December 5 – Wolves – Master Zoffany 98

Mobashr ensured there was no prisoners taken in this Class 4 seven-furlong handicap and everything set up perfectly for the well-backed Richard Fahey-trained gelding from his favourable inside draw. Noted going well at halfway, the son of Zoffany tracked the pace around the inside and when asked to go and pick up the front runner turning for home, he readily accepted the challenge. Keeping on strongly late on, he had enough in reserve to fend off the persistent threat posed by Tothenines and with the time figure very good for the grade, it looks form worth following.

December 7 – Dundalk – Make Us Proud – 98

A competitive 1m4f maiden on paper beforehand, but it was turned into a bit of a procession by a three-year-old gelding making his racecourse debut. Not totally unfancied judged by the pre-race activity in his direction, the son of Champs Elysees raced just in behind the strong early pace set by Engagement Ring and when asked to go and join battle with the main players turning for home, he simply proved way too strong for his opposition in the final two furlongs. Despite running green late on, the strapping chestnut still managed to pull five lengths clear of his nearest pursuer and when the dust had settled, the data revealed he had run a sensational speed figure. Clearly very talented, it will be interesting to see how the res of his career develops.

December 8 – Clonmel – Jody Ted – 71

A bit of a surprise winner of this beginners’ chase but a worthy one all the same who in no way should be underestimated further down the line. While many will focus on the fall of Henn See at the second last, the manner in which Eoin Griffin’s inmate pinged the last and went clear on the run-in suggested he would have won anyway and with the useful Banntown Girl well beaten back in second, there is no reason to question the form. A horse with a good cruising speed and a preference for soft ground, he should be in for a fun Winter.

December 9 – Cheltenham – Dame Du Soir – 69

A strong gallop set by Marta Des Mottes and in the end it went the way of her nearest pursuer, who just wouldn’t give up the ghost. For majority of the journey it looked as though David Bridgewater’s mare was going to play second fiddle to a rival seemingly in control at the heads of affairs, so it was to her great credit that she managed to dig down deep to find extra reserves when needed on the long climb up hill to the line. A strong race of its kind, the form should work out accordingly.

December 11 – Cork – Hiddenvally Lake – 68

With all of Saturday’s action wiped out, the Mallow venue was centre stage for the best action of the weekend and the two big novice events proved to be worth the wait. This Grade 3 contest looked a competitive affair beforehand and it produced a high quality winner in the shape of Henry de Bromhead’s gelding. Despite looking in a bit of bother rounding the home turn, he found a tremendous amount for pressure in the latter stages and by the time he had hit the line, he pulled well clear of some useful rivals unable to match his levels of stamina. Clearly well suited by a strongly-run race over three miles, he looks the ideal type for the Albert Bartlett and connections will now use the Grade 3 at Clonmel for his pre-race, which is a similar path trod by the likes of Monalee and Minella Indo in the past.

December 11 – Cork – Impervious – 71

Already an entry to this column following her impressive debut success at Wexford, Colm Murphy’s mare repeated the dose against more exalted company on her second start and she looks a classy recruit to the chasing ranks. Up against the very smart Dinoblue, who was already a proven C&D winner, the daughter of Shantou tracked her main market rival throughout and when asked to go and seal the deal after the second last, she found a ready response. The way she galloped on in the latter stages suggested she would be seen to even greater effect over further and she is definitely one for the Mares Chase shortlist at the Cheltenham Festival on this evidence.