After a quiet period over Christmas and New Year, we had a strong team head to our home game at Kingston Blount on Saturday 25th February.
Reikers Island and Dan Cherriman made it a winning seasonal debut when scoring the Veteran Conditions race. With his usual front running tactics, Reikers was never headed from flag fall and he jumped fantastically. This was Dan’s first ride of the season too, and with that win under their belts, all roads lead back to the Aintree Foxhunters, where he finished 7th last year. We hope to run him in an Open race before then, and freshen him up before the big day out Liverpool.
After winning the 4&5yo PTP flat race impressively in heavy ground on racecourse debut in November, Ilhela D’Engilbert had his first run over obstacles in the 4&5yo Maiden race with Izzie aboard. ‘Bertie’ was the ultimate professional and ran superbly all the way to finish 2nd by 4 lengths. Bertie’s jumping was quick and sharp and he quickly took up the running on the first circuit. He and the eventual winner drew well clear of the rest of the field, and he was just denied first place on approach to the line. The team at Woodway and his owners, Mr & Mrs Standen and Mrs Guinness, were absolutely delighted with the run and we are looking forward to his next outing, hopefully on wetter ground and over 3 miles.
Serenisa gave her owners, the Sunday Night Partnership, another great result in the 2m4f Restricted race, finishing a close 2nd with Izzie on board. The mare enjoyed the shorter trip, jumping and travelling strongly throughout the race. She was very bold and it was great to see her back to her best like she was at Ffos Las. We will look for another 2m4f Restricted in the coming weeks, and she has now proven she can run on heavy and quicker ground which gives us plenty of options.
Unfortunately Polydora’s regular jockey Harry Myddelton was taken ill on Saturday, but with qualification for the Cheltenham Hunters’ Chase evening in May looming, the decision was made to run him with Izzie on in the Ineos Grenadier Mixed Open. Having run with much credit twice already this season finishing behind the useful Famous Clermont and placing in the Lord Hyde Ashton Mens Open Classic race, he put in another fantastic effort to finish 2nd in the 4 miler. As usual, he jumped brilliantly and has now qualified to run in the Mixed Open Final and 4m race at Cheltenham, one of which will be his target for the season. Hopefully its not long before he and Harry have another run in a PTP soon.
It was great for one of our novice jockeys, Harry Greasby, to have three rides on the day. He had some great spins on the outside rides, and he and Craigmor will look to be running again soon.
Patrik and Bertie
Tanya and Craigmor
Ebony and Serenisa
Ebony and Ella with Reikers
It was a busy few days as we headed off to Fontwell Park the day after Kingston with the Cranfield’s Back Bar for the Open Hunters’ Chase. ‘Brian’ jumped and travelled well and relished the twisty course, making light work of the tight bends for a rather large horse! He and Izzie finished a very creditable 2nd, with the trip of 3m2f probably longer than ideal. He has come out of the race well and will be out again soon.
Joe, Patrik and Hilnamix then headed off on the Monday to Plumpton with for the Coral Racing Club Handicap Hurdle. Graham Henderson purchased Hilnamix from Doncaster store sales in 2020, and as one of our first breakers, he has always held a special place in our hearts. He was having his first run in a handicap, and Lawney decided to try a visor on him having had great feedback from Tom Scudamore, who had ridden him in his three starts, that this would help him travel better. With Tom now retired, David Bass was in the saddle, and my gosh didn’t he travel! ‘Bailey’ jumped his hurdles accurately and efficiently and travelled well to outstay his rivals and win relatively comfortably by 5 lengths. A massive congratulations to his owner Graham, as this marked his first winner under rules. Bailey is looking to run over 3m3f in another handicap hurdle and hopefully he will be back in the winners enclosure again soon.
A massive thank you to our fantastic team at home for working tirelessly behind the scenes to make these busy days and great results possible!