Monday 29 December
OK - the day after Boxing Day - but still a cracker. What a win by Cloonacool in Kempton! We took a punt stepping him up in grade again, especially after getting beat in a slightly lower grade the last time in Huntingdon, but with the weather looking dodgy (Leicester actually abandoned) and the need to find out if all his jockeys were right, and that he would be better in a better race, we headed off to Kempton. The journey was a challenge, with the M25 doing what the M25 does (just in spades), but George made it all worth while. Paddy Brennan rode and his instructions were to get a bit of cover in midfield and not hit the front too soon - so you can imagine our surprise when he went wide with no cover and took it up 7 furlongs from home!! In fairness it was Cloonacool who jumped and travelled his way to the front, and he was swinging along turning in. Chesterfield, a very good horse in his own right came and joined us at the last but capsized, leaving Cloonacool, out on his own, and we know what he does then - not a lot) and he nearly got caught on the line! But he won, and what a buzz!! Lots of smiling faces - and a thrill to win at one of the big winter festivals! He will go up a bit in the handicap, and has earned his place in the Imperial Cup in March. He will have a run in February as a prep. He has come out of the race in good order. Paddy The Deejay will hopefully get a run on Wednesday in a bumper if the weather gods permit. The first preference is to go to Uttoxeter, but that is under snow at the moment, and he is also entered in Warwick.