15 May Dancer’s Diary – Week 47
I am delighted to say, that after last week’s sad announcements of retirements, I have only good news to report on last weeks activities here at Castle Hill! The horses were in flying form, and every runner did us proud.
We started off with The Doorman (left), who headed to Carlisle last Thursday, where we were hoping Ben had found him a good opportunity to open his account over hurdles. A massive, heavy horse, we had tweaked a few things with what was attached to his bridle after a slightly disappointing run at Kelso the time before, and hoped it might help him out a bit, combined with slightly faster ground then he has been running on over the winter. He tracked the leaders the whole way through, with Richie giving him a trademark brilliantly patient ride, scraping the paint off the rails the whole way round, before effortlessly taking control landing from the last to cruise to a 9 length victory. Indeed, I think Door’s rather over enthusiastic supporters worked up more of a sweat cheering him home then Richie and Door did combined! We were all over the moon, as he was so agonizingly close to the winner’s spot throughout January and he really deserved it here. He is hoping to double up tomorrow at Sedgefield for owner J.P. McManus – fingers crossed, though I am not sure anyone here can cope with too many more of Alice’s tears of excitement!
Next we headed off to Hexham, where we were hoping Wibble (Man Of La Mancha) would get a bit further then the 2nd fence this time! A good jumper at home, he is a little bold for his own good at times, and Richie excelled himself here to get him a clear round in 5th place, whilst teaching him a few lessons on listening to his jockey on the way round! He ran a nice enough race and hopefully will have learned plenty from it.
Hawk (Hawkhurst) was up next, and we were all as ever just praying he got home intact with his jockey and didn’t try any shenanigans between the last fence and the finishing line, as his wont! We were also really hopeful that we might have found a race he could win, but alas he continues to frustrate a bit, running well enough to take 2nd, but not landing the spoils just yet! He does seem to be getting straighter in his attitude to racing, however, so hopefully we can go one better next time.
Finally, we had Dursey (Dursey Sound) (right), in the chase at the end of the day. We were a little bit worried as they had put a lot of water down, and he really wants top of the ground, but he ran a really nice race to finish 3rd. We were very pleased with him, as he isn’t the easiest horse to get right, but hopefully he is showing a nice return to form and we can find him some slightly firmer ground to have another crack on!
Feeling pleased that two well documented ‘quirky’ horses had managed to run well, pick up some prize money, and come home safe, we were slightly surprised to receive some interesting ‘Fan Mail’ from a Mr Alan Thomas, letting us know that we had, in fact, totally failed to get them fit, which was the only reason these two ‘certainties’ didn’t win (I think it is fair to say it was a little less polite than this, but that is the general gist.) An interesting point of view, which didn’t seem to take into account Hawk’s various ‘quirks’, or Dursey’s price of 20/1 – or, in fact, the total of 8 horses who pulled up behind them! You do have to get used the odd bit of abuse when you are in this sport, but I can’t help feeling that if these people have such a low opinion of you – why back your horses?! An eternal conundrum that one…
Anyway, we have three runners tomorrow. Cup Final is joining Door at Sedgefield, where he will also be attempting back to back victories. He is lining up for his 2nd Novice Chase, having won his first in a match race at Southwell. He has a few more opponents tomorrow, but hopefully his class will come through again!
Henry (Vaux) (left) heads to Beverley for his owners Ontoawinner, in what looks a good race for him – so we shall keep our fingers crossed that he manages to stay out of trouble this time, and doesn’t hit every bit of bad luck going as usual!! Graham Lee takes the ride in this 5 furlong seller, where hopefully a drop back in trip and class will see a nice result at the end!
We have a lot more happening towards the end of the week, so please keep looking at the entries!
Until next time,