10 Aug Dancer’s Diary – Week 27
It’s been a quiet week here at Castle Hill Stables, though things look set to get busier over the next fortnight or so. A lot of us have been crying out for a bit of rain, whilst I had the ignominy of being balloted out of my race last weekend – how dare they not include me!! Clearly they had forgotten just how popular how I am! I don’t mind too much though, as I have been able to take advantage of Alice’s sore wrist (silly girl falling off!) by going even faster than usual.
We have a few entries on Saturday, with Quiet Moment (Sassy) (left) and Any Joy (Joy) (right) looking the most likely to take up their respective engagements. Sassy is entered in a 6 furlong maiden at Ripon, where we hope she can show everyone what we know she is made of. She looks a million dollars, and is roaring up the gallops at home, but has grown like the proverbial weed in the last fortnight: must say, I have been rather jealous, as I feel my growth spurt days are rather over. I have also been a tiny bit envious (not that I have told Ben) but he now seems to spend more time with her than me. I think Alice is a bit worried as well, and is wondering whether she’s going to be kicked out the house soon and have Sassy replace her! Anyway, we look forward to seeing her back out again, and feel that 6 furlongs will see her to much better effect than the 5 she ran over last time out.
Joy is in fine form, and has plenty of field time with me recently, which can only be to her benefit. Another one who is continuing to grow, she is, as she says, like a fine wine and will only improve with age. She has been working well at home, and might head to Doncaster for the 6 furlong maiden. She ran a very gallant race at this track first time out to come 5th in a field of 14, before being bamboozled by the turns of Chester, and I very much look forward to seeing her back out on a straight line. She is a talented filly, but very backwards, and will keep improving, with everything she does at the moment a bit of a bonus.
Onto Sunday, we see the largest horse in the yard, Saint Charles (Charles) head back to the scene of his latest victory, Southwell, in a 2 mile novice chase. I am personally looking forward to a day off, as he keeps chasing me round the field wanting to ‘play’! I am far too grown up for such ridiculous things, though I do try and humour him occasionally. He also rather frustrates his rider Andy, who can spend many hours traipsing from one end of the field to the other in an attempt to catch him – cheeky isn’t the word! Anyway, he will be reunited with Richie McLernon, AKA superjock, and hopefully can make it 2 out of 2 for the yard, though it looks a slightly deeper race than last time.
Looking into the depths of next week, and depending on the weather we may have a few runners: Moon Over Rio (Moonie) (left) and Shesnotforturning (Nelly) will be doing a rain dance over the weekend in the hope they can go to Thirsk on Monday. I for one really hope it rains there, as Moonie is doing my head in: she is so blooming well, leaping all over the place, and pulling her poor Lass Amy around everywhere! She has a very high knee action, and running her on anything firmer than good is very detrimental to her, but if she gets her ground she is in on cracking form for the 1 mile 4 furlong handicap. Might quieten her down for a couple of days as well!
Nelly has been away from the racecourse for a good while, after having an extremely consistent year in 2015, with the highlight being an easy win at Hamilton. However, she went off the boil a bit at the end of the season, so had a good long break and we have just been slowly bringing her back, whilst trying to keep her fresh and well. She likes a bit of ease in the ground, and whilst not a superstar, is very genuine and game so we hope she will be able to run in the 6 furlong Lady Amateurs race. She is a wonderful ride at the races, even looking after Alice on her first wobbly go, so whoever gets the call up is guaranteed a lovely day out!
Bourbonisto (Toby) (right) would also like a bit of juice up at Ayr in the 7 furlong maiden, though it is less essential. I have a real soft spot for this horse, and feel he has been a little unlucky this year, just getting chinned first time out after being green as grass, before the ‘blindfold’ debacle. He then grew a lot, and ran well but a little below what we know he is capable of for his next two starts, but he is blossoming once again at home and looks ready to rock and roll. He looks a real three year old in the making, but it would be great to get a win on the board with him this year for his lovely owners Daniel Shapiro and David Clifford.
The elusive Prancing Oscar (Percy) is once again threatening to make his debut for Middleham Park Racing, this time at Hamilton in a 6 furlong maiden. He has managed to string a fortnight of good work together, and Ben feels is now strong enough to take on the racecourse: a humongous lad, he just enjoyed going a bit weak on us every time we made an entry for him this month, but the entry was made today and he proceeded to gallop very well – fingers crossed! I have my suspicions he may be a bit of a cheeky chappy, and potentially a little ‘gormless’ first time out, but he is definitely ready for the experience. He reckons he is ‘the man’ now at home, and needs to go and see what the wider world has to offer as has stopped listening to me completely!
There are a few others I may have left out, but my feed is calling me so keep an eye on the entries!
Until next time,