A grey day today but a thoroughly heartwarming one yesterday at a number of levels.
A memorable win at Haydock for Lake View Lad, he’s a very special horse – honest and talented – and he gave everything to win by the narrowest of margins after an exemplary round of jumping for a novice – fingers crossed he has a big future and what we learnt yesterday I think was that 2m 4f is really his minimum trip at this level and I suspect we will step up next time.
Back down the M74 tomorrow to Carlisle where we have two runners in the 3pm on ground that should be no worse than soft. Road to Gold (Lucy) was rusty on his comeback run after injury last month and I suspect he will need it again tomorrow, should show some progress.
We were very pleased with Top Cat Henry’s seasonal debut at Kelso in a decent Class 2 race, he should build on that and appreciate being back down in grade, track an unknown but will hopefully run well.
Whilst it should always be regarded as a privilege training horses through a winter like this in Scotland can occasionally feel like a bit of a slog especially when carefully laid plans are continually thwarted by the weather. One hour yesterday afternoon reminded me why I love this sport so much; Donna’s Diamond won the Rendlesham at Haydock, we won our race there and then in an extraordinarily poignant moment our old ally Brian Hughes won the Grade 1 Ascot Chase for Ruth Jefferson only 24 hours after her Father Malcolm’s funeral on the aptly named Waiting Patiently. Malcolm was a good man and a wonderful trainer and for his memory to be emblazoned across our sport in such a way was simply fantastic and hard to believe that events could align to produce such a tribute. If there was one trainer that I would seek and strive to model myself on it would be him, I flew home back up the motorways – Haydock has been kind to us this winter.