Delighted with Lemon T at Newcastle where he got his head in front for the first time in his second bumper run. A very genuine performance as he had to make the running and led from pillar to post, staying on strongly down the straight and running through the line. He may now go hurdling. Return Ticket ran a cracking race giving weight away all round. He jumped great and stayed on strongly bu was just pipped to the post. Aiden Blakemore gave him a lovely ride though I was less impressed with the 8lb rise by the handicapper – particularly as he only gave the winner 3lb.
Tomorrow Waiting Patiently runs at Aintree, a course we have always thought would suit him. The rain falling was a blessing for him and we are trying him in cheek pieces as he doesn’t always concentrate that well when he hits the front. They didn’t make him keen when we worked him in them which wasn’t the effect we were looking for so hopefully they will be beneficial in a finish.
We were pleased with Mega Yeats at Market Rasen. She set her own pace and jumped beautifully and although not visually impressive she won nicely. She may go to Cheltenham next on the 18th April for a race on the all mares card. Temple Man ran a nice race on his first completed start for nearly a year. He will probably stay hurdling now.
Next week we have Ryedale Racer at Hexham on Tuesday, Return Ticket and Lemon T at Newcastle on Thursday and Dubai Angel at Wetherby on Friday. All ground dependent but all in good form.
We thought Waiting Patiently ran a lovely race on what was only his second start since winning this last year. Obviously we didn’t learn anything in the King George regarding trip or anything so this was the logical choice. We probably would have took our chance back in trip at Newbury had it not been off. He dint look fully comfortable on the ground at times and we will (try) keep him on softer going where we can.
Mega Yeats ran a great race to finish third in a listed race on just her second start over hurdles. She will improve for the run and she should have learnt a little more about racing by running. She will now miss Cheltenham and we will look for another mares novice hurdle for her.
Black Ebony made his racecourse debut at Kelso and ran a really promising race. Beaten less then 4 lengths into seventh he has come out of the race well. For a horse that had never been away from home or through a show ring he was very professional all day and took everything in his stride. He will have learnt an awful lot from that experience and should he build on it he should pick up a bumper before he turns his attention to hurdling.
Thankfully we were not a yard that had to shutdown due to the flu crisis and as we had not had any direct contact with the yards which were affected. We did need to do some of the horses with a flu vaccination booster. It is difficult to tell if it has had much of an affect on the two we have ran since as both ran well in their respective races.
We had four runners at Carlisle – all making their seasonal or racecourse debuts. Tayzar has some good form in the book but is his own worst enemy as he can be very keen in his races. We decided to send him chasing as, usually, the sight of the big black fence makes them back off and they settle better. He was certainly more rideable and was running a cracking race until he stumbled on landing at the second last (upsides the winner) which cost him all chance. Still, bar that he jumped well and we were thrilled. He will be out again soon. Return Ticket didn’t justify second favouritism but we were not as disappointed as some as we are not sure the course would suit him and he took a blow after being keen early. He will come on for the run. Raecius Felix ran well after his pre-race antics and he will improve a lot for the experience. He raced behind the bridle but jumped well and was not fully tuned up as he is a touch hot headed. Mega Yeats was purchased following a point to point win and we were thrilled with her winning debut. We never intended to train her for a bumper but as the ground was too quick to school her we opted to aim her at that race for experience and a day out. She will now go hurdling.
Lemon T may make his racecourse debut at Ayr on Monday. The final foal from his dam he is related to bumper winners and does things nicely at home. Its a newcomers bumper so there is even less to go on but we like and he will come on for the run regardless of his finishing position.
Two runners tomorrow. Special Catch comes up first at Newcastle in the 2m 4f handicap chase. It is a trappy little race but he is in great form, the course should suit and we think he will be suited by how the race will be ran. Tony Kelly takes the ride. Master Of Finance is used to being turned out quickly and he reappears in the last race race at Aintree tomorrow. He will love a hot day as it would dry the ground out and we are hopeful of a good run.
