The good run for Potter Group continues aplenty with success at Worcester with Mot A Mot, Uttoxeter where Jack Sharp scored in style and Stolen Silver not going down without a fight in a thrilling finish at Cheltenham, so it’s fair to say if our luck continues like this we’re in for a fantastic season!
Let’s kick off with Stolen Silver was was absolutely fantastic at Cheltenham on Friday and lost absolutely nothing in defeat when finishing an honourable second, beaten just a neck AND giving 5lbs to the winner Editeur Du Gite.
The handicapper has already had his say and put our gallant grey up another 5lbs to a mark of 145. But if any trainer is going to find the next suitable race for him then Sam Thomas is yer man and perhaps a little step up in distance might even be of help, too.
Mot A Mot was absolutely superb on his hurdles debut at Worcester to score under an enterprising ride by James Bowen who has struck up a great association with the exciting son of Martaline. Don’t forget what happened at Chepstow last February!
Nicky Henderson has always thought quite highly of him (jockey and horse to be honest!) and was keen to give the five-year-old a nice introduction to his jumping career rather than go straight into the deep end, and the master of Seven Barrows proved spot as the dashing grey come home a decisive winner. He looked to be in a small spot of bother between the penultimate and last hurdle but James gave his game mount an opportunity to fill his lungs before lunging clear to win in style.
Henderson explained his reasoning after the race about how, in a lower class race (albeit this was a very good Maiden) on their first runs of the season, you can get away with giving horses time to reach for their girths and have a few strides to catch their breath before kicking on again, whereas it’s so much harder to do the same at a higher level, so this was a very promising debut and while there are no immediate plans, a step up in class, and maybe even trip, looks on the cards and we’re all pretty excited about how far he can go.
On the same day, Wheesht, who carried the silks of James and Jean Potter ltd, put up a fine performance to finish third on her chasing debut and there’s no doubt the well bred seven-year-old will improve for the run and her chance to regain the winning thread shouldn’t be far away.
Jack Sharp was extremely impressive at Uttoxeter on Saturday and gained a deserved victory at the fourth time of asking. Given a cool ride by Johnny Burke, the son of St Leger winner Scorpion travelled well throughout the 2m4f contest and when his jockey asked the question, he picked up nicely to score by four and a half lengths. The Handicapper has given him a rating of 115, which seems about right, and Alastair Ralph will now look for a suitable contest within the next few weeks or so. As we reported in this blog last time, Jack Sharp has really filled out and strengthened up over the summer and his time spent in the paddocks at Leighton with all his equine pals, which included older sibling Mister Fisher and stablemate Wheesht, has clearly done him the world of good and, while we know it’s a well trodden phrase, whatever he achieves over hurdles will be a bonus, because it’s pretty clear he’s going to have a bright future over fences.
Midnight to shine at Ascot
Before Midnight returns to the fray in the 3:15 at Ascot tomorrow after his facile success at Cheltenham’s Showcase meeting last month when he broke the track record to beat Sky Pirate by six lengths. It was a tremendous performance that day and he seems to love jumping out and playing his own game of catch me if you can. Our cherished chestnut is now off a career high mark but you don’t win races around Prestbury Park in the manner that he did and not expect the Handicapper to react. Word is good from Sam Thomas’s base in Cardiff and while our horse has a bit more weight to carry this time and, on revised terms, the re-opposing Sky Pirate is entitled to bridge the gap somewhat, we wouldn’t swap our charge for any other in the field, and with confidence at an all time high, we’re keeping absolutely everything crossed that Before Midnight can clock up his fourth victory on the trot. (see what we did there..midnight - clock..😉)
The race is live on Sky Sports Racing and ITV so if you can’t make it there to cheer him on, make sure you keep abreast of the action on the good ole fashioned tele box!
You can’t afford to rest on your laurels, or be complacent in this game, and it’s always a case of searching for that next horse with the X Factor and last week at the Tattersalls Cheltenham Point to Point Sale James and Jean Potter Ltd purchased a stunning four-year-old daughter of Getaway, named Smiling Getaway, who had bolted up on her sole start in an Irish Point to Point at Loughanmore on 23rd October. She heads to Dan Skelton’s Warwickshire stable where she will be given time to settle into her new life before hopefully a fruitful and prosperous future awaits on the track before a career at stud where she is sure to be a fine addition to our group of brood mares at Leighton and help continue our mission of breeding the best with the best to create the best!