A big thank you to everyone at the yard and in racing who work extra hard in these harsh weather conditions to ensure that the horses come first - fed, watered, warm and exercised.
A great start to the week…….
We had five runners on soft going at Kelso on Sunday 14th which resulted in a fourth, a third and a valuable win. Kelso racecourse provided owners and trainers with a complimentary lunch which was very welcome. Thanks must also go to Ms Debs Thomson Ginger Beer for their sponsorship of the race won by Un Guet Apens.
In the feature Kristoffersen Carpets & Flooring Handicap Hurdle Charmant was sent off favourite with Conor O’Farrell on board. This was a step up in class and he ran a very good race to come fourth and was only beaten by 5 ¼ lengths. Jassas was prominent until two out but Brian Hughes reported that he was gurgling. He has now been taken by James to have his wind tidied up and will be more effective on better ground as he has a nice daisy cutting action.
In the other feature race the Children’s Immunology Trust Handicap Chase Un Guet Apens wearing blinkers for the first time was given a brilliant ride by Conor O’Farrell who kept him up with the pace throughout producing him in the final few strides to thrust his head in front of the well-fancied Romanex and win by a neck. This was a very brave effort and his second chase win this season. This was also a tribute to Phil Dyson and his veterinary team as well as those in the yard who have worked so hard to help him recover from serious colic surgery.
In the 3m Handicap Chase Ueueteotl was given a bold ride by Henry Brooke and responded well on ground softer than he would prefer by coming a good third.
At Ayr on Monday in extreme conditions we ran Green Tikkana in the Maiden Hurdle. She is a tough homebred mare - all heart - and stayed on well to snatch third on the line. This was a nice touch for a few of her new Craig Farm Syndicate owners who were able to get up to 50 to 1 in the morning. There was almost more of a cheer for third than the winner! She will now have a handicap mark and will appreciate some better ground and a step up in trip. Her jumping and aptitude has improved with each run and she is a nice prospect now for mares races.
Sky Full of Stars up two handicap bands from his win a fortnight back (0-110) was found wanting so will need to drop again into 0-100-105s to be competitive. Possibly the race came for him soon enough as well.
Both horses won BTO with Vanessa turning them out beautifully on both days and we were home just in time to beat the snow. Thankfully racing was abandoned on the Tuesday for the safety of all.
The Warwick Lodge team had a good fourth at Wolverhampton with Betancourt making his belated start on the flat. It was a decent novice event with Star Archer the class act and he was far from disgraced. Leahcar is declared on Friday at Newcastle with Tom Eaves.
We were very sad to hear of the death of Anne Grossick who with her husband John ran the equine photography business which covers nearly all of the racecourses in Scotland and the north of England and they also produce our excellent Racing Calendar.
Entries so far next week are at Newcastle, Wetherby and Catterick.