A cracking day’s racing at Kelso yesterday and another roller-coaster of a day for team Kinneston but an unforgettable highlight with Or de Grugy winning his 6th race at the track 3 days before his 12th birthday, he has also been runner up there 3 times and he now has 11 wins and 11 2nds to his name from his 63 starts having started out with his first win in the French provinces back in 2006, the same year that Peter Buchanan last sat on him. He is a delight to deal with but has had a number of issues over the last few weeks and I am certain that he wouldn’t have been there yesterday without the dedication and attention shown to him by Toni who has looked after him since he arrived at the Bradburnes from France 7 years ago, I was thrilled, for the veteran horse and for his veteran owner Lord Cochrane.
Half an hour later I was in a completely different place when Little Glenshee and Kit took a crashing fall at the 3rd fence in the two mile chase, hard to believe but mercifully they both walked away, a little battered but they are both out exercising this morning, a huge relief but an alarming few minutes to say the least. Earlier in the day Allforthelove and Marlee Massie both improved as I had hoped and then in the last Another Mattie put up a career best effort to finish a good second, more to come from all of these horses I hope. Brutal weather this morning, cold wet and windy but plenty of horses to work and as ever my admiration and gratitude for the commitment of the staff here cannot be understated, weather permitting lots of runners later in the week – couldn’t do it without them.
The Racing UK commentators seemed to think that Little Glenshee’s fall was caused by the low sun, Kit isn’t so sure and neither am I but I am sure that Another Mattie’s chance in the last was inhibited by the totally unnecessary decision to bypass the hurdles in that race when the sun had gone down. To my mind the protocol for deciding whether or not to bypass appears increasingly bizarre in a modern and professional sport, the decision is taken by the stipendiary steward based on the opinion of the senior jockeys, however that opinion appears to be affected by where the race starts and hence where they go to show the horse a fence/hurdle; so no bypass in the 2 mile chase and early and incorrect decision to bypass in 2m 2f hurdle. With this becoming such a recurring issue at Kelso and other courses surely there should be an objective and quantitative protocol established with an individual appointed to take a timely decision based purely on that protocol? At least that would stop everyone huffing and puffing about it all afternoon.