Penpal defied the 375 days he has been off the track when readily coming away from the last to win by four and a half lengths at Newcastle on Tuesday afternoon.
Penpal had run 14 times for us since arriving from France in the autumn of 2021 without success, which had seen his mark drop from 125 to just 75, and in those 13 months since he was last seen, most importantly he has had wind surgery, which as we know now has proved to be very successful. I would suggest that on this performance it will be a major surprise if he doesn't win again next time.
Penpal was ridden by our very promising apprentice jockey Aiden Brookes, who has ridden 33 winners to date on the flat, but was riding for the very first time as a conditional jockey over jumps. He is obviously every bit as good over hurdles as he is on the flat, and the biggest compliment I can pay him, is to say that he looks like he has ridden over jumps all of his life.
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Congratulations to the connections, The Golden Cuckoo.