Charlie Longsdon has hit the ground running in September and advertised the well-being of his string today with a double at Fontwell Park. The days are quietly counting down to the opening big weekend of Jumps action at Chepstow over October 8-9, whence Saturday fixtures begin to take higher presence in media and the public eye.
A wet Fontwell Tuesday won't change that exposure overnight, but there was plenty to like about the way Glimpse of Gala and Midnight Jewel won their races. Glimpse of Gala in the starsports.com Mares Novices Hurdle led two outr and was always in conttrol of the race, whilst Midnight Jewel won his modest handicap hurdle comfortably off a low weight suggesting there may be improvement to come.
Compare the values of this modest albeit weekend fare with the opening steeplechase action at Belmont Park next Thursday, when the feature event will be the Grade I $150,000 Lonesome Glory Hurdle over 2m4f. The feature is supported by a firther $75,000 Steeplechase.
Small wonder therefore that several English and Irish riders have been enjoying summer sport stateside rather than in Blighty. Tom Garner will ride Bodes Well for trainer Leslie Young in the Lonesome Glory, which Richie Condon will take the mount on favourite The Mean Queen, trained by Keri Brion. Keen memories will recall Keri spent the winter building a presence in Ireland, and enjoyed a winner at Wexford for her troubles.
Whilst the US season is approached its core months this and next month, it's a wonder more trainers and riders aren't exploring the USA. The current trend has been to grow on to the Continent, but one can't help asking if it's the wrong one.