All winners are special but yesterday’s win for my brother Jamie on Back on the Road was especially so, a game winner for a 13yo horse still loving the game and ridden by a rider on the eve of his 50th birthday, also still loving the game, marvellous stuff and a great end to a good week.
It was an afternoon charged with emotion, never more so than when Charlotte Dun rode her first winner in the Ladies Open and then followed it up with her 2nd half an hour later. The continuity of families involved in our sport is one of it’s great strengths; the Dun family are woven into the fabric of racing and point-to-pointing in the Borders like no other and they were dealt the most bitter of blows when Michael died suddenly earlier this season. To see his colours carried to victory by his daughter only a couple of months later was one of the most extraordinarily bitter sweet moments, how I would love to have heard the excitement in his voice as he called her home, it was not to be but there we go. After a winter when to be honest I have from time to time been prone to pondering the triviality of our sport it was great to be reminded, on a blustery afternoon in the Scottish Borders, that yes, sport matters.
A slightly bizarre hiatus in the racing calendar now with no racing in the North until next weekend and none the following week, not very sensible but suits me as we have been busy recently and it gives us a chance to freshen myself and the horses up before hopefully what will be a busy time over the Ayr Scottish National and Perth Festivals.
And before I sign off for the week a couple of coincidences, I like coincidences; the “My Favourite Horse” section of the Sunday RP last week featured See More Business, 24 hours earlier I had received the news that his sister I owned in partnership with the McCarthys of Lismore, Laboc, had died at the age of 22 in foal to Mahler. She was a privilege to own and as with many NH mares I hope the best is still to come, we have her Flemensfirth 4yo and 5yo here in training at Kinneston and their full 3yo sister will go to one of the big store sales this Spring. Then today’s “My Favourite Horse” was Mtoto, father of Friday’s winner Northern Acres and trained by the much missed Alec Stewart which is why we call Northern Acres “Alec”…..