13 April 2021
Firstly, I must apologise for our lack of communication. It has been a bit hectic here at Hull Farm. Last week, Charlie slipped a disc in his back and was unable to move. Therefore, Roche has been in charge of the horses, Charlie ‘working’ from home and Amber in charge of the office and representing Charlie at the races – Aintree for all three days, then from Aintree to Kelso, Kelso to home for a quick office check, then off to Huntingdon yesterday. The whole team have been fantastic.
As I write, Charlie is currently undergoing an emergency back operation. Fingers crossed it goes well and he will be back up and running in the next few weeks. It was typical that it happened just before one of the biggest weekends in racing! However, everyone at the yard has been fantastic, and we have it all under control.
It was a busy weekend ahead for us as we had runners all over the place. Glimpse Of Gala ran a fantastic race at Aintree on Thursday to finish 7th in the Mares’ Listed Bumper under Sam Twiston Davies. We were very pleased with her performance, especially as she was 200/1. It was so nice to see the owners back at the racecourse, and great that Fran and Christopher, along with a couple of the Tweed Clad Fossils, could be there. Gala is a homebred of Fran and Christopher’s, so it makes it all the more special to see her run a great race at a big festival. She has a great attitude, and we look forward to seeing her in some Novice Hurdles next season.
It was The Vollan’s turn to head up to Aintree on Friday in the 2m4f Handicap Hurdle. A minute silence was held after the incredibly sad news that HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh had passed away. It was The Vollan’s first run since his winter holiday, and Johnny was happy with how he was travelling, passing a few horses along the bottom until he took a big blow and got tired in the home straight. He will have come on from the run massively and we look forward to a great summer campaign with him.
On Saturday we had Nightline at Chepstow, Snow Leopardess, Parramount and Glencassley at Aintree and Almazhar Garde headed up to Kelso for an overnight stay. Nightline unfortunately did not run a great race and stopped very quickly, so was pulled up. It did come to light that he had bled, and the decision has now been made to retire him. He has been a fantastic horse for owner/breeder Mrs D P G Flory, and at the age of 11 it is the right thing to do. He will certainly make someone a lovely ROR horse.
Snow Leopardess was first to run at Aintree on Saturday under Brian Hughes in the 3m Handicap Chase. She jumped off and was never really running her race to finish 6th, Brian mentioned that she felt flat. It is a shame as she has been feeling really well at home, but it would appear the Cheltenham race took a lot out of her. She will head home for her summer holidays.
Then the National. How fantastic to see Rachel Blackmore make history on Minella Times. She is remarkable, along with Henry De Bromhead, training the 1st and 2nd horse to cross the line!
Parramount and Glencassley took to the bumper after the National.
Glencassley ran a fabulous race under Robbie Power who took a wide route and kept him settled to finish 6th. It was his first run of the season due a setback earlier in the year, and it was fabulous to see him run a race like that against some of the top bumper horses. We will look to run him in a Novice Hurdle in the new season before turning him away for a break. Parramount did not finish far behind Glencassley to come 8th. However jockey Jamie Codd mentioned that he made a whistling noise all the way round so was not completely happy. We will get his wind checked and go from there. Both owners Mr Grant Leon and Mr A Fox-Pitt look to have an exciting horse for future.
On Sunday, Almazhar Garde made the overnight trip to Kelso worth it! He jumped off out the front with his ears pricked the whole way round, and never looked in doubt, to win comfortably by 11 lengths, under Gavin Sheehan. Congratulations to owners Kate and Andrew Brooks.
Also on Sunday, Local Affair headed to Warwick for her first run since a winter break. She jumped out in the front, and just weakened on the run in to finish 4th under Paul O’Brien. We were really happy with this performance.
Yesterday we had Raven Court and The Wise Traveller at Huntingdon. Raven Court was disappointing and stopped quickly. He was running and jumping well, until he missed 3 out and weakened. It is back to the drawing board with him to figure out why he is not finishing his races, as we know he is better than that. We know The Wise Traveller is not a bumper horse, so we did not expect a lot, and in time he will need 3m and a fence. However, he ran well and would have learnt lots. Aidan said he just could not quicken with the front few on the run in but stayed on well at his same pace.
Well, I think that is it for today, and I hope you are all caught up to speed. No runners today, and tomorrow we run Storm Goddess at Cheltenham with Brian Hughes on board. Entries at Ayr for Saint Dalina and Fontwell for Teenage Dirtbag on Friday. Champagne Noir, Carlow Farmer and Haas Boy are all entered at Bangor on Saturday, which is now an earlier meeting to be finished by 2.45pm in respect of the funeral for HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Champagne Noir is also entered at Stratford on Sunday.