Ahead of an exciting weekend of action, it was wonderful to see the Overbury-bred Thyme Hill return in great style at Newbury to win the G2 Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle.

One of the outstanding novice hurdlers of last season, the 6-year-old Kayf Tara gelding won three consecutive races – the G2 Persian War, G2 Ballymore and G1 Challow – before going on to finish fourth behind Monkfish in the G1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Raced by The Englands and The Heywoods and trained by Philip Hobbs, Thyme Hill is a son of the Hernando mare Rosita Bay, who has a two-year-old colt by Dunaden, a yearling filly and a colt foal by Jack Hobbs and is now in foal to Frontiersman.

Friday’s action also included a first win under rules for Schiaparelli’s son Enry Iggins, who won over fences at Doncaster for Mark Walford. The six-year-old also is also the winner of a maiden point-to-point. 

Among Kayf Tara’s runners this weekend are Secret Investor in the G3 Ladbrokes Trophy Chase and Blaklion in the G3 Becher Chase, while A Great View and Whisperinthebreeze both line up at Navan.

Schiaparelli’s representatives include the consistent Whatmore in the Listed Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle on Saturday and Ronald Pump runs in the G1 Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse.