A knighthood for our greatest jockey, richly deserved and the announcement rightly greeted with acclaim across the industry – his achievements will never be surpassed and what a wonderful ambassador for our sport he is proving to be in retirement – hip, hip, hooray!
Wet and cold again having been bizarrely mild yesterday but we have missed the worst of Storm Frank, our weather has been grotty for the last two months and the land has never lain wetter but my heart goes out to those suffering real damage from this extraordinary spell of weather, the storms just keep coming and there is no sign of this relenting over the coming weeks. After the sadness of Monday a better day on Tuesday with two winners at a very busy meeting at Kelso with it’s usual enthusiastic and knowledgeable crowd.
We seem to have hit a rich vein of form in December with 8 winners from our 27 runners, a very satisfactory reward for the exceptionally hard working team at Kinneston, long may it continue but it probably won’t! I was delighted that Presenting Rose won for Stephen and the Cochrane family who have put so much work into this young mare, she should continue to progress over further when the ground dries out a bit, equally delighted for the other Cochrane family when Another Mattie put up a career best to win the staying handicap hurdle under top weight and a well planned ride from Lucy.
A promising first handicap run from Benny’s Secret who looked like running on to finish 3rd until falling at the last and plenty of encouragement from Tipsy Dara’s comeback run, travelling and jumping with plenty of zest until her absence caught up with her. Of course it is the trainer’s lot to dwell more on the horses who failed to perform to expectations, I honestly thought More Madness and Frankie’s Promise were our best chances of the day and I was very disappointed with both of them, Madness just seems to be saving a bit for himself, Frankie jumped and travelled nicely for a circuit prior to making a blunder after which he lost his confidence completely, back to the drawing board (again). Jane’s Fantasy shows us plenty at home but nothing on the course so it may be time to look for a different career for this good looking well balanced dark mare.
An excellent card of competitive racing at Musselburgh tomorrow and we have two runners, both in the last race at 3.20, Always Tipsy (Stephen) and Landecker (Lucy) and there is a maximum field of 15. This is a hot handicap over 3m 2f and having decided that Always Tipsy didn’t stay 3m on his last run at Cheltenham it seems odd to run him here however there were other possible contributing factors that day and given that there are no other races for him this month I think it is worth a go – he’ll run well if he stays.
Landecker has always looked like he would appreciate this sort of trip and he ran well enough at the track over shorter earlier this month so I hope he will go well but as I said it does look very competitive. So that’s it for 2015, early to bed for me of course, I used to be very good at having a proper New Year party but racing tomorrow with horses to be worked first thing have put paid to that, no bad thing and will certainly have a few glasses of something decent – trust you will as well and here’s to happiness and health in 2016…