CHELTENHAM’S Paddy Power Gold Cup meeting heralds the start of the jumps season “proper” for some, and it is true that significant performances are now coming thicker and faster. I will look at the events there separately as hurdles/bumpers and chases, but whichever code was involved the ground started off on the soft side of good to soft on Friday and ended up heavy on Sunday.

The highlight of Friday’s hurdling action was the Grade 2 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle win of Does He Know, worth 136 on time but 143 on sectionals (102% finishing speed shows this was somewhat steadily run), which places him high up in a novice hurdling division that is likely to strengthen significantly hereafter.