One of our owners mentioned that yesterday was the ‘perfect day’ and that’s exactly what it turned out to be with us training our very first treble at Southwell and each of the horses that helped us achieve that were completing their very own three-timer, all in handicaps, a feat that some don’t think has been done before. Either way, a very special night for our whole team and I gave them an extra hour in bed this morning – with animals to feed and look after it couldn’t be any more than that but I’m sure it was much appreciated by our hard working team.
Our 1st hour at Southwell was nothing but stress however as there were accidents on the M5 and M1 which Debden Bank’s intended jockey Ben Godfrey was caught up in. With his arrival looking in doubt we looked to Liam Harrison who could also claim vital pounds off Debden’s huge weight. He too was stuck in traffic and, whilst it for a brief moment looked as if he’d arrive in time, his satnav went up again and we knew we needed to look elsewhere. Meanwhile we’d been in touch with James Best, Debden’s usual jockey, but because he wasn’t needed until the 2nd race he’d left later and was also stuck in the traffic. Nico De Boinville was then our final choice but when I went to confirm with him he was out on the course and, with seconds to spare, Paul Davis rang me from the Car Park to say that James had arrived. I’ve never seen anyone get changed quicker and, although James doesn’t claim, he knows Debden so well and we were pleased that he’d got there in time.
So over to James and Debden and they didn’t let us down, jumping for fun and running a huge race to win by 7 lengths to the delight of his owners and Ernesta who is the person he trusts the most in the world! Well done Ernie. Debden secures his three-timer and the first part of our treble goes in keeping the dream alive!
The very next race saw Owners for Owners’ Dreamsundermyfeet make his chasing debut under James Best and also chasing his third win in a row. Despite a few novicey mistakes, he jumped superbly for a first time novice, justifying all the schooling we do at home, and eventually only had to be ridden out to win by a cosy 2 lengths and prompt floods of tears from Jasmin who looks after him and rides him out. His three-timer landed and the 2nd part of our treble ensures the pressure is on the third runner of the day…!
That very runner was Pinnacle Peak and yes, you’ve guessed it, he too was looking for his three-timer after winning ridiculously impressively last time out. Sean Bowen in the saddle as usual and, despite low sun causing only 5 hurdles to be negotiated, he became our easiest winner of the night putting 21 lengths between him and his nearest pursuer! Sean’s hardest task was to try and pull him up! A thrilled Mark Boothright and Beth Whittle very excited on track too as she looks after him (& his half brother Back On The Lash who again accompanied him as a companion).
Southwell’s General Manager, Mark Clayton, kindly presented me with a bottle of champagne to mark the occasion. The messages we’ve received have overwhelmed us! Belinda said she was replying to messages at home all night in between her and the boys screaming the winners home and, although I didn’t get home until about 11pm, I tried to reply to as many as I could. Both of us were still buzzing and watching replays until about 1am! What a night!
Uttoxeter today with Capricia, another horse we bought as a store and has taken time. She’s a mare I’ve always liked a lot and is making her chasing debut in a Novices’ Handicap Chase. She has done plenty of schooling at home and is bred to be a chaser. Anna, who looks after her and rides her out every day, will be watching through her hands no doubt as will her patient and fantastic owners in the Martin Keighley Racing Partnership. Good luck Betsy!
I’m under strict instructions to shoot back to watch Harry in his school play – his final play at Primary School as he leaves Temple Guiting School next week and the end of an era – Belinda’s been driving there daily for 9 years – there will be tears! Yesterday’s matinee was superb apparently and I’ve been told to pack my hankie too! Good luck Hazzer!