A triple winner on the All-Weather last year, Estrela Star is lightly-raced on turf and off the back of a good effort on his previous start, he returned to winning ways at Newbury yesterday under a really good ride from Sophie Smith.
He travelled with plenty of enthusiasm behind the leaders, but he came off the bridle a little earlier than several of his rivals and Sophie did well to negotiate a passage near the far rail, hitting the front before the furlong pole and keeping on really strongly to score for the fourth time.
He holds an entry at Beverley next Tuesday and all being well, he is likely to head there under a penalty. It was great to see him bounce back and congratulations to Sophie on her ninth career success!
Renardeau has been a real star for us in recent seasons, winning four times and placing on a further eight occasions on the flat, and he made his second start over hurdles a winning one with a game success at Worcester yesterday under James Bowen.
The son of Foxwedge had run well at Stratford in June and duly took a step forward yesterday, doing really well to reel in the front pair approaching the last hurdle and producing a fine finishing kick to get the better of the odds-on favourite.
He has always schooled well at home and I'm delighted that his owner Laurence Bellman gave us the green light to give hurdling a go - particularly as it meant we could provide Laurence with a first ever National Hunt winner in his colours!
We'll most likely look for a novice hurdle under a penalty next time before then switching to handicap company and hopefully there is plenty of improvement to come in this sphere.