What a great day four our Team at Chepstow yesterday with Witness Protection. Under top weight, he gave the whole field 7lbs and James Best executed our riding plan to perfection giving him a superb and strong ride to win by 1/2 a length. He had jumped for fun the whole way however made his only mistake at the last but James gathered him up quickly and he battled gamely all the way to the line pricking his ears and not wanting to be pulled up!
It was a big ask to give weight to such competitive improving rivals and dropping back in trip to 2 miles too but he has such a high cruising speed and, despite not getting the lead we originally planned, James always had him perfectly placed.
Absolutely delighted for his enthusiastic group of owners – Foxtrot Racing – headed by Dan Abraham and surely one of the most fun and professionally run syndicates in racing. A horse we found through Bloodstock Agent Gerry Hogan who does so well for us and one we have all had to be patient with after a tendon injury ruled him out for a year following his 2nd placed hurdles run at Ayr in October 2019. Thrilled too for Ernesta Verburg, who joined us in October and who used to work with me at Jackdaws Castle in the days that Gerry Hogan was there too. Ernie looks after Witness and rides him out every day (although occasionally she does allow another ex-Jackdaws team member, Warren Marston, who was stable jockey for us for years, ride fast work on him!) and he therefore wants for nothing, lucky boy!
A fabulous day and so many awesome messages so thank you very much. We will see how he comes out of the race but I would like to aim him for a race we have won twice before at Cheltenham on Festival Trials Day (with Solstice Star & Back On The Lash) the Steel Plate & Sections Handicap Hurdle.