25th November - Kempton
Three of these horses want decent ground (apart from Papagana) and because we have such soft conditions everywhere else at the moment many other people will be of the same opinion therefore the races are pretty competitive.
Felix was a non runner at Southwell last week when the ground changed to heavy, this race is much more competitive but I wanted some better ground for him.
Felix was second on his only outing to date, a bumper at Fontwell, he slightly disappointed me that day not in his finishing position but in the way he travelled during the race.
Felix has taken a while for the penny to drop with regards to his schooling but he is good now.
Felix is a bit of a play boy, he goes nicely but he can be lazy in his work.
Papa is a lovely mare who is beautifully bred, she already has black type to her name and her owner intends to retire her to stud at the end of the season.
I didn’t have a straightforward run with Papa last season so I think there is still improvement to come.
Papa is a very genuine and talented mare, she will enjoy this trip and whilst the ground will be fine she will handle very soft conditions.
Papa has a lovely temperament, she was originally a bit of a madam to ride but she’s good now.
Gavin won first time out at Ludlow, this was also his first chase.
Apart from landing a bit steep over the first and nearly doing the splits his jumping was good and improved as the race went on, more importantly he has schooled well since so he obviously enjoyed the experience.
Gavin needs a good gap between races, he’s a horse that needs to be fresh and undercooked.
This is a step up in trip on his last race and Gavin has looked as if he would get further in his races but he was too weak and too keen last season to get home.
Pontresina is as honest as the day is long, he might not be a superstar but I’d love to have a yard full of horse with his attitude.
Pontresina ran well first time out after a lay off when finishing second, he got outpaces and blew up three out before staying on towards the line to grab second.
Pontresina isn’t over big but he does jump very well so he will probably go novice chasing in the spring on his favoured good ground.
Pontresina is a sweet horse, he’s easy to deal with I’m all ways.
They will be ridden by Leighton Aspell.
Jan Soldan looks after Felix, Papagana and Pontresina, he will lead up the first two and Gracie O’Reilly will lead up Pontresina.
What’s Occurring is looked after and will be led up by Nikola Studena, he is ridden at home by Mila Lunackova.