03 Apr Dancer’s Diary – Week 44
It has been one hell of a wonderful week here, partly due to some long missed sunshine, but mainly due to my resurgent performance at Sedgefield on Wednesday – but more of that later!
We had an interesting weekend at Kelso, where I was pleased with how Cup Final shaped on his debut for us. We were hoping he might just be quick enough for two miles in the soft ground, but the field went off like the clappers, catching him rather flat footed. However, he stayed in really nicely at the end to take 4th and I think now we know more about him, there will be plenty of fun to be had!
Next up was Hawkhurst, who has an interesting reputation for trying to buck his rider off if he looks in danger of winning. However, he had been going really well at home, and I had attempted to give him a talking to before he lined up for the 5 runner Novice Chase. It turned into rather an eventful ten minutes, with horse crashing out left, right and centre, until finally it was only Hawk and one other runner for a last fence showdown. Hawk was making nice headway, and we were all getting thoroughly excited – Hawk clearly, however, doesn’t like excitement, as he decided to plough through the last fence, before dancing around nimbly after it, giving poor Richie absolutely no chance to stay in the plate. The whole yard is now refusing to talk to this troublesome character, and one can only hope he grows up soon!
Anyway, we moved on as quickly as we could from this interesting event, and rumbled on to Wolverhampton on Monday night with Ontoawinner, Trojan Horse and James Pak’s Castle Hill Cassie (left), who was having her second start in a 7furlong maiden. A lovely, big rangy filly, she gave us all a pleasant surprise last year when coming 3rd in a hot race first time out, and we were hopeful she’d put up a nice show. She drifted hugely before the start, which is always a little stressful as it seemed every yard in the race fancied there’s, but we should never have doubted her! She settled beautifully into the race under Graham Lee, who was very patient with her when she was a little green around the turns, and rounding the home bend she was caught a little flat footed by the eventual winner. However, she produced a great finishing flourish to come 2nd, with the rest well behind her, and hopefully we have a nice filly on our hands for the future! I think she is pleased with herself, though to be honest she hasn’t stopped eating long enough to let us know since she got back – she really is the greediest horse I have ever met!
After all that excitement, it was time for me to make my long awaited reappearance at Sedgefield, for a Novice Chase (right, me looking marvellous!). It had just been long enough since my last one for Alice to forget how well I jumped that day, and she was once more a very pale shade of white with nerves – when will she learn to have more faith in me! Richie and I proceeded to have quite simply the most wonderful time, pinging from fence to fence like a very agile rabbit, making it look easy. I had them all on the run coming round the final bends, but a horrible accident had caused the last fence to be omitted – Indeed, I would like to take this opportunity to send all my condolences to the Skelton team for the loss of their lovely horse, I know I got plenty of extra carrots last night – and due to the extra long run in, I got collared by the favourite just in the shadows of the post. However, as Alice pointed out to me, the most important thing is that I was home safe and sound, and had run an absolute belter to put the icing on the cake. Plenty of life in this old dog yet! However, I will once again request that Sedgefield move their winning post a little further down that blooming hill, my legs aren’t quite what they once were!!!
Until next time,