As light as my heart was feeding the horses a week ago it was heavy this morning after we were dealt a second cruel blow in the space of 48 hours with the loss of Four Fiddlers at Aintree yesterday. Having stepped up to the bigger stage with aplomb he was travelling well on the heels of the leaders as the field turned for home when he broke down and was quickly pulled up. He was treated by the vets on course and we then took him to the University of Liverpool Veterinary Hospital where his injuries were revealed to be inoperable and he was euthanased, as ever the veterinary care was exemplary.
A shared somber silence on the five hour drive home and it was difficult to drive past the soulless hotel by the M6 where Lucy was staying on her own ahead of racing today. She had ridden him in 14 of his 15 starts and although he never won he was in the winners enclosure after 10 of those races, giving her a chance to shine in her early days. A tough day but I prefer to dwell on the positive, we had a wonderful morning with the horse out on the track at Aintree, glorious sunshine, the famous arena entirely to ourselves – those of us closest to the horse, Emma who has looked after him with so much care for four years, Dan, Lucy, Kit and me. The horse alert and aware, brimming with health and vitality, full of anticipation as were the rest of us.
Somewhat tired and emotional this morning but a fine walk up on Kinneston Crags to clear the mind. Reports to read on all the horses’s work for the last two days before I pull myself up and start to enter horses for next week, everything appears to have gone smoothly in my absence thanks to the hard work and focus of the team, effective delegation is an important part of our expansion – it doesn’t come easily to me but delighted with the way things were managed and the lines of communication worked well, all I need it that damn periscope now!
Lucy remains on the road, Mister Pagan in the 4.30 at Aintree today then to Bangor tomorrow for Almutaham in the 2pm and Presenting Junior in the 2.30. We have entries at Wetherby later in the week but will probably reappear at Ayr and Carlisle next weekend, you have to keep looking forward in this hardest of games.