What a star Ben Buie has been for us and I’ll allow syndicate manager for his owners, Martin Keighley Racing Partnerships 10, Paul Davis’s race report form most of today’s blog as it is so good!
You can never be totally sure which Ben Buie will turn up on any given day, but in the preliminaries before the race the signs were looking good and Ben Buie looked up for it. At the corner of the parade ring there was one bookmaker shielding himself from the sun under an enormous umbrella which looked big enough to permanently house a family of 5. But, before Ben Buie had reached that part of the parade ring, our umbrella policeman (Martin) had kindly asked him to take it down, which he quickly did. And though Ben Buie gave him a bit of a look as he strode past the area where the umbrella had been, he seemed satisfied that the umbrella was well and truly out of sight! Having averted that potential disaster, everything else went perfectly to plan. And, in a race in which he was allowed to dominate, Ben Buie jumped superbly and galloped resolutely to record his 6th victory for the syndicate. The Ben Buie story just keeps on getting better and better.
It wasn’t the original plan to run in that race, with him having been declared for the small field 2 mile handicap chase at Plumpton the day before – admittedly in a higher grade. But Martin spotted the change in going at Plumpton and, with this race looking a bit easier, he was re-routed to Warwick – much to the delight of most of the syndicate members even though, unfortunately, work got in the way for Jason, meaning that he had to miss out on the celebrations. 10 runners went to post and Sean Bowen, being available, was chosen to take the ride – aware of the 3-2 deficit to Sam Twiston-Davies that he wanted to close. The race was by no means an easy one to win, though, and the bookies allowed him to start at 9/1 with only three other horses starting at longer odds than him.
Sean’s plan was that he wouldn’t change too much and that Ben Buie himself would decide whether he was on a going day or not. Today he was. He started the race towards the head of affairs, and though Tikkinthebox led for much of the early stages, Ben Buie was never more than a length behind him and was clearly travelling smoothly and making up ground at every jump. Half way down the back straight, his jumping took him into the lead and though there were various challengers lining up behind him ready to take aim if he faltered, his jumping remained straight and true and they could never get near enough to strike a blow. Ben Buie responded well to Sean’s urgings on the run-in and scored by a comfortable enough 4 lengths from the rallying Monoxide, who was just ahead of Jet Of Dreams and the favourite Stroll On By – a micro-syndicate horse which, incidentally, my Dad owns a small share of – so, bragging rights in the Davis family are with me today!
Sean explained in his debrief after his victory that the signs looked positive at the start and when he is in that frame of mind he is hard to pass, especially at a track like Warwick where those 5 fences that come in quick succession place a lot of emphasis on jumping ability. His final remark was that the score was now 3-3 with Sam T-D !
After the presentation, we all moved to the winning connections room to watch a replay of the race over a glass of champagne! This is the 6th race that Ben Buie has won for the syndicate and the second time he has won off this career high mark of 92. Ben Buie will no doubt be raised in the handicap for this victory which might make it harder for him to win next time out. However, his wins do seem to come in pairs and so, who knows, perhaps win number 7 is on the horizon – particularly as we haven’t started looking at Leicester or Hereford yet.
Finally, over the past few weeks we’ve been working on the Horses In Training brochure and this has been added to our website. Last year there was a special one page feature on Mr Mafia. This year we did a one pager on the Ben Buie story – which was quite an art to get everything summarised on just one page. Click HERE to read it. I think Ben Buie must have taken a look at this before the race, because he’s now added another chapter to this most remarkable of stories!
Our other horses all ran well yesterday too. Borderline ran a solid race to finish 5th and Pinnacle Peak stepped up to 3m and ran a bit with the choke out therefore always doing a little bit too much and faded into 4th. Finally Mikimoto made a super hurdling debut, and yard debut for us as we purchased him after he’d won his bumper, to finish 2nd in a “photo”. Unfortunately the photo finish failed and so initially we felt a bit hard done by and plenty have told us to appeal the decision but it was a superb run and there will be so much improvement to come so he’s certainly an exciting addition to our team. We have discussed an Appeal but I don’t think we will – he can hopefully go and win next time without a penalty!
Mikimoto would have been a birthday winner for Louise Chance, who rides him out every day and looks after him but Ben Buie ensure that we at least went home with one winner and no doubt she was thrilled with Mikimoto too.
Being at Warwick did mean that I missed my youngest, Harry, at his Final Trial for the Gloucestershire County U14s Football Team in Cirencester which started just after Ben Buie crossed the line in front. He was pleased with how he played but the final team of 16 are chosen from the 60 shortlisted boys who were there last night so he’s realistic about his chances, as we are, however we are obviously very proud of him whatever the result.