At the risk of repeating myself…a busy few days! The Lingfield ground was pretty holding on Tuesday and all three horses – Solstice Star, Fairmount and Madame Fiona, struggled in it and ran well for a long way but it finally told on them. Solstice has won at Lingfield before over hurdles on testing ground but Dickie Johnson reported he’d have preferred sloppy heavy he could gallop through instead of holding ground. All three are home safely and the other two jumped well on their hurdling debuts.
Belinda and Jon Hughes meanwhile were at home on Tuesday to meet Judy Pimblett. Judy hadn’t been to the yard before and they showed her Dr Dunraven and Pomme De Nuit and she then had a guided tour of the facilities and she was very impressed which is always great to hear. A fun lunch followed I hear – fantastic.
Yesterday both horses ran really well. Young Phoenix (Andrew Tinkler) went to Hereford for his second run over hurdles and put in a much improved performance, staying on really well at the end to finish a neck third and delight his owners. Neville Statham was so delighted he also found Belinda’s number to call her as well as me – he was buzzing and that is what it’s all about!
I went to Wetherby so got to catch up with my parents briefly too as they came to support. We ran Paul Armour’s Oscar World in the bumper (Harry Stock) and were hopeful of a good run after an initial 4th in a Cheltenham bumper for us. The ground wasn’t ideal but she’s a tough mare and she ran another good race but just bumped into one too good on the day and finished 2nd. It was a likeable performance though nonetheless as connections were buzzing about plenty of horses in the race. She jumps well so we’ll probably go straight hurdling now. Both ate up overnight and are having a good lead out today as it’s too frozen to be turned out as they usually are.
Just one at Towcester today – Spice Girl makes her debut over hurdles and is partnered by Champion Jockey Richard Johnson who won on her at Stratford. She’s won her last three bumpers and has always jumped well from day one but you never quite know how they are going to adapt going racing speed with lots of horses around them. We obviously like her a lot though, the ground should suit and we are hopeful of another good performance from her.
Bitterly cold today but once again our Leisure Ride Carpet gallop stood up to the test and kept the horses in action as normal. We are so fortunate to have Ross Hemming’s company sponsoring us and we benefit so much from his fabulous surface.
Yesterday afternoon Belinda met with owner Jo Massey and Jo Holme to discuss various branding opportunities – it sounds like a great meeting as Belinda was very excited about it so watch this space.