On Easter Saturday we headed to local, and certainly a favourite, racecourse Kimble. We took 6 runners and were hopeful for a successful day. The organisers did a monumental job of keeping the show on the road and holding the meeting, after a highly nonseasonal amount of rainfall in the week leading up to the meeting! Despite lorries having to be towed into the lorry park, in some cases by 2 tractors at a time, the course was immaculate, rode very well and certainly safe.
Our first runner of the day was yard veteran and stable favourite Ravethebrave. This horse gave Joe his first ride and win in 2011, but at 14 years old still feels and looks as well as ever! It was his first run of the season, this time with Izzie Marshall on board who rode him a couple of times last year. He ran in the Club Members Conditions race, alongside 7 competitors, and sat happily in second until the open ditch the last time, when he quickened away and showed no signs of getting beat. He probably could have jumped a little more fluently, which the trainer puts down to the soft ground, but he showed great enthusiasm and fitness to win by 20 lengths. It was fabulous to see the old horse loving being back on the racecourse and as happy as ever. A real family moment!
"A yard favourite of mine, 14 year old Ravethebrave was my first leg of my double at Kimble! He jumped his way to the front. When I got to 3 out Rave quickened, never coming off the bridle and winning in style!"
Very happy connections & a cheeky Ravethebrave
The Novice Riders' race was the next that we had runners in; this time According To Trev and Brian's Well. Aboard According to Trev was yard novice rider Sam Burton, who following the race stated that the horse didn't like the ground or the course. He didn't travel very well and it was a disappointing run, finishing 5th, as we hoped he would have coped better than that. We will wait for better ground to see the horse we know he can be.
Noah Brazg was on Brian's Well, who ran his usual race and got round to finish 6th. The horse made a couple of jumping errors, but Noah sat well, and gained more valuable experience.
Talking tactics with the trainer in the paddock
The boys return safe and sound
In the following race, the Ladies Open, we had Izzie Marshall riding Sedgemoor Express in his first run back after almost three years off the racecourse. It was a three runner affair, with useful mare Dabinett Moon a contender. It was great to have the gelding back on a course, and he jumped superbly whilst travelling well and getting the odds on favourite busy. He was joint leading heading to the last, but was just out-run and beaten by 4 lengths, probably due to race rustiness and fitness after such a long break. Izzie gave him a great ride and said she hugely enjoyed it, with hopefully some fun to come this season.
Heading out to the final circuit with Sedgemoor Express leading the way
"Sedgemoor Express was a creditable 2nd to Dabinett Moon. He pulled my arms out the whole way, making the running. Roger jumped superbly and I'm very excited for what's to come from him for the rest of the season!"
Our Men's Open contender was the Sunday Night Partnership's Pride Of Parish. Following his disappointing run at Barbury, when Gina Andrews said he was rough in his wind, and a scope at which the vet confirmed the tongue tie would be beneficial, we put it back on the gelding for this run. This time with Johnny Bailey on board, it appeared that the tongue tie in collaboration with the shorter trip of 2 and a half miles suited the horse, jumping incredibly and travelling well throughout, achieving a great winning result. What was most impressive was the rate at which the gelding quickened off the last bend and jumped the final fence as if he was fresh, to win by 12 lengths whilst carrying a 7lb penalty. It was a great display from the gelding who hasn't been able to show his previously creditable form this season. Most importantly, all of the syndicate members were there to cheer him on and collect the prize! It was also great for Johnny to have a winner for the yard as he has worked hard for us, and with the horse, over the past couple of months, especially in the snowy conditions!
Pride showcasing his jumping talent
The Sunday Night Partnership in the winners enclosure!
The final runner to represent Woodway was another yard favourite and point-to-point verteran Consigliere in the Hunt Members. It was a two runner race, and the 15 year old absolutely amazed us, not looking a day over 5! He jumped with great accuracy and enthusiasm, making all throughout. When the other horse came to him in the back straight he quickened away and won by an impressive 65 lengths! This was Izzie's first riding double, and she couldn't have had two greater servants than Rave and Connie to achieve it on. It was fantastic to see Connie in the winners enclosure at 15 years of age!
"Consigliere jumped his way round the course, winning so impressively. It was a slightly odd experience as he never saw another horse, but was awesome and the definition of a steering job!"
It was most certainly a day to remember, with three classy winning performances by very nice horses and it was incredible to see Izzie achieve her first double. A successful weekend was very much appreciated after so many meetings succumbing to the treacherous never-ending winter!
A beaming Izzie!
Images kindly provided by Mark Pugh Photography, and Fausta Poskute.