The long drive to Fakenham proved fruitful yesterday with Chequered View opening her account over fences on her chasing debut under a confident ride from Conor Shoemark. Her owner/breeder HRH The Princess Royal was adamant she wanted to see her over fences for her next run instead of keeping her to hurdles and she was right and was unsurprisingly thrilled although she missed watching the race live as she was travelling home from Scotland for much of the day – putting our journey to Fakenham into perspective!
Conor had been in to school Chequered View the day before and we hoped that she was clever enough to cope with the tricky fences at Fakenham and, although she needed time to warm up, she generally jumped very well and showed how tough and genuine she is in a battle to the line. Quick to congratulate me were Alan & Anna Varey from Batsford Stud who, not only have a horse here themselves but stand her sire, Passing Glance – who also sired the runner up too. She is bright and sound this morning and her owner was no doubt also thrilled she managed to go one better than her mother did on the same card – The Queen’s horse was second in a previous race!
A special mention must be made to Chequered View’s travelling companion – Champion Court who is retired with us and made the long journey to Fakenham to ensure Chequered View arrived chilled & stress free. His first trip to Fakenham but by day he’s usually found either leading young horses on the gallops or teaching young riders how to jump hurdles and fences. Some of you may also have seen him in Cheltenham’s recent Christmas song on social media when he was part of Team Keighley’s rendition of ‘we wish you a Merry Christmas’! He’s worth his weight in gold.
Earlier in the day Young Phoenix, in first time visors and partnered by Paddy Brennan for the first time at the Owners’ request, ran his most promising race for quite some time to finish 2nd and was possibly unlucky not to win. 2nd is often a frustrating place to be but Young Phoenix looked to have lost his way and so to be beaten just 1/2 a length yesterday – his first decent form for a year – was a fantastic result and his owners were thrilled with him.
Our Racing Club runner, Primogeniture, needed to be produced late off a strong pace but they crawled and then sprinted so it didn’t fall into place for him however he picked up prize money for 4th and is fine this morning.
Hannah Ashton in this morning to check the up coming runners.
We are off to Ludlow with two mares today. Pomme De Nuit runs in a Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle and has a tongue tie on for the first time and needs to show more than she has so far. Conor Shoemark rides her.
In the concluding bumper we run the Stock Family’s Finnick Glory who is making her second start after a promising 4th first time out last month obviously partnered by Harry Stock. A special day for the family as it’s Harry’s birthday today too so a good run would be a perfect present for him. She’s a lovely Fame and Glory mare who we hope we’ll all have plenty of fun with.