Due to the Great British weather, and many point-to-point meetings succumbing to cancellation we have got a barn full of fit horses with nowhere to go. Luckily last weekend we were able to attend 4 meetings with 7 runners; making up for lost time!
First to run was yard debutante Smadynium under novice rider Daniel Cherriman. This was his first ride on the gelding, in a competitive 12 runner Conditions race at Milbourne St Andrew. He jumped out and made the running for 2 miles, fighting hard when the others came to him. He stayed on and wasn't beaten far for a good 4th placing, which was impressive considering he was carrying a penalty. The gelding jumped excellently and a great partnership has been formed between horse and jockey; we look forward to the rest of the season!
We also had a runner at High Easter; Great Link in the Ladies Open under Izzie Marshall; his first run after 13 months off the racecourse. Izzie rode a greatly confident race, jumping out and sitting in second for a majority of the race with the gelding's jumping keeping him in it. He travelled very well without a mistake, jumping the last upsides the leader, allowing Izzie to cruise past and win by 4 lengths, feeling as if he had plenty of running left. It was great to see both horse and jockey in such good form, with hopefully more to come in the future.
Great Link and Izzie on their way to victory
On Sunday 25th March we headed to meetings at Penshurst and Brafield-On-The-Green with 5 horses.
At Brafield-On-The-Green we had two runners, both with Gina Andrews on. Man Of Steel was our first to run, in the Ladies Open. He made the running until 3 out and Gina said he was much sharper with the blinkers; always pleasing when gadgets gain the desired outcome. The gelding finished 4th, which we felt was a much better display considering he was giving weight away to his competitors.
Gina and Steel leading the way
Our other runner at the meeting was promising 7 year old Inmyday in the restricted. After a disappointing run at Charing, the gelding looked to be back to the Barbury horse we had at the beginning of the season. He front ran and jumped well throughout the race before being headed 2 out. The horse was game and fought back, staying on well and was only beaten half a length, giving 7lbs to the winner. We will look for another restricted soon!
Fred the friendly giant happily leading the field
First to run at Penshurst was Dan Cherriman on his other ride Stage One; his second race of the season. Due to the Atherstone meeting being abandoned, the next most suited race for the gelding was this one, which was unfortunately a step back in trip to 2 and a half miles; slightly sharp for the horse. Despite this he jumped brilliantly and ran genuinely, but we were slightly disappointed with a 4th place. The gelding will improve for a step up in trip next time out.
Stage One jumping with ease
Next we had Mens Open horse For'n'Against with Johnny Bailey on board. It was good to see him run a round race after a couple of below par performances. He jumped well throughout and beat the favourite, but was just beaten for the win, giving the winner 12lbs, which is a useful horse. This was a sound effort to build on and it was good to see the horse we had last season was back.
Johnny and Dave in perfect harmony
Our final runner of the weekend was The Glebe House Racing's Court Dismissed in the Ladies Open. After an unlucky saddle slipping situation last time out when sat in contention we were all hopeful for a less dramatic race. Following her win the previous day, Izzie was full of confidence and determination for a good run. She rode a very positive race, to which the gelding responded well to, as well as jumping superbly. He outstayed his competition, grounding out a very good victory, carrying 7lbs more than any other horse in the race. It was great for connections to win at a local track and fantastic for Izzie to not only gain the result the pair deserve, but also to have 2 wins from 2 rides on the weekend! Izzie said "Donnie made me work hard for the win, with a change in tactics employed. He jumped foot perfectly the entire race and battled up the run in, keeping his head in front to secure to victory. It was lovely to have a winner owned by friends and family and trained by Alan. It was an excellent result for the team at Woodway after working through the terrible weather!"
Izzie and Donnie en route to victory!
Overall it was a great weekend, with all runners finishing in the first four - what more can you ask for?! We were all over the moon for Izzie riding two winners, so well deserved after a long winter! Next we head to our local track Kimble, for the popular Easter Saturday meeting; praying that rain stays away!