Racing is certainly a game which can keep you grounded and, after a brilliant start to things at Brighton on Monday, we ended the day on a very sad note.
With four runners, all with good chances, we hoped there would be at least one winner among them and it came at the first attempt as Oceanus went a place better than the time before and reversed the form with the horse who beat him that day.
Ridden by Shelley, he tracked the leaders before waiting for a gap to open two furlongs from home and dug deep to get his nose in front inside the final furlong. This was only his fourth run for us and we seem to have found the key to him now. He will be a really fun horse to be a part of and there are still a few shares left in his syndicate, details of which can be found on the Ownership page. The price hasn't gone up after this either!
With Limerick Lord finishing second later on, we had every hope that Appease could follow up his win last time with another good run. On ground softer than he would have liked, he did just that and ran his heart out to finish fourth. All was fine until he returned to the unsaddling enclosure and he must have taken a false step as his hind foot clipped his front leg and cut it. It was an innocuous looking injury and was probably smaller than a 5p piece but he had gone very deep and caused tendon damage which had made him lame. Patched up and given pain killers at the racecourse, we took him home to Rossdales vets that evening and they had a better look. Unfortunately the damage was irreparable and he could not be saved even for retirement. It was a terrible shame as he was a real gentleman and had been a yard favourite since arriving in the spring. Whatever happens on the racetrack, coming home safe is all you want for the horses and we were very sad to lose Appease.
Soft ground has scuppered a few plans in recent weeks but it will be in our favour tomorrow at Leicester as both runners like it when the mud flies.
Terri Rules hasn't had much luck since finishing second at Lingfield earlier in the summer and I think things will be more in her favour here. It's probably a higher grade race than she would like but she has bottom weight and could go well.
Another mud lark is Gatillo and he was given a break in the height of summer to save him for an autumn campaign so he is ready to go now. His work at home has been a lot better than he has shown on the track so hopefully he can start performing when it counts!
The following day at Chelmsford we will have another pair of raiders.
Best Example has come back to himself recently with two second places and he looks sure to go one better any day. He is a hold up horse so needs some luck in running but the step up in trip should suit him and I hope he can put in another good run.
Accompanying him will be Tallulah's Quest. We didn't think she would get into this race but luckily it divided and we're pleased it did as it looks ideal for her. She too has been unlucky not to win this year after two second places but she has more than enough ability to get her head in front. The switch to an all weather surface is a bit of an unknown but hopefully she can be just as effective on it and get a win on the board before being put away until next season.
We're back to Chelmsford again on Thursday with Mungo Madness.
He put in a great run to finish third at Southwell behind Go On Gal last time and I didn't run him at Yarmouth last week because of the soft ground. I think his best chance of winning is probaby back at Southwell but with no meetings there for a while, we will just have to try our luck here. He stayed well last time so that isn't in question.
It has been a busy weekend here socially as on Friday we held the annual Julia Feilden Golf Day. A full report will be in this month's Harraton Herald newsletter out this week but congratulations must go to Paul Skinner who came away the winner. It's all a bit of fun though and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves, plus those who came back to the yard afterwards for a barbecue. We were blessed with some brilliant weather and this event really has become one we all look forward to.
Then on Sunday an intrepid group of the team went to let off some steam paintballing. It's the only time they are lawfully allowed to shoot each other and I think they took full advantage of the fact judging by the bruises they came home with. They're all still talking now so it must have been a fun day nonetheless!
FOUR TO FOLLOW LEADERBOARD
Julia Feilden 90
John Chalklin 87
Clare Peacock 82
Paula Smith 78
Colleen Pyrke 78
Trevor Mather 77
Geoff Walton 76
Ken Campbell 76
Ros Taylor 76
John Tucker 76