We were very lucky to get some winners in before Jack Frost halted play.
Aristo Du Plessis ridden by Craig Nichol makes it two for the week with another hurdle win at Wetherby last Saturday. He has now won a total nine races including a flat race in France with winnings of £93,446. What a great servant he’s been for the stable, his owner Jill Dodd and for head lad David Macleod who looks after the horse as if it is his own. David was there to lead him into the winner’s enclosure. Also another bto for Vanessa too who’s got almost as impressive a strike rate in turnout as Aristo has at winning! Jill will be running out of room for the trophies and wall space for all of the photographs soon with luck.
Satellite horses - great for the Middleham team to have another good result with Durbanville 3rd in the Totequadpot Handicap Hurdle at Wetherby ridden by Niall Madden and he will make up into a lovely staying chaser with plenty of scope.
We had a smooth journey down to Huntingdon with Strike The Pose who was the ultimate professional as we even managed a pit stop to see Aristo and then to load up on goodies from the best stable canteen at Wetherby. At 3am no frost or snow and things were looking good but by 6am we had a complete white out. Luckily we followed the snow ploughs up the A1 and got safely through and by Doncaster we had a clear snow free run back. Huntingdon racecourse were fantastic with their hospitality putting us up in the Holiday Inn which was very generous.
It was disappointing to lose all the racing this week particularly Newcastle on Thursday as Bering Upsun looked to have a good chance and three young horses in the Bumper will have to wait for another day. We are grateful that we have patient owners!
It was very good to see that Newcastle racecourse donated all the food from their abandoned meeting to People’s Kitchen who have launched #Food for Thought Campaign to help homeless and vulnerable people in the city at Christmas. What an excellent example for other racecourses to follow.
Weather conditions are looking to ease gradually and Musselburgh have put on an extra meeting as last week was cancelled. So over the coming week we have entries at Musselburgh and Catterick. Let’s hope that these meetings go ahead.
JER Christmas Calendars are now available for sale at £15 plus postage and packaging - please contact the office with orders.
Everyone working over the Christmas period in racing deserves massive respect in often difficult weather conditions just to keep the show on the road for the Racing public on Boxing Day. We owe them a great debt of gratitude.