On Saturday 9th June we headed to the rescheduled evening meeting at Dingley. Four runners represented the Woodway stable and we were hopeful of some top placings! First to run was For 'N' Against who previously scored Alan's 300th training success at Kingston Blount. This time he ran in the Ladies open, again under Izzie Marshall. He jumped off 6/4 favourite of the eight runner field and got travelling into the race after the first mile. Izzie timed her move perfectly, travelling ideally over the final three fences, jumping the last upsides the opposing contenders. Our horse landed with his head in front, but was just caught in his final two strides by Extreme Appeal, carrying 7lb less, to get beaten a neck. This was a great run from the gallant horse and in hindsight the trainer admits perhaps the trip of two and a half miles was too short for the gelding, with the result maybe turned over had it been the traditional three miles. The big gelding has had a successful season once he warmed up, proving to enjoy the warmer weather and better ground, with only one race finishing outside the first four of his six runs and two impressive wins.
Brian's Well was next to run in the Mens open under Noah Brazg. Brian ran his normal race, jumping foot-perfect and Noah gave him a great ride, to gain another safe completion. The gelding was bought by Noah to provide confidence-giving races for the novice jockey, and has run a total of 10 times this season, completing all but twice. He has most definitely been a safe servant to Noah who has put some miles on the clock.
Noah rode his other ride Ballybough Gorta in the next, the Novice riders. Unfortunately the ground was unsuitable for our horse due to watering and it is easy to say now that we should not have run him but we were keen to get another run before the end of the season. The gelding never travelled or had a chance to get involved in the race, but ran on to finish 7th. We were bitterly disappointed but can 100% put the result down to the ground, as the genuine horse tries all day long. Both he and Brian's Well are now out at Noah's home and stuck to each other's sides in the field!
Our final runner of the evening was maiden Celestino. This was his debut run for the yard and he ran in the three runner yet equally competitive open maiden. James King was on the gelding, whose jumping improved as the pace quickened on the second circuit. James produced the horse and went level at the penultimate fence, taking up the lead going down the hill, but hit the wet ground round the last bend which didn't suit. His inexperience showed but he continued to run on and finish 3rd. A lot was learned from the race and he was no disgrace; the trainer is sure we will see an improvement from him!
It was disappointing to walk away from a competitive evening's racing with no winners but all horses ran competitively in unsuitable ground and returned home safe and sound, which is paramount. A great evening in prefect weather!