Sunday, 8 September 2013

Riding the highs and lows

They say racing is a game full of highs and lows and our apprentice Shelley Birkett experienced it all this week. It all kicked off well as she collected a cheque for £500 after finishing second in Salisbury's season-long apprentice race series. Then she was lucky enough to get a ride in a £50,000 handicap shown on Channel 4 on Saturday before heading up to Wolverhampton and riding an easy winner for Gay Kelleway. However, today brought her back down to earth as she paid a visit to the doctor's to get an abscess on her leg checked out which had been bothering her. The surgeon thought it was serious enough to require immediate attention so she is in Bury hospital having it removed. It's nothing serious but was getting painful for her. Unfortunately it means she'll be out of action for the next week but hopefully the op shouldn't take much time to recover from.

All this means Shelley won't be able to ride Vastly in an apprentice race at Leicester on Tuesday. Vastly himself had two lumps removed last month and he seems a completely different horse since the castration. Before he was a bit lethargic at home and on the track too but since then he is a lot keener and is working well. As he's such a big horse, he will improve for the run but he is rated so low that he should be in the shake-up anyway.
As Shelley's replacement we have Pat Millman. He has followed a similar route to Shelley by riding winners as an amateur before turning professional and, as he comes from a racing family, he knows horses well so there are no worries in that respect.

It's frustrating that No Such Number hasn't got his head in front yet this season but hopefully that will change before the winter sets in. He's had excuses on almost all his runs so we're returning him to the course and distance which his only win has come over at Bath on Saturday. He is in great form so I just hope everything goes to plan.
Never Another (Ross) & No Such Number (Reno)

Those are the only two runners we're set to have this week as we still wait for some proper rain to arrive for the soft ground horses. One who has been thriving on the firm going though is Honeymoon Express and she is still in great order. There's another race for her back at Yarmouth in a couple of weeks so she looks set for that in a bid to win three on the bounce.
Bestfootforward hasn't run for us yet after coming from another trainer a couple of months ago but she is very near to hitting the track now. She is quite a head-strong filly but enjoys her work and should be making an impact.
Honeymoon Express (Alfie), Bestfootforward (Graham) & Entrance (Julia)

Don't forget that the Open Day is in a few weeks' time on Sunday 22nd September. Our yard as well as most in Newmarket will be open to the public and we'll have plenty of refreshments on offer as well as a chance for you to meet all the stars. In the afternoon there are then a series of activities (including a trainers v jockeys 5-a-side football match) at the Rowley Mile racecourse so there really is no excuse to not come. Check it all out here:

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