The Great Escape! A Flying Start to the New Year

Fitzdares generously sponsored two days racing at Musselburgh on New Year’s Day and again on Tuesday 3rd January.  So, it was particularly appropriate that Community Rebel won the 3 mile Maiden Hurdle on the 3rd January for the yard’s sponsors – Ftizdares!


Community Rebel at Musselburgh

Community Rebel following his win at Musselburgh

This followed an eye-catching win for Escapeandevade on the previous day at Ayr on his second start over fences in very testing conditions.

Escape notice Ayr

So, this was a great start to 2023 with plenty still to come.

We are delighted to welcome a new owner Raymond Cooper to the yard with his horse ‘Don’t Tell Allen’ and there will be a web page for him shortly.

We still have a very successful record with Best Turned Out awards

Heroique de Maulde                 Briony

Juge Et Parti                             Briony

Brayhill                                      Sarah

Lake Takapuna                          Chloe

Racing Round Up

Monday 26th December. Newcastle – going soft

Heroique de Maulde with Brian Hughes produced another good run in the 2 ½ mile Handicap Chase and was only beaten by 3 ½ lengths into third place.   He handled the ground well but will now have a wind op on Brian’s suggestion.

Heroique at Newcastle

Heroique de Maulde - winning bto for Briony

Thursday 29th December. Kelso – going heavy

Both Juge Et Parti and Brayhill were pulled up in their races on very testing ground so this was a disappointing day at Kelso.   Juge was in great fettle at home and no obvious issues have been found.

Brayhill was not right and has had bloods taken as well as trac wash and scope to determine the course of action.

Brayhill at Kelso

Brayhill with Danny McMenamin at Kelso

Thursday 29th December. Doncaster – going Good (Good to Soft in Places)

Conor Rabbitt  had a very difficult journey down to Doncaster as there was a three hour delay due to a crash and he only reached the course 45 minutes before the race which was not ideal...However, Fostered Phil ran well to come third in the 2 mile Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.  This was a smart race and he was slightly outpaced three out but then stayed on strongly towards the end.

Friday 30th December Haydock – Going soft

Ed Austin was on board Jim’s Apple in the competitive 2 mile Bumper and she ran another solid race to finish fifth and will be seen to better effect once she goes hurdling.

Jims Apple

Jim's Apple at Haydock

Monday 2nd January Ayr - Going heavy

Hapy La Vie (Ed Austin) jumped well in the 2 mile Maiden Hurdle but he is not finishing his races.  He scoped at the course clean and needs a handicap mark as soon as possible.

Brian Hughes understands Escapeandevade very well and they led from start to finish in the 2 mile Handicap Chase.  On only his second run over fences and with ears pricked, Escape relished the conditions and at the fourth last put in a spectacular leap before going away to win by 15 lengths.  This was an exciting performance carrying top weight in such heavy going. Racing Post commented ‘He has a likeable profile….so should hold his own in a better grade ’.  So we hope this is the case and are planning to keep him at 2 miles for the moment but in time he will stay further.

Escape at Ayr

 Escape after winning

The sun had set by the time Escapeandevade won his race with Brian Hughes

Tuesday 3rd January Musselburgh – Going soft

Ed Austin rode Community Rebel in the 3 mile Handicap Hurdle.  Wearing a hood, he was still very keen in the early stages but was given a great ride by Ed and produced to perfection to win by a neck.  This was particularly satisfying as Fitzdares sponsored the race and provided an exciting finish for the Craig Farm Syndicate.  There are shares available!

Community Rebel winning at Musselburgh

Community Rebel with Ed Austin winning at Musselburgh

Lake Takapuna (Danny McMenamin) ran in the 2 mile Handicap Chase and jumped really well but towards the end could not quite keep up and finished an honourable fourth.

Lake T

Lake Takapuna with Danny McMenamin at Mussleburgh.  Bto for Chloe

Next week we have entries coming up at Ayr and Doncaster.

Frost and Flooding
Upbeat for Christmas!
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