We hope you had a fabulous Christmas and enjoyed the feast of racing from Ireland and England over the festive period where our sport was shown off in the best possible way.
Constitution Hill looked exceptional in the Christmas Hurdle and it will take a very, very, very, very good horse to beat him in the Champion Hurdle in March. As you all know, plenty can happen in three months, not least when it comes to racehorses, so all we can do is keep everything crossed that Nicky Henderson and his team at Seven Barrows can keep their star pupil in one piece from now until the Festival, and it’s a similar story for connections of Bravemansgame who put up a devastating display to win the King George.
While we didn’t have any runners at Kempton, we were able to enjoy the action from elsewhere, including at Wincanton on Boxing Day where Choccabloc made his racecourse debut for James and Jean Potter Ltd. He is the most gorgeous son of Blue Bresil out of Chocca Wocca (daughter of Chomba Womba) who was owned by Richard and Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes so it made perfect sense for us to join together in shared ownership of this exciting youngster who finished a very eye catching third under James Bowen. He is most definitely a horse to follow.
Over at Huntingdon Range was sent off favourite for the concluding bumper off the back of an excellent run in second on debut at Chepstow, and while he was beaten into third, the Potter Group-owned son of Shantou lost nothing in defeat and despite meeting trouble in running, Finn Lambert’s mount finished a gallant third and confirmed the promise of his initial start. Sam Thomas has done a great job with the 5-y-o who is quite highly strung and needs plenty of TLC so we were delighted with his performance and look forward to seeing what he has to offer next time.
Turning our attention to the New Year action and we have a few runners set to represent both Potter Group and James and Jean Potter Ltd at various meetings and details of which are below:
NEW YEAR’S EVE
2:18 – UTTOXETER
CALL THE DANCE (Sean O’Briain)
A four-year-old daughter of Kayf Tara out of the wonderful Hora, she has been showing up nicely at Nicky Henderson’s base in Lambourn and her trainer is hopeful of a solid run. Speaking in his blog for Unibet the master of Seven Barrows said: “We have three lovely youngsters owned by James and Jean Potter Ltd and each of them are definitely up to winning their Bumpers. Choccabloc, who she does a lot of work with, ran a very eyecatching third (on debut) at Wincanton last week, so we have a reasonable idea as to where we stand. She’s not the biggest filly, but is by Kayf Tara, who handled soft ground, out of Hora; the dam of Thomas Campbell who won his bumper and a half sister to Dancing In Brazil who also won his bumper, so she has plenty of ticks in the right boxes. I’m not saying she will win but I’d be extremely hopeful she’ll go close.”
NEW YEARS DAY – CHELTENHAM
1:55 STOLEN SILVER (Sam Twiston-Davies)
Our gallant grey heads back to Prestbury Park for the fifth time over fences having scored impressively in the Silver Trophy last April before sadly unshipping his jockey three from home in the Paddy Power Gold Cup on his seasonal return. It was unlikely he’d have won but who knows what might’ve happened, he could easily have stayed on to finish in the money and picked up some valuable prize money; but these things happen and it’s part and parcel of the jumping game. After being given plenty of time to recover from his exertions (where he was quite sore after) Sam Thomas has been pleased with his charge in the lead up to this race and while he has to produce a career best, he loves the track and the enforced ‘break’ owing to the frost might actually be a blessing in disguise because he tends to run his best races when fresh, so fingers crossed a good run awaits 🤞
3:40 DANCING IN BRAZIL (Tom Cannon)
A younger (half) brother to Call The Dance (runs Uttoxeter on Saturday) the three-year-old James and Jean Potter Ltd homebred put up a scintillating display to score on his racecourse debut at Huntingdon in November which put him spot on for a crack at this race, which has been the plan ever since he arrived at Alan King’s in the summer. His trainer has always held him in very high regard, which must be heeded bearing in mind the firepower based at Barbury Castle, and we’re hoping he can kick off 2023 in style!
James and Jean Potter Ltd have several entries over the next few days including Moon Lady, another Seven Barrows inmate, who has been subject to good gallop reports and could make her debut at Ludlow on Friday, while Egbert is engaged in the 2m4f Maiden Hurdle on the same day. Strong Belle is being aimed at the Alan Swinbank Listed Mares Bumper at Market Rasen on January 20th.
Potter Group-wise Before Midnight and Galileo Silver could turn up at Warwick on 14th January and looking further down the line Mot A Mot has a speculative entry at Lingfield on 20th January along with Alfie’s Princess in the Listed Mares’ Bumper at Market Rasen the same day.
Stolen Silver is also entered in the (early closing) Fleur De Lys Chase, worth £165,000, at Lingfield on January 22nd.