Mild still, dark this morning and a few showers about; back at base after a busy time having managed to squeeze in a trip to London on “industry stuff” between our various days of multiple runners.  Delighted that our good form at Ayr rolled on to Hexham with Clan Legend putting in an exemplary round of jumping to win his first steeplechase in convincing fashion, many thanks to the BHA and Hexham for rescheduling this race which was originally due to have been run at their abandoned November fixture.

Clan Legend pops over his first water jump

Clan Legend pops over his first water jump

The Bishop then put up a most pleasing effort to finish 4th, very game and he will improve, things went downhill after that; Little Glenshee was relishing the ground and racing with plenty of zest prior to unshipping Kit 6 out but the others all failed to handle the conditions – holding heavy ground at Hexham is a particularly unique test and when they don’t handle it, they stop, and it’s important to take it in that context and not overanalyse as to why they didn’t complete the race, other days for them – even Here’s to Harry (dream on!).

Clan Legend enjoying his youth at Kinneston

Clan Legend enjoying his youth at Kinneston

I thoroughly enjoyed running four horses out of the same mare on the same card; the media picked up on it and gave it plenty of coverage which was fun and as yet nobody has come up with an example of this ever happening before in the UK although the omniscient John Berry did reveal that the mare Gold Locket had 4 runners in Wagga (New South Wales) on 13th Feb 2014.

Harrietfield

Harrietfield

It is wonderful how much fun and excitement my Father’s “in utero” legacy Harrietfield has given us over the years, let’s hope he is watching from afar; Wednesday’s win for Clan Legend  was her 25th – many of them ridden by Lucy or Kit.  So, on to Carlisle on Sunday where they are staging an excellent card of competitive racing, the ground should be soft and we have two runners starting with Lake View Lad (Stephen Mulqueen) in the 2.40, he’s been in cracking form since his pleasing debut over fences last month and should run well in what is a competitive handicap full of improving young horses, it’s a step up in trip but he should stay well.

Lake View Lad

Lake View Lad

Then in the mares bumper at 3.15 we run Queen of Avalon (Grant Cockburn), I messed up the tactics with her last time and she should be seen in better light this time – she works well.  The strategy to boost mares races is certainly working and this race attracted 27 entries, was oversubscribed, and apart from the key Northern protagonists involved several top Southern trainers are represented –  notably no Irish declarations, the days of their easy pickings over here in Mares’ bumpers may be a thing of the past.

Queen of Avalon

Queen of Avalon

And of course the Northern Area Point-to-Point season kicks off at Alnwick on Sunday, excellent entries from all round the country and it will be very competitive, nothing running from here but Kit will be there as the reigning area champion rider and he looks like having a full book of rides.  A few pictures from our special day at Ayr on Monday, lots of heartening performances and particularly pleased to have won all three steeplechases on the card as that it what this yard has always been about – have a good weekend everyone!

Gold Opera

Gold Opera

Titian Boy

Titian Boy

Marlee Massie forges clear with Calivigny in 3rd place

Marlee Massie forges clear with Calivigny in 3rd place

Buffalo Ballet - his 3rd place was as pleasing as anything on the day.

Buffalo Ballet

Massini's Lady (nearside)

Massini’s Lady (nearside)

Dutch Canyon

Dutch Canyon

McGinty's Dream

McGinty’s Dream