A long drive to Sedgefield yesterday and returned without a winner but happy owners. Solstice Star ran a solid race on his return from about 6 months break to finish 3rd under Champion Jockey Richard Johnson. He may now head to the Cross Country Race at Cheltenham next month.
Robsam lost ground early again and I feared it looked a carbon copy of his Plumpton debut however the penny dropped after probably a mile & 3/4 and he ran on well to the line to make up an incredible amount of ground to finish 6th beating two that were a long way ahead turning in. I’ve always said he’s a big baby and I think the penny is only just dropping and he will need a decent trip in time. Lots to take away from today and great that owner Matt Capp could be there to watch himself and speak to Paddy afterwards too.
At Kempton Park Ballymountain Boy ran well on his fencing debut impressing me with his jumping under Leighton Aspell and finishing 4th beaten about 10 lengths. Leighton was pleased with him – we knew the trip was inadequate but he can be gassy and keen and we didn’t want him bottoming himself over further. He always needs a good month but we’ll look for some options late November. Delighted with him.
Plumpton today with two runners. Just one in the papers though – Enforcement in the Nick Embiricos Memorial 2019 Handicap Chase over 2m 3f under James Best who has been in and schooled him a few times. He’s only small and has been tricky to win with but his hurdles win came at Plumpton under Harry Stock and so we know he likes the track and his chasing debut was at Plumpton too where he was a decent 4th. Let’s hope he goes a few places better today.
The ‘runner’ not in the papers is our 1st runner on the card at Plumpton, Brewards Kerwen, known to his friends as Blackie the Shetland! Freddie & Blackie are representing the Shetland Pony Grand National Team but there are no jumps in sight today just a sprint. His last run was his first flat race where he finished with a late surge to get 4th on the line at Newmarket over about 2 1/2 furlongs. I think today’s race is even shorter so Freddie will need to be sharper than he was at Newmarket where some savvier kids were quicker thank him gaining lengths…. He’s not in the pink Rich Ricci colours he’s worn this season today. Instead he’s been generously sponsored by Andrew & Louise Jones so he will be wearing their colours who are more recognisable as those worn on the likes of Benbane Head and Wolf Moon whilst winning at Cheltenham multiple times. Freddie will be up against it as there are some older, more experienced and possibly quicker ponies tomorrow but they are very excited and are going to give it their all.