Bertie Milan made virtually all under an exceptional ride from Lucy

Bertie Milan made virtually all under an exceptional ride from Lucy

A fantastic end to the season yesterday with Bertie Milan winning the Highland National at Perth with a bold round of jumping.  Absolutely delighted to win this good prize for HWT, Sir Simon, Judy D-M and Jamie Barber and of course a rewarding success for the team here, especially Fran who has looked after the horse since he arrived at Cunnoquhie four years ago.  No great plot here, he was a non runner due to the ground at Kelso on Tuesday and the “little fish are sweet” trainer was recommending we saved him for a 3m 0-100 chase in 3 weeks time, fortunately Harry thought it would be much more sporting to have a go at this race and persuaded me to declare at the 11th hour.  There is a good story though in that he underwent an exhausting 5 hour operation at the RDVS in late February, sincere thanks due to Paddy Dixon and his team there, he lost plenty of weight after that and isn’t a great eater but we have worked hard to get the condition back on him and he was clearly back to his best yesterday.1016031_639508772770626_4378478275810733299_o  It is a prize I have always wanted to win, as much for the Trophy given in memory of a much-missed friend Julian Llewellen Palmer, and apparently it is the first time it has been won by a Scottish trainer, perfect.  Earlier Ceilidh showed a glimmer more but remains a puzzle, Marlee Massie looked reluctant but stayed on to pass a few under what I thought was the ride of the week from Lucy and then in the bumper Bracing travelled nicely but just lacked a bit of speed when they quickened in the home straight and Clan Chief was too keen early and didn’t really handle the sharper track or indeed the preliminaries.  Off to Balcormo today, welcome rain last night, a little murky now but sun on its way, Lucy having her first flat ride of the season, heading down to Haydock to ride Deepsand in the 5.10, the famous Hemmings colours which she last wore when she won on this horse at the Perth Festival last year.

Lucy (farside) never gave up on Marlee Massie, most would!

Lucy (farside) never gave up on Marlee Massie, most would!