We were thrilled that The Happy Chappy got off the mark to  the stayers’ 3 mile 1 furlong handicap hurdle at Huntingdon on 23 May. He was given a great ride by Nick Scholfield and, although he had dropped back towards the tail of the field 4 out, Nick (as planned) asked for a real effort after the third last and it was great to see Chappy respond and scythe through the field and take the lead at the penultimate hurdle. He then ran on well to finish with a handy 6 lengths advantage over the second horse. Chappy was bought by the owners with a view to being a staying novice chaser next autumn/spring but the plan was to run him in a few hurdles races and hopefully score a win before taking a break over the summer and returning with all guns blazing in the autumn. He was placed at Ludlow on his first run for us, on ground that was softer than he wanted, and it was unfortunate that the ground at Warwick deteriorated to heavy (which he hated) just before his race there. He was probably still feeling the effects of that when he ran at Huntingdon at the end of April and finished 5th. Yesterday’s run enabled him to show us what he is really made of and we can look forward to the autumn with confidence and excitement.

The day was made even better by a very good run by Knight’s Parade, well ridden by Graham Carson to finish 2nd in the 2 mile 3 1/2 furlong handicap hurdle. This built on KP’s 3rd at Sedgefield on 4 May. We are delighted that KP seems to be back to his normal self and he clearly enjoys the better ground. It was unfortunate that he bumped up against a very well handicapped and progressive young horse who fully justified clear favouritism to win well. Never mind! KP seems to have come out of his race well and, provided all is well over the next few days, he will probably run again at Huntingdon on Bank Holiday Monday, 29 May and let’s hope that he can go one better and win the race!

This great shot of Chappy winning at Huntingdon is courtesy of Steve Davies: www.sdphotos.co.uk.