Cooler again today, autumn definitely creeping up on us.
A heart-stopping win from Jet Master at Perth yesterday, came from last to first in the home straight getting up in the shadow of the post under the strongest of drives from Lucy; tremendous stuff and brilliant to get off the mark for the new season at a good fixture at our local track in front of such a supportive crowd.
Wet overnight but the sun is shining now and it looks like being a glorious autumn day for Perth’s final meeting of the season, and one would have to say it ought to there best meeting of the season with a cracking card including a clash between the last two winners of the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival. We have one runner, Jet Master in the 2.10, Lucy rides and 11 run on what will be rain softened ground.
He won this race last year and goes into it today off a 7lb lower mark, this looks like a better renewal though with the top two in the weights looking progressive however the rain should help us more than them; Lucy is also reunited with her old ally Kings Chorister in the 3.50 though he is a stone out of the weights and will start at long odds. I’m not sure we were lucky or unlucky with Landecker yesterday, he proved exceptionally nimble to hop over a horse that fell directly in front of him but he lost all momentum and couldn’t get back into the race, he ran well enough though and on balance I came away happy, being brought down would not have done much for my humour!
Chilly this morning but fine and dry and delighted that we have a runner at Perth this afternoon where the ground looks like being on the easy side of good; Landecker runs in the 4.40, Lucy rides and 10 runs in what is a decent but quite open handicap.
He ran well to be runner up at the track in May and is wearing a tongue tie for the first time in public today; he’s been wearing it a bit at home and it seems to help him a little so we are hopeful this will translate to the track – he should be fit enough and has run well fresh in the past. Late home from Auteuil last night and over the moon to have successfully claimed the lovely 4yo filly Jolie Crickette, she has won three chases and ran right up to her best yesterday when only beaten a length giving weight away all round, she is a novice over hurdles and is for sale though may stay in France for one run before coming to Kinneston. She was the one horse on the card that we really wanted and should prove well bought.
A stunning morning, cooler but a fine day and a settled forecast should allow us to get everything finished up on the farm this week.
And a thoroughly enjoyable Owners Lunch yesterday preceded by a parade of 36 horses all immaculately turned out by the team, some great pictures from Frank, a few today, more to follow!
It’s a valuable day from many perspectives, above all it is great fun but I also see it is a pivotal point in the season – for the last few weeks we have been focusing on having the horses in the best possible condition and the yard and facilities in tip top order; with all these building blocks in place and the horses 90% fit we now turn our attention to racing and for the next 8 months our entire focus will be on fine tuning the horses for their racing engagements – back in the bubble and little time for distractions.
On that theme we are planning to have our first runners this week at one of my favourite meetings, Perth’s two day autumn finale and all being well Landecker will run on Wednesday and Jet Master on Thursday. A quick flit to France before all of that, building the team of horses is an ongoing process and with that in mind we will be at attend Auteuil tomorrow where there are three claiming races and a few people to meet…
A dull sort of day, warm, muggy, still, but nothing like the extremes of the South and generally a fine spell of weather and a busy time with the horses progressing nicely.
No runners today at Kelso but heading there later for a meeting and to support the Jockey’s showjumping challenge, just hope Lucy and Kit arrive in time as they left at 5am to ride work on a few lots for James Ewart’s Open Day, that couldn’t possibly run behind schedule, or could it? They will be joined by Crawford who is travelling down with me, a bit of a novice show-jumping wise I am sure he is looking forward to it!
We were in the Borders at the weekend as well for the Northern Area Point-to-Point Awards Dinner where Kit picked up the prize for being Champion Mens Rider, delighted that lots of the team here came down to lend their support which made for a tremendous evening though we were a little disappointed by the brevity of Kit’s acceptance speech, but good times and very well organised by Harriet Bryce and her team.
About 20 horses here up to full work now and another dozen just behind them; whilst I’m getting excited about entering a few before the end of this month most are being prepared to be ready for the second half of October, can’t wait to get going now!