30 April 2017
Our winning most horse this season was Sharp Rise who lived up to his name, winning 4 races both over fences and hurdles through the summer, starting on a mark of 133 and finishing on 154. He took us to America for their Grand National, unfortunately for everyone he had to be put to sleep after finishing third in The American Grand National after developing colitis. We are now in search of the next SR, but he has set the bar very high!
Pete The Feat was our highest earner when he won the most valuable race of his career, The Veterans Final aged 13! He is one of the most popular horses in the yard, but loved by Wilf who is his regular work rider, providing daily entertainment! Loose Chips is another veteran who has enjoyed a fruitful season, winning two veterans qualifiers and finishing third in the final. He has almost doubled his career earnings through the season and has finished up on a career high mark! Both Pete and Chips will return to training next season with the aim on the veterans final once again.
Our veterans have all run well this season, Bob Tucker won a race early on in the season and has picked up over £17,000 this season after finishing second in a Veterans final. Killala Quay had been disappointing but redeemed himself by winning a veterans qualifier. Azure Fly was unlucky not to win a race this season but rarely finished out of the money, finishing 2nd four times and 3rd three times. Pendra missed most of the season due to illness but ran a terrific race in defeat at Cheltenham, it is still quite painful to look back at how close he got to being our first Festival winner but we will have to wait until next year for that elusive winner.
Drop Out Joe only managed to get onto the racecourse twice through the season, he won the Summer Cup at Uttoxeter before picking up an injury in the paddock. It was touch and go whether he would make the National in December but fortunately he got there and took to the fences well, jumping three from home we thought he would have had a chance but the rushed preparation caught up to him and he would have benefited from an extra couple of weeks in work, however we now look forward to returning to the big race with him next season.
Our Kaempfer had a frustrating season, finishing 2nd twice and 3rd in novice chases before unseating his jockey early on at Wetherby on Boxing Day. Fortunately he won a handicap chase at Kempton in good style but struggled with the pace at Cheltenham. He looks a good horse to go to war with next season in the staying chases.
We had a nice bunch of youngsters and our novice hurdlers were headed by Snow Leopardess who won started out the season by winning a Listed bumper at Gowran Park before going hurdling and winning two novice hurdles including a Grade 2 Mares’ Novice Handicap Hurdle Finale at Newbury. Forth Bridge was a classy recruit off the flat from Michael Bell’s yard, he instantly took to jumping and was foot perfect from the first day he left the ground. He managed to win two juvenile hurdles at Musselburgh. Monbeg Charmer won two novice hurdles including an Albert Bartlet Trial at Musselburgh. The third Musselburgh novice winner was Tree Of Liberty who beat the very nice Burbank who finished fourth in the Neptune at Cheltenham. Other novice hurdle winners were Castafiore, Abbotswood and Leith Hill Lad, whilst Treackle Tart, Vivas, Midnight Gem, Zara Hope, Definitly Grey and Sarpech all broke their maidens in handicap company.
My record at Cheltenham has never been the greatest but in October we managed to get two winners at the October meeting. Midnight Shot led all the way and won a handicap hurdle in fine style, his second win on the bounce. Coologue was our second winner of the meeting when winning the Randox Handicap Chase. He has run some good races in defeat having flown up the weights.
Germany Calling had a very busy season with 9 runs, he likes good ground and every time I tried giving him a break for the winter, the ground would dry and he came back into training. He managed to win two chases before being thrown up the handicap. Wells De Lune also who won two chases having taken well to fences including in a thrilling finish at Wetherby. Another dual winner was Ready Token who won two at Warwick at either end of the summer, unfortunately he picked up an injury which has ruled him out for the rest of the season. No No Mac was sold out of the yard but not before he won two races this season.