O LA LA, Somnus showed the French the way again to land his second Group 1 race this year over the Channel, in the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp on Saturday.

Tim Easterby's runner had given American rider Gary Stevens his only Group 1 success last August, in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville, but this time was partnered by ace Irishman Michael Kinane.

The trainer admitted afterwards his knees were still shaking and called his charge a real star. The jockey added: "Things went to plan and he picked up nicely off a race with loads of pace." Lady Caroline Legard, the colt's breeder, said he would soon be home at her Scampton Stud for his holiday and co-owner Roger Sidebottom said: "he finished like a rocket."

The Great Habton handler also won at York with Go Tech and at Ayr with Paris Bell, bred by father Peter Easterby.

Jedd O'Keeffe, who has been quiet of late, came good with a whammy on Monday, landing the last at Leicester with Snow Bunting and the first at Ayr with Habitual Dance. At the Scots course, Nigel Tinkler sent out a one-two when wife Kim partnered Westborough to beat Sir Loin (Tony Culhane).

Ayr's Tuesday card saw a Mark Johnston double, courtesy of Kevin Darley on King's Account and Winged D'Argent, and two riding wins from Robert Winston, the second for Alan Swinbank on rally driver Colin Macrae's Ouninpohja, running in the delightful name of Am No Havin That.

Keith Reveley, who had his first jumps double last week, did the same on the flat at Newcastle on Sunday, landing two thanks to Dale Gibson and Tom Eaves. At Wetherby Racecourse on Wednesday, the opening meeting, his mother Mary was there to receive a special presentation from chairman John Sanderson and to welcome her son's charge Hernando's Way, a repeat winner in the opener.

John Sanderson used the meeting to launch the Wetherby Trainers' Challenge, with prizes for the trainer who amasses most points this season (£6,000), for the small trainer (£2,000) and for the staff in each case (£1,000 each). But it was the surprise news that the course was considering adding a flat track which caught our attention.

The widening of the A1 and upgrade to motorway standard at the edge of the course will mean realignment in any case, and Mr Sanderson said with some 300 acres of land, there was potential for flat racing as well as the traditional jumping. Certainly, the course is well placed for access, has ever been friendly and informal and enjoys good jumps meetings winter and summer alike.

Racing Week suggests that the course should go the whole hog and add a turf and an all-weather track - preferably Polytrack. Wolverhampton's new surface is attracting good runners - look at Bond City and Blythe Spirit, two of our winners there this week.

Jumping is winding up nicely now, and Malcolm Jefferson is enjoying a welcome return to form, with a Carlisle double last Friday, which he hoped was "a good sign", following up with another at Uttoxeter. James Hetherton, too, has come good of late, with wins at Bangor and Uttoxeter.

Richard Guest, too, has had a quieter time than usual, but looks set fair for the winter, with wins at Carlisle and Bangor. Micky Hammond sent out Manbow to another win at Wetherby, Graham Lee adding to his riding lustre. Howard Johnson and Alan Dempsey took the novices' handicap hurdle with Kingburn.

Ferdy Murphy's West Witton string has yet to hit its usual consistency, but Luzcadou ran a brave race in the Czech cross-country marathon that is the Velka Pardubicka on Sunday. Paul Moloney's mount went well until refusing at the sixth last fence. Only seven completed and no British or Irish raider was involved in the finish. Better luck in Cheltenham's cross-country events.

Lord Bolton's jockey son, Ben Orde-Powlett, pulled off a remarkable spectacular 40-1 win on Pikestaff at Hexham on Saturday for Cumbrian trainer M Barnes, the Wensleydale lad pushing the previously hopeless animal to a 21-length win.


Thurs last week. - Wolverhampton AW: Bond City (trained by Bryan Smart, at Hambleton; owned by R C Bond), ridden by Fergal Lynch; Blythe Spirit (Richard Fahey, Musley Bank; The Matthewsmen Partnership), Kieren Fallon.

Fri. - York: Go Tech (Tim Easterby, Great Habton; Ryedale Partners No 4), David Allan; Mafaheem (Mark Johnston, Middleham; Hamdan Al Maktoum), Richard Hills; Playful Dane (Scott Cunningham, Hutton Rudby; Ann & David Bell), Daniel Tudhope (claiming 5lbs allowance).

Carlisle NH: Gatorade (Richard Guest, Brancepeth; Richard Guest Racing Club), Henry Oliver; Stamparland Hill (Malcolm Jefferson, Norton; J R Salter), Vinnie Keane; Vital Spark (Malcolm Jefferson; Ashleybank Investments Ltd), M Seston (7).

Sat. - Warwick: Zhitomir (Michael Dods, Piercebridge; trainer), Shane Kelly; Joyce's Choice (John Wainwright, Kennythorpe; Mrs Jean Neilson), P Mathers (5).

Bangor NH: Bill's Echo (Richard Guest; Burns Partnership), L McGrath (3); Qualitair Pleasure (James Hetherton, Malton; Qualitair Holdings Ltd), L Vickers (3).

Sun. - Longchamp: Somnus (Tim Easterby; Hb, (homebred by owner or connections) Legard Sidebottom & Sykes), Michael Kinane.

Newcastle: Azaham (Keith Reveley, Lingdale; J Stevenson), Dale Gibson; Hows That (Karl Burke, Wensley; D Wigglesworth & J Harthen), Darren Williams (no bid after); Into The Shadows (Keith Reveley; Hb, R C Mayall), Tom Eaves (3); Tedsdale Mac (Neville Bycroft, Brandsby, bred by trainer; Barrie Abbott), Philip Maken (5).

Mon. - Leicester: Snow Bunting (Jedd O'Keeffe, Coverham; W R B Racing 49 (Wrbracing.com), T Block (3).

Ayr: Habitual Dancer (Jedd O'Keeffe; The County Stayers), Paul Hanagan; Paris Bell (Tim Easterby; Ryedale Partners No 8), P Quinn; Westboroough (Nigel Tinkler, Langton; Mr Venning, Mr Parks & Mr Raybould), Kim Tinkler; Aritistic Style (Brian Ellison, Norton; Mr & Mrs D A Gamble), T Eaves (3).

Tues. - Ayr: King's Account (Mark Johnston, Middleham; Brian Yeardley Continental Ltd), Kevin Darley; Ouninpohja (Alan Swinbank, Melsonby; Am No Havin That), Robert Winston; Winged D'Argent (Mark Johnston; Hb, Daniel A Couper), Kevin Darley; Northern Games (Kevin Ryan, Hambleton; Hb, R E Robinson), Neil Callan.

Wed. - Uttoxeter NH: Diamond Joshua (James Hetherton; Diamond Racing Ltd), Anthony Evans; Honest Endeavour (Malcolm Jefferson; Warren Butterworth & Terry Pryke), F King (3).

Wetherby NH: Hernando's Boy (Keith Reveley; Crack of Dawn Partnership), Richard McGrath; Manbow (Micky Hammond, Middleham; Hope Springs Eternal), Graham Lee; Kinburn (Howard Johnson, Crook; W M G Black), Alan Dempsey.