There is no other place to start this week’s newsletter than with HARD TO FORGET and his superb win at Sedgefield today. It has been a frustrating month for the horse and connections as entry after entry went by without a run. First the weather, then the flu and then the ground denied him a race and we knew he was fit and ready to run a massive race. So it proved. Dave Crosse got him in a good position early on and did not panic when to horses opened up a lead. 3 fences out Dave pushed HARD TO FORGET up to challenge and despite the leader fighting back, both horse and jockey were too strong in the final furlong and went on to win stylishly by 9 lengths. We thought this horse would give us a lot of fun and the good news is that Dave Crosse feels there is more to come. He suggested a flat galloping track would suit him even better and he will improve as he goes further. He could run soon with a penalty and is as fit as a fiddle. Look out for entries in the next week or so.
We really needed that win as it has been a disappointing week for the club’s horses and if ever a week exposed the ups and downs of racing this was it. We have gone from debating whether a horse can carry on racing to celebrating a win in the space of a couple of days. It’s been a long time between drinks but we are drinking from the keg of victory tonight!
The week began with BARATINEUR having his first outing for the club at FFos Las. He had only been in the club for 8 days and Adrian Wintle, the trainer, had little time to assess him. In the end it was a disappointing result but only because he had run so well for much of the race. Turning for home he was going as well as anything but faded quite quickly. We can put this down to the ground, BARATINEUR does go on soft ground but FFos Las in the soft is like quicksand! He moved well enough on the bridle but could not quicken in the gluey conditions. There are lots of positives to take from how well he ran for most of the race. Adrian will assess him at home and look for a run in a few weeks time.
CALL SIGN CHARLIE ran again at Wincanton and we were hoping for a return to something like her Exeter form. It was not to be. The race was run at steady pace and she did not settle, throwing her head around at the back. She used up so much energy that she had nothing left at the back end of the race and finished tamely. Sadly, we are running out of excuses for CALL SIGN and if we cannot get her to settle it is hard to see her being competitive. She continues to go well at home and it may be worth one last shot letting her bowl along in front to see if she settles otherwise her future as a club horse is in the balance.
MACHIATO has probably run his last race for the club and will be moved on to somewhere he can enjoy as he clearly does not want to race. His last two runs have shown that, for whatever psychological reason, he will not put in any effort. Two different trainers, two different jockeys on two different tracks have told us the same. It is a shame as he is a beautiful horse but he needs a new career.
ROBIN DE BROOME has been doing some fast work at home and he will be checked by the vet on Monday to make sure his joints have stood up well to the extra work and effort. If he gets the all clear we will look for an entry.
HAATS OFF is ticking along nicely at home and, although we were not looking for an entry, an opportunity has arisen as a result of the boycott which may be too good to miss. All being well she goes to Lingfield on Wednesday for a 3 runner race with some decent prize money and can hopefully open her account for us.
TOOLATETODELEGATE is well and working alongside a much higher rated sprinter at home. The start of the flat turf season cannot come soon enough for her!
ARCHIE went to Ben Brain a leading expert in dealing with horse wind problems to be checked over and has had a soft palette operation. This is not major surgery and Brian Barr has reported that his horses have improved with this operation in the past so let’s hope so! He will be on the easy list for a week or two and then start cantering so it will be 4 weeks or so before he is back in full training.
CLONDAW WHISPER is maintaining his training and will have another entry soon.
BILLY, the 2 year old with Brian is doing all that is asked of him and is being challenged to go a stride quicker in training. He has responded well and is growing into a big string horse.
NORA, the 2 year old with Ann Duffield is reported as being a different horse now. She has developed well and Ann is extremely pleased with her.
Finally, fans of ROCKET RONNIE (and who isn’t) will be pleased to hear that he is enjoying his holidays and chilling out.