Tuesday 5th June saw two runners from Lawney's National Hunt yard at Fontwell Park. First to run was Shimba Hills in his maiden outing over chase fences! With plenty of schooling and preparation put in at home leading up to the race we were hopeful of a safe run from the gelding and hoping he would take a liking to the fences. As it was his first run over fences he had to be in a Novice chase; this means he is up against much better horses but at level weights. This must be done before he can then run in a handicap chase next time out. The ground was quick enough for the horse, who loves to get his toe in but despite this he jumped faultlessly and popped round for 4th place, earning his owners some prize money! Nick Scholfield who has ridden the horse for us many times, and twice to victory, was very happy with his performance and maturity throughout the race, stating you would never have known it was his debut run over fences. This was great to hear and Lawney and the owners will now look for a handicap chase where he will be able to run against competitors of a similar talent!
Our other runner was old pro Royal Etiquette in a handicap hurdle. This was his first attempt at a race over 3 miles which didn't appear to suit, with the gelding not quite staying. Jockey David Bass reported that he pulled to hard in the early stages, using up valuable energy and was unable to quicken when required. A drop back in trip would suit the horse which we will now aim for. No big prizes won but both horses finished, some prize money was won and it was exciting to see Shimba take to chase fences so well. We are looking forward to a busy summer with some new horses in training too; details coming soon!