17 Jul A week for winners!
Apologies it has been so long since I have put an update on here – being busy is never an excuse but it is the best I can come up with! Things have been ticking along at their usual fast pace here at Castle Hill Stables, and the horses are looking magnificent. This week has been a testimony to that, and the hard work of this year is finally starting to pay off!
Whisky Marmalade (Duke Of Marmalade X Nashatara) fired off a warning shot on Monday, finishing 3rd at Wolverhampton in a 12 furlong claiming stakes. She is a relatively new arrival here, and is really being aimed at the jumps world in the future. Owned by Middleham Park Racing, she is a handsome, big filly with a hell of a lot of substance. She has taken to hurdling like a duck to water at home – unfortunately her first outing in June was a write off as the jockey was unshipped at the third hurdle having lost his stirrup – these things love to test us! It was testimony to her, and highly unusual for a three year old filly having her first start over hurdles, that she continued jumping riderless behind the leader before pulling herself out at the last and winning by 5 lengths! We are hopeful that she has a decent future ahead of her in this sphere, she looks the part and really enjoys her new job. She will be out in a juvenile hurdle before long, and has resumed jumping confidently at home.
Camanche Grey (Camacho X Sense Of Greeting) then slotted one in for us on Tuesday when running a blinder to take the spoils in a 5 furlong seller at Thirsk. A bonny 4 year old gelding, it was good to see him resume his winning ways after going a little off the boil at the start of this season – he was given a blinder of a ride by Graham Lee here, who launched his attack at just the right time after being a little outpaced in the first half of the race. We had a good few glasses of champagne with owner Lee Ashmore after – hopefully Charlie will have gained his confidence back here and there will be a few more celebrations ahead of us!
The Blue Lion Racing Syndicate very kindly allowed me to have my second ride on their lovely filly Moon Over Rio (Captain Rio X Moonchild) in the 12 furlong Amateur Riders Handicap on Wednesday at Catterick. A gorgeous girl, she loves a bit of soft ground, as displayed at Ripon in June when taking a 12 furlong handicap in impressive style by 4 1/2 lengths. Sadly, it had quickened a little too much for her this week, and added to the fact that this diminutive girl had to lump 4 stone of lead around (must eat more steak!!), we faded slightly inside the final furlong to finish 5th after she had led the whole way, giving me a brilliant spin round. She remains lightly raced and there is plenty more to come from her once it rains a little.
Finally for the week we were at Hamilton, where Shesnotforturning (Refuse To Bend X Diplomats’ Daughter) broke her maiden tag in fine style. She truly proved how important patience is when it comes to these horses, and has proved a small revelation upon turning 5. She showed little as a 2 and 3 year old, had a years break, and has come back as the most consistent horse in the yard, with her form figures this year reading 2321. It was great to see her get her head in front here in the 6 furlong maiden, and she did it brilliantly winning by 3 1/2 lengths under Graham Lee. Still on a very low mark, I don’t think we have reached the bottom of her yet and she may well turn out again next week for owner Derek Barclay.