As part of Racing Staff Welfare Week Linda held a barbecue at the stable this evening. There was plenty of great food and drink and good interaction between staff and owners who took on various challenges during the evening. The staff, and notably Beca, won the sausage identifying competition and they then went on to win the shot putt and Jenga giving themselves the overall victory.
Linda took four horses to Huntingdon today providing a mixture of emotions. Cockney Seagull was first to race and he started the afternoon well by winning the "Best Turned Out" prize for Alex.
Alex leads round Cockney Seagull
However that was as good as it got for him as he disappointed again and was pulled up.
Both Jolly Jet and Hab Sab took part in the next race, a novices handicap chase, and once again the stable took the "Best Turned Out" prize, this time with Jolly Jet and Karen.
Karen with her prize.
Once again, however, the race was disappointing. Jolly Jet jumped well in her first ever chase but both horses were pulled up by the home turn when tailed off.
The next race saw Mab Dab take a step up in class in the long distance handicap hurdle. Ridden by Tom Garner he was settled at the rear for the first circuit before moving up to take close order with a mile to run. He continued to make progress and led into the home straight. Although he kept on, two other horses found even more and he finished 4 lengths third but still a very good performance to make the journey home a happy one.
Breden continued the yard's good form this evening in a class 3 mile handicap on the all weather at Lingfield. Robert Winston jumped him out towards the rear and kept him there, but in touch, until the turn for home. Unfortunately the gap closed on him as he started his finishing sprint and he had to get going again. He was finishing fast, but the line came too soon and he was placed third in a four way photo finish. The first, second, third and fourth were each separated by a head.
The sun came out, the ground dried up and Linda and the team had a great time at Fontwell. At last the ground had come right for Mab Dab in the 2 mile 6 furlong handicap hurdle. Tom Cannon, who had already ridden two winners on the card, was the jockey and he had Mab Dab close up behind the leaders on the outside. He jumped well throughout and maintained this position as other runners dropped away. He held second place rounding the bottom bend for the final time and pulled away up the home straight to win by 8 lengths and giving the yard a great boost into the bargain. This was Mab Dab's second "win" of the afternoon as he had also won the "Best Turned Out" award for Oliver.
Mab Dab has that "Haven't I done well look" with connections after the race.
Connections at the presentation.
Earlier in the afternoon Wontstopmenow had his first race over hurdles. Ridden by Jack Sherwood he raced on the outside of the field to get a good sight of his hurdles. He jumped well in the main though was careful over a couple, especially as he had the attention of a loose horse for much of the race. He remained in touch until the bottom bend where more experienced rivals pulled away. Nevertheless he kept going to finish 6th of the twelve who started this novices hurdle and did more than enough to suggest he can have a successful career in the game. Like Mab Dab he also notched up victory for Oliver in the "Best turned out" award.
Wontstopmenow goes out for his first ever hurdle race.
Cockney Seagull also raced in the novices hurdle and was in the front two for a large part of the race before fading in the heat and being pulled up.
Today Linda went to Sussex with some of her owners to visit some horses that were recuperating after injury. The farm they are on looked lovely and they will soon be out in the fields eating fresh grass after wintering in the barn.
Pauline strokes Due South with Royal Concorde nearest.
Mr Jack built on his fourth place last time out by finishing third in the 2 mile novices hurdle at Plumpton this afternoon. Ridden by Tom Garner he raced close up behind the leaders in midfield of the 11 runners. He started his effort around the turn past the railway station but had his least fluent jumps at the final two flights. Nevertheless he kept on after the last to take third place, just 2 and a half lengths behind the winner.
The sun was out today at last which made a nice beginning for a foal born last night. Though not a racehorse foal it brought great pleasure and a buzz to all at the yard.
To view a video straight after birth go to https://youtu.be/aF8SS0l4VH0
Dragon Tattoo made her debut for the yard yesterday at a very cold Lingfield Park. She was ridden by William Cox in the 1 mile 2 furlong apprentice handicap where she earned a little prize money by coming 6th. The jockey feedback was very informative and will help plan future races and tactics.
Linda had four horses at Fontwell yesterday, all trying to take a step forward on their paths to success. Moneystown came 5th in the handicap chase and will have gained jumping experience from the various questions posed by the Fontwell fences (drops, downhill and wide ditch).
Moneystown (red and white) finds the downhill fence tricky,
but nothing like Brendan Powell on Oakidoaki horizontal in yellow.
Jolly Jet completed for the first time in the novices hurdle, while Hecton Bay had his first experience of a racecourse in the same race.
Debrief after Jolly Jet's race.
Then Wontstopmenow had his second race in a bumper, showing improvement on his first outing by staying with some nice prospects until the final 3 furlongs of the contest and receiving compliments on the way he looked from Mick Fitzgerald on ATR and in person to the connections in the parade ring
The Mobile Training School called in during the week for a session with the staff. They were filmed on the gallops and had their riding analysed, were given instruction on a variety of aspects of the job and had the chance to use the "equicizer". Both the students and the instructors said that the day had been enjoyable and of great value.
Itoldyou ran a really pleasing race at Fontwell today, finishing second in the 2 mile 6 furlong (0-110) handicap chase on heavy ground. The race was a little shorter than he would like and Tom Cannon was instructed to be up near the pace or even make it if necessary, and this he did. Itoldyou jumped and ran with enthusiasm and was in second place, though being urged along, turning into the final line of fences beginning with the open ditch. Here he made his one mistake, though not looking like falling, and he began to lose his momentum and dropped back into 4th place. He jumped the last still just in 4th place but looking like he would take third. However he kept on so well on the run in that he passed the tiring 3rd and second placed horses gaining the runners up position for himself.
Today at Lingfield Itoldyou was reunited with Andrew Thornton who last rode him in 2015. The partnership got on well again, finishing seventh, and informative feedback let us know that Itoldyou still enjoyed his racing.
Andrew and Itoldyou go out to race.
They return after completing safely and both enjoyed it!
This morning followed the recent weather pattern and was cold and wet, a good morning to stay inside and enjoy the breakfast and conversation. However horses, riders, trainer and owners braved the elements for track gallops. Linda had seven horses all working at the same time and they looked a great sight as they splashed their way round. Hopefully the work will pay off soon at the races.
There is also a short video at https://youtu.be/yitlM887kLk