The stables are in a dip at the track and it was like emerging into another world - all very sheltered and I believe we even saw the sun!
Luckily the horses both travelled very well Harry very grown up these days, and Gary is wise beyond his years. Toby and Harriet stayed at home to ride out, and caught us up at the track, coming with Robin in the car.
Harry was up first, and looked an absolute picture, rightly winning the BTO for Toby and Holly. £200 worth having, so thank you Weatherbys Hamilton who sponsored the race.
In many ways the race now seems to be a bit of a blur, the nerves were particularly bad, and even now having watched it a thousand times seems a bit of a dream? Harry and Charlie always handy in a furiously run race, and looking as one now, with Harry jumping like an old pro. As they turned for home it looked as if we would be third, but Harry had other ideas and kept battling alongside Teaforthree. There was nothing in it at the last, and they had an epic battle up the run in. I hope that not too many people were standing with us, as there would be a distinct possibility that they are now deaf!
Obviously Harry heard us and fought his way to the front, and once there was not going to be beaten. What an absolute STAR. A great ride from Charlie, and a great effort from all the team at home, we are all so thrilled to get such a talented horse back on track. Brilliant for owner Richard Whitehead who had never lost faith in the horse or the team. Huge congratulations to Richard, Faye and Lenny.
No time to rest on our Laurels after the race as the lovely Garrahalish was up next, in a very hot hurdle race. Only five runners but very good quality. Gary, who is the opposite of Harry in all the preliminaries and very quiet, also looking fantastic and another BTO for Toby and Holly.
As they jumped off Gary did not look at all quiet and pulled Charlie's arms out, until he got to the front half way down the back. His jumping was exemplary, and although outpaced off the turn, he stayed on really well, and was only beaten five and a half lengths. A lucky fourth as the leader fell at the last, but the Just4 Fun members very happy to be in the winners enclosure. A good solid run- just can't wait for this boy to go chasing.
They journey home was certainly a lot easier, and I was kept entertained by three very happy companions who sang (loudly) most of the way home.
A fantastic day was topped off with an excellent evening at The Stag at Redhill, who were very accommodating and fed about 16 of us at very short notice.Thank you again to Richard for a fun evening.
The Racing Post coverage disappointing, with all the talk about the runner up. Rather unfair in my view as although he is now favourite for the Grand National, we did beat him and that should be even more reason for Harry to get the glory! Not sure what we have to do for them to give us a decent write up, and they did not write a word about Thomas Crapper when he won at Cheltenham. Everyone says that they are biased towards the big trainers and so it would seem.
No runners on Sunday thank goodness - a day out with the eventers for a little light relief.
However, everyone still beaming this morning, which is great, a big winner always a huge lift for the team. Ben Poste in to ride out this morning and also Emily Hoare who came to help out as we are a man down with Kelly in Germany visiting her brother who is off to Afghanistan shortly.
No entries until Friday, when hopefully a few at Warwick. Rain please stay away!