As soon as one season ends another one begins!
Last season was very different and difficult on many levels. Covid made everyone’s life hard, and I don’t think any of us could ever have imagined a situation such as we have just lived through for 12 months.
Racing has to be commended for keeping the show on the road, and although closed door meetings were very alien to all connections, at least we were able to keep racing.
The racing community are to be totally praised for their diligent following of the rules, and respect for each other whilst at the races. Personally I have felt a lot safer racing than in Tesco’s, but things do now have to change especially whilst outside. Masks outdoors have to be questionable – eventing has zero mask rules whilst outside!
The relaxing of rules from next week will at last see Owners back in the parade ring and Spectators back on course, and a return to some sort of normality!
We will be starting our Saturday Open Mornings again in August all things being equal on the Covid front! Many of the soft ground horses are now out for their holidays. Nice to see them out & chilling, but they were looking slightly less than impressed last night in apocalyptic rain!
Our season was a pretty tough one all round. We reached a point with many of our old warriors that it was time for retirement, and happily all have found amazing new homes away from racing. It’s really pleasing to get back pictures and stories about how well they are doing after a change of career.
Bally Lagan, Some Finish, Lara Trot & The Lion Man are all doing a mixture of hunting, hacking & competing with some lovely new owners. All Is Goods’ new life started off on a slightly bumpier track, with the classic tale of someone wanting a thoroughbred but not really understanding what keeping one means. He came back to us but then found an amazing new owner just down the road & is now having a ball!
The youngsters coming through inevitably take time and consequently we have had a pretty quiet time on the winner’s front! Mr Palmtree took star honours, but then picked up an injury after his last run. Plenty of seconds which although great runs are SO frustrating!
The point to pointers did very well before Christmas before that stopped too!
The rain dances have worked and the going at courses is great for the horses so at least we are able to run a few through May who would normally be in the field by now.
Our first runner of the season was Cheer’s Delboy at Warwick. With the blinkers removed and back over hurdles, Del jumped much better and ran with much more enthusiasm to finish 5th. Having been off the course due to injury for a long time, it is always a concern that they might not come back but this run gives everybody encouragement for the future. Well done to Frankie with BTO.
Anti Cool (BTO for Frankie) went to Market Rasen and ran well for two thirds of the race before finishing 4th.
Ludlow on Sunday for Fitz Well over hurdles. A slowly run race where they were all close up entering the straight and FW got badly hampered on the bend, before running on to finish 6th. He has had a few issues and this was a big step in the right direction, FW is still a young horse who ultimately wants fences, but needs to gain confidence in himself, and will improve with experience.
Southwell on Monday evening with Twycross Warrior and Phoebus Lescribaa in the same race. Phoebus, very much the outsider of the two, and who we thought would need the race, having not run since October, ran an excellent race. Jumping the last in front, he looked as if he was going to hold on to win, but just got pipped on the line being beaten only ½ length into second. Twycross who finished second at Warwick, in his first race for over 400 days, last month also ran well again keeping on to finish 4th beaten only a head for 3rd.
Only four hurdles in the whole race (all the ones in the back straight omitted due to low sun!) certainly didn’t help Twycross, who will be heading for the larger obstacles shortly!
The grass is at last looking greener as the rain finally arrived, and at last it’s also warming up a bit making for much improved growing conditions!
Nothing now until Saturday with a couple of entries at Uttoxeter.