Power Packed

Our Power, impressive winner of the Coral Trophy at Kempton in February, is being prepared for a crack at the Coral Gold Cup (Formerly Hennessy) at the end of November after being forced to miss out on the event 12 months ago due to a last minute injury.

Trained for Potter Group by Sam Thomas, the eight-year-old has so far won four of just nine starts over fences and his talented handler is hoping his stable star can gain deserved recompense this time around:

We missed out on the race last year, which had been a long-term target, after a hiccup a few days before, so I think we should try and go down that route again and make amends for what may have happened last year.”

Now competing off a career high Handicap mark of 146, Thomas is eager to preserve his current rating and added:

“It would be lovely to go and have another go at the valuable Ascot race he won last year, but if he is still progressive, which I think he is, and he went on to win it again, we’ve then scuppered our chances of potentially winning the Hennessy, so I think we should be looking to protect his Chase mark, which means it’s highly likely we’ll give him a run over hurdles a month or so before which will sharpen him up and give us enough time to get to Newbury. Hopefully off 146 he should be in there off a nice mark, especially if Ahoy Senor is still going to run and keep us down in the weights.

After an excellent run in the Grand National in April, his shrewd handler suggested Aintree could still be an end of season target, but options will very much be kept open.

He may not have quite got the trip in the National, but he put in a really good run where he nearly enjoyed himself too much because he was very exuberant, and it was quite hard to fully stay the distance when you’re that handy early on. Obviously we will seriously consider Aintree, but we could also think about the Scottish National, which is usually on good ground, and would be very suitable.

There is lots of water to go under the bridge between now and then and my focus currently is training him for Newbury. He’s been in great form and really enjoying schooling on our Canter Carpet gallop; all being well he’ll get there in one piece because he’s a horse that certainly deserves his chance to line up in a race like that.

It’s his third season chasing, and we saw huge improvement from his first to his second, so I’m still hopeful there is improvement to come. It is widely known that we had a bug in the yard last year so for him to avoid all that and do what he did was remarkable. With that in mind, and provided we can keep the yard fit and healthy, I’d like to think there should be a bit more to come.

Stolen Silver, another set to carry the Potter Group silks this season, came into training nice and early and could make his seasonal return at Chepstow in two weeks' time:

He’s summered really well and, despite the yard being Ill at the time, he still put up a fantastic effort to finish second at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day but was never quite right after that. Nevertheless he is a very good horse and this season, if anything, he is certainly relaxing a lot more at home because he used to be a bit like a bull in a china shop, but has calmed down a lot which I think is going to set us in good stead for potentially running him over three miles. The plan is to go to Chepstow for the Native River Chase and see if he gets the trip. If he does, it opens a lot more doors and he could even end up a Coral Trophy contender as well.