Ben Haslam Racing | Dancer’s Diary – Week 50
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Dancer’s Diary – Week 50

Dancer’s Diary – Week 50

Good evening,

It has been a hectic few weeks here at Castle Hill Stables, and the horses have been doing me proud, albeit without quite hitting the mark although we have had some very close calls – close enough to make you weep with joy and disappointment at the same time!!

Cup Final headed off to Hexham, where he was looking to get more experience over the larger obstacles, having claimed an easy success first time in a two runner field, before being beaten by a subsequent winner next time out. He went for a competitive little race here, and ran his heart out. He is a very athletic jumper, though he does occasionally like to try and jump poor Richie off at the open ditches, and he pinged the last here to loom upsides the leader. They had an absolute ding dong battle up the straight, and heartbreakingly this lovely horse had it every where but the line! The photo finish makes painful viewing (left), but it was a very solid run and we look forward to stepping him up in trip in the future.

It was then a swift change from chasing to two year olds, with two debutantes heading to Thirsk for their first ever outing. Betty (Elysee Star), and The Queen (Porrima) – don’t ask, Alice seems a little infatuated with her – are both big, scopey fillies who look like they will make better three year olds, so we weren’t sure what to expect but knew they would learn plenty. Betty, surprising us all as she can be a little slow on the uptake at home, leaped the stalls under Robbie Fitzpatrick, who had her prominent most of the way, before making up some nice ground to finish 2nd behind an experienced rival. We were delighted for her and her owners Go Alfresco Racing, as she was a cheap purchase and looks like she will be making up into a nice filly for them. She will be out again in the next couple of weeks, and fingers crossed there is more to come.

Porrima (right), named after her wonderful owners Daniel Shapiro and David Clifford’s business, and fairly fresh still from her arrival from the breeze-ups at Goresbridge, where she was consigned by the excellent Tally-Ho Stud, was surprisingly a little slow out the stalls – she is very quick on the uptake at home! – and was rather stuck behind a wall of horses the whole way down the straight. Cam had to wing round the whole field with just under a furlong to go, and she showed some impressive acceleration to come 3rd. A bit of a what if?!, it was still a really pleasing debut, and we know she has plenty of talent for the future.

Poor Daniel and David than had a very frustrating night at Newcastle watching Rey Loopy get impossibly boxed in just as he was making his run. He had absolutely no chance, and nowhere to go before finally getting free and flying home to take 6th. and we were left with another what if, but the consolation is that we know he is a nice horse that will continue to improve.

Back at Newcastle the next night, George (Epeius) (left) ran another cracking race to finish a never nearer third over 6 furlongs, staying on very well under Paul Mulrennan. Owned by Trojan Horse (Lynn Douglas and Gary Walker) and Carol and John Aldridge, he is extremely genuine and always gives his all. However, he is looking a much more settled horse at the races these days, and a step up in trip to 7 furlongs will be in order next time out as he is no longer the young tearaway he once was!

Meanwhile at Doncaster, Toby (Bourbonisto)  was filling the same spot in a 6 furlong handicap, showing a huge improvement on his last run. He has taken a long time to come into himself this year, and we must thank Daniel and David for their patience with him, but it looks like he should be rewarding them sooner rather than later! Eponina filled 6th in the other division after rather a rough trip, and we expect better from her next time for Trojan Horse, James Pak and Nickie Wellingham.

So, as you can see, plenty of prize money but a rather irritating lack of winners! However, it is good to see the horses in good form and I am sure the luck will fall our way soon (I’ve got my hooves crossed anyway!!)

Until next time,



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