31 Oct Dancer’s Diary – week 32
Now, I am sure you have all missed me over the last few weeks, but I promise I have a valid, if rather irritating, reason for my absence – I appear to have been nominated as Puppy Sitter. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when Ben and Alice emerged with a small bundle of over enthusiastic energy one afternoon, and I must say my life has taken a turn for the worse since. JP may look cute, but he is a monumental terror and most of my life seems to be spent chasing him round the field trying to keep him out of trouble. Even worse, he seems to think he’s the new Assistant Trainer – not on my watch! I must admit, for all his trouble making ability, he does seem to keep everyone entertained and is rather good company at the races. However, I think we have all learnt one thing from the experience: training racehorses is a doddle in comparison to puppy training!
JP isn’t the only new arrival, with a couple of new horses popping up over the last couple of weeks. Ben happily trawled through the Tattersalls Book 3 Catologue with me, telling me to keep an eye out for some middle distance pedigrees. This sounded like a grand idea, and I gave him what I considered a stamina laden shortlist of later developing types. It appears he than promptly threw this in the bin, instead becoming infatuated by a, admittedly rather lovely, Showcasing filly (left)! I must say, her arrival got all the colts flexing there muscles, as she is, even to my resigned bachelor eye, an absolute beauty. Out of a Compton Place mare and from the family of Hellvelyn, I have a bad feeling I might be struggling to lead her up the canter! We were thrilled when Middleham Park Racing took her under their wing, and shares are still available in her (http://middlehamparkracing.net/horse.php?id=447).
We also took the plunge a couple of weeks later back in Newmarket, securing the most regally bred horse of the In Training Sale! A Galileo half brother to the Derby winner Pour Moi – how does one compete with that! Needless to say, he clearly isn’t quite the horse on the flat his lofty relative is, but he looks absolutely perfect for a hurdling/ dual purpose campaign, having won a 2 mile maiden in Ireland. Giant Redwood (right, with trouble) has been a perfect gentleman since his arrival, and I am currently also babysitting him down the hurdling lane. He had his first session today, and I must say I was quietly impressed. He clearly has a long way to go before catching up with me, but he’ll get there! He is also in the Middlehamp Park fold, and once again shares are available in this fun, exciting horse! (http://middlehamparkracing.net/horse.php?id=399).
We had a lovely weekend hosting part of the Ontoawinner Open Day, and it was a pleasure as always to see this highly enthusiastic bunch! Cassie (Castle Hill Cassie) and Cloudy (Violet Mist) were over the moon to be able to strut their stuff, whilst Sassy (Quiet Moment) was rather more energetic about the whole affair – but thankfully managed to miss the crowd! Henry (Vaux) spent most of the morning sticking his tongue out at everyone – he won’t listen when I tell him how rude this is! Though he’s so incorrigible he probably just doesn’t care.. By all reports, it sounds like a great evening was had celebrating the success of their wonder filly Quiet Reflection, though I think a few sore heads were going around the next morning!
We had a good night on the track on Friday night at Newcastle. Whisky (Whisky Marmalade) – or the Big Girl – came back from a long lay off to run well for a long way, before her need of a run told in the last furlong. She will come on nicely for the race and I am looking forward to seeing her back over hurdles.
Eponina, (below) a very leggy 2 year old filly by Zoffany, was up next for her debut run in a 7 furlong maiden. Owned by Lynn Douglas, Gary Walker, James Pak and Nickie Wellingham, I think she comes firmly under the category of bargain buys! Whilst not a beauty queen, she has a wonderful way of going, and whilst still a little weak, had been pleasing us at home. I think everyone nearly fell over when she won best turned out, and she handled the preliminaries with aplomb. She then pinged herself out of the stalls, and took Cam Hardie along at an almighty pace. A furlong out, she looked like threatening the eventual winner, but a bit of greenness told and she ran a belter to finish 6th. Quicker than you’d think to look at her, she will probably drop down to 6 furlongs next start, and she looks a really nice prospect for her cracking bunch of owners.
Finally was Gorgeous George (Epeius) (right), who has been followed by a cloud of misfortune of bad luck all season. Never getting his ground on turf, he than cleverly managed to slice his tongue open before disappointing on his all weather debut. We dropped him back to 6 furlongs here, and coming out the stalls it looked like the cloud was still there, getting s hefty bump that nearly knocked him off his feet – and he’s a big horse so that’s saying something! Jockey Megan Nicholls quickly used her head however, getting him quickly out of trouble, and he ran an absolute cracker to finish a very close 3rd. His owners, Lynn and Gary, have been so patient with us and him, and it looks like only a matter of time before he’ll be rewarding them!
Tomorrow we head to Redcar, where Arnie (Crucial Response) (below) and Queenie (Queen Starbond) will be making there debuts in two divisions of the same race, a 7 furlong maiden. I would struggle to predict how Arnie will run – he must be the most laid back horse in training, but I am sure the experience combined with the strength of Graham Lee will soon wake him up! He is beautifully bred, and very good looking (apparently!) but whatever happens tomorrow, he will improve from. Owned by Jeremy and Davina Instone, alongside Alice’s parents Alan and Fiona Kent, we await tomorrow with anticipation! Queenie, owned and bred by Richard Phizacklea, is a lovely big filly who will be a stronger horse next year, but we are looking forward to getting her out for her first experience.
Until next time!