!
Gordon's horses are running well, so there's plenty to be excited about now going into the season proper.
Battleoverdoyen was class - you couldn't have asked for any better!
We knew going into the race that he'd need this run as he came back lighter than the others from his summer off and we just had to start him off somewhere. The soft ground suited so we said we'd just get him going on Sunday and hope for the best.
To do what he did is very exciting and he's one now we can build towards Cheltenham with!
Jumping the last fence he had a good blow at me, idled a bit up the run in and the ground was maybe a bit tacky up there as well, as he just seemed to get tired those last few yards. He will kick on a massive amount now from that effort in what was a pretty decent race.
Battleoverdoyen has such a big stride on him and on Sunday I thought we went a steady enough pace, but looking back on the video I now think I might have went a bit too quick on him and that's why he got so tired!
His class and his massive stride means you don't really know as he does it all so easy!
He could easily drop back to 2 miles & 4 furlongs and while he probably would get 3 miles + easily enough, he doesn't need it. He's so classy that any of those sorts of trips will suit great and we'll see how he develops now over the winter.
It's very hard not to be extremely excited about Battleoverdoyen now he has that run under his belt!
Eclair De Beaufeu
This was also a very good performance, even if it wasn't in as strong a race as the one Battleoverdoyen won.
We thought going into his run at Punchestown the time before (behind Notebook) that he'd get tired at the finish as he had done the same thing in his work with me a few days previous. We knew that would help him out in regards to fitness and experience, and he showed all the benefits for it on Monday.
Eclair De Beaufeu went a seriously good gallop, cruised around the whole way and couldn't have done it any easier!
It's very hard to know what sort of a race he won, and I know he was only a handicap hurdler who took 4 or 5 races to get a win at all last season, but he was very good on Monday and might just make into a much better chaser than he was a hurdler.
To go that speed and to win that easy, you have to be a talented horse. I'd imagine he'll go into a Group 2 or 3 next time and we'll properly find out how good he is.
Watch this space.
The Weekend Ahead
Gordon sends a lot of his best horses up to Down Royal again and it's a great place to start out with a lot of these. Hopefully it should be a very exciting weekend ahead.
Fury Road, one from my 10 to follow, should end up in the 2 miles & 6 furlong novice hurdle on Friday and I'm looking forward to seeing him. He's strengthened up a lot over the summer, and impressed me when I won a schooling race on him last week at Fairyhouse.
He'll improve as the season goes on, but he might have it all to do if Envoi Allen ends up in that race - Envoi is probably in a different league to Fury Road.
I can't wait to see Envoi Allen out, and he has 2 options on Friday and Saturday - one over 2 miles and one over 2 miles & 6 furlongs. He's still impressing me every single day in his work and the sky is the limit for this lad.
Samcro looks like he'll be starting at Down Royal and his work of late suggests the best version of him might be back this season. Last year he never looked or scoped right after work and he just couldn't get going at all - this year is a completely different story! He has that spark back, and a proper shine in his coat. You can only be excited to see him in this form.
Don Cossack had one season over hurdles where he ran terribly, probably worse than Samcro did, and bounced back to win a Gold Cup! There is no reason Samcro can't do something similar.
Coeur Sublime looks like he'll make his comeback in the WKD hurdle and his work has been amazing at home. He did a piece of work yesterday and it was exceptional.
At home he has always done everything so easy, but he hasn't translated that to the track fully yet. I think that he'll be a different proposition this year - he seems to have grown up a lot physically and mentally over the summer.
He's the best work horse in the yard and he could be very good this season.
It'll be huge to have Delta Work back as well and he has 2 options over the weekend. I sit on him every day and I can report he is in great form and very well in himself. He'll be ready to go in either of those two races and should make his first steps towards a very good season.
Delta Work has to step up to the senior level now, but I wouldn't swap him for any other horse in the division!