Yesterday was one of those days that make me 100% sure I really do have the best job in the world. The joy that Raving Bonkers’ win in the Bumper at Towcester brought to the members of the What in Heavens Partnership – their first venture into Racehorse ownership – was emotional to say the least. Simon Prowting, his father and John Digby were the only members able to make Towcester but not a dry eye in the house and what a feeling that the hard work put in by my team at home and such a likeable performance from a young horse who will only improve with time – brought such joy – magical.
We met his breeders Ray and Lorna Bailey through Jon Hughes late last year and Raving Bonkers joined us in December. Ray rightly said that he’d need time and so we’ve taken time with him and he is still in fact a big baby who hasn’t filled his frame so anything he did yesterday was a bonus – and some bonus! Jon rang Lorna, who sounded as emotional as Simon Prowting had been. Ray was rightly thrilled too especially as they have the mare, Harriet’s Girl, in their field next to the house.
Isn’t this story what Jump Racing is all about? We are thrilled to have sourced a lovely youngster through people we trust, Simon and John decided they liked us, our team and our set up here so got some friends together and bought their first racehorse and we’ve guided them through the journey so far, setting up the Partnership, sorting colours, naming the horse…Simon had his heart set on Raving Bonkers…brilliant! Then for the horse to oblige first time out under a super and well thought out ride from young Harry Stock, our new Conditional who we have been hoping to recruit to our team since he started race riding – you almost couldn’t make it all up and I’m sure Simon and his partners will remain on Cloud 9 for quite some time.
The only downside to yesterday was the loss of the Christian Williams trained horse who was fatally injured. Luckily Richard Johnson walked away but our thoughts are with all of the connections and a stark reminder of how we must make the most of the good days as those days don’t ever get any easier.
Exeter today with three runners. Young Phoenix makes his debut over hurdles under Andrew Tinkler for The Four Tops which is made up of The Statham Family and Bart Hellyer. I hope he realises it is Bella Statham’s birthday tomorrow! He’s a nice young horse for the future and may find a few too good today but has done plenty of schooling and we hope he runs a nice race and learns plenty.
Harry Stock rides the other two runners – Cup of Ambition in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle for Ollie Ryan and Jon Hughes. He has showed promise last season and has really strengthened up over the summer and looks great, however can run pretty keenly and so will need to settle to give himself a chance.
The Kvilleken runs for our Racing Club and isn’t one to trust implicitly although is often placed! He’s dropped to a winnable mark however Harry will need to have him on his A game today for him to get his head in front! He’s a fun horse for the Club as he always keeps us all guessing!