March 26 – Taunton – Ryan’s Rocket – 65

Just touched off by the useful Fiercely Proud over this C&D when last seen, Fergal O’Brien’s gelding was understandably a popular choice with the punters to go one place better on his return to the west country venue and, in what turned out to be a truly run affair, he duly obliged. Although he had to work a little harder at times than anticipated, the son of Jet Away found the necessary requirements to fend off his main pursuers and in the end, he was well on top. Clearly well suited by a flat, right handed track on decent ground, connections will no doubt be looking to find something similar in due course.

March 26 – Southwell – Mickley – 98

We are now in the dying embers of the all-weather season proper and quality performers are few and far between, but we did witness a smart effort by this three-year-old by Soldier’s Call and he looks one who could easily translate this sort of form back to the turf. The way he stayed on off sound fractions pointed towards a horse who could easily make the step up in grade and having been handed an opening mark of 83, Edward Bethell’s inmate can embark on a successful campaign in handicaps in races up the north before maybe dipping his toe into pattern company.

March 29 – Newcastle – Prydwyn – 98

Some top-class action on Good Friday and of the racing that took place on all-weather finals day at the Gosforth Park venue, the staying handicap won by George Scott’s inmate worked out the best on the figures. Jumping well from his outside gate to sit handy through the early exchanges, the six-year-old settled into a lovely rhythm throughout and once kicking for home at the top of the straight, he never looked like getting caught. Seemingly just coming of age, the son of Camelot is also just as handy on the grass and that flexibility opens up plenty of options for connections going forward, with races such as the Northumberland Plate and Ebor, two obvious long-term targets.

March 30 – Fairyhouse – Ardera Ru – 72

A strongly run affair courtesy of the exploits of Harmonya Maker and, having been held up well off the gallop early, Eoin Doyle’s mare came through best of all to steal the prize late on. Producing a career high on the numbers by some way, a cauterised pallet was used as the reason for the apparent change in her fortunes by connections and while in this sort of mood, she can prove to be a dangerous beast in races of this nature.

March 30 – Haydock – Secret Trix – 67

A strongly run affair and the winner could be spotted travelling best of all from some way out. Although he was made to work harder than anticipated, Olly Murphy’s gelding eventually won going away and with the field strung out in behind, the form looks strong. Indeed, his final circuit time was notably better than the one posted by the smart two miler Brentford Hope and that backs up the view that this three mile affair was above average for the grade.

March 31 – Fairyhouse – Jade De Grugy – 72

By some way the best collections of fillies’ and mares seen so far this season and Willie Mullins’ inmate lived up to her star billing. Kept away from the solid early pace, the daughter of Doctor Dino worked her way into contention rounding the home bend and the continuation of her run carried her into the lead after jumping the last. The feature of this event was how strung out the field become in the closing stages, testimony to the gallop set and, as a result, the form should stand the test of time further down the line.

March 31 – Plumpton – Our Champ – 71

A competitive field faced the starter befitting a race of its quality for the track standards and it went the way of a horse who was returning to his best form following a series of below par efforts on soft ground. The way he bounded clear in the closing stages pointing towards Chris Gordon’s gelding being right on top of his game at present and providing the ground at Haydock in a month’s time is something similar, a tilt at the Swinton Hurdle might well be handsomely rewarded.