Another fine morning and the horses looking splendid first lot with their coats gleaming in the sun. Absolutely delighted that Benny’s Secret had a turn of luck yesterday when he ran out a cosy winner of the first race at Kelso, he is a horse I have always held in the highest regard and he can go on from here.
Secret Act couldn’t get competitive in the same race and this fine looking, good moving horse will now seek a career in a different discipline, Jet Master put up a more encouraging effort to be 3rd in the feature chase – he can improve further this spring – and the same can be said of Landecker who also ran much better to be 3rd, just collared on the line from being 2nd, all our runners appreciated the better ground. Kelso has been kind to us this season, that is the 9th bag of carrots that we have bought home and this time it was accompanied by two dozen cans of “Belhaven Black Scottish Stout” – hmm, perhaps the horses should have the stout and I will stick to the carrots!
Benny’s win was a landmark in that it was our 29th winner under rules this season which represents a “personal best” for team Kinneston. Quite surprising really because we didn’t have a winner at all until late September and there is still another month to go so we might manage one or two more. The point-to-pointers have also been running well (3 winners) so there is a decent chance that we will beat our “across the codes” best total of 36 winners by the time the curtain comes down on the 4th Saturday of April. We have been lucky to have some well handicapped horses and to have been able to find the right races for the horses at the right time but that is no good without them being healthy and what gives me more satisfaction than the bare statistics is that for the last six months the horses have run with remarkable consistency and looking at them this morning you wouldn’t think any of them have had a hard season at all – they are fresh and well and carrying plenty of condition.
This is no coincidence, in turning our procedures inside out last summer I created a heap of extra work that has to be implemented on an hour by hour, day by day and week by week basis by our dedicated team of staff who have enabled us to raise the bar in terms of best practice in everything we do. These excellent results are no more than a deserving reflection of their consistency of effort and sheer hard work, well done to all of them. Of course nothing at all would be possible without our loyal band of supportive owners, many thanks to them and I know that most of them share my vision that we don’t want to get any bigger than our current 37 horse capacity. This will no doubt lead to these numbers being difficult to surpass in the future but we won’t mind that if we can maintain consistent performance and also raise the bar in terms of the level at which we are competing – we can train horses to win races and I have no doubt that we can compete at the top level given the right horses.