Yesterday Spanish Present, Big Nasty and Blazing Court set off for the long drive to Kelso hoping when they arrived, or overnight, that we’d have some rain! They arrived safely thanks to my team looking after them so well and thankfully we’ve not only had some rain overnight, to add to the water they put on yesterday, but it’s raining hard this morning too. The Clerk of the Course was very honest when he called me before I set off yesterday and, if the ground was like he said it was before they watered yesterday I don’t think I would have run. It was a punt, and I ensured the owners were happy with me sending the horses up and potentially not running them if I wasn’t happy – obviously costing them all quite a bit in expenses, but fingers crossed it pays off.
Spanish Present is our first runner under Brian Hughes who, to date, has a 100% strike rate for us! He won on Spanish Present in his bumper at Market Rasen and it’s his hurdling debut today and has a smart looking rival from Ireland as his main opposition. He’s a horse I think a lot of and we would all dearly love for him to run a huge race for his owner David Maughan who so sadly lost Brorson last week.
Our next runner is Big Nasty who, despite being huge, actually wouldn’t like the rain to continue much more as he enjoys good ground and is in great form. He ran a very good race at Cheltenham last time out and gave his owners a fabulous day out to finish 2nd, galloping up the hill in such good style. He’s so genuine and should love the track. Coincidentally he won on this day in 2021 so let’s hope it’s his lucky date! Sean Bowen partners him.
Finally we run Blazing Court in the bumper making his racecourse debut and there are a couple of nice types in there. He’s the only unraced horse and is a lovely type who fills the eye and has always been one I have thought will be a nice horse and he’s been given time to mature too as we originally thought he’d have run before Christmas. It’s a lot to ask for a youngster to travel so far and overnight but he seems to have the laid back attitude to cope with the journey and new surroundings and I hope he enjoys himself and runs as well as we hope he will. Brian Hughes rides him too.
Debden Bank ran well for such a long way at Fakenham yesterday but Sam Twiston-Davies could never quite get much of a blow into him, being taken on for the lead the whole way which wasn’t ideal. He jumped for fun though and, when he looked beaten in the final circuit, he was brave to battle back but then Sam looked after him when he was beaten and pulled him up. A flatter, more galloping track probably suits him more. He’s A1 today though which is the main thing.
Thanks to the whole team for pulling together and ensuring that the horses at home have been well looked after as well as getting three horses to Kelso overnight and one to Fakenham. A huge team effort for such a small team and everyone has done their bit and I’m really grateful. Good luck today!