What a week!
We know pretty well that racing is full of highs and lows but you couldn't get a bigger demonstration of this than our day at Yarmouth last Tuesday.
It started brilliantly well with Oud Metha Bridge winning the first race of the day under young apprentice Sean Kirrane. All of Oud's best form had been on the all-weather but he was rated a lot lower on the grass so I thought he could take advantage of it plus the jockey's 7lb claim was a big help. He disputed the lead with the odds-on favourite, saw that one off and then repelled the late challenge of the runner-up. This will have done his confidence the world of good and he should be in for another productive year.
In the same race Shelley was on board Boxatricks who also ran well in fifth place but she got her own taste of victory an hour later when my pet Gas Monkey looked a reformed character wearing a hood for the first time. He hadn't been keen on winning recently and a friend suggested it might be the noise from the crowd which was putting him off so we tried a hood on him and the quietening effect seemed to work well as he won very easily. I have loved Gas Monkey since I bred him and I am delighted that his owners the N.E.T. Racing Club love him as much as I do as the reception he got afterwards was brilliant.
Add in to the mix that Approve The Dream ran a career best to finish second in the final race and it should have been a joyous day but we unfortunately had a horrible accident with Spanish Mane clipping heels and falling in the penultimate race of the day.
Shelley was cruising on the filly two furlongs from home and tried to squeeze through a gap which suddenly closed resulting in the pair crashing to the turf. Thankfully the horse got to her feet and has been fine since then but unfortunately Shelley wasn't so lucky and was taken to hospital after a long delay to racing. Scans showed she had a broken collarbone and a dislocated hip which was operated on that night and meant she had to stay in A&E for three days. She's back home now and a lot happier but still very sore and will be out of action for a while.
I must thank everyone for their kind messages and thoughts since then but a special mention must go to fellow trainer Amy Murphy who sorted out the rest of the runners for me whilst I went to the hospital; Yarmouth Clerk of the Course Richard Aldous who couldn't do enough to help us from sorting out Shelley's care to buying me a phone charger at 10pm when my phone died! Also thanks to Jane Shirran who went to see Shelley the following day and supplied her with enough food to see her through a year-long stay!
On reflection things could have been a lot worse so we are grateful with what we are left with and the horses all did their job by running their hearts out.
Rounding off a busy week was the Tattersalls Guineas Breeze Up Sale in Newmarket on Friday and I came away with a beautiful two-year old colt by Classic-winning sire Lawman who's breeding has been given a major boost since as he is bred very similarly to 2000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia. This colt really impressed me in his breeze and I loved the look of him on closer inspection. He has been bought for Reyaz Ferook who has been an owner with me for many years now and I hope he can be very lucky for him.
It would be hard to match last week's amount of runners so thankfully this coming one will see us spending a bit more time at home.
On Monday we will be heading to Bath with a couple