21 October 2021
We experienced our first ‘proper’ winter shower yesterday! It was relentless, torrential rain for the first part of the morning, and thankfully the team just got there head down and soldiered on through it. It then brightened up into a rather warm morning for mid-October. The same cannot be said for this morning, albeit beautiful blue sky it has a rather bitter wind to it. We are starting to see the word ‘Soft’ now appear in the going descriptions, and I noticed that Newton Abbot is described as Heavy today.
Paul O’Brien was in, as always on a Wednesday, and we managed to a school a few horses. We schooled on the ring first lot, on the grass second lot and in the school third lot. Those that schooled on the ring were those that need a fence, we put the ditch board out in front of the hurdles. It was great to see them all jumping well, Castle Robin and Snow Leopardess were having their first jump of the season and were very good, it was great to see them both so enthusiastic. Second lot we headed down the hurdles at the bottom of the gallop on the grass. They went soft very quickly so we only schooled the one lot over them. Almazhar Garde was having his final preparations before he heads down the Novice hurdle route. He is declared at Cheltenham on Friday. Parramount schooled out on the grass for the first time and took a while to warm up, before looking like a pro. He would not have jumped over the hurdles on the grass too often before. Due to those hurdles then going very soft, because of the horrendous downpour of rain, we then chose to jump the last few in the school. This is because If I Say, Haas Boy and George Bancroft are still young and learning, and it would take a lot out of them to jump out of the deep ground. It is crazy how the going can change that quickly sometimes.
Teenage Dirtbag headed off to Fontwell in the Handicap Hurdle yesterday. He was back down in trip and on a tighter track, however the going was soft. He settled and travelled nicely; although it soon became apparent that it would turn into a sprint due to them going rather steady early on. Teenage Dirtbag just does not quite have the turn of foot at the end, and he plugged on well at the end to finish 4th.
Tea For Free took to the track for his seasonal and hurdling debut with Paul on board. He ran a great race on very testing ground at Worcester. He jumped and travelled nicely, tracking the leader (and eventual winner) all the way, until getting very tired two out and weakening to finish 3rd. This is understandable given the ground conditions, and everything was finishing tired. Apart from the winner of his race, who seemed to relish the conditions!
Today we have Oscar Montel, who has been the model of consistency this summer, making the long trip up to Carlisle to head over the fences under Brian Hughes. Therefore, he will not head to Aintree on Sunday where he is also entered, along with If I Say. Almazhar Garde heads to Cheltenham, with Gavin Sheehan on board, on Friday and Just Your Type, with Will Kennedy steering, is there on Saturday, both making their seasonal debuts. It is great to have ‘The Home Of Jump Racing’ back, and even better that it will have a full crowd which gives for a great atmosphere.
Next week we have entries at Bangor on Tuesday, Champagne Noir, Shah An Shah and Raven Court, as well as entries at Chepstow for Champagne Noir, Moon King, Shah An Shah and Illegal Model. Jamacho is entered at Taunton on Wednesday.