17 May Dancer’s Diary – Week 18
Well. Well, well, well, well!
If I may be so modest, I think the finest week on record has just been claimed by the Ben Haslam Racing team, down to my quite simply incredible performance at Sedgefield last Tuesday. I was getting rather sick of hearing the occasional mutter that maybe it was time to draw an end to my career (how rude!! I shall be making Ben very aware when I’m ready!) and decided now was the time to remind everyone of just what an exceptional racehorse I am! I quickly checked out Richie McLernon in the paddock, and reckoned I’d met a partner worthy of showing my prowess too, and oh boy did we show those others what it meant to gallop! Never headed, I have several photos of me in isolated glory showing off my wonderful jumping ( not to brag, but the commentator compared me to Faugheen, though I reckon I could show him a trick of two. Give me a call Willie!) The years rolled back as I bounded up the hill to a 9 length victory, the 17th of my career, and I must say I was rather touched by the reception I got in the winners enclosure, though I did rather deserve it. Alice was in tears so I had to tell her to pull herself together, and my lovely owner Robert was beaming. The rest of the yard are, naturally, silenced in there adoring admiration of me, and even the two year olds shut up a bit – though that didn’t last for long!
I must also give Mo (Ever So Much) an honourable mention, as he managed to come 3rd in his chase on the same day. Not a 9 length win, but, you know, a good effort. In all fairness, he could well be one to watch when he runs next Tuesday as that belly is starting to finally look a little trimmer.
My brilliance has clearly given the whole yard a rather large boost, and we were all rather blown away by our two year olds performances at the weekend. Toby (Bourbonisto) (left below, looking immaculate in the pre parade ring) was first up on Saturday night at Doncaster, and he headed off in the lorry looking rather bewildered as to why he was being removed from his feed bowl – he’s quite greedy. He proceeded to impress everyone with his very calm demeanour in the paddock (ahem Henry! Acrobatics not needed!) and Nicola was over the moon with him for giving her a very peaceful time of it. I rather closed my eyes in despair for the first three furlongs, as this relaxed attitude continued into the race, with a very chilled jump out the stalls and a rather meandering approach to galloping. Pretty convinced he was going to come last over the 5 furlong trip, with Raul just keeping him balanced and letting him find his feet, he suddenly veered left and took off flat out! He overtook most of the field like they were standing still, got to the front and then unfortunately swerved a little left to just lose out by a head. It was all rather exciting (obviously not as exciting as a 9 length winner) and by all accounts Toby rather enjoyed his time in the Winners Enclosure, posing for lots of pictures with his delighted owners Daniel and David. Even better, it was there first time racing with us and what a start for everyone! He looks a Colt to keep an eye on, being exceptionally green , but he clearly has plenty of ability and very much the right attitude.
Henry (Vaux) (right,with June) heard all this, and immediately had a bit of a strop after his rather less efficient performance at Southwell. It was quite peaceful having his ego squashed for a bit, but it wasn’t too last. He was very pleased to find himself heading off to Ripon the next day, where he clearly decided he was not to be beaten in his top dog 2 year old status. June, who has the patience of a saint with him at home, was delighted by his quite exceptional behaviour, and he was the image of perfection in the parade ring and even kept Joey Haynes on board down to the start this time – what a relief! He proceeded to slightly blot his copybook by fly leaping out the stalls (it is Henry after all!) and proceeded to show just how little he took on board at Southwell by leaping all over the place looking green as grass. However, his natural talent came though in the last part of the 6 furlong race, and he sped his way to the front where he got into a ding dong battle. Joey was very nice to him (it’s all about good experiences at this stage) and he didn’t have the advantage of a rail, so he just lost out by half a length – however, he and his rival had pulled 6 lengths clear and it was another brilliant performance. His wonderful owners Ontoawinner had plenty of pats for him, and it looks like he’s going to give them plenty of fantastic days out as there’s definitely plenty of improvement left in this enthusiastic little horse. I had the misfortune of being babysitter – my poor ears! Even when I reminded him of my gallant win he wouldn’t shut up!
All in all, it’s been a pretty blooming good week here at Castle Hill, with the old dog showing those youngsters just how to do it. Nice to see them take the advice on board for once! It’s a quiet week this week, but hopefully we’ll be back with a bang when Mo runs.
Oh and thank you to my fans for your congratulations – I hope you won lots of money!
Until next time
Dance (winner extraordinaire)