What a great day we all had yesterday at Southwell where two of our three runners winning taking our seasonal tally to 7 winners and a seasonal percentage of 20% (25% over the last 14 days!) which is fantastic.
Dr Dunraven kicked off proceedings in the best possible way for our Martin Keighley Racing Club – many of whom were able to be present at Southwell on a Monday which was great – they are a super bunch of people and it really is a fun club to join and with spaces still available there is no better time to join.
Following Dr D’s Worcester victory earlier this month he was raised a massive 11lbs, which I felt was harsh and made my feelings known, and was therefore pleased he was dropped 2lbs after 2 subsequently disappointed. With more than his fair share of problems in the past, we’ve struggled to run him again quickly however he seemed to be bouncing at home so he took his chance.
Like Worcester, the race played into his favour, under a very good ride from Andrew Tinkler who gets on so well with him. Hitting the front 5 out he still looked to be travelling strongly and I was relieved that he didn’t fold when challenged from 2 out but instead battled all the way to the line to win by 1 3/4 lengths and delight us all.
The Handicapper was present and was keen to catch up with Paul and myself afterwards! In my opinion we were both right – yes he does seem to have improved but if he’d not been dropped 2lbs then there is a valid argument that, as he only won by 1 3/4 lengths, he’d have been beaten yesterday.
With a Racing Club winner we usually have a draw for the trophy at a later gathering (yes we’ve had quite a few winners so far in just 18 months!) however with it being Keith & Jan Salisbury’s 58th Wedding Anniversary it was only right that Paul Davis chose to give the trophy to them – what a special day!
The Racing Club had a second runner too yesterday with Matravers in the Maiden Hurdle who ran better than his 50-1 price to finish 5th – not quite close enough for those each way punters but he gave them a run for their money.
Finally Mr Mafia ran in the last race and was aiming to bring up the hat-trick of wins since joining our team, all under yesterday’s pilot Harry Stock. He’s a dude and has been in such good form at home so I was hopeful his 7lb rise wouldn’t stop him either and, although dropping back in trip, it’s a long straight and you need to be able to stay. Once again he didn’t disappoint and drew clear to lead over the last and win by 4 1/2 lengths much to the delight of his owners. Peter Boggis sadly couldn’t be there but John Abernethy and wife Claire were and emotions were high once again and John commented that he can’t believe this is happening to him! Training winners for such lovely people makes my job worthwhile – a brilliant day.
All three horses are A1 this morning. I must mention my hardworking team here – although Mr Mafia is so far pretty easy to train and seems to thrive on our routine, Leisure Ride gallops and being turned out every day, Dr Dunraven hasn’t been the easiest to keep in top condition. Therefore it is a testament to our full time team here and to the professionals that support us as well – our physios, farrier, vet and to all those who are a vital small cog in a bigger wheel. A fabulous start to the season and we will do all we can to keep it going throughout the whole season.