05 Jun Dancer’s Diary – Week 61
After a rather frustrating May, I am delighted to bring a Dancer’s Diary this week full of good news and lots of excitement! May itself was full of near misses, blocked passages and the odd rather untrue going description, but the horses were in good form with themselves, and at these times patience is key.
However, all was saved on the last day of the month by a horse who is more normally making a nuisance of himself rather than rescuing the day – however, I think we all now forgive Percy (Prancing Oscar) (left) the odd knock round the head from his play ball (or weapon), the attempts to pull you off your horse when you ride past his box, and the constant high pitched squeal that accompanies his walk home! We took the big nonce all the way to Hamilton on Thursday, where George (Epeius) finished a very good 3rd, having been slightly hampered, leaving us feeling it was going to be another one of those days. Luckily, Paul Mulrennan and Percy had other ideas, and Paul set off from the stalls with a very determined look on his face (unlike Percy, who had his usual slightly dazed face on.) A big lazy horse, Paul was pushing and shoving from a long way out, but to be fair to the lad, once the battle was on, he really stuck his neck out all the way to the line – luckily its a very long one as that was the eventual winning distance! We were over the moon for his patient owners Middleham Park Racing and Elizabeth Fox-Andrews, as well as his long suffering best friend Faye Bainbridge who puts up with an awful lot from him at home and was near to tears of joy watching him charge his way back into the winner’s enclosure flat out – only Percy! This is his second victory and we look forward to eventually seeing him over hurdles.
Derby Day dawned, and saw us packing the box for the undulations of Hexham, rather than Epsom – but if you say it quickly they sound almost the same! Sadly for Lord Caprio, he had undergone the ignominious removal of his tackle as a two year old, disqualifying himself from the Blue Riband of racing (of course that’s the only reason!), and instead found himself heading for his first start over the obstacles – but more of that later!
First up was the magnificent Mo (Ever So Much) (right) who appears to be eyeing my record of 17 successes with some enthusiasm. Having gained his eighth win this year, his confidence has been restored after a few months looking like a bit of a shell of his former self. Ben therefore thought it was time to tackle the chase fences once more, and hope the confidence translated – and boy did it! They went flat out early doors, and cool as a cucumber Richie McLernon was happy to sit behind the leaders taking his time. Two out, the favorite was travelling well, but we had a sneaky feeling we were travelling better, and so it proved, with Mo charging up the hill to claim his ninth career win for owner J.P. McManus – what a superstar (though he has some way to go yet to catch up with me!) He was very pleased with himself, and owes the yard absolutely nothing.
Next up was Lord Caprio (left), who, along with five others, was lining up for the first juvenile hurdle of the year with their extremely brave jockeys! We once again had Richie in the driving seat, and he got Caprio in a lovely rhythm towards the back of the field. His jumping was a joy to watch, and coming round the home bend Richie pushed the button to deliver some pretty decent acceleration. Once he was safely over the last, the result was never in doubt and he pulled away easily from his rivals to record his fourth win for us and owners Blue Lion Racing. Whilst we have no idea what he beat, he couldn’t have done it much better, and he is turning into a really useful dual purpose horse. Richie was a pleasure to watch on him and gave him a truly superb educational ride – a proper horseman.
This was our first double over the jumps, and our third double of the year – they are rather good fun to have, so lets keep our fingers crossed for a few more!
Hopefully our run of luck will continue into June – ten winners on the board already leaves us with a decent chance of beating last years total of fifteen, and with the team working their socks off at home, we look forward to what the next few months bring.
Until next time