With the Flat season coming to an end, we will turn our attentions to the National Hunt scene and that switch is reflected in this week’s blog. We will, of course, add races of significance on the all weather during the winter.

October 19 – Carlisle – Nells Son – 71

A race won last season by subsequent Grade 2 scorer Tommy’s Oscar and, based on the time figure, there is every chance this year’s renewal will work out just as well. The winner, returning to chasing after contested two big-field handicaps at the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals off what appeared a reasonable mark, jumped and travelled well in the main before finding sufficient resources to fend off the late challenge of the patiently ridden Glory And Honour on the run-in. Relatively lightly raced for an eight-year-old, Nicky Richards’ inmate can build on this performance and is worth keeping on side for similar contests on good ground. of the rest, a special mention goes out to the third, Western Zephyr, who helped force the strong pace until getting tired on the run-in. He will be of some interest next time.

October 20 – Dundalk – Vadiana – 100

As mentioned in my Friday podcast, the daughter of Vadamos had been leaving the impression she has been crying out for a better surface and true to form, she came alive again back on the all-weather. Towards the rear early, she still had plenty on her plate as the field turned for home, but with powerful surge in the latter stages, she eventually overhauled the leaders with a bit to spare and with the time figure suggesting she had run to a very high standard, she remains one to keep on side for the duration of the winter.

October 21 – Limerick – High Class Hero – 69

Just the four runners went to post for this listed contest but The BIg Doyen ensured the pace was honest from the start and, having been held up off the speed, Willie Mullins’ gelding came through strongly late on to scoop the prize. Seemingly improving with each run, the son of Sulamani is also versatile regards underfoot conditions and he looks primed to tackle something more meaningful next time out.

October 21 – Newton Abbot – JPR One – 74

Three useful sorts went to post for this novices’ handicap and it went the way of a chase debutante from the Colin Tizzard stable. Held up last of the trio in the early stages, the six-year-old loomed up going well rounding the home turn and two slick jumps in the straight, he scampered nicely clear to record a resounding success. Indeed, the feature of his winning performance was the smart technique he exhibited first time off the bat and on the evidence of this display, he looks to have a bright future in this discipline.

October 21 – Kempton – Rubaud – 72

Easily the best race of the National Hunt season in terms of class and it went the way of the least exposed member of the party. A useful novice last season, at his best around sharp tracks, Paul Nicholls’ inmate continued that trend with a powerful galloping display from the front and on this evidence, he looks in line for another fruitful campaign.