A lovely mild morning and the intensity of birdsong at first light heralding the long awaited spring, yippee, a glorious time of year. Ground still very wet though, perhaps the heaviest its ever been yesterday at Newcastle and it was attritional stuff, I do wish jockeys would ride with more patience in these conditions, “ride a race”, rather than go flat out from flagfall – it’s probably the trainers fault, many of us often wanting to make the running or “be handy”.
What a wonderful finish to the Grand National, a nose separating two brave horses at the end of four miles plus on soft ground, and it would be Elliot & Mullins, their achievements continue to amaze and so pleased for Davy Russell – a brilliant rider and most importantly a lovely, kind and modest man. The Irish dominated the race with the first four and seven of the first ten, no luck for the Scottish runners with Captain Redbeard unseating and Seeyouatmidnight a gallant but wearily distant 11th.
At Newcastle The Orange Rogue pulled up tired having jumped boldly, something is stopping him as he should have been fine on the ground, I suspect it is his wind and we will look at that again this summer, Titian Boy struggled to go the gallop on the ground in a fast run two mile race but stayed on bravely to finish 4th. We wisely withdrew Dutch Canyon on account of the ground. It is back down the A1 for the team to Newcastle today with four declared runners and if I am honest I’m not really relishing the thought of running more horses in these conditions despite them all wanting soft, however Newcastle have been decent enough to put this extra fixture on and with conditions likely to dry rapidly we have few other options for these horses who have all lost plenty of engagements.
We start with the quirky McGinty’s Dream in the 3.00, a change of headgear – blinkers and earplugs this time and will change the tactics as well, hmm, he has a nice low weight, Lucy rides and 8 run. We then run Gold Opera in the feature race of the day at 4.05, a course and distance winner off a higher rating he should go well if he handles the extreme conditions which is a doubt even though he has won on heavy, Lucy rides and 6 run.
Finally we have two runners in the 5.10, Bertalus (Grant) and Massini’s Lady (Lucy), ground should be fine for the latter, may not be ideal for the former, 6 run – steady away lads or you won’t get home! Busy this morning exercising horses for Kelso tomorrow and in case I don’t have time to update the blog our intended runners are Koala Keel 2.10, Road to Gold 2.40, Always Tipsy 3.10, Buffalo Ballet 3.40 and Up Helly Aa King 5.10 – home safe everyone please.