A glorious spring morning after a lovely weekend, very warm racing on Saturday especially at Kelso; 18 degrees to be precise – a far cry from the snow and ice of earlier in the week and some horses were caught out by it and finished distressed, hardly surprising but symptomatic of the topsy turvy weather patterns, it is also interesting how forward in their coats most of our horses are this year. I think this picture that brother David took whilst skiing in Glencoe on Saturday sums it up…A mixed day at Kelso, Buffalo Ballet blundered and unseated at the “bogey fence” (we’re going to produce some stats on this), I’m not sure if he was distracted by a loose horse or blinded by the sun; frustrating as this was the perfect race for him but all well so could have been worse. Our other two runners were 4th, Craiganboy struggled to go the pace and I think needs further, Jet Master put up a very decent effort under 12st, it was much the best race he has run on this type of ground which blunts his speed.
We fared rather better over at the Lanark point-to-point with Rossini’s Dancer starring again to win the Ladies Open under an accomplished ride from Charlotte Dun, he’s turning into a bit of a legend and seems in the form of his life; Wicklow Lad was 2nd and Bertie Milan 3rd in a competitive Men’s Open which was most satisfactory and Kit had another 2nd and a couple of 3rds.
Delighted that Gary Rutherford won the Hunter Chase at Kelso on Saturday, he has done an excellent job for us pre-training a few horses this winter including Massini’s Lady who he took back again yesterday; she will hopefully run in a couple of late season point-to-points, this could be the key to her and if she finds her confidence she will come back here to run under rules again later in the spring or in the autumn.
The show rolls on to Hexham tomorrow where the ground will be heavy and holding as it emerges from a very wet spell, Lucy rides both and we start with The Bishop in the 4pm. He is in top form, likes this ground and we have kept him fresh since his two quick runs, hopefully this isn’t one run too many but either way he will need to be at his very best in what is a competitive handicap for the grade, 8 run. At 4.30 we run Up Helly Aa King, he was most promising on his debut but that was only two weeks ago and he would have been better with a bit longer, the counter to that is that he wants soft ground and we wanted him to have some more experience before things dry up too much, 9 run.