After two horses finished 2nd on Monday night I mentioned that it was a rare occasion when I was happy with 2nd place – both were young horses learning their trade and I was thrilled with them. Yesterday at Worcester I was gutted when 12 year old Mr Mafia had run his heart out only to be passed in the shadows of the post. The Racing Post Analysis sums it up:
Mr Mafia did everything bar win, and this was a tough loss. The old boy jumped beautifully out in front, establishing a lovely rhythm. Still going nicely into the straight, he had everything beaten at the last but got collared on the run-in. He has clearly improved plenty from his seasonal debut and he should be able to notch another win soon.
Those of you watching Sky Sports Racing yesterday would have seen how much we were willing Mafia to win – Jasmin looks after him, Belinda rides him out every day and I think I love him as much as they do – he’s a real star who tries his heart out. Here’s footage of us!:- (when I can work out how to attach it….try again later!!)
Owner Peter Boggis was rightfully thrilled with his boy – who couldn’t love owning a horse like him who tries so hard every single time? He’s run 25 times for us and has won 7 times, been 2nd 5 times, 3rd 3 times and 4th twice. Let’s hope we can add to his win strike again soon as no horse deserves it more than him.
From our oldest horse in the yard to one of our youngest – Herecomeshogan making his racecourse debut at just 4 years old (although officially not 4 until 29th May). He had no better horse to accompany him on his debut and, although obviously not all 53 of his owners could be there – at least due to restrictions easing we did have 6 plus Ray Hoare (who is in Foxtrot Red Caps – and had a memorable day as they both won!) and Paul Davis came in as ‘staff’ – so a good crowd and now all he needed to do was run well!
As with all of our youngsters, we are fortunate that we have superb gallops including grass gallops so it’s not a surprise for them to get onto the grass but, however pleased you are with them at home, it’s always a big step up when they run for the first time and you never quite know a) how they will take to the whole occasion, and b) if they really are any good!
We needn’t have worried – Hogan pleased us all, despite running a little green, under a superb ride from James Best who is such a great horseman and is fantastic educating young horses, he surpassed our hopes of a mid division finish to be 3rd and delight his supporters both on the track and at home. I was thrilled with him and James was too. It’s been fantastic receiving so many lovely messages thanking the whole team for all their hard work and his namesake, Gerry Hogan, (our bloodstock agent) was on the phone shortly afterwards too, probably relieved that a horse we named after him has ability! He’s eaten up and was bright and well when we trotted him up. It’s summer holiday time for him now so he can get the best of the grass and hopefully fill his frame leaving his excited owners to dream about his future!
Some great quotes from his owners yesterday:
* 6 hours driving for 6 minutes (I wouldn’t do that for a woman) to see Hogan run brilliantly, thanks to at at Team Keighley for a great day.
* It was a memorable day. It was good to see how he adapted from being so green in the early stages to show such great attitude as the race went on. James really looked after him and deserves so much credit.
* After a long and at times hard year, it was great to have something to cheer about. I would have been delighted just for him to finish midfield, but he certainly showed great character. Who knows what he can achieve as he develops.
* Thanks for giving me the opportunity to enjoy the experience of being an owner.