Nick Gifford is confident he has two decent prospects in Fly Number One and Rose Of Aghaboe after both won on their bumper debuts.
Rose Of Aghaboe sprang a 40-1 upset at Warwick on Friday, and then Fly Number One galloped resolutely up the Sandown hill two days later to score by six lengths first time out at odds of 10-1.
Gifford reports both have recovered well from their exertions.
“(They’re) grand, both good, delighted with them,” said the Findon trainer.
“For Fly Number One, it was horses for courses. He’s a big, raw three-mile chaser in the making.
“It was no coincidence he went to Sandown on heavy ground. That was very much the plan.
“It didn’t surprise me he won – I thought he’d run a nice race, because I knew he’d finish up the hill well and he was a five-year-old taking on four-year-olds. That year older does count for a lot.
“(Jockey) Leighton (Aspell) has always liked him, and he’s been a long-term project. In a nutshell, he was a year older and a year stronger, so he got up the hill better than the others.
“If it came up testing, we might run him at Ascot for that Listed bumper at their Christmas meeting.
“The track would suit him. If it wasn’t testing there, we would start popping him over hurdles.”
Gifford has a similar schedule in mind for Rose Of Aghaboe.
“That filly is all right,” he said
“She went off at a massive price. She ran in my wife’s colours – she wasn’t sold at Doncaster for £13,000. She just wants real soft ground.
“It wasn’t that soft at Warwick, so it surprised me a little bit, but she was a six-year-old taking on four and five-year-olds – and she’d had four runs in point-to-points.
“Time will tell how good that race was, but she is a cracking filly and is honest as the day is long. She will only improve on softer ground, and with a set of hurdles as well.
“She might run in the Listed mares bumper at Huntingdon on Peterborough Chase day. If it came up soft, we could have a crack at that. If not, we’ll go hurdling.”
Gifford’s bumper success continued at Lingfield on Tuesday when Northern Poet got off the mark on his racecourse bow.