It’s not often you expect to get caned in the Grand National, but Tiger Roll was a terrible result for us.
We laid him heavily ante-post after his Cross Country win at Cheltenham and then took an aggressive position against him on the day at Liverpool. We though he was a little on the small side to really contend with the big Aintree fences.
Needless to say, the race-room was a very quiet place as he passed the post in front – just – from a fast-finishing Pleasant Company under David Mullins.
What rubbed salt into the wound, was that Pleasant Company, was one that we really fancied and were keeping onside.
While the Gordon Elliott-trained runner was our worst result of the year, that horse started the season as a race-room favourite.
His win in the Cross Country Chase was a tremendous results for us, as we had been ducking him in the run up to the Festival, before taking an even more aggressive position on the day in combination with taking on the strong favourite, Cause Of Causes.
Little did we know that the strong love for Tiger Roll in the race-room would not even last a month.
We also got our wires crossed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup a month earlier. We were very much against Native River, who was coming into the race off the back of just one run last season but ended up being a really impressive winner.
One National that did go our way was the Scottish version at Ayr.
Mainly due to our colleague Niall O’Reilly, we were extremely keen on the chances of 33/1 outsider Joe Farrell, while taking on plenty at the head of the market.
In a desperate finish Joe Farrrell just hung on from Ballyoptic. Niall has just about stopped celebrating, but make no mistake it was a very significant result for the trading team.
With those mixed results at the end of the jumps season, we needed a few solid results on the Flat.
Luckily we got our mojo back at Royal Ascot. The highlight undoubtedly being the Prince Of Wales Stakes where we took a really aggressive position against Cracksman, while keeping Poet’s Word onside. The result could not have been any better for us.
Later in the season, we were quite keen on Latrobe in the Irish Derby at a huge price and were against Saxon Warrior. The result confirmed our opinion and the result was one of our highlights of the year.
On the International front, we took a strong position against Sea Of Class, while keeping Enable firmly onside in the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe went.
That final furlong seemed to last for an eternity but Enable just about hung on and the race-room breathed a huge sigh of relief.
And while the Christmas Festivals saw a few supposed ‘good things’ turned over, we know heading into Cheltenham and Aintree this year that there’s always the potential sting in-the-tail to upset the best-laid plans.