Lord Condi got us off the mark for the new season last night at Fontwell with a gutsy win in the concluding bumper under a superbly confident Aidan Coleman ride and thrilled us all not least Michael Deady who has always thought the world of the horse and not only looks after him but rides him out every day. Fabulous for him and today he’s smiling more than normal!
Having travelled well throughout the race Lord Condi had to be brave and gutsy in the final furlongs when the gap was closed on him more than once but Aidan kept his cool and he won well. I’m also pleased for his fantastic group of owners made up of a super mix of long standing owners and some new to us too. He won in the colours of Steve Harman, Chairman of the BHA, who has been a supportive owner with us for many years as has John Finch, both George Thornton and Jo Stainer have been with us for a long time too as both were part of the Any Currency team. Making up the partnership are new owners, who we are thrilled to have as part of our team: Joe Saumarez Smith, a non-executive Director of the BHA, Andy Ash and Iain Mortimer and we look forward to a celebratory lunch with them all very soon!
Those of you on Twitter may have seen the video of Lord Condi breezing around his paddock yesterday morning – they go out most days and I also like to turn them out on the morning of a race and am convinced it all helps keep their heads straight and minds happy and he is A1 today.
Poignantly Lord Condi was named after Belinda’s late father John, who lived in Condicote, and was given the nickname many years ago by Ivor Potter, the landlord of The Lygon Arms at Chipping Campden – we hope John was raising a glass to his namesake last night!
Our two other runners last night didn’t fare as well but we learnt more about them both. At Wolverhampton Luke Morris reported that Enforcement, who had a bad draw to start with and was pushed out wide, wasn’t suited by the sharp track. He’ll have one more run on the flat and then go juvenile hurdling.
At Fontwell Pirate Look was far too keen and didn’t jump well either but still was only beaten about 12 lengths – frustratingly that was the ground he lost at the start. After a busy time on the flat he’s crying out for a holiday and we can’t wait to crack on with him from scratch after that.
It was great to see Tyrone Hanlon on the gallops this morning – a few horses did a swinging canter but most just cantered today.
A busy night ahead with four runners at Wincanton evening meeting. Solstice Star is our first runner and, although he prefers more give in the ground, won’t mind it genuinely good and should run well. Sporty Yankee is in a very competitive race, disappointed last time but has had a good break since then and is fresh and well. Matravers is making his debut for us and runs for the Martin Keighley Racing Club and would be great if he could run into a place. Finally Lady Vitesse runs in the last and will appreciate better ground and a flatter track so could go well. Tom Bellamy rides Solstice Star and Harry Stock rides the other three.