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Best Boy Barney scores a 12 legnths success in the Follow Totepool on Facebook and Twitter Handicap Chase at Taunton with Matt Griffiths on board.
Aintree was fruitless for us but very enjoyable all the same, with a good owners marquee. On The Bridge was again unlucky in running in the Grade 3 Dominican Republic Handicap Hurdle and will have to race closer to the pace to avoid trouble next time.
Lessons learnt with Melodic Rendezvous in the Silver Cross Stayers’ Hurdle will shape the campaign for next year. He will now have a well deserved break. Three Grade 2’s and over £100k of prize money for the season for any horse is very satisfactory.
It was great to have a winner at Newton Abbot with Special Account in the At The Races Sky 4.15 Handicap Chase. He looked beaten in the back straight when blundering at a fence but to his credit stuck on well to take advantage of the three in front of him taking it in turns to make their own terrible mistakes to win. Gone To Lunch ran a good race to finish third at Barbury Castle with his home bred jockey needing to get him closer to the leaders a bit sooner!
Quiet on the racing front this week with perhaps runners at Taunton, on Thursday, Wincanton and Stratford at the weekend which gives us a chance to catch up with the lambing.
Having thought only my Mother read my ramblings it was pleasing they provoked some reaction from the Racing Post, Simon Claisse, who is the Clerk of the Course at Cheltenham, and many a racegoer predominantly in my support.
Cheltenham’s hospitality, in its defence, is rivalled only by Haydock and Ascot on all other National Hunt meetings with a three course meal, tea and an excellent marquee.
Simon Claisse’s defence of the facilities at the Festival was based on cost, preferring to put the monies into prize money not entertainment. He assures me things will improve after the new stand is built.
Ascot, however, offers excellent prize money and it wines and dines its owners for the Royal meeting which would be the flat equivalent to the Cheltenham Festival. Enough said.
Lambing has begun, thankfully with better weather to help, which heralds some better ground. We have runners at Newton Abbot and Aintree this week. Newton Abbot is very popular with owners and deserves its award for Best Small Racecourse. The Grand National meeting is always fun, if only to admire the attire of the ladies where fake tan abounds and one is overdressed in a belt whatever the weather!
On The Bridge runs in the Dominican Republic Handicap hurdle over three miles one furlong. Melodic Rendezvous is entered in the Aintree Doom Bar Hurdle and the Silver Cross Stayers hurdle on the Saturday. Ground will determine which one he runs in.
Melodic Rendezvous’s run in the Stan James Champion Hurdle at the Festival was proof enough that he does need soft ground. He was just flat out all the way.
He’s come out of the race very well and we are considering options at Aintree, Punchestown and possibly France with his owners and we may step him up in trip.
The Festival is an incredible meeting if you are going as an observer, but its hard work if you are a trainer, and the experience offered to owners doesn’t live up to the meeting’s billing as the world’s premier jump racing Festival.
Cheltenham is the Disney of the racing world, where the onus is on commercial gain. The owners’ marquee is stuck down in the shopping village – it might as well have been Birmingham – and for elderly owners it’s a long walk.
You have to pay for your food and drink, although I did spot a few shriveled sandwiches in one corner.
The kudos attached to the meeting is so great that it is as if those that run the meeting have adopted a blasé attitude to the owners, knowing they will run their horses there anyway, no matter how they are treated.
I firmly believe if you have a horse good enough to run there, you should be given an experience to match.
Cheltenham’s very special character is slowly but surely being lost as the pound signs glint from Jockey Club Racecourse’s eyes but I think they need to sit up and listen before a very special meeting’s spirit is lost forever.
That said, On The Bridge ran a cracking race in the Pertemps final to finish sixth and pick up a little bit of prize money and we’ll look at a 3m handicap hurdle at Aintree for him.
We had a couple of runners at Ffos Las yesterday but the ground was very gluey and didn’t suit them at all.
We might run Knave of Clubs at Warwick. He’s come off the flat and he’s a lovely, bonny little horse and it will be his first run over hurdles.
Golden Gael may run at the meeting too. She’s seems to be coming back to herself and the ground should suit as she needs it good, good to soft.
We have several runners ready to go now that the ground is coming right again.
We are possibly adding another horse to our Racing Club, an unnamed four-year-old by Exit To Nowhere out of Shequanah unless he is previously sold. We are still looking for a name for him.
Do get in touch with Georgina firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join the racing club. It’s a lot of fun and our recent morning on the gallops followed by a trip to the local pub proved a huge success.