A busy day with the team today as we take four horses to Uttoxeter where the ground there is currently good to soft. Our first runner is Ten Past Midnight for the Serendipity Syndicate in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle where he is partnered by Harry Atkins. He needed his run last time more than we expected him to and will strip a lot fitter today, shouldn’t mind the ground and will hopefully run a big race.
Harry Atkins also partners Kazontherazz for The Meagher Family and she has had the benefit of a recent outing in a charity flat race under Sian Brooke who looks after & rides her out. She unseated over fences last time and pulled herself about a bit and so she returns to hurdles for a confidence giving run and seems in good form at home.
Miss Antipova, making her debut for our Racing Club today after Alan & Anna Varey have leased her to us, has regular partner James Best in the saddle. We’d love nothing more than for her to get her head in front – in her four most recent runs she has been brave and genuine but just bumped into one too good for her. No horse deserves it more.
Finally we run Blazing Court in the 2m 4f Handicap Hurdle and he wears cheek pieces to help concentrate his mind. He’s a lovely stamp of a horse and has taken a while to come to hand but we hope he will build on the promise he has shown as he shows us plenty of home but needs to transfer that to the course.
Yesterday at Southwell Bella Ciao showed us that her recent wind operation must have worked as she put in a hugely improved performance under Sean Bowen to finish 2nd. I’m usually frustrated with 2nds and when she jumped to the front over the last I have to admit being frustrated when the winner found more than her but we were thrilled with her improved performance and, after speaking to owner Lady Sutton afterwards who was buzzing, I was less frustrated! Culverwell returned from his wind operation and found the ground a little too soft for him as he would prefer a quicker surface. He jumped well under James Best though although he looked after him pulling him up when his chance had gone. Both horses are A1 this morning.
First Angel ran how we feared he might do at Newton Abbot on Monday as rain over the weekend had softened the going and he much prefers to jump and spring off ground on the faster side of good. We had to take the chance though as he may have handled it and, if he did, it was winnable but the writing was on the wall early on and he didn’t enjoy himself as he has done on better ground. Quite frustrating that we have had so much quicker ground around but not races suitable for him and the three recent courses we’ve gone to (including Stratford where we pulled him out) have had rain on top of watered ground and it’s not been ideal. He seems great though and we’ll find another opportunity for him soon.