At last a well deserved win for Noir et Vert in a competitive NPPA Club race at Friars Haugh on Saturday.  His first win for the yard and Jamie after filling the the runner up slot no less then seven times, he suffered a career threatening injury in May 2011 and we didn’t know whether we would get him back, delighted to have done so especially with his former trainer Ferdy Murphy present having trained winner of the previous race, the high class Hennessy.  The victorious moment nearly ruined by the presentation – “trained by his father Nick” – hopefully none of the large crowd were listening.  In the same race Native Coll was 5th, it probably came a little bit quick after a hard race last week and Backontheroad didn’t see out the trip on the soft ground.  On Sunday at Carlisle Tipsy Dara ran as if something was amiss, she pulled off a front shoe which may or may not explain the awkward looking performance.

A family affair - Noir et vert (Jamie) is led in by Hamish and Johnny with Granny, Kit and thoughtful Trainer in the background

A family affair – Noir et vert (Jamie) is led in by Hamish and Johnny with Granny, Kit and thoughtful Trainer in the background

Mixed emotions after Cheltenham, a tumultuous week with so many great performances mixed with stark reminders of how closely entwined triumph and tragedy are in this extraordinary sport, sometimes it can appear almost too much, the intensity turned up at the big festivals.  I feel this yard has now proved itself properly on its local stage, the next step must be to raise our game so that we can compete at the big meetings, I am sure we will but do I look forward to it?  Of course I do, just feeling a little weary after 10 days racing in the last two weeks, weather doesn’t help either, it was snowing a week ago when we left for Cheltenham and its snowing today, its the middle of March for goodness sake!  And the ground, heavy everywhere again, Newcastle looks like being off on Wednesday, hopefully we will be at Kelso and Lanark on Saturday.