The ten-year-old’s final outing on the monitor was ending a creditable fourth within the Grand Nationwide on 9 April this 12 months and he has transitioned shortly into his new job, ending thirteenth in a BE100 at Bovington with William on Saturday (15 October). William has excessive hopes for Santini, who’s owned by Richard and Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes.
“Regardless that Santini is 10, he has received time to grow to be a high horse, and he may very well be one by the point he’s 14 or 15,” stated William. “Take a look at this 12 months’s Burghley winner – she is 17 years outdated. I’m actually impressed by him and definitely, as he’s nonetheless inexperienced in eventing, if I evaluate him to my younger horses, he’s as good as what I’ve received.”
Throughout his profession beneath Guidelines, Santini clocked £490,388 in prize cash whereas educated by Nicky Henderson, for whom Santini completed second within the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup. He was latterly within the care of Polly Gundry, who educated him to complete second within the Grade Two Cotswold Chase in 2022 after which adopted this up with fourth within the Grand Nationwide, each beneath jockey Nick Scholfield.
“It’s a novelty to have a star on the yard – he has so many followers,” stated William. “He’s very particular.”
William defined that the Kelvin-Hughes determined Santini had given them loads throughout his racing days and didn’t need to ask any extra of him.
“His house owners didn’t need to carry on asking him to maintain racing, and Polly had all the time stated to me that he’s so naturally balanced and the way nicely suited to eventing he may very well be, so that they determined to offer it a go and he has been with me since July.
“Since I’ve had him, he appears to be discovering issues fairly simple and is getting on with it – he’s an excellent sport and fairly the scholar.”
Santini received his new profession off to a fantastic begin at Bovington, posting a really respectable dressage rating of 26.8, regardless of having a couple of excitable moments within the warm-up.
“He heard the commentary and had a bronc and mess around and so I needed to sit tight,” stated William. “However then I believed ‘Christ, this horse’s final outing was on the Grand Nationwide’, so for him to then tie as much as the lorry all through the day and chill out into it was fairly spectacular.
“He’s very educated on the flat and his work on this section goes to be good – his flatwork is unquestionably not going to be his limiting issue on the increased ranges and he already has some lateral work and his flying modifications sorted.”
William and Santini, who’s 17hh, then had two fences down within the showjumping, however William explains that the course had some brief distances, so at this stage of Santini’s coaching, it wasn’t a foul end result.
“Showjumping is Japanese to him, however he’s received a conscience and learns from his errors,” stated William. “His means to shorten is missing in the mean time – he’s an enormous, unfastened horse, however he’s not clumsy and he might have had extra down, so I used to be reassured by that. He will definitely leap clear rounds sooner or later, as a result of he needs to.”
Santini adopted up the primary two phases with a transparent cross-country leaping spherical, incurring simply 1.2 time-faults for ending three seconds over the optimum time.
“He was fairly a device to take a seat on throughout nation,” stated William. “I used to be going round for a pleasant, protected clear and he was solely simply over the time – often once I experience a protected, regular clear spherical, I get 10 to twenty time-faults – however he was all the time saying ‘let’s go’ and he was loving it.
“It was a extremely enjoyable day and he far exceeded my expectations as a first-timer.”
William hopes to get yet one more occasion in earlier than the tip of this season after which they will come out subsequent 12 months and begin to progress up the degrees.
“I’ll discuss to his house owners and Polly to make a correct plan, however all being nicely, he’ll progress shortly,” stated William. “He’s fun-loving and all the time on the go, now all he must do is take time to make use of extra mind and fewer forwardness.”
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