Mount Mews ran very well in his first Grade 1 and was far from disgraced in a sprint finish. He had to switch around runners for a clear run as the leader kicked for home but he stayed on well down the straight. We would have loved a strongly ran race but you get what your given and we are proud of his efforts. It was equally pleasing to see Card Game run a cracking little race after a break and she galloped to the line despite being outpaced for much of the race. Hopefully we can find a winning opportunity for her soon.
Two runners tomorrow with Mount Mews up first at Aintree. Only beaten once in six starts he has steadily improved all season and was an emphatic winner last time. The race fell apart but he could not have been more convincing and he jumped and travelled well. Tomorrow poses a big step up in class and we hope he is good enough; he is well at home and has schooled well and we believe he will be suited by better ground in a true run race. Hopefully we are right! Card Game heads to Sedgefield for the race she won last year. Jamie rode her last year (though he claimed 5lbs not the 3lb he currently claims) and the ground was soft. She hasn’t ran as well as we hoped this year after a very good run first time out but she is a pound higher then when she took this race last year, is thriving at home and has schooled well. It is a trappy race with plenty of horses with chances but we would love to see her come back to form.
Having being delighted with Cloudy Dreams second in the Arkle at Cheltenham we came here with higher expectations and emotionally paid the price. On reflection he did most things well, though he took longer then expected to settle and as a result his jumping was interesting to watch over the first few fences. Been beaten a length in a Grade one is heartbreaking but we are very proud of him as he started the season as a handicapper and now looks a genuine Grade One horse. He may, if all is well, go to Ayr. We ended the day on a high after Double W’s ended a frustrating run involving a lot of seconds by winning the Red Rum handicap chase for owners who have been with us for years and deserve and enjoy a horse like him. We could not believe he failed to see the trip out at Cheltenham but he has learnt a lot this season and matured physically and mentally all year. He ability to stay a bit further then the two miles probably helped him today as they went a relentless gallop and he outstayed them to pass the post in first. It was the fasted race of the day!
Two runners tomorrow on the first day of Aintree’s Grand National Meeting. In the first race Cloudy Dream bids to follow up his cracking run at Cheltenham in the 2m 4F Manifesto Novices Chase. Like all Grade 1 chases it is a strong race with plenty of horses coming into it in form. On RP and official ratings he has a great chance and with his hurdle wins coming over 2m 3f you would not be overly worried about the trip. Double W’s drops back in trip having failed to stay the extra half mile at Cheltenham. We were surprised about this as he looked like he would so hopefully they will go a strong pace as he travels well and he will be galloping at the line.
La Dama De Hierro jumped very well today but she will be stepped up to 3 miles next time if on better ground. Spiculas was possibly a bit unlucky as the only mistake he made was at the final fence and it cost him some momentum. He was giving a bit of weight to a horse that arrived in great form so he may not have won but he would have been closer given he picked up again towards the line. The stiffer two miles seemed to suit him. Kick On Dottie made a pleasing start to her career. She was unbalanced down the hill but stayed on well once meeting rising ground and just got tired in the final furlong and a half. She will probably need a month.
Three runners tomorrow at Carlisle. La Dama De Hierro has steadily improved over fences and we hope for another step forward tomorrow. She ran better last time at this trip but that was on slower ground and she may find this trip and better ground a little to quick for her. On the plus side she hasn’t done as much racing as some of the others who may be coming to the end of their seasons. Spiculas has ran well on all three occasions he has run for us and he makes his chase debut tomorrow. He schools well at home and watching his races he should be suited by a stiffer two miles. He does need to learn to settle better but that will come with racing. Kick On Dottie makes her racecourse debut in the bumper. A compact, well put together mare she joined us just after Christmas from a pre-tarining yard and has been steadily improving each week. Like most of ours she will defiantly come on for the experience.
Master Of Finance runs at Wetherby tomorrow in the conditional jockeys novice hurdle. Jamie Hamilton takes the ride which should suit as he won on him at Ayr! It has more then one horse with a chance in it but he has ran well here before, seems fit and well and has schooled well.
Sun Cloud made a mistake early which put him out of the race and Brian sensibly pulled him up after allowing him to pop around for most of the race. He will now have a trip to the back man followed by a trip to Perth!