As his owners keep saying “If Carlsberg did syndicate horses…” and what fun we all continue to have with Ben Buie. We are also very fortunate to have Paul Davis looking after the syndicate (& so many other of our syndicates) as he not only attended Fakenham yesterday but called in at Newmarket Sales where we were underbidders on the one we had our eye on and, after calling in on family, didn’t get home till nearly 10pm but still did a full and thorough email race report before bed – dedicated or what?!
This was probably Ben Buie’s most courageous victory to date in a race where he recorded his 5th victory and now his 14th consecutive race collecting prize money. Due to too much rain and then frost he hadn’t run for 5 weeks as he needs good ground and so we headed to Fakenham (nearly 4 hours in the horsebox) and had to take a chance on him going left handed too.
With Sean Bowen claimed for an Olly Murphy trained horse, then the automatic replacement to ride him was Sam Twiston-Davies who also gets on so well with him and has won on him twice too. There were several things that, on an off day, could have affected him – a flapping sponsors banner and also kids enjoying the fabulous Racing To School initiative. But yesterday Ben Buie just got on with it and looked relaxed and in superb condition.
Sam gave him a ride out of the very top drawer and, as a local fellow Trainer and ex-top jockey commented, it was as if he was riding in the Cheltenham Gold Cup not a Fakenham handicap chase! He jumped off on the inner, in front and Ben jumped for fun for him and answered every call from Sam. Despite being hassled and challenged from a few of his rivals he was having none of it and eventually won by 2 3/4 lengths much to the delight of us all.
Sam’s debriefs are always upbeat and he was his usual humble self and he also stated that Ben doesn’t know when to stop trying. This is a far cry from the Ben Buie of old who never knew when to start trying! Even the Racing Post used the word “gamely’ in their write-up and, in their analysis, stated that he “ran out a game winner from the front and defied a 3lb rise. He looked in some trouble when Dondiam ranged up from three out. However, his jumping was spot on, crucially at the last, and the 9yo is enjoying a fine season.” Brilliant stufff and he’s enjoying a day in his paddock as usual today.
Although winners are obviously fabulous, sometimes horses run well without winning and give us as much satisfaction and yesterday’s 3rd place with Matthew Baker’s Brianna Rose was one such run. Brianna fell at Southwell at the end of June when Belinda, myself and the boys were out of the country on a short break so we’d watched from afar and waited with bated breath to hopefully hear good news.
However..she returned in a horse ambulance and the veterinary team there did a superb job before asking our team to take her straight to Bourton Vale Equine Clinic for further assessment. She’d broken her elbow and the surgeons decided that if they pinned it they ran the risk of it shattering so a period of box rest was prescribed and plenty of TLC from my team here followed. Fast forward 7 months and she was back and ran an absolute blinder, looking like she may just win 2 out but eventually running out of steam. She was giving over a stone to the 1st & 2nd so it was some run!
Ten Past Midnight ran well for a long way but was also returning after a lay off and he will strip fitter for the run. Ambassador ran in the same race for our Racing Club and appreciated the good ground but needs to drop back in trip. All are fine this morning.
A busy day again today and lots more miles clocked up with three runners at Catterick. Dreamsundermyfeet is our first runner at the track and after four winners last winter he’s been consistent without winning since and has finished third 5 times in a row since his last win! Indeed since May 2021 he’s not been out of the first 3 in 11 runs! Hopefully he’ll go well again today and he runs in Mark Holland’s colours for the first time as with lots of our syndicates, especially the Owners for Owners ones, we rotate the colours each season.
Zestful then makes her hurdling debut after finishing 4th and 2nd on the flat for her new syndicate. She’s a super looking mare and looks every inch a jumping mare and has done plenty of schooling at home. You never quite know until they run how they will take to it though but we are hoping for a bold run from this likeable mare.
Finally Rolling Clouds makes his chasing debut for Foxtrot Racing in a competitive looking handicap chase. He’s a big horse who has always looked a chaser rather than a hurdler and has run in point to points and a hunter chase before joining us so fences shouldn’t come as a surprise to him. Let’s hope he goes well today – and, as with the other two, is partnered by Champion Jockey Brian Hughes with Sean sitting out a ban.