It was marvellous to have two more winners in the last couple of weeks. Juge Et Parti braved the stamina sapping conditions at Hexham and was so gutsy to win the 2m 4f Handicap Hurdle on Wednesday 13th December.
Then Brayhill followed up ten days later with a brilliant win at Newcastle in the 2m 4f Handicap Chase.
This winter we have been beset by a continuous stream of Easterly gales and Storm Gerrit took its toll on Wetherby with the meeting being abandoned on Wednesday 27th December. Escapeandevade was due to run there but luckily the horse had only just left the yard when word came through of the cancellation, so no harm done and no floods or fallen trees to negotiate!
However, we have been lucky with not too many disruptions affecting our runners and the horses are all performing well.
Juge Et Parti seems to enjoy himself round Hexham where he had come second on his first outing this season. He returned there on Wednesday 13th December again with Danny McMenamin on board. He travelled well throughout the race but a slight mistake two out did not help his cause. However, he soon rallied and flew up the home straight and held on so bravely in the mud to win by a head and also won BTO for Leah. This was a very game performance at 10 years old and it is heartwarming to see him running so well again.
Happy owners with Juge Et Parti, James and Leah at Hexham
Leah with Juge Et Parti in the Paddock at Hexham
Jack Checking the Going at Hexham - with a Little Help from his Father!
Hashtag Lord (Brian Hughes) ran at Newcastle in a hurdle race on Thursday 14th December where he travelled well for a long way and he will revert to chasing next time. Alltheroadrunning (Danny McMenamin) had her first run under rules at Carlisle on Sunday 17th December. It would seem she would enjoy more cut in the ground and a flat galloping track.
Alltheroadrunning Leaving the Stables at Newcastle
On Wednesday 20th December, Leitrim Chief made a cracking return with Danny McMenamin in the 2m Novices’ Hurdle. His last race was in March 2022 and again he jumped superbly and was right up there until the very end and finished fourth. This was a very encouraging performance after such a long lay-off.
Brayhill with Brian Hughes and Lemoine with Robbie Dunne were at Newcastle on Saturday 23rd December. Both horses won BTO for Chloe and sported a bows on their plaited tails in the Fitzdares colours with tinsel!
Lemoine was having his first run over hurdles in the 2m Novices’ Hurdle and jumping well, he made good progress going to the last but unfortunately made a slight mistake here and finished fifth. This was a very good start and he would have been much closer had he winged the last!
Brayhill is very talented and has a great will to win but we have to campaign him carefully. This was his first appearance for a year in the 2m 4f Handicap Chase – the feature race of the day - and he was given a brilliant ride by Brian. Jumping boldly, he hugged the rail until briefly outpaced four out when Brian pulled him out wide and he rallied strongly to win by 1 ½ lengths. James was concerned that the going might be a bit quick, but it turned out to be a great training performance and a tribute to Vanda who rides him now that David has retired. Also, thanks must go to Amanda Hudspith who came in the next day to give Brayhill his saltwater therapy and also again on Christmas Day which goes beyond the call of duty! We are so lucky to have these dedicated people to help us.
Brayhill and Brian Hughes Winning at Newcastle
Ed Austin rode Beat Box at Wetherby on Boxing Day in the 2m Handicap Hurdle. They went off at a furious pace and for most of the race Beat Box was very much on the back foot and had a huge amount of ground to catch up. However, he was starting to make headway when he was hampered three out but kept going bravely to finish third. This was a very bold performance to come from so far back and get in the frame.
Weather permitting, we have entries coming up at Musselburgh and Ayr.
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