Cool but dry this morning and an alarmingly large pile of mail to sort through before another week begins. So, she did it, a wonderful result for Lucy, Northern Racing and every aspiring girl jump jockey. Hard to believe that a little 30 horse yard in Scotland could produce a national champion but somehow it happened despite it appearing to slip away in the last few weeks, profound thanks to the the team of staff and owners here (who produced 21 of her 38 winners) as well as everyone else that has supported her, most particularly her agent Richard Hale. Of course huge credit must go to Lucy herself who has worked incredibly hard; her sheer grit, fitness and determination to overcome so many “minor” injuries have been an inspiration to everyone and she combines those attributes with a natural talent in the saddle which will hopefully continue to produce plenty of winners. Frank has updated the Lucy gallery on the website which you can see here – Lucy Alexander
An extraordinary season for the yard, 36 winners from 207 runners (28 under rules, 8 in point-to-points), 30% of runners 1st or 2nd, 50% placed in first four – relatively inexpensive horses produced with hard work, focus and attention to detail by a dedicated team of staff and riders on behalf of a fantastic team of owners – thank you everyone. So, where do we go from here? Back down the slippery slope to anonymity? Perhaps but I suspect not, despite a little pressure to do so we will not be pursuing ever more horses and expanding the yard indefinitely, plans are afoot to build a few more boxes as things became a little overcrowded at times but next season we will limit the yard to 36 horses in training (yes, we do have a few vacancies and horses for sale just in case anyone is interested!) but we do have the resources in place now off site to take up to another 15 or so horses for pre-training and recuperation as well as some barns here for those purposes. All of this will be managed our way and will enable the focus here to be on horses that are essentially fit and ready to race. I will be more than happy if we can match these statistics again.
On we go then, and all being well our first runner will be Or de Grugy in the 3.40 at Kelso, 7 run and the gorund should be just on the easy side of good. He loves Kelso but he is 11 and the handicapper hasn’t been especially kind but continuing to push him up the weights despite not running anywhere! That means his form has been working out well and he appears in good order. Lucy also rides Craicneasy in the 2.40, Scotswell in the 3.10 and Bogside in the 4.40.
I suppose its a little frustrating that there isn’t even a break of a few days at the end of the Jumps Season, you would think they could focus on the new flat season rather than have a blank flat racing day today and three jumps fixtures, it is representative of the slightly dysfunctional nature of the way our sport is structured, as a result Lucy spent the night in transit between Market Rasen and Wetherby, should be home at about 10 tonight but then off to Kelso in the morning – its the remorseless travel as much as anything, but it sounds like the Stewards are giving her a little break in May – she should go to the sun but will probably opt for the gym…