On Thursday, 29th August, we celebrated alongside our Cheltenham and South West Jockey Club syndicate members as Carolines Charm won the visit attheraces.com Novices' Chase at Fontwell.
Carolines Charm has certainly put his trainer, Neil Mulholland, through his paces this season. Having struggled with breathing difficulties early on in the 2018-19 Season, he underwent routine wind surgery at the end of last year and again in April. His first run back after surgery in April looked to be very promising as he finished a comfortable third at Ffos Las behind a very smart hurdler of Dan Skelton's that had won several before that race. However, on his next run at Uttoxeter amongst a larger field of runners, and slightly softer ground than would have been ideal, Carolines Charm appeared to be back to his old form of seemingly jumping and travelling comfortably for the majority of the race but struggling with his breathing when it came to 'the business end' and faltering at three fences from home.
Although clear he had his complications, Neil remained confident of our horse's ability if we could just get the right conditions for him to fulfil his potential. He suggested a change in tact at this stage by taking him novice chasing in a smaller field giving the horse more space and time to breathe and hopefully allowing him to build back his confidence as a result.
We couldn't have asked for this plan to go any smoother and Neil's patience more appropriately awarded than in the form of a winner on the first time of asking over the larger obstacles at Fontwell on Thursday 29th August in the visit attheraces.com Novices' Chase. Partnered by a new pilot Sam Twiston-Davies on this occasion, the pair seemed to be a perfect fit, flying round the course and really impressing in his jumping debut. Twiston-Davies sat patiently behind the favourite for the majority of the race, pulling clear after the last fence and running on to win convincingly.
He has since gone on to finish third in another novice chase at Worcester on Tuesday 10th September which was encouraging to see given it was a larger field on that occasion and despite a hefty hike in his handicap mark following the Fontwell win.
The plan for the foreseeable future is to continue his training whilst the ground stays good in the hope we might get a couple more runs out of him before the winter ground sets in and he can go off on a well-deserved break before returning in the early Spring all being well.
While we wait in anticipation to see where Carolines Charm will race next, you can still become a member of the Cheltenham & South West Syndicate today. Click here for more information. Membership includes your entry to all four days of The Festival™ presented by Magners in 2020.