An Update From The Festive Season
We hope everyone had a good Christmas. It was pretty much business as usual here, preparing the horses for the busiest time of year for racing. After having Christmas Day off, it was a full staff team in on Boxing Day and we woke up to snowy hills and gallops.
Looking back to before Christmas, we had many placed efforts from horses who ran great races. Houston Texas returned to form with a good second at Newcastle on firmer ground than he would prefer. Headscarf Lil won the Mare’s Handicap Hurdle under Sean Quinlan whilst Rubytwo took third place in the same race.
At Musselburgh Rose Of Siena grabbed herself another place when finishing second in the bumper. She’s a nice mare who will no doubt get her head in front soon. The following day at Ayr, Nells Son proved he could stay when second by half a length in the 2m5f Novice Hurdle, eight and a half lengths ahead of third place. Parisencore is consistent to say the least! Another second for him in the Maiden Hurdle. Royal Arcade was much better over fences this time and also placed second in a very competitive Novice Handicap. He’s a nice horse with plenty of promise for the future.
Findthetime found plenty to win at Catterick. He’s been a tricky horse to train but we’re getting to know him now. He should settle down with experience and age, but good horses often have their quirks and we don’t mind them when they can win! He gave owners Tor Side Racing another great day out which was followed the next day with a trip to Doncaster with Big Bad Bear who travelled well, just struggled in the tacky ground.
On Wednesday we were also at Kelso with Famous Bridge who finished a credible second on his first start over 2m6f. In the same race, Release The Kraken unfortunately fell on the first circuit when, having been a bit outpaced, was coming back on the bridle and had got himself into the race. He’s sound this morning and we’ll find another race for him soon.
A disappointing run from Mayo Star in the handicap hurdle. He just got stuck in the ground a bit and couldn’t quicken when he needed to.
Soft Risk impressed once again, winning the 2m Novice Hurdle by a mighty 22 lengths. He’s yet to be challenged at the end of his races and we’re excited to find out how good he is. Ellie Farrell, who rides him everyday, is very proud of him. She has also picked him in her five to follow which put her ahead by 2 points after racing yesterday, meaning she has won a copy of next years calendar. Well done Ellie!
We have plenty of entries across the New Year with Musselburgh on Saturday & Monday and also Ayr on Sunday. Bullion Boss ran well on his return in November and will head to Catterick on Saturday. Running in the 3m Handicap Hurdle at Musselburgh is Smokey The Bandit and Court Dreaming, with the latter reverting back to hurdles for the first time since 2019.
Also entered at Ayr is Everyday Champagne who did some schooling alongside Holme Abbey and Smokey on Tuesday. Rickety Gate and Better Getalong are also entered, with Better Getalong holding four entries across the meetings.
Lanty Slea,Wilhelm Vonvenster and Hard Iron are entered for Monday at Musselburgh.
Back at home Ribble Valley and Marown have been on similar schedules since having extended breaks. They both schooled over fences last week and went well.
Snowy Clouds had a wind op after his last race as he just didn’t seem to be finishing his races off. He has just started back steady cantering and hopefully it won’t be too long before he runs again.
We can’t go without giving a mention to the might Takingrisks, who was retired after pulling up in the Rowland Meyrick Chase on Boxing Day, just shy of this thirteenth birthday. He had a fantastic career, especially as a veteran, winning the 2019 Coral Scottish Grand National, 2019 Betfair Rehearsal Chase and 2021 Sky Bet Chase as well as running in the 2021 Randox Health Grand National. He will remain here in Greystoke to be a hack, a role he has been doing for the last few years anyway.
Finally we finish with a quick update on Danny McMenamin who has been attending the Jack Berry House for physio and gym based exercise. He had a few days back home for Christmas and is aiming to make his return the second weekend in January.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year and all the best for 2022.