24 Nov Dancer’s Diary – Week 35
It has been an excellent week here at Castle Hill, though this years frustrating theme of filling the winner’s enclosure but just missing the top spot has rather continued! Irritating, but always better than not being there!
We had a cracking Friday night at Newcastle, where the Trojan Horse colours were out in force! First up was the leggy Eponina (left), a very elegant filly who has plenty of strengthening up to do over the winter! She was having her second start in a 7 furlong maiden, and we were hoping she had learnt plenty from her first where she did too much early on. She proved a good scholar, and we were delighted when she settled beautifully near the back under Graham Lee, before powering on in the last furlong to finish a good 3rd. A real bargain buy for her owners Lynn Douglas, Gary Walker, James Pak an Nickie Wellingham, she will be put away now until next season, where we are really looking forward to seeing what she can do!
Epeius (right) was up next in a 6 furlong maiden, also for Trojan Horse, and we were hopeful of a good show. He is a big, strong horse who is only starting to find his stride now, and we were screaming for him as he thundered into the final furlong, getting the best of the ding dong battle with the horse upsides him. Unfortunately, he then failed to notice another opponent thundering up his outside, eventually finishing a good, if frustrating, second. The pulled 7 lengths clear of there rivals, and he surely deserves his time soon!
Next up was the moment the racing world has been waiting for with bated breath: my much anticipated return to the sphere of chasing after a mere break of 7 years (left, looking superb). There was a little pressure on my shoulders, as Alice confided she was considering divorce if things didn’t go well, but I reassured her that I am brilliant at everything, so she needn’t worry. She didn’t look convinced, which was rather unflattering! Anyway, even I was a little concerned when I heard just how much rain Sedgefield had, but I had full confidence in Richie McLernon to find me some nice ground. Needless to say, I was simply fantastic, pinging from fence to fence like Arkle and having the time of my life! Rounding the home bend, I was pretty sure I had it won, but the heavy ground started to take its toll. Someone rather rudely suggested I need the winning post moved down the hill a bit at Sedgefield, and whilst I’m slightly offended I do rather agree! Anyway, I finished a gallant 4th, which is really as good as winning when you get as many polos and kisses as I did! I have told Ben I’ll be having a bit of fun leading the yearlings now, and may well make my return in the spring, when the mud doesn’t go up to my hocks!
Moonie (Moon Over Rio) was up next, and I was looking forward to seeing her over hurdles here. She was as game as a pebble, challenging for the lead at the second last, when unfortunately she got so overexcited she forgot to engage the landing gear, depositing her and Richie on the turf. Such a shame when she looked to have a good chance, but the most important thing is we all come home safe and sound, and she certainly did, pinging the last on her own! Normally an electric jumper, she’ll have learnt from her mistake, and it won’t be long before she is taking a few of these hurdle races for owners Blue Lion Racing.
We have a busy day tomorrow, with four heading to Newcastle: it really has made such a difference having an all weather track in the north, and we are all mighty relieved we don’t have to get dizzy round Wolverhampton roundabouts anymore! The very lovely Viv (Vivardia) is making her nursery debut over a mile for Blue Lion Racing, and if she stays well we are reasonably hopeful. She ran very well her first two maidens, before getting stuck in the mud at Redcar, but like Eponina it is more about next year with her.
Following her are two very large, backward colts, both having there second starts. Arnie (Crucial Response) (left), AKA the laziest horse in training, does seem to have woken up a little for his first visit to the course, but I fear it may take a couple more times for the idea to penetrate that thick skull! Please don’t tell I said that, he’s a lot bigger than me… He is joined by Loopy (Rey Loopy), who will also benefit from this second experience, having gone into a state of shell shock after his first start! He really will be a nice horse for owners Daniel and David next year, but is currently experiencing an extreme learning curve he’s just starting to get his head round!
Finally, the ever so slightly infuriating Any Joy, who is living up to her name! I’m not going to say much, and instead just keep my eyes and hooves crossed that she will consent to show us what she can do!!
Until next time