THE LIQUIDATOR; This Overbury gelding started his career with a narrow defeat to Clondaw Kaempfer in a decent Fairyhouse bumper. Soon after he went through the ring for 100,000, not a bad return for connections who paid 7,500 for him. He joined the David Pipe team and on his yard debut he found one too good for him in a Cheltenham bumper in the form of the ill fated Anonis. He then went to Exeter and found the bottomless ground very much to his liking as he finished 24 lengths ahead of Turoyal. That effort was good enough for connections to send him to Cheltenham for the Festival bumper where he ran a cracking fourth in ground that was plenty fast enough for him. His year long season finished with a grade one win at the Punchestown Festival beating Gilt Shadow by 2.3/4lengths in perfect soft ground. He had five runs so obviously even at this early stage he stands his racing well enough. He does go on any ground but certainly his best efforts to date have come with plenty of give. I think he will make up into a very classy hurdler this year and if we had a Cheltenham where the ground came up soft he would be a force to be reckoned with. He is fancy prices, 33-1 & 40-1, for all the championship novice races and it is too early to guess which way he might go but I will be monitoring his progress very closely. PENDRA; I saw this boy in the flesh very recently and he really is a fine looking individual. He started his career with a very impressive win in a Huntingdon bumper by eight lengths from Beckhani before winning back to back novice hurdles at Plumpton quite cosily. He was stepped up in grade for his next run at Sandown and suffered his first defeat at the hands of the the classy Melodic Rendezvous. This performance was enough to convince JP McManus to open his chequebook and write a lot of numbers. He then went to the Festival and duly went off 6-1 favourite for the Coral Cup. This was the first time AP McCoy had ridden the horse in public and I think even the great man himself would admit that he got this one shockingly wrong. Whatever he did over hurdles though was always only going to be a bonus and he now embarks on what is going to be a very exciting novice chasing season. He has all the attributes to be top class over fences and is a must for anyones list of young chasers to follow. VIVA COLONIA; Was pulled up in the Grand Annual but he was badly hampered early on. He did well to get back into contention and was going well when getting the second last all wrong. That was only his fourth outing over fences but is obviously highly thought of. Prior to Cheltenham he had won twice at Musselburgh and obviously has a liking for that particularly tight track. I think there is a lot more to come over the larger obstacles. I think he will be capable of winning a decent handicap this season over 2m4f to 2m6f and I am sure his astute handler can place him to good effect. MAGNIFIQUE ETOILE; Has some very good animals in his formline. He was a slow starter but finally got off the mark when winning a Market Rasen bumper by twenty two lengths. He followed that up by winning a Stratford maiden hurdle by 13 lengths and then defying a penalty to win a Stratford novice by 12 lengths. The run came to an end at Sandown in the Tolworth where he was readily beaten by Captain Conan. He then went to the Festival where he picked up an injury in the County hurdle. The injury kept him out of training until this spring but the yard decided not to rush him back and he was given the Summer off. He has been back in training for a few weeks now and looks as good as ever. He really has matured nicely and the absence could be a blessing in disguise. The handicapper has kindly dropped him, about 6lbs I think, and he is being aimed at a decent but highly winnable handicap hurdle at Fakenham in October. The yard won the race last year and are likely to follow up with this fella before he goes on to much better things! GONE TOO FAR; Itâs always interesting to see the UK based McManus horses that are not trained at Jackdaws Castle and you wonder what the rationale is for sending them to the different trainers, This one is with Alan King so you would expect him to win his share of hurdle races. Thus far he has had just the two runs in bumpers and those two efforts surely signal a lot more to come. On his debut at Newbury he was beaten by a very nice sort in Oscar Rock who went on to win a Class 1 Newbury bumper on his next run. Oscar Rock did have the benefit of a previous run that day and won by a cosy length. He then went to Kempton where he won with something in hand from a very nice sort in Hannibal The Great. The third that day, SWALLOWHIDE, is also one for the notebook. He will surely now go hurdling and I can see him being right up there with the very best novice hurdlers.