23 Nov Open Meetings and Open Days
Whilst it can be generally accepted that the best of days at the racecourse are those spent in the winners enclosure at the end of it, it was proved to us this month that there can be the odd notable exception! We were very lucky to be sent the gorgeous and very popular 10 year old grey gelding Rose Of The Moon (Moonax X Little Rose) a few months ago by Middleham Park Racing. He settled in nicely here, though has proved to be a highly intelligent chap who gets easily bored! He has been having a lovely time since his arrival cantering around all the grass gallops across the moor, popping the odd fence here and there.
Looking and feeling well, Ben decided his first start for us would be at the Cheltenham Open Meeting in the Cross County Chase, something he has shown a great liking for his in his previous yard. Nerves abounded as we made the long journey down to the home of National Hunt Racing, only Ben’s second runner there. For me, there is nowhere quite like Cheltenham – the atmosphere, a crowd obsessed by the sport and the splendour of the place make it truly unique and it was a real privilege to be taking such a gorgeous chap there. There was a big field in Rosie’s race, and it looked as competitive as ever and we were really just hopeful he would come home safe and sound having enjoyed himself.
It was a pleasure meeting all his enthusiastic owners before the race, and the nerves were definitely on the up having seen the enormous fences! He stayed really calm before the race, which we were delighted with as apparently he has struggled with this before, and cantered beautifully down to the start under Richie McLernon. Once the race was off, it made me realise that having a horse running in these races makes you appreciate how long they really are! He was an absolute star, and Richie had him beautifully settled in about 4th or 5th for most of the first half. He jumped like a stag, before hitting his usual flat spot about a mile out. We were expecting this, but he quickly found it his rhythm again and jumped the last few like a fresh horse. He ran a blinder to come in 5th of the 16, gaining on the 4th the whole way up the hill. Whilst we were a little gutted to have missed out by one on the winners enclosure, we were ecstatic with his performance and how much he enjoyed it. It was a real pleasure to meet all his owners, and hopefully he will have come on for that and give us a few more exciting days out this year!
This Saturday, we had the pleasure of having the Ontoawinner syndicate into the yard as part of their Middleham Open Day. They have a share in our gorgeous yearling filly Casamento X Angel Bright, and she behaved impeccably with plenty of posing for the cameras! We have been so impressed in all our dealings with this brilliant syndicate so far, and the Open Day was a fantastic opportunity to meet a really fun set of owners. It was a fairly chilly morning, so a visit to the pub was well received in order to warm up and I couldn’t quite believe it when I checked my watch to see we had been there 8 hours!
Ontoawinner are relatively new, but are bolting rapidly in the right direction as a wonderful syndicate to be a part of, run by some very down to earth people with a great knowledge of their racing. They have not only had huge success with there horses so far, but also seem to provide some incredible days out, a great experience for all. Their communication skills are top notch and I would highly recommend checking out their website www.ontoawinner.net. We are really looking forward to having a few days out with them in the year ahead, and keeping our fingers crossed that we can continue their lucky streak!
This week, we have also started using a new company for feed supplements in the shape of Feedmark (www.feedmark.com). They look fantastic quality and we are really looking forward to seeing how are horses progress on their various products. They were absolutely brilliant at recommending what would suit each individual horse and have a wonderful reputation.