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Fit to win (28/09/09)

Kayf Tara mare Fit To Drive recorded her third win in fine style on 25 September when breaking the track record at Worcester in the two-mile handicap chase.

The Brendan Powell-trained seven-year-old was returning after a five-month lay-off through the summer, having completed the previous season with a novice chase victory at Exeter. That win was the culmination of a highly consistent run of form from Fit To Drive, who recorded her first win at Leicester last November and followed that up with three second-placed efforts in a row. She is now likely to step up to two-and-a-half miles when she heads to Cheltenham next month.

Fit To Drive was bred by former jockey Bill Smith, who owned and trained her dam Fit For Firing (by In Fijar), a seven-time winner over hurdles and fences. She has also produced Brendan Powell’s decent chaser Colonel Frank. Fit For Firing died the year after Fit To Drive was born.

With his first crop set to turn eight in January, we can expect to see many more of Kayf Tara’s offspring taking to fences this season. Another nicely bred gelding made his chasing debut over the weekend and he is surely one to watch in the coming months. Six-year-old Warcraft, who carries Gigginstown House Stud’s maroon and white colours made famous by Gold Cup winner War Of Attrition, is a son of Grimley Gale, the winner of ten hunter chases, including the Horse & Hound Cup at Stratford in 1999. He has already won over hurdles for Michael Hourigan and his first outing over the larger obstacles at Clonmel on Sunday resulted in a close-up third after a competent round of jumping.

On the flat, Bertolini’s daughter Uvinza continued her excellent run this season when beaten only a length and a half in the Listed Princess Royal Stakes at Ascot on Friday. Alison Ruggles’ homebred was third in the G2 Ribblesdale Stakes at the Royal meeting and also took third in the Listed Plantation Stud Stakes at Newmarket in July.

Bertolini remains among the top ten sires of two-year-olds this season with 17 individual juvenile winners in Europe.