Cheltenham over for another year - hard to believe its come and gone again.
A great week, marred by events on the last day. A sad end to what had been some amazing racing, and personally I think that the new layout of the track works well & does make it feel less crowded outside (looked pretty standard crush inside!) Great to catch up with lots of friends and some that we hadn't seen since last year!
No runners for us sadly. Thomas Crapper was entered but balloted out - which actually was a good thing as the ground was far too soft for him.
Kaddys Dream (Shaw Racing) and Belles Spirit (The Happy Horse partners) both headed off to Huntingdon on Wednesday, Bellles Spirit for another quiet run, and ran OK. Kaddys Dream came there looking all over the winner turning in, but then didn't really see it out. Jack thought he may have just got there too soon, but she may just want better ground. Chasing is the long term aim for her but no point in risking her novice status at this time of year.
One whose novice status has happily long gone this season is Vocaliser, who has been a model of consistency this year. He headed to Kempton on Saturday for a big step up in class, but answered every question asked of him to win tidily for The Songsters. He travelled and jumped really well and quickened up well turning in to win by a couple of lengths going away. Great ride from Charlie, and very good performance from Vocaliser for a very enthusiastic group of owners.
Ten minutes before Vocalisers race, Tara Well gave it her best shot to give us an across the card double on ITV, when running a brave race to be second under James at Uttoxeter. Ridden patiently she came there travelling well into the straight but just came up against one on the day! She beat the third horse by 16 lengths so hard not to be anything but pleased with her on a really filthy freezing cold day. They went to post in a blizzard and she had to have snow drifts brushed out of her cheek pieces at the start! Nice to see her number one fan (after her owners!) Ruth Lancaster there to cheer her on, and interesting to see some of the outfits on show on Paddys day! All I can say is that they must have been very cold!
Thomas Crapper was next up and travelled Ok for a good way, but he has always loathed the snow (won't go out of the yard in it at home) and was not at all happy in it during the race - he didn't really get home and we will be having another look at his wind, as well as waiting for some better ground before hes out again. (as well as a non blizzard day!)
All the runners home safely and sound - always the best relief however they have run.
More of the white stuff over the weekend - and we woke up to drifts and a hurricane blowing on Sunday. Happily everyone back safely from racing as it would have been a bit of a mission coming up the drive had they been 12 hours later!
Yesterday not much better, the wind was literally roaring around the yard. Better today though a the sun out and drifts thawing - please go away winter!
Just a couple of entries at Ludlow on Wednesday,this week, hopefully everything drying up a bit for a while.