25 May Dancer’s Diary – Week 19
Apologies I’m a little late this week, but I’ve been having a busy time of it training the horses. Alice has decided Ben needs my advice (clearly), so after I’ve finished my work I’m now busy watching the others canter. I must say I think they are all improving considerably under my eagle eye! It’s all rather enjoyable and gives me a few extra opportunities to run away with my errant rider.
It’s been rather a week of ups and downs here at Castle Hill (than again, I suppose that’s racing!) I’ll start with the first ‘up’: the arrival of two very pretty ladies from Goresbridge Breeze-ups. Now, I may be a confirmed bachelor, but I do like the lilt of an Irish accent! I’m slightly upset I wasn’t nominated to be there lead horse on there first day at the gallops, but I’m sure my time will come – I’m due a reward for my win! We are delighted to be teaming up again with that wonderful syndicate Ontoawinner, and both look like cracking, sharp types. Darcy (Dandy Man x Easee On) (above)looks a real strong girl, and did the 3rd fastest time of the whole breeze up sale – I am quietly impressed! Cloudy (Clodovil x Vision Of Peace) (left) is proving very popular with the staff, and has a wonderful temperament on her. Shares are available (www.ontoawinner.net) and both are giving the impression it won’t be long before you get to cheer them on at the racecourse!
They join the breeze-up filly from DBS, Trojan Horses brilliantly named Tequila (Harbour Watch x Ronda Alla Turca) (right), whom I forgot to mention in the overexcitement of my brilliant victory. She’s looking a real bargain, with loads of size and scope, and also has a few shares available (contact Ben for details. I haven’t quite worked out how to answer the phone just yet!)
Now onto a down – well, sort of a down. Ontoawinner’s Henry (Vaux) headed off to Wetherby for his third start in a five furlong maiden. We all had high hopes after his brilliant 2nd at Ripon, and he was on his very best behaviour pre-race – he’s finally getting some sense into that egotistical head! Being Henry, he couldn’t quite behave all day, and extremely irritatingly managed to time a small rear in the starting stalls with the exact moment the starter decided to let them go. Now, I’m not one to judge, but this wasn’t very fair on the horse or his connections, but what can you do! Unfortunately this meant he lost at least 4 lengths before the race had even started, and he then did exceptionally well to get to the front. Unfortunately, this Herculean effort meant he had little left to give in the closing stages and he ended up 5th, beaten only 2 lengths – the what might have beens! He was disconsolate this morning, though I assured him that he most certainly has an engine, all we need now is a bit of luck!
Luckily, Big Mo (Ever So Much) (below with Percy) was watching, and decided to give the team here a bit of a boost only 10 minutes later. I hope you were all paying attention last week when I noted the decreasing size of his stomach! Fatty Arbuckle was clearly feeling a bit trimmer, as he pulled Richie McClernons arms out throughout (I was wincing for him), before putting his head down and battling to win by a length or so in the 2 mile 4 furlong chase. Richie gave him quite the ride (told you I’d taught him a trick or two at Sedgefield!) and Mo was very full of himself on his return. Indeed, I seem to be getting payback for my own ebullience – if I have to hear how he flew the last one more time! It’s always good to get one on the board for JP McManus, and I’m sure Mo will add to that soon.
Then onto today, where Ben, Nicola and Toby (Bourbonisto) made the long trek to Hamilton. We were all looking forward to see what this exciting Colt could do after his smart debut, but I’m afraid it ended up being one of those afternoons where you have to laugh, or else you’d cry. Loaded first into the stalls, the horse beside him decided to be incredibly naughty, at which point poor Toby found himself blindfolded. All well and good, but it does help of the blindfold comes off when the stalls open.. Which Toby’s failed to do. Eventually it was removed after at least 5 lengths had been lost (twice in one week! We must be due a lot of luck soon!) and his jockey went easy on him after that to only be beaten around 5 lengths. The good news is he didn’t have a hard race, and we will be looking for an opportunity for him ASAP, possibly on Monday at Redcar.
So, there’s a little insight into the highs, lows, celebrations and bad luck stories of the rollercoaster that is racing. The best news is that everyone is safe and sound and ready to grab a bit of the luck next time! Miss those colts next start at your own peril!
Until next time