Jim and Tom on course to smash their previous best – Horse Racing with Jason Hall

From their Grandstand Stables perched atop the old Lewes Racecourse, Jim and Tom Best have enjoyed an excellent summer jumping campaign leaving them on course to smash their previous highest winners total for a season.

And going into the winter months they believe they may well have found at least a couple of prospects that can help them make a winning impression around the top National Hunt tracks.

The brothers have already been busy at the sales and have further orders in for next week’s big Newmarket Sale where they hope to add some further quality to their string, which will be floating around 25-strong if things go according to plan.

Tom picked out their current flagship Ace Fighter Pilot as a four-year-old and is confident that we will now start to see the best of him.

“He frightened himself first time over fences and AP (McCoy) looked after him and then he went and won well,” he said.

“We’ve been taking our time with him.

“The family are late maturing and like a trip, he’s a half brother to Gunner Welburn.

“We’ve always thought of him as a three-mile chaser and would like to think from what we’ve seen he can become a decent horse in that type of event at some of the bigger venues.

“We’ll start him off again in a small novice and take it from there.

“This season or next we hope he has a good race in him.”

A new recruit to the yard is the four-year-old Red Orator who was a three-time winner on the flat for Mark Johnston and Jim expressed plenty of confidence in this one’s ability to win over hurdles this term.

“Red Orator has a really nice laid back character.

“We paid 44,000 guineas for him and his got some good flat form in the book. When he came to us he was quite jarred up, probably from the quick ground on the flat but he’s much better now.

“In the last couple of weeks he has really come to himself.

“I’d be very surprised if we couldn’t take him to some decent novice hurdle races this season.”

A front running type on the flat, Red Orator was rated in the eighties and has some very nice form in the book, including a good run close up behind the subsequent Ebor winner Tiger Cliff on unsuitable ground at Newmarket this year

Jim also spoke of more horses he felt had a future.

“Missile Man has been with us for a while and has been weak but has always shown us something and is starting to get there physically.

“In time he’ll win races and Generous Jack is another who has shown us enough to believe he has a good future.

“Don’t give up on Relentless, who knocked himself really quite badly at Newton Abbot and hasn’t even been able to canter since.

“He’ll be back after Christmas and has the ability to win juvenile hurdles.”

It’s certainly good to hear that another Sussex stable is going into the winter confident of the team in their care.