Cold again this morning but rain coming and a less settled week ahead. A tremendous weekend’s racing with, I think it is fair to say, all three of our runners putting up career best performances. The highlight was Presenting Rose winning under a penalty at Newcastle on Saturday, we had been patient in finding the right race for her again but as a result she was very fresh running keenly from the front and failing to jump as well as she can, Stephen did a grand job holding her together and in the circumstances it was a very good performance to pick up again after the last to win going away.
Our runners at the Tyndale point-to-point both finished 2nd of 12 in their respective races, Afterclass staying on strongly to be denied by only half a length under an accomplished debut ride from Crawford and Here’s to Harry also staying having taken a while to recover from a blunder 4 out.
87 runners turned up at Corbridge, pony racing as well and a huge crowd there to enjoy exciting competitive racing, most reassuring after a weather induced stuttering start to the Northern Area pointing season. The importance of point-to-pointing as the grass roots of National Hunt racing cannot be underestimated, the benefits received by the professional side of the sport are delivered at a number of levels and a vibrant pointing scene is absolutely essential if we want National Hunt racing to prosper. Anyway, on to Ayr today where we have 7 declared runners on ground that could be extremely tacky unless the forecast rain arrives to loosen it up, hopefully that will happen and we will be racing on nice soft ground.
We start with two runners in the 2.10, Farewelltocheyenne (Stephen) and McGinty’s Dream (Lucy), 11 run, FTC won a bumper but has been disappointing so far over hurdles, holding ground won’t suit him but we need to get another run into him. McGinty shows us plenty of ability at home but was far too keen in his bumpers, the focus today will be on teaching him to settle. I don’t think either of our runners in the 2.40 will be suited by the ground, Spinning Away (Lucy) and Celestino (Kit), but it is a nice race for them in every other respect so we might as well have a go, 11 run.
The 3.15 looks a competitive affair and we run Calivigny, 10 run and Lucy rides – he won here twice in the autumn and it is grand to have him back here on ground that won’t bother him, whilst his last run can be ignored he does look a bit high in the weights against this opposition but hopefully he can run well. Little Glenshee (Lucy) takes a drop back in trip in the 3.50, not what I would have wanted to do but she is in grand form and loves Ayr on wet ground so it is worth taking a chance, she was runner up at Newcastle last time and the winner of that race was a runaway winner of the ultra competitive Eider Chase on Saturday, 8 run. Finally we run More Madness in the 4.20, he is in good form and has slipped nicely down the weights but this race does look to contain plenty of horses on the upgrade and is competitive. Lucy also rides Multipede in the 4.50.