Sunday, 7 July 2013

No Ducking Yarmouth

One of the oldest sayings around is 'Horses for Courses' and, more often than not, it is proved true. There was no better demonstration of this than The Ducking Stool on Thursday as she made it four wins at Yarmouth after battling to another success.
The day was made extra special as her previous owner's wife Sue McGuinness was there to see it all happen and her late husband Tolly would most definitely have been smiling down. I don't know what it is about the course that brings out the best in her but she seems a stone better horse by the seaside so we'll keep her there!
The Ducking Stool in the winner's enclosure

One course that most definitely isn't my favourite place to go is Southwell but we'll be heading there on Tuesday in the hope that the fibresand surface will suit Attain.
Our recent runners at the venue haven't yielded much success but Attain seems to hold all the right attributes to be useful at the track so hopefully he can finally get his head in front.
One who did that last time was Entrance and she has been in great fettle in her bid to double up. The likely firm ground at Yarmouth on Wednesday should be right up her street and she is best fresh so the short break since her win shouldn't be a problem.
Attain (Shelley), Handheld (Alfie) & Entrance (Cat)

One of the surprises of the season has been Honeymoon Express and I am grateful that the handicapper hasn't been too harsh on her by granting her a rating of 65 after her superb effort when finishing runner-up in a maiden last time. She is only small but has the attitude of a terrier and it's nice to have a sprinter in the yard, something we don't have many of - mainly by accident rather than design.
Honeymoon Express (Cat) & Tiger's Home (Alfie)

Unfortunately, one of my long serving owners, Dick Creese, has been rather unwell in hospital but I hope to cheer him up soon when his filly Lea Valley makes her racecourse return after injury in a few weeks' time. She had some screws in her leg to repair a fracture, an injury which occurred when she posted a career best effort by finishing second. She seems to have strengthened up during her recovery and strode out well during her first gallop on Wednesday.
Lea Valley (Ross) & Sheila's Heart (Adam)

The owners of Bethan have also had to be patient after her series of setbacks but she is now the closest she has ever been to making her debut and is coming on with every piece of work. She'll probably start at 1m2f to see what kind of trip she will want in the future and it will be great to finally get her to the races.
Bethan (Reno)

The fantastic summer weather we have been having recently really is a rare treat nowadays but it means the likes of Sancho Panza can't run because the ground is too firm. As a result, we just have to keep him ticking over so that he is ready to rock and roll as soon as the heavens open. He gets to enjoy the sun when turned out in the field though so I don't think he's too bothered!
Sancho Panza (Billy)

The horsebox has done plenty of miles this week as I made the trip with our apprentice Shelley to Ffos Las in Wales on Monday. Unfortunately there was little pace in the race so Automotive was a bit too keen and didn't stay the distance but he still picked up some prize money in fourth which just about paid the petrol money!
There was also promise at Epsom on Thursday. No Such Number only finished fifth but was running on well at the end. Jockey Richard Hughes admitted he sat too far off the pace and was rather annoyed with himself but he said Number is in top form and will win very soon.
On the same night, Spirit of Sharjah got himself back in the mix of things with his third place. He was hampered and may have finished closer with a clearer run but it was just great to see him competitive again and I hope he can notch career win number nine before retiring at the end of the season.

Finally, I must thank the owners of Automotive who kindly gave the yard a cash gift after his win at Newbury. All the team went out for a curry and plenty of banter was had with a few sore heads (and stomachs) in the morning!

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