25 Apr Dancer’s Diary – Week 45
The beginning of last week saw a huge flurry of activity here at Castle Hill, with the arrival of the Middleham Open Day. We were also very lucky to be entertained over the weekend by a visit from Lynn and Gary from Trojan Horse, as well as Hazel and John Palmer from the Ontoawinner family, which was a huge amount of fun! Poor old Hazel and John then had to go watch Vaux (Henry) run at Redcar on Monday, the same day as the Open Day, where Henry’s tremendous run of bad luck continued when he was almost bought down by a faller during the race. He did very well to keep his feet, and all credit must got to Graham Lee for keeping him safe, and both did very well to run on to finish mid-division. This lad must be due a mountain of good luck soon!
Back to the Open Day, Racing Welfare should be very proud of the show they put on. The yards were rammed, and our very own bar, selling Middleham Beer, was extremely popular! Us horses all behaved beautifully, and I was naturally the receiver of a lot of visitors and compliments! We were also very proud of all our lads, and were sent many compliments after the event on their insightful chats with the guests. Particular thanks must go to Stuart, Chris and Mr Mole (left, Stuart and Mole), who had quite the crowd around them all day! After the stables closed, the local pony club came in and the lads took part in a hugely competitive competition involving running, riding and gymkhana. Whilst we didn’t win, despite my awesome coaching, Madi, Tabs and Stuart did us proud and the whole event was an enormous amount of fun.
It has also been a grand week for Cup Final, who travelled down to Southwell on Friday for his Chase debut, after listening to plenty of advice from yours truly! In an expert piece of placing from Ben (also known as blind luck…), Cup had the perfect race to start in, having only one runner to go against. I think I need one of those! He jumped brilliantly after taking a bit of a leap at the open ditch, and thew faster they went the better he got, before giving us all a heart attack round the home bend when he started to come heavily off the bridle. A 3 miler, the 2 miles was a little sharp for him, but his class won out in the end, and after jumping the last in front, he was well on top coming past the finishing post to give himself the perfect start over the bigger obstacles. Richie McLernon was, as ever, superb, and it was fantastic to get another win on the board for JP McManus. It was also a relief for Sam McCullagh (right, with Cup) to finally lead up his first winner, and June was very pleased with her charge who she rides every day at home!
Our other runners have been mixed, with a bit of frustration occurring on some days this week! The ground was too firm for me at Sedgefield, so I looked after myself and came home safely in a perfectly respectful 4th place. You aren’t in this game as long as I have been without knowing when to push and when not too, believe me!! Giant (Giant Redwood) made a silly novicey error and came down on his first run over hurdles, which was irritating as he is a quite brilliant jumper at home. However, I am sure he will learn from it and engage the landing gear next time! Wibble (Man Of La Mancha) jumped his jockey out the saddle on Sunday at Wetherby, before proceeding to pop over a chase fence – clearly he thinks hurdles are beneath him! George (Epeius) ran a decent race first time back on the grass at Thirsk, with everything happening a bit quickly for him in the early stages back on fast ground over 6 furlongs, but stayed on well to take 5th.
This week sees Cassie (Castle Hill Cassie) heading to Catterick for a fillies maiden, where we hope she can confirm the promise she has shown in her two starts so far. The form of her 2 year old run, where she finished 3rd, is looking very good, with the winner taking a very hot race at Newcastle this month, and she finished just behind what looked a nice filly on the all weather in March. She is a cracking horse and it would be lovely if she could go one better tomorrow for owners Ontoawinner, James Pak and Trojan Horse. Viv (Vivardia) may be joining her for the earlier 7 furlong handicap, but this will depend on whether we get rain tonight!
A lot of our other entries this week will depend on whether we have some rain or not, with Percy (Prancing Oscar) possibly set for Beverley, whilst Cops (Call The Cops) and Mole (Mr Mole) may be making the long journey up to Perth.
Saturday may see the debut of a cracking two year old colt, Funkadelic (left), owned by John Dance (great name!!), who is entered at both Ripon and Doncaster. He is a little monkey at home, but very strong and loves his work, so hopefully will put in a nice show, though as we all know first time out two year olds are a bit of a lottery! Whatever happens, he looks like a horse we will have plenty of fun with this year.
Until next time,