We have been having the most wonderful time here at Castle Hill Stables, with all the horses running their absolute socks off over the last fortnight. In our last 15 runners, only two have finished out of the top 4, and they have all tried their hearts out, allowing us to reach the ‘hot list’ of trainers all this week.
The Doorman was given a couple of days in the field to relax after his wonderful victory at Carlisle, before proceeding to take off with Alice on his return to the gallops. Clearly in good order, the decision was made to take him to Sedgefield (left) to see if he could double up in the Novice hurdle there five days later. His travel companion, Cup Final, was also trying for back for back wins in Novice Chases, but ended up running a very gallant race to take 2nd over a trip that would be well short of his ideal conditions. However, he learned plenty more about jumping bigger obstacles, and there is definitely more to come in this sphere from him.
Back to the Door, after giving all of us and his wonder jockey Richie McLernon a heart attack at the first when he decided to plough through it (luckily his size meant this was not much of an issue!), he was flawless after that, taking up the running at the second last to cruise to another victory by 2 and a half lengths. He was extremely pleased with himself after this, and delighted that it meant more field time! Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and he ran a good 3rd at Hexham last night under a lot of weight to end his winning streak, but was certainly not disgraced. He will have a nice little break now to freshen him up, and a chase campaign may well await him later in the summer – if Alice lets him, he currently seems to be covered in cotton wool!
We then moved back onto the flat at Newcastle, where Rey Loopy (right) was heading back to a nice straight course after looking a little lost last time out around Kempton’s bends – he is, after all, 17hh of lanky three year old legs so we can’t really blame him! He was looking superb in the run up to the race, and his front end had finally caught up with his massive back end, so we were all hopeful of a nice showing from a horse we have always had faith in. A huge, backwards type, his owners have shown great patience with him, and boy did he reward them! Tucked in behind a wall, everyone was hopping around praying for a gap, and when it came a furlong out boy did he fly! Paul Mulrennan cruised up looking supremely confident, and they demolished the field by 3 1/2 eased down lengths. We were over the moon to give the wonderful Daniel Shapiro and David Clifford a first win in their Porima colours, and I think the celebrations could be heard the other side of Newcastle! It was also a first ever win for the Wood family who are in him, so big smiles all round! He has been given a rather hefty 11lb rise, but I would like to think their is still a fair amount of improvement to come from him. He may run at Musselburgh on Friday, but that will be ground dependent.
Once we had all come back down to earth, Daniel and David’s colours were given another airing when worn by Time For Treacle (left, with a very happy Andy!) at Leicester a couple of nights later. She is also owned by John Milner, Marcus Rees and Bob Michealson. Very disappointing on her first outing, when hanging violently left and basically not joining the race even a tiny bit, we weren’t sure what to expect here and she was very much written off by the commentators beforehand, who were very rude about this sweet little filly! Robbie Fitzpatrick, who rides out a lot here, and knows her well, was in the saddle, and he gave her an absolute peach – she jumped well and stayed straight as a die, staying on really well to take 3rd and earning herself an apology from the TV pundits! We were over the moon with her, and on that evidence she should be very capable of picking up a race this year.
Moon Over Rio and Megan Nicholls were up next, and boy did they try their hearts out! Megan gave her a lovely ride, tracking the favourite the whole way round, who was only rated 33lbs higher than our little filly after all… Anyway, our little mare certainly gave him something to think about, mounting a huge challenge in the final furlong to just miss out on the winner’s spot and take 2nd. It was a lovely run from her for the Blue Lion Syndicate, and hopefully we will find her a winnable opportunity soon.
So, as you can see, it’s been pretty good all round here and spirits are high, with a celebratory BBQ in the offering tomorrow night for the hard working staff who have been flat out recently! May the luck continue, and hopefully I will have more good news for you next week!
Until next time,