Winners are what we all work so hard for and they are all special no matter where they are and yesterday’s win with Ten Past Midnight at Newton Abbot was a very satisfying and thrilling win. Owner/breeder Michael Chitty was able to be at the races yesterday although sadly Tom Colraine and John Muir were unable to be there but I’m sure they were shouting at the TV somewhere! I have to admit not properly watching the race as I was so willing TPM to win for Michael, Tom & John and could not have been happier for them. With Patrick Cowley’s original mount a non runner due to the heavy going, he was switched back on to TPM as he knows him well and was not doubt delighted that the owners wanted him back on and gave him a good ride to win well.
Afterwards Michael told me that it was the best day he’d had in a long, long time – fabulous, well done to them. Also thrilled for Deb who rides him out at home and Paddy who looks after him. A real team effort – fabulous.
So that winner brings our seasonal total to 22 and we have a strike rate of 23% and the only two trainers that better that in the top 20 are Nicholls & Henderson so huge well done to our team.
Cloud Formation ran a good race too, also under Patrick Cowley, to finish 3rd. He has a lovely attitude and will no doubt be winning soon.
Always very busy on a Cheltenham morning and today was no exception. Mark and Elliot Boothright, Rich Lloyd, Tilly Jarrett and Paul Davis in 1st lot to watch horses working and Ben Godfrey school Sarasota Star ahead of partnering him tomorrow at Cheltenham. Second Lot we worked more of the horses and Charles Dingwall was in to watch Warren Marston work his horse, Talkischeap, and we are really pleased with him. Ben Brain was here to listen to Herecomeshogan’s wind as he stopped too soon at Worcester earlier this week and he will now have a wind operation.
Four runners today at the Home of Jump Racing and all in consecutive races – Back On The Lash, Found On, Debden Bank and Brorson so a busy day.
Mark Boothright’s Back On The Lash has won three of his last four races and indeed 7 of his 16 starts and has been an absolute star for our yard. He’s not overly big but has taken to chasing well and much prefers a small field, as he has got, today. He won at Cheltenham over hurdles at Festival Trials Day in 2020 and has a great attitude. Sean Bowen rides.
Oliver Ryan’s Found On is a mare I’ve always liked a lot. She’s not the easiest at home and the jockeys do all her fast work and Vicki does so well on her in all of her conditioning work, often taking her off on her own for a hack and they get on so well. She fell at the 2nd last at Cheltenham last season when in with a right chance and, although the race at Warwick wasn’t the hottest, I loved the manner in which she won and she will appreciate the extra 4 furlongs today. I think she’s got a decent chance and Sean Bowen again is in the saddle.
Our third runner, Debden Bank, also won last time – in fact he has won his last 3 races and was part of our famous treble of trebles at Southwell back in July. He was put away then with this race in mind and Ernie, who adores him, is really pleased with how he is. He looks in good order but it’s as competitive as ever. His syndicate is made up of a wonderful bunch of people who keep pinching themselves that they are having such fun with him. Last night on Twitter one of his owners, Neil Clifton, said that our Team are the ‘creator of dreams’ and that today will be the highlight of his sporting viewing career….just imagine if they don’t just have a runner at Cheltenham but he makes it into that hallowed winners enclosure… isn’t this what racing is all about, the dreams? James King was in to school Debden Bank yesterday and takes the ride.
Last but not least David Maughan’s Brorson is another horse I like a lot and think he was unlucky to not win a bumper. Sean Bowen, who rides today, gave him a lovely ride at Bangor on his hurdling debut and looked after him when beaten so he had an enjoyable, educational run and wasn’t knocked about. He’ll have learnt plenty, I think the track will suit and I think he has a solid each way chance at a bigger price.
So fantastic to have crowds back and my two boys, with school shut for Teacher Training (great timing!) are so excited as they too haven’t been racing at Cheltenham since the March 2020 Festival. Let’s hope we can get one of ours to hit the target! Good luck Team.