A long way to Catterick (& even longer home – more on that later!) but Buckle Street proved exactly what I hoped he would by thriving on the extended trip of 3m 1 1/2f in the Handicap Hurdle to win in good style providing us with our third winner in as many days. What a boost for the team and fabulous for Harry Stock to celebrate his 21st Birthday too – it was a great ride from Harry who is improving all the time and riding with the confidence that winners brings – he’s a big asset to the team.
Buckle Street has been consistent all season without winning and appreciated the step down in class and the extended trip and although he’s not very big to be carrying so much weight, Harry’s 7lb claim helped and Buckle not only jumped really well, he was tough and gutsy when he looked beaten and eventually won well.
We took Raving Bonkers to Catterick as he needed a run and it was about the best ground I could find for a National Hunt Flat Race although it was possibly going to prove a little on the soft side. That it did and he wasn’t happy on the ground but Harry, who knows him well, looked after him and he will have learnt a lot from that run and we’ll have a chat with the owners and decide where we go with him next.
Luckily Issy and Harley left the racecourse after us as we were almost at the end of the M1 near Leicester where we ground to a halt unable to go anywhere. There we stayed for over 2 1/2 hours – not the best way for Harry to spend his 21st Birthday – stuck on the motorway with me! He was due to celebrate with a family meal but, by the time we were off again, I think he had a pizza waiting for him as the restaurant was closed! I believe it was due to a lorry spillage and don’t think there were any casualties luckily. Also fortunately we rang Issy and Harley and they were able to miss it albeit going the long way around and were home nearly an hour before us. Buckle Street and Raving Bonkers are fine this morning and will shortly be going out in the field for the day as usual.
The hours that people like Issy, in particular as our Travelling Head Girl, do when yards are busy can be long and although we are centrally placed and there are yards that have to do far more travelling it is still a long day and she will be welcoming a day of no racing today although still working a full day here. We nominated Issy for the Godolphin Stable Staff Awards recently as she also juggles our job with keeping her event horse fit and doing very well on him too – getting up even earlier than most of the team have to do to muck him out and juggle riding him often under the floodlights in the evening – there must have been some fabulous entrants as she sadly didn’t make the shortlist this year.
Buckle Street’s win justified my decision to miss the family annual panto trip but they didn’t apparently miss me and thoroughly enjoyed themselves – if you get a chance to go and see it they highly recommend it. I’m also so thrilled for the owners of Buckle Street – The Condicote Clan – who are made up of some incredibly special people – Paul Davis, Pip Frankish, Ollie & Irene Ryan, Jon & Jack Hughes, Ruth & Norman Nelmes, Matthew Baker, Fiona Gamble, Hilary Long and Sheila Lindsay. What fantastic days they’ve already had with him, the Charity race win at York and yesterday’s win being the highlights but two good runs at Cheltenham and other exciting days too with undoubtedly more to come!
We await the Stock Family arriving with cakes later for the team later! A busy work morning here and the yard is not surprisingly buzzing….might there be even more good news to share with everyone soon?! We simply couldn’t do what we do without our extended team here and we are so grateful to each of them for being part of Team Keighley.