Thursday 25 January
Rollercoaster Of A Day
Tuesday was a rollercoaster day full of highs, and a huge low. The box set off from Fences Farm on Tuesday with three to run in the white, black and red. Stuart has had a lot of the horses on tickover for a couple of weeks as the ground at this time of year is usually very deep, and only certain horses will cope with it. The three that ran on Tuesday were all horses that he felt were able to handle very testing ground, which it certainly were in Leicester. The day started badly - with the shocking and sad news of the death of Richard Woollacott. Richard was a good trainer, with a nice bunch of horses coming through - he had a young family, and our thoughts are with them and his friends at a very difficult time. Pull Together was first up on the track, and Ciaran jumped him out in front to give him a good sight of his obstacles. He travelled really well, and jumped beautifully, before tiring between the last 2. He was hampered by a faller at the last, and finished a good second. he is a lovely prospect, and looks sure to make a very exciting chaser in time. As he was running we were getting some very worrying news form back at Fences Farm, Cloonacool was having a serious colic episode, and the vet was on site tending to him. The situation spiralled downwards very quickly, and sadly Cloonacool was unable to get to his feet, and had to be put down. The vet did all he could, but he could not be saved. It was horrible news - 'George', had been at the yard for nearly 4 years and was a real yard favourite. He was a sweet horse, and always gave of his best winning 5 of his 21 starts for us, including the Listed Prelude Hurdle. He will be sorely missed by everyone at the yard, and our thoughts are with everyone there that looked after him. George will be sadly missed. RIP. The mood went to being a sombre one in Leicester, but somehow the mere sight of the diminutive Kaloci can raise spirits, so it was a bonus that her chance on the track was up next. She had won a bumper, and been placed in a Listed Bumper on her first two starts for the yard, and was making her hurdling debut. There was a slight doubt about the ground, as she is SO small, but we felt that the tougher the assignment we set her the more she would respond. Ciaran, who knows her best felt the same, and so she ran. She too jumped out in front to get a good sight of her hurdles, and jumped like a real old pro. Ciaran quickened up the tempo at the end of the back straight, and made the best of his way home, stretching his rivals. Kaloci may be small, but she is all heart, and despite getting a bit lonely in front after the last, she galloped all the way to the line to win a shade cosily! She got a great reception on her return to the winners enclosure from a big team of owners. We then had Sneaking Budge in the 3.50. Dropped in trip and on a surface he relishes, we had high hopes for a big run. SB travelled and jumped well, but failed to pick up when they turned on the gas between 3 out and 2 out. He will go again in headgear in a couple of weeks if we can find a suitable race for him. He was disappointing, and needs to up his game. From Leicester I headed north to Doncaster, and was at the mare and foal day of their January sale yesterday. A strong trade - it seems as though horses of all ages are tough to buy. It was a wet morning up there, but the ground on the racecourse remains in good nick, and both Maria's Benefit and Classic Ben are both still on course to run there on Saturday. It will be a good day! With the sad loss of Cloonacool we are hoping to add another horse to the string in the next couple of weeks - more news on this as and when - but we have an exciting prospect that we have our eye on.