Friday 15 March
Highs And Low
Yesterday was a day of very contrasting emotion. We had two runners, Lilly's Arc was making her hurdling debut in Market Rasen's opener, and Queenohearts was contesting the Mares Novices' Hurdle at The Cheltenham Festival. Lilly's Arc got things underway at 1.45 - up against a 1-12 fav, we had no aspirations of victory, but with just 5 runners, it was the ideal introduction to hurdling. Lilly, travelled well, and jumped OK for her first time, but as they crossed the line in third, Josh felt her take a false step, and pulled her up very quickly.It was a superb move, as it transpired that Lilly had suffered a very serious injury. She was quickly attended to by the veterinary team, who diagnosed a knee injury. Lilly was bandaged, and initially it was thought that she would be able to travel home, but after a while it was decided to bring in the xray machine, and take some images, where it was found that she had suffered multiple fractures, and it was determined that it would be wrong to travel her, and sadly she had to be put down there and then. A very sad day for all of her owners, as she was such a honest and tough little mare, who had a lovely future. Also, huge thanks to Robert Rose, who travelled LA to Market Rasen, and had to go way beyond the course of duty to deal with the owners present and keep them up to date with the proceedings as things evolved, and in the end, had to impart the very worst of news. Thanks Robert. Our thoughts go out to all the staff at Fences Farm, in particular Nuala, who was with her at the end, and all of the owners of Lilly. I was with the team in Cheltenahm to see Queenohearts take her chance in the Mares Novices Hurdle. This was a bonus run, as the Cheltenham Festival had never been on the agenda for this lovely mare,as she hadn't the experience for the Grade 1, and the novice is run over an inadequate trip, but when the ground came up soft, it gave her owners the chance to have a runner at the Festival. There were huge discussions as to which race she would contend, and we all knew that the 2m 4f of the David Nicholson on day 1 would suit the best, but Stuart and Ciaran were very adamant that her jumping had not been up to the task of that Grade 1 in her 3 previous hurdle races, and that the best race for her was yesterdays heat over an inadequate 2m 1f. As it transpired she put in a super round of jumping, but just couldn't live with the pace early, and her fate was sealed after jumping the first. To her huge credit, she was flat out all the way, but gritted it in up the home straight to come from virtually last to get up to within just 10 lengths of the front. It was a super run, and although she gave herself a nasty little over reach in the race, is, apart from that fine this morning. Now that her owners had had the bonus of a run at the Cheltenham Festival - a dream come true for all of them - we can now get back to the serious business of the 2m 4f,Mares Novices Hurdle in Fairyhouse over the Easter weekend, which has always been the plan, should everything have gone OK through the season.