Lovely warm day at Perth yesterday and more competitive racing, a slightly flat sort of day for team Kinneston with Dance of Fire failing to progress and finishing 6th of 11 in the opener, he’s much better than this but is complicated, Christmas in USA made up ground nicely in the back straight but faded to finish 11th of 15, there’s something stopping him and I strongly suspect it his wind which we will hopefully sort in due course; Landecker ran a very honest race and whilst 5th of the 6 runners was beaten less than 3 lengths by the winner at the end of 3m 2f, his new found consistency is becoming his undoing as the handicapper won’t relent to allow him to win again. Back up to Perth today, forecast is good and it promises to be a very special day with the Hunter Chase being run in memory of my late stepfather John Dudgeon and Brian Harding retiring.
Brian started in 1992 just as I started to involve myself seriously in the game following the death of my Father, he’s always been there and recently has very much been our go-to jockey when Lucy has been injured, he’s ridden many winners for us and has been a fantastic coach, role model and mentor in the weighing room – all at Kinneston certainly wish him all the best and thank him for his massive contribution to the sport.
We have five declared runners starting with two in the mares novice hurdle at 2pm, Final Reminder (Lucy) and Just Brooke (Grant Cockburn), there is a couple of good mares in this race that our two will struggle to compete with on what they have achieved so far but I am hoping Final Reminder will improve for the better ground and Just Brooke should benefit from her first time tongue tie.
A pause then until we run Marlee Massie in the Highland National at 4.15, this is a very competitive race but he goes into it at the top of his game, he will need to improve again of course and whether the extreme trip brings out that improvement, or not, is the big question.
Finally we have two runners in the Hunter Chase at 4.50, Top Cat Henry (Kit) and Bertie Milan (Crawford), Top Cat is well but has to prove he can be at his best at 3m having never won beyond 2m 5f, he also isn’t the biggest to carry 12st 6lb and give weight to the whole field. Bertie Milan is very fresh and well but would prefer softer ground.