12 Nov Dancer’s Diary – Week 65
As winter draws in and we all start to research hibernation techniques for the months ahead, we have thankfully had a week here to keep motivation up and spirits high! The dark nights and freezing mornings are a tricky time in the life of a racing yard, and Ben is probably considering wearing ear plugs to block out the sound of his wifes moaning, but the good days are even more worth it as you feel more than ever that you have earned that winner!
Castle Hill Cassie got the ball rolling with another excellent run at Listed level in the Fleur De Lys Stakes, beaten only 3 lengths in 6th place at Lingfield over a mile. With no clear passage and a 3lb penalty, this was no disgrace, and she will head to Wolverhampton on Friday looking to qualify for the All Weather Championships.
We then headed to Redcar, where Hasanoanda was having his second start for us after being bought from the Goffs (UK) HIT Sales this summer. He ran a nice race at York, but was a little keen, finishing a decent 6th in a large field. Here, Andrew Mullen got him really well settled out the back over the 1 mile 2 furlong trip, and he looked to relish the soft ground under foot. Coming down into the last 2 furlongs, Andrew put his foot down and David (Hasanoanda) shot to the front in a matter of strides, winning easily by over a length. He looks set for a mark in the 90’s now, and we are really looking forward to getting his owner Mrs. C. Barclay to some nice Saturday meetings next year. However, we will hopefully be seeing him in some Juvenile hurdles first, and witnessing him handle the softer ground means we look forward to this with hopeful excitement. Ben was also delighted as the wife stopped moaning for a whole 24 hours, as this is a horse she is rather attached to so he will be hoping he wins again soon!
This was also a big milestone, as it meant we surpassed our highest total of winners in a season, as well as bringing Ben’s number of winners to over 100. Lets hope the next 100 come a little quicker!
Finally for the weeks celebrations came a victory at one of our favourite tracks, and one our horses seem to love, with The Bull breaking his maiden at Newcastle over 5 furlongs, again with Andrew Mullen on board. A tough horse, he has taken time, and we were so delighted to reward his very patient owners, the wonderful syndicate Excel Racing, James Pak, Daniel Shapiro, David Clifford and Neil and Linda McGarry with a win here! It was a real late flourish, with Andrew being very strong on top, and their was plenty of people roaring and willing his nose to get in front! He should be able to go on from here, particularly on the turf next year, so plenty to look forward to! This horse has been a real team effort, and it was lovely to see him reward his regular rider Grant with a win as he has been rather fresh in recent weeks!
We so nearly had the treble for the week, with poor old George (Epeius) being just denied back at Newcastle on Friday night, finishing a heartbreakingly close second, pulling over four lengths clear from the third. Such a consistent horse for the Ben Haslam Racing Syndicate, his strike rate is far lower than he deserves, but hopefully his day will come again soon as he is such a lovely horse.
Hopefully there will be plenty more to keep us warm over the coming months,
Until next time