Apologies for a lack of news - I have been in Ireland for a few days as support crew (general dogsbody) for Harriet who was doing Tattersalls International Horse Trials. Odd to see the sale ring turned into an eventing venue, but great fun, and the jockey and horse both performed extremely well. Back on the night ferry on Sunday, which is not to be recommended, as I drove back up the drive at 4.45 AM on Monday morning!! The team in flying form with our first winner of the season, and a first win for the yard for our Conditional Jo Palmoski. Bally Lagan has been knocking on the door in all of his runs over fences and in fact has not been out of the frame, without that important number one slot! However that was put right at Worcester last Thursday. Plenty of the Park Lane team on hand to share in the heart failure as Joe and BL were left in front far earlier than they wished, after the leader, who they were tracking, fell. Well clear at the last, BL was getting a bit lonely in front and JUST held off a late run from the second horse (one more stride and it might have been another story, but who cares!!)
No pause for breath from one season to the next these days, and after the excitement of Sandown it was a change of code two days later and Storming Harry making his debut at Windsor. A son of Miss Pebbles who we trained back in the day, and a very exciting day for Nigel & Jenny Thick who bred SH. A lovely introduction for him, he behaved perfectly and ran a nice race to be fourth. Another making a debut - this time over hurdles was Spurned Girl, another homebred - this time by the Hitchman family. SG had had some runs on the flat, and I think it fair to say that she had not covered herself in glory! She came with a few 'issues' and all credit to Malcolm who has quietly put up with her tantrums, and persuaded her that civilised behaviour is best! SG did not put a foot out of place at the track, and ran a decent race, jumping really well and seeming to enjoy the experience. She will come on for the run.
After the excitement of the super double last week, it was back to reality on the Monday with five runners, split between Southwell and Kempton.
Paige, Toby and myself headed off to Southwell, with Robin and the Hollies off to Kempton. Southwell, as usual devoid of much atmosphere, although the facilities for owners and staff OK. Troyan was first up and ran a nice race to finish fifth not suited by the track but not beaten far. Valrene ran a hugely better race greatly appreciating the better ground, finished flying, and won't be far away next time.
Playing With Fire having her second run back, behaving really well in all the preliminaries (not always the case!!) jumped well, probably just needing the race again, but again, should not be far away next time.