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THIS WEEK A very Happy New Year to you all!  And what a way to round off a brilliant 2016, with success for the Racing Club at Taunton with their new recruit Peal of Bells and a couple more nice placings too... So with our next tilt at a Grade 1 coming up this weekend we're looking forward to the year ahead... REPORTS Peal of Bells got her Racing Club career off to the best possible start, with a gutsy win at Taunton on Friday.  There was lots of jostling for position early and Peal found herself further back than ideal.  She jumped very slickly throughout the contest and when Gavin asked her to make her move down the back straight, she came to life.  She turned into the home straight in 5th, but stayed on strongly to catch the long-time leader in the dying strides to record her first victory.   It was a cracking run and there is more to come from her. 15825773_1642682382415960_8612698079524835738_n Regal Gait put in an improved display to finish 5th in a competitive juvenile contest at Newbury on Saturday.  He jumped and travelled very well for the majority of the contest, but when the pace lifted in the home straight he couldn’t pick up with the leaders, eventually staying on for 5th.  The ground on the day was quite testing and the form looks strong, so we look forward to getting him back on a sounder surface. Fourovakind improved on his second start of the season with an eye-catching 3rd at Exeter on Sunday.  He travelled very sweetly throughout the race under jockey James Nixon and put in an excellent jumping display.  He was going as well as anything turning for home but lacked the gear change over this trip to go with eventual winner Umberto D’Olivate.  This was a cracking run over a trip that’s on the sharp side for him.  This run will hopefully put him spot on for another tilt at the Devon National next. Cristal de Sienne finished 5th on his 2nd start of the season at the same meeting.  He ran a blinder at Newbury on debut in November but couldn’t reproduce that performance here on ground that became very testing.  He travelled well for 2/3rds of the contest but when the race developed he couldn’t pick up on the ground.  We will now wait for some better ground for him. Ruby Yeats produced an improved performance to finish 2nd at Hereford on Wednesday.  She didn’t travel early on but after one reminder from James, she moved stylishly into contention.  The field started to thin out coming to 2 out and Ruby emerged as the main challenger to long-time leader Verdana Blue.  She made a bad mistake at the 2nd last though and couldn’t get on terms, eventually going down by just 3 lengths.  This was another step in the right direction and there is definitely more to come from her. ENTRIES Charlemar is set to take his chance in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown tomorrow.  He couldn’t have been more impressive on his 2 starts for the yard so far and has earned a step up to graded class.  It will clearly be his toughest assignment to date, the race is full of quality so it should give us a good idea of where he stands amongst the English trained novices.  He is in excellent form at home and we can’t wait to see him out on the track again. Wychwoods Brook is set to take his chance in the Veterans Series Final at the same meeting tomorrow.  He ran well for a long way at Kelso on yard debut and in doing so qualified for this race.  He has fallen down to a workable handicap mark and goes into this very competitive contest in great form.  The ground can’t be soft enough so we hope the rain materialises.  It is clearly a very competitive and lucrative contest but a clear round should see him in the mix. Affaire D’Honneur holds 3 entries over the weekend, two novice races and one handicap.  He has been freshened up since Haydock and goes into the weekend in excellent form.  He hasn’t yet showed his form of last season, but he is a talented horse and remains on an attractive handicap mark of 126.  Hopefully this weekend will give him a confidence boost and get him heading back in the right direction. Limonata is set to have her next start at Wolverhampton on Monday.  She drops in class into a 0-60 and will try a visor for the first time.  She was disappointing on her last start at Lingfield but if she can reproduce her previous run at Wolverhampton she would be very competitive.  Martin Harley rides. Tutchec is set to have his next start at Hereford on Wednesday.  He ran well on his last start at Southwell and is slowly creeping his way back into form.  He was beaten 11 lengths and if the field had gone a bit quicker he may well have played a part in the finish.  The handicapper has dropped him another 5lbs for the run and he’s been out hunting over the festive period which he seemed to really enjoy.  Hereford should suit him better than Southwell, hopefully he will take another step forward and get very competitive. Sunday Royal is set to have his next start at Leicester on Thursday.  He ran very well at the track on his penultimate start, but things didn’t go as smoothly at Taunton last time.  That Leicester form has worked out well and a reproduction of that run would see him right in the frame. img_3458 Until next week...