We are still having to be quite selective with our runners while the ground remains so testing, thankfully due to a dry night we were able to get a good number of the string on the mile grass gallop which always provides the horses with a good test and it gives us a good understanding of the horses fitness and well being. Hopefully with another dry 24 hours we will be able to have plenty of horses jumping on grass instead of using our all weather strip of hurdles, a feature that has proved to be invaluable in previous schooling sessions, despite a select few using the grass line of jumps, it is not possible for every horse to do so as it it would be detrimental to the condition of the ground.
First Mohican again displayed his well being 5 days after a commendable effort at Chelmsford, to run another solid race, this time at Lingfield on Friday afternoon, taking a marginal step up in trip, he ran a good race to finish 2nd beaten just over a length, racing off the pace he passed through the field in style and ran all the way to the line, a good effort considering he was giving the winner 4lbs, he can hopefully continue to string together these good efforts and give Mr. Ponsonby and his syndicate of owners plenty of fun.
Gild Master was making his debut over hurdles at Kempton on Saturday after a somewhat frustrating campaign on the level this season, a hard pulling horse both at home and on the racecourse we were hoping the transition to hurdling may help him to settle and focus better in his races. In what was only a 5 runner field it was always going to be difficult to find cover and despite Wayne’s best efforts he again pulled hard and as a result never really hurdled with any fluency. On testing ground, Gild Master scuppered his chances from pulling so hard, and eventually came home a 19 length 3rd. He can can hopefully adapt to this new discipline and begin repay the patience of both his owner Max McNeill and his rider at home Kevin Dowling.
Both Brod Na Heireann and Dun Bay Creek lined up in the novice hurdle over 3 miles and despite a good preparation leading up to the race for them both they never landed a blow in the race, both horses have come out of the race okay and hopefully in due time we will know more as why they didn’t show their true colours.
Forgiving Glance was taking a good step up in class after previously placing a listed hurdle, to now take her chance in the Finale Hurdle at Chepstow a Grade 1.In what was extremely testing conditions she never really manage to land a blow in the race and although she has already obtained her ‘black type’ she can hopefully continue to pay her way on the racecourse when the ground is less demanding.
Heading towards the end of the week we have some exciting runners coming up, so I hope there is much to talk about in my next report !!