What. A. Day! Back On The Lash may be small but Back on the Lash doesn’t know when he’s beaten and has the heart and courage of a lion! After losing the Cross Country chase already twice this season I was desperate for it to be on and mightily relieved that it passed it’s precautionary inspection. I was then worried that the ground would be too soft for Lash who loves to spring off good ground.
I needn’t have worried – Lash jumped for fun, travelled really well and was given a superb ride by Sean Bowen, who gets on so well with him and they were not to be denied, battling all the way up the hill to delight us all. I am so thrilled for everyone concerned with this special horse – it was a first Cheltenham winner for David Maughan & Harry Redknapp and another winner for Ollie Ryan and Karen Salters & Marcus Freer. Although it was Lash’s 3rd Cheltenham win for us, it was his first win for this syndicate who have owned him since just before The Festival last year and I am thrilled that their support has been rewarded with such a fabulous win.
Thanks to Jill Hurst, Pete Wilson & Jules Annan for the fabulous photos.
We were missing two Harry’s though – Harry Redknapp sadly missed the day as he realised a couple of days earlier that he’d been double booked and Harry Keighley was much missed by us too – he opted to play football for his Broadway Team and was rewarded with a goal and a win.
It did make it more special that great friend and fellow owner Zara Tindall was the Cheltenham Director in charge of us all and thanks once again to Glenfarclas for their generous sponsorship of this iconic race which we love so much. That was our fourth winner in the race but we’ve also had five 2nds, a third and a fourth in the race.
We shared such a special day with a special bunch of people and thanks to everyone for all their messages to both Belinda and me. We hope we have replied personally to them all – we’ve certainly tried to! It’s more difficult with messages coming through on so many different platforms but it’s a good problem to have and we appreciated each and every one.
We celebrated in the best possible way – by purchasing Lot 3 at the Sales that followed racing. A daughter of Ocovango and with Earthmover in her pedigree, Another Day Out is a winning point to point mare and I like her a lot. Gerry Hogan, our Bloodstock Agent, also liked her a lot, spoke to the jockey who won on her and rang me as I was on the way home. We listened as he bid for us … then the phone cut out after our final offer and we weren’t sure if she was ours or not! She was and was hopefully the bargain of the sale – an interesting statistic (thanks to stats man Paul Davis) is that the cheapest horse sold at every Cheltenham Sale last year has either won or been placed since apart from the one from The Festival which hasn’t yet run. She is for sale – do come and see her or call me about her. Who knows, she could be on the ever extending Cheltenham Winners’ Board that proudly sits at the entrance to our yard, one day!
Photo: Ernesta Verburg
Yesterday’s runners are A1 this morning. Pinnacle Peak is taking longer than we expected him to get back into the swing of things after 18 months off the track but Sean remains positive that his confidence is growing and we’ll hopefully see him bounce back next time. Redbridge Rambler ran a good solid race in a hot bumper to finish 6th, not beaten very far. He’s not a bumper horse but it was good to get more experience into him – his future lies over obstacles.
Frustratingly Just A Deal is a non runner at Huntingdon today as he pulled out lame this morning with a bruised foot. All the best plans…so annoying.
We have quite a few entries for the end of the week but until then we’ll be no doubt watching Lash’s re-run plenty of times! Dry January most certainly over!