14 Aug August 2019
Further improvement from Lady Shanawell who continues to show a liking for longer trips
Following a quiet couple of weeks no less than 4 horses make the trip to Newcastle for an evening all-weather meeting on Thursday 8th August. After Blazing Dreams and Pinarella run unplaced in their retrospective races it’s the turn of Lady Shanawell, a 3 year old chestnut filly. To date Lady Shanawell has had 6 races without making the frame, although her two latest races, both over hurdles, have been a marked improvement on her previous Flat races which were all over 6 or 7 furlongs. Though it’s back to the Flat today our filly is upped in trip to an extended mile and a half for this fillies’ handicap. Having been held up early Lady Shanawell makes headway inside the final two furlongs and whilst only able to run on at one pace she nevertheless finishes 3rd of the 6 runners, beaten 2 and a quarter lengths, and only behind runners from two leading Newmarket stables. Lady Shanawell started the clear outsider of the 6 runners and this run is a distinct improvement on her previous Flat form and she is clearly starting to show promise now having been tried over a longer trip.
In the final race on the card The Bull runs in a 6 furlong handicap. A winner over 5 furlongs here in November 2018 The Bull races in midfield close to the nearside rails and begins to make his move over a furlong out. Inside the final furlong our 4 year old is forced to make his challenge between runners and cannot quite get to the leaders, finishing 4th of the 14 runners, beaten just over one and a half lengths at the line.
A deserving first success as Blindingly makes all at Thirsk
The following day, August 9th, Ben sends just 3 horses to Thirsk. Once again our first two runners, Ritchie Star and Calevade, are unplaced, but today we certainly save the best until the last race on this afternoon card. Blindingly is the runner in question and today our 4 year old contests a 6 furlong apprentice maiden handicap under young Harry Russell who had his first ever ride for Ben on Ritchie Star earlier in the afternoon. Harry has Blindingly quickly away from the stalls and is clearly intent on making all. His partner, sporting cheekpieces for just the second time, is very willing and although challenged strongly for the lead mid-race nevertheless runs on well and is a length clear entering the final furlong. Inside the last half furlong Blindingly is challenged again, this time by the short priced favourite, but our boy is not for passing today and holds on at the line to score by a reducing short head.
A good ride from Harry, and a most deserving success for his partner. Blindingly has thus achieved his first win at the 7th attempt having only started his racing career in February 2019. Although this was his first success he was certainly not winning out of turn already having 2 second places and 2 third places to his name. The victory is equally deserving for his owner Mrs Christine Barclay, a long standing supporter of our stable. Hopefully now Blindingly has lost his maiden tag he will go on from today’s race and reward his owner with further successes in the future. A first win for Blindingly, but for Ben this is his 17th winner of the current Flat campaign, already his career best season.