Freddie rides a winner!

What a magical day for our family at the Beaufort Hunt Point to Point at Didmarton on Saturday when Freddie made his point-to-point debut. Re-arranged from the week before which was cancelled due to a heap of snow and which left us really disappointed as we had planned that day since last summer – it was 2 days after Freddie turned 16. So huge thanks to John Tuck & his team and the Beaufort Hunt for putting it back on and off we went with Mr Mafia & Sametegal.

Mr Mafia, running in the colours of Peter Boggis who so kindly gifted him to us when he retired from professional racing in the autumn, was to be Freddie’s 1st ride in a hot mixed open however it only attracted 4 runners so was a perfect race to start him off. Mafia jumped for fun and gave Freddie a lovely ride just getting tired in the sticky ground on the final circuit where Freddie sensibly pulled him up and cantered home. A relieved Belinda greeted her favourite horse brought back in one piece and we knew our fate – Freddie had loved it!

Next was Sametegal, kindly gifted to Freddie from Paul Nicholls last summer after a week of work experience from school, and the plan was to try to make all the running. Freddie had walked the course with me and his godfather Warren Marston and we’d made a plan and Freddie didn’t let us down. No-one else wanted to make the running so off they set, Sammy jumped for fun and they never saw another rival winning by 35 lengths & 35 lengths and making it a near perfect day for us all. So many friends were there to support him and he received a fabulous reception in the Winners’ Enclosure. He also received the prize for the Novice Rider’s Performance of the Day.

Mothering Sunday yesterday and, instead of a relaxing morning, Belinda was up early to help Freddie do Mafia & Sammy and then delivered him to Cheltenham for 7am to meet the Gordon Elliott team where he was riding out two lots. Harry & I arrived a bit later but still in time to watch Freddie and, whilst he was switching over horses we walked the course and I was pleased with how well it walked. The cross country was too soft for Back On The Lash but the main course walked well. It was a super morning watching the Irish horses and especially the Mullins superstars in action.

A quiet canter for our horses here this morning but the excitement heightening ahead of the week in prospect. Belinda took Freddie to ride out for Gordon again at Cheltenham and managed to get him to school just about on time. Busier there today and somehow Freddie’s win and him riding out for Gordon had made the front page of the Racing Post – if carlsberg did weekends for our 16 year old….!

Mary Fishwick was in this morning to watch the horses on the gallops. On My Command was a non runner as the ground went too soft for her which was a shame but couldn’t be helped. What a winter we are having. Praying for no more rain at Cheltenham.

Hoping to catch up with so many friends over the next four days – good luck to everyone.

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