We are delighted that our Head Lad David Macleod has been shortlisted for the prestigious Godolphin stable staff awards in the Dedication to Racing category. This is so well deserved and we keep our fingers crossed that he is successful. Cheviot Vets very kindly are arranging a breakfast for all the staff as a thank you for the yard’s custom over the last year and Dodson and Horrell came in with chocolates for everyone which were much appreciated. It must be Christmas!
At Sedgefield on Friday 7th December we had two runners. Ettila de Sivola ran an excellent race in the Maiden Hurdle. Under Brian Hughes he jumped off in a good position which he held throughout the race and pulled away impressively coming down the hill to win by 11 lengths. This was his first attempt over hurdles and he jumped well and was thoroughly professional throughout the day. We will go very carefully with him as he is a lovely big horse and his future next year will be over fences.
Ettila at Sedgefield
Cellar Vie (bto) ridden by Steven Fox ran in the Bumper and this second run was a much improved effort from his first in what looked like a decent race. He led for most of the race but in the closing stages was just outpaced by the front two to finish third by 16 ¾ lengths. He has come of his race really well and will be running again in the near future.
There were smiles all round at Wetherby on Saturday 8th December when Aristo du Plessis returned to his winning ways in the 2 mile Handicap Hurdle for Jill and John Dodd. David Macleod does not go racing very often but it was a measure of the high regard in which he holds Aristo that he was there! The horse was excited in the paddock and looked fantastic. With Lucy Alexander up, he bounced out and travelled well. He was a little ponderous over the first few hurdles but then quickly resumed his slick jumping and was extremely gutsy when headed in the home straight to battle back and win by 1 ¼ lengths. It was a pleasure to see him so happy again over hurdles and this was a remarkable recovery from a fractured pedal bone. Aristo has now won 10 races and over £100,000.
Aristo with Lucy Alexander at Wetherby
David Macleod with Aristo and Lucy Alexander up
Feetronie de Kervi (Danny McMenamin) had her first run in the Junior Fillies Bumper but unfortunately by then the conditions had deteriorated considerably and she could not act at all on the going. However, she was very calm throughout the day and enjoyed the experience and has come out of the race well. She is still growing and is a filly for the future and will be suited by better ground.
Kelso was next on Sunday 9th December where Ascot de Bruyere ran with great credit in the high profile Scottish Borders National Handicap Chase over four miles to finish sixth but was only beaten 11 lengths by some doughty stayers. He looked very well and was on his toes in paddock. Lucy Alexander gave him a fine ride and on the whole his jumping was excellent before he pecked badly two out which was at a critical point in the race. After that he tired which cost him a couple of places but the race showed that he would be suited by staying chases on a flat galloping track such as Haydock.
Empire de Maulde (Brian Hughes) is a great big horse who found two miles round Kelso in the 2 mile Handicap Hurdle all a bit too quick. He is a chaser in the making and we will just need to be patient with him. He won bto and looked fantastic in the paddock.
On Monday 10th December we were again at Musselburgh with Civil Unrest. Reverting back to 2 miles in the Handicap Chase he travelled very well for the first part of the race with Steven Fox riding. He then became a little outpaced in the mid- section but battled on again gamely at the end and only miss out on being third by a nose and beaten overall by 14 lengths. This race probably came too quickly for him after his last one and he will now have his customary Christmas break. He has been wonderfully consistent this season and we look forward to bringing him back again to Musselburgh in February or March 2019.
Coming up we have entries at Catterick and Hexham and we wish you all a Very Happy Christmas and a successful New Year.