A fierce and icy North wind but delighted racing went ahead at the West Percy point-to-point at Alnwick yesterday where Master Butcher and Afterclass became the 16th and 17th of our runners this season to fill the runner up slot, 10 of which were in January, hmm, slightly frustrating but at least they are running well and very pleased to see Kit ride a winner for Victor Thomson later in the afternoon.

Afterclass (Kit) leads the way at Alnwick yesterday

Afterclass (Kit) leads the way at Alnwick yesterday

It was at the West Percy point-to-point eight years ago that Wise Man gave 16yo Lucy her first winner on her first ride; word reached us on our journey home yesterday that he had colic and I went straight to Milldeans to see him where he was already being attended to by one of our vets, Douglas.  I stayed with him for a while but he didn’t respond to treatment as I would have hoped so rather than prolong his suffering I called Douglas back to put him to sleep.

Wise Man (Lucy) on their way to a 4th point-to-point success in 2007

Wise Man (Lucy) on their way to a 4th point-to-point success in 2007 – the smile says it all

He went on to win four point-to-points that season to win Lucy the novice riders championship along with the Princess Royal Trophy.  Having come to us from Arthur Moore as a 7yo he originally raced for us under rules and won four chases in 2004 improving 30lb in the process and winning me the Permit Trainer of the Year, the only win (so far!) to get me on the podium at Cheltenham. There is no doubt that he gave me the confidence to train and Lucy the perfect start as a jockey, as a family we owe him a lot and I was delighted to give him a long and happy retirement here at Kinneston, he had a foot problem a couple of months ago so went along to Milldeans where even yesterday morning he was dancing around on the horsewalker like a 3yo; I was pleased it was Douglas that was with us at the end as he worked at Kinneston when “Arthur” was one of the stable stars so knew how much he meant.

The Wise Man collage from his days under rules that hangs in my office - do horses change lives? Rest peacefully old friend.

The Wise Man collage from his days under rules that hangs in my office – do horses change lives? Rest peacefully old friend.

Good racing at Musselburgh today, disappointed not to be represented and a little sad to see so much of the excellent prize money go South but enjoyed a lazy Sunday afternoon watching the coverage together with some extraordinary stuff from Pau. Racing at Musselburgh again tomorrow if the frost stays away and the track passes an 8am inspection, we have three declared runners starting with The Flaming Matron (Stephen) in the 2pm, 7 run and the ground is good, she was runner up over course and distance a couple of weeks ago and whilst this is a better race I expect her to have improved a little so she should go well again if she handles the quicker surface.   We run recent course winner Always Tipsy Stephen) in the 3.30, he steps up in trip which shouldn’t be a problem but he does have a lot of weight, 7 run.  Whybutwhy (Lucy) runs in the 4.00, 10 run, he is beginning to slip down the weights and should be happier in this grade, the ground can’t be fast enough for him so I would like to think we will see an improved performance.