Wednesday 17 March
A case of so near and yet so far away yesterday!! The day started well - a beautiful morning on top of the hill, and Bobby Gee working well ahead of Uttoxeter on Saturday, along with Daurica, College Ace and Lareyno who are all entered there as well. Then it was off to Cheltenham with stable star Ogee! A good run down, and he arrived in good order, we, having missed breakfast ,were 'starving' so it was full english for us. A quick change and on to the course which was in great order, a dry morning meant that the ground was perfect for Ogee (Good). The meeting started badly for the Irish with their hot pot Dunguib getting turned over in the first, but there were a few more smiling Irish faces after the second when Sizing Europe took the spoils, the wrong Irish horse but still Irish!! Then it was Ogees turn - Pricewise in the Racing Post and very well backed in the morning he was to go off third favourite. He took all the preliminaries very well - just like the hardened pro that he is, and when Jimmy got the leg up and went to post it was all over to him. Lining up on the inner, he travelled and jumped very well, apart from a hairy moment at the top of the hill, and was going as well as anything going to 2 out. Here he pecked on landing, and lost a bit of momentum, but was soon battling back on the inside and took it up going to the last. Unfortunately Jimmy just had to steady into the last to get him right and although he jumped the fence very well, again he lost vital impetus, and was passed by the eventual winner Chief Dan George soon after landing. Ogee batteld back very well and really went down fighting but was run out of second in the end to finish a very brave and honourable third, beaten 1 and a quarter lengths. A strange feeling then takes over - firstly delight that he has jumped round and finished safe and sound, then bitter disappointment that he was beaten and by such a small margin, then pride that he will be walking back into the third spot in the winners enclosure at THE Cheltenham Festival! A great run, and boy did we need a drink! so as Ogee as washed off and allowed to cool down we headed for the bar and a well earned swift half. We watched the cross country race and then headed for home, where Og was soon back in his box with his head in his hay - you would never know that he had just hours before run his heart out in one of the most competitive handicaps in the jumps calender. Well done to Mrs Robeson and all of her team it was a fantastic run, and so deserved for all the hard work they put in!! May there be many more days like that!! Just two spots nearer the front!!