It was a busy and ultimately successful week for Team Feilden as we came away with a winner and a new horse.
Arpina kicked things off with a very respectable fourth at Wolverhampton on Tuesday and showed that her good run last time was no fluke so hopefully there is a win in her soon.
Not to be outdone, Smokey Malone notched his third career success at Chelmsford on Thursday when coming home in front quite cosily under Dylan Hogan. He had been in good form recently without troubling the judge as the races he had been in at Southwell had been a bit too slowly run. There were no worries this time however after one horse went off very fast in front and it meant that Smokey got the fast pace to chase that he loves. Turning into the straight he was traveling well but had a few traffic problems to overcome. Coming through rivals, he picked up well to win with his ears pricked having the favourite finish in second behind him.
Anyone who has been to the yard will know that Smokey is quite a character and is often getting loose but he has plenty of ability when things go right and he certainly made up for whipping round and dumping Dylan on the floor earlier in the week!
The new face to the yard came from Tattersalls February Sale on Friday. We had been trying in vain to buy one the previous day but the demand for horses is still very high and trying to find any value was hard. Luckily we persevered and came away with a three-year old filly from Clive Cox's yard called Initiate who has had two runs to date, finishing a promising fourth last time. She is well bred so the plan will be to win with her and try to turn a profit at the mares' sale back at Tattersalls in December. Her new owner Adrian Sparks managed to do the same with Cabrini last year so hopefully lightening can strike twice.
We only have a small team of horses to run this winter and most of them will be out on Friday as we send a squad of four to Chelmsford.
I had complained to the BHA about a lack of races this month for horses like Arpina and I'm happy to say that they actually listened for once! An additional race has been put on exactly like I asked for so it would be rude not to run Arpina in it. I would prefer if it was not at Chelmsford as I don't think it's the best track for her but beggars can't be choosers and we will give it a go. She takes her racing well and we won't do much with her between runs to get her fresh again.
Fen Tiger has always been a horse we've liked but nothing went right for him last year so he hasn't really shown what we think he has. He had a short break at the end of last season and then had a run to blow away the cobwebs over a mile last time. Back up to 1m2f in an amateur race this time, I hope he can finally show what we know he has and run a big race at a track he has run well at in the past.
We can't got to Chelmsford without taking Engrave and she will be bidding for her sixth course win there that day too. She ran a blinder in a hot race to finish third at Southwell last time and I know she can win a race at another course sometime but things just always seem to go her way at Chelmsford. She remains in good heart so is sure to give her all again.
Rounding off the evening will be Hot Romance. Her best run to date came when she finished third at the track but she has had no luck with wide draws ever since then. If she can get a good starting position then hopefully she can show some better form.