Friday 27 November
Our first taste of floodlit racing in Chelmsford last night - an interesting night out. When you arrive you are greeted by the sight of the floodlights illuminating the night sky - I have to say it is impressive. After getting your O&T badges, its a hike to say the least! A trek that actually takes you under the track! Not since Tweseldown... You arrive in the centre of the course. Paddock in front, the stand complex to the left - which from the outside looked like a night club - and the weighing room O&T facility, and saddling boxes on the left. It is all a bit different, and being based in the middle of the track was odd, but I have to say the facilities are good. O&T's looked after well with free soup, sandwiches and tea and coffee. The trouble with setting off mid afternoon - we hit the sandwiches - I will be getting an invoice for them instead of the extra badges!! Sneaking Budge was on a fact finding mission. The day went well on the whole - we learned that he was tricky to load - Stuart cured that! We learned that he is sensible at the races, although he had a tendency to pick on me in the saddling box! I am sure Stuart was giving him a poke and making him do it!! In the race itself, Stevie was instructed to pop out and ride him as he found him. He did just that, He travelled well and was second turning in, after which a number of things happened. His lack of a recent run caught him out a fraction, and he was nearly wiped out in the last furlong when a couple of horses came right across him. Stevie snatched him up, and brought him home in his own time. When he got back in he said he felt he would have been third or fourth barring the bump, and that the track was too sharp, and the surface too quick for him. He joked that it was unlikely that he would be under the lights again, and ensured the owners that made the trip to the Essex venue, that SB would be giving them plenty of fun over timber over the winter! It looked that way! There are now only very limited shares left in him, with DC members, taking up the offer to buy into him along with a number of new faces. We welcome Geoff, Steve, and Chris to the fold - all currently have, or have had shares in horses with other trainers in the past - and we wish them the best of luck with the shares we have with us, and enjoy their time with Stuart and his team at Fences Farm! Donny today with Bold Conquest - Tom O'Brien in the saddle, the little horse is in great heart, and the track and ground should suit. It is a slight drop in class, and he is just 2lbs above his last winning mark, so fingers crossed he goes well!