I’ve hardly seen an easier winner than Forecast yesterday who won over hurdles in heavy ground under a motionless Conor Shoemark! With the option of a race at Hereford also yesterday I had to make some big decisions at declarations as Hereford would probably have suited some of the owners better than Lingfield however I was sure it was the more winnable option and luckily they trusted my judgement.
As planned, Conor dropped him out last and switched him off and he settled better than he has before. He’s never going to be an exhuberant jumper but is quick and low and Conor just gets on so well with him. He turned for home and whilst the rest looked to be starting to tread water, Conor took another pull and Forecast looked as if he’d just joined in! He took himself to the front and only had to pop the last to win eased down by 15 lengths and delight his group of patient owners.
He’s always had talent but was off for a year with a leg injury from April 2017 and when he returned to the track in July & August this year he was disappointing so top wind surgeon Ben Brain overground scoped him and he then gave him a minor wind operation. He ran two solid races since then with a good 2nd at Southwell and a 3rd at Aintree so it’s certainly done the trick and I’m thrilled he’s back in such great form. Always a huge team effort here when we have a winner but a special mention must go to Harley Cornock who rides Forecast every day. Forecast is such a buzzy horse who needs switching off, hardly ever walks a stride, jigjogging everywhere and is keen too but Harley is so patient and definitely gets the best out of him.
Pomme De Nuit was out other runner on the card jumping hurdles for the first time but she found the ground hard work and although jumping well was out on her feet turning for home and Conor rightly pulled her up.
At Huntingdon Cotswold Prince was green on his racecourse debut and found it all happened a little quick for him early on but Harry Stock was very positive on him and he kept galloping all the way to the line to finish 6th not beaten too far and delight his enthusiastic owners. In fact Harry couldn’t pull him up for a bit after the line so that put paid to doubts that we had that he’d not get the trip!
At 4.30am this morning Ballinroe Transport arrived with a lovely colt foal from Tattersalls Ireland Sales this week. Paul Davis is over there for three days and I can see why this Sans Frontieres foal caught his and Bloodstock Agent Gerry Hogan’s eye. We are hoping to add a second foal but prices are very keen and we had no luck yesterday and none so far today either. Do get in touch if you would like more information about the partnership that we are getting together for him and if you’d like to come and see him, shares are going quickly in him and I’m not surprised as he’s a little cracker.
Lots of visitors as is often usual here with Phil Plowman here mid morning with a friend to see Lerichi Belle and have a catch up. Adam Ferguson called in too from Racing Welfare promoting a Healthy Eating evening that they are putting on in Cheltenham next week – such a good idea and I hope that they are well supported. I’ve said it before but racing staff are so lucky to have such fantastic support as Racing Welfare offer help from careers advice to counselling to debt advice to healthy eating to housing – the list in endless and it is all free to them and I can’t speak more highly of them.