Good to see temperatures rising and racing will hopefully have a clearer if perhaps wetter run now with plenty of fixtures over the festive period and a busy time for those keeping the show on the road, the record being 12 days racing consecutively from Boxing Day onwards.
We have just had the three runners this week at Ayr on Friday but what a day with a double and a third! Once again Steven Fox gave Charmant a lovely patient ride and produced him perfectly to win very easily despite an 8lb rise in the weights and another bto for Vanessa. Charmant holds a Boxing Day entry and depending on how he comes out of the Ayr race we may go for the hat trick.
In the Bumper we had two debutants with Sao Maxence under Conor O’Farrell staying on well in the mud to win for Jill Dodd. This was particularly rewarding as Max has been a very challenging character to cope with and it has taken all the team’s skill to get him to this stage so all credit to them.
Mrs Jill Dodd - Sao Maxence Owner
Bullion also ran a very good race after pulling hard early on to finish third for Ann Fraser and he too acted well on the going. He will benefit greatly from this run and is a lovely horse for the future.
Apart from Ayr on Friday it has been a quiet week for runners so we will have a look at the all-important mid-term statistics and summarise our last 12 months with highlights and points of interest.
Stats - currently 100% horses running to RPR form with 14 wins from 64 runners and if you had a £1 stake on every runner you would be an impressive £67.25 in pocket - one of the highest in the UK table.
2017 ROUND UP
Touch of Steel registered his 4th win for the stable at Catterick getting the New Year off to a good start with Lucy Alexander for Ann Fraser sponsored by Brown Shipley. Touch of Steel has now gone point to pointing and we hope he will have a good second career. Landmarque scores for the first time for the stable at Musselburgh.
Sky follows up at Catterick with Brian riding his 40th win for the stable. Ascot de Bruyere gives Brian Harding his last winner before retirement in an extraordinary race being the only finisher, so a nice prize pot for his owners The Steel Bonnets sponsored by Global Quantum. Calix Delafayette wins his Bumper in testing conditions at Ayr with a gutsy performance and our Multiplex colt foal was delivered by part owner Anita Thorburn on her birthday 11/3. The Wise One scores at Musselburgh rounding off a good month.
At Sedgefield, Civil Unrest registered his ninth career win with Steven Fox - I would imagine horses that stay in one stable for their whole career will generally have more successes as it takes some time to know everything about each individual. Cyril is an exceptional and robust individual who loves what he does, hates a holiday and is the complete professional who is as fresh and keen every day of the week no matter the company or even without. We always know the great Willie Cowe is with us when he runs.
Lycidas follows up a repeat ladies day win at Kelso with Lucy Alexander for Jim Gordon and head lad David Macleod leads him in.
Well-deserved holidays for all and it would be good to have a short break in the NH calendar also to allow everyone a chance to refresh and give some time to families. Gilmer wins well at Ayr for the Flat team. Yard is painted throughout with antibacterial anti fungus hospital grade paint.
Ange de Malbereaux scores at Cartmel and our Middleham based satellite yard licence is granted. Three wins so far for the Yorkshire team and all five horses will run over the festive period.
Civil scores again at Bangor with arguably a career best performance at the ripe age of 11 taking his tally to 10. Our personal goal is to achieve a win for every year of his life.
Owners’ parade 'best yet'. George Stanners on the microphone works his charms and a few horses sold on the day.
Durbanville wins at Carlisle and Betancourt at Sedgefield - a double for the satellite yard and owner Stef Keniry and Henry Brooke. It was also the return to form of Aristo du Plessis with Brian Hughes up scoring at Wetherby for Jill Dodd. Aristo was allowed time to recover from some back and joint treatments and given the utmost care by James and David.
Strike The Pose bolts up in the mares Bumper at Kelso with Rachel Macdonald for the successful Craig Farm Syndicate - membership available. She was bred by Lune and George Vergette. Un Guet Apens returns from life threatening colic surgery to score at Carlisle and Jassas wins at Newcastle - our first win with champion jockey Richard Johnson.
Aristo scores again back at Wetherby and Charmant wins at Sedgefield. A new potential future star is confirmed with Ettila de Sivola winning his Bumper at Doncaster.
Over the coming week we have entries at Newcastle, Wetherby, Sedgefield, Huntingdon and Catterick. We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and good racing in 2018.