Racing is too competitive to derive too much pleasure from finishing 2nd but three runners up from five runners over the weekend at least indicates the horses remain in good heart and I was delighted with the individual performances of Rossini’s Dancer, Papamoa and Little Glenshee all of whom probably produced career best efforts.

Elmaatigra in the paddock at Kelso

Otherwise Daasij’s quest for a five timer got stuck in the Wetherby mud, he ran a brave enough race in the circumstances to finish 5th and Elmaatigra made a satisfactory start to his hurdling career; most importantly all appeared fine last night.  Some great pictures from Frank Cornfield and Dennis Penny.


Assuming no late frost induced dramas today we head to Musselburgh where the racing looks fiercely competitive and we have four runners ridden by Lucy on ground that will be on the easy side of good.  We run King Brex in the 12.20, 10 run, he appeared to be finding his form again when runner up on his last time out over hurdles, this is his first start for us over fences.  We then run Issabella Gem in the 12.50, 14 run, she still needs to learn to settle better before we will see the best of her over hurdles; in the 2.50 we run Isla Pearl Fisher, an early faller last time he is a course and distance winner but this looks very competitive.  We finish with the racecourse debut of  Frankie’s Promise in the 3.20, he came over from Ireland about six weeks ago and seems to have plenty of ability, we haven’t been able do as much work recently on grass as we would have liked thanks to the frosty weather so I expect he will be quite green.  Lucy also rides Red Tanber 1.20, Reland 1.50 and Grand Diamond 2.20.

Papamoa after his race

After that its going to become rather wintry again, so I believe, hopefully things will open up again by next weekend.

Little Glenshee leads the field – looking for a hurdle perhaps?

Kelso will always hold a special place in my heart and it is a wonderful jumping track but the quality of racing  is becoming diminished by the ever increasing tendency to bypass fences and hurdles (a trend around the country).  To only jump 6 hurdles in a 2m 6f hurdle turned the mares novice hurdle into a very different test than that from which I declared our horse and having so many fences by-passed in the two feature races detracted from those races.

Arranging the bypass

I speak to a jockey I know quite well about it and she definitely felt they would have been blinded by the sun in the mares hurdle but was less sure about the effect in the “Champion” chase.  Watching the replay of the chases in the evening I was struck by how the horses’ shadows were being cast across the  track rather than behind the horses which you would expect if the sun was shining in their eyes and I think these pictures taken from behind the horses in that race indicates that the fences were probably safe to jump – just my opinion of course and not my neck on the line if something goes wrong….