Belinda and I had a fantastic weekend in York where she was invited to join all the Charity Race riders from her June race for lunch at their raceday on Sunday. All the riders were given a two night stay in a Best Western Hotel and therefore we took the opportunity to use it for this visit and were regally looked after at York’s Pavillion Hotel. Added to that we also had a runner on Sunday with Enforcement, owned by our Chairman Jon Hughes, making his racecourse debut under Timmy Murphy. It was a red hot race but he came out of the stalls very well, travelled well but couldn’t quicken in the closing stages. He’d have learnt a lot from the experience and will be given time before stepping up in trip so we were all pleased.
Belinda, and the rest of the riders, were then presented with the most fabulous photo book of their journeys through the selection for the Charity race, the fitness test, riding test, the course walk day and finally the race again. Photographer Mick Atkins provides his time for free and what a momento and keep sake of their journey he has provided which will be treasured forever.
Supper both nights with fellow rider Alex Steedman, his girlfriend Hannah Ashton who is a physio for us too and Lord Leigh and Clerk of the Course Anthea Morshead – lots of fun was had by all. Back at home the boys also sounded like they had a fun packed weekend thanks to Guy & Sophie Upton whose Jackdaws Castle base provided excellent viewing of the Tour de Britain and then Abi Stock & Conor Shoemark entertained them on Sunday before handing them over to Melissa and Joe Smith for the night and onto school the next day – we couldn’t have managed without them all.
Anne Lee-Warner and son Harry were in this morning to watch Bold Ellie on the gallops and Richard Davies brought Will Spiers in to watch his youngster nicknamed Spice Boy and also Spice Girl who is back in training after a well earned break. Jon Hughes here too watching his horses so a busy morning with owners and plenty of planning of the season ahead which is always exciting.
Two runners today at Worcester. Bobble Emerald (Andrew Tinkler) runs in the two mile Handicap Hurdle and will strip fitter for his reappearance at Fontwell where he pulled too hard and should go well having won off his current mark before. The Kvilleken runs in the final race, the Hands & Heels 2m 4f Hurdle for Amateurs and Conditionals under Ash Hark who works here. He seems to be coming back to form and although he’s never one to entirely rely on, he wouldn’t surprise me if he bounced back and ran a big race today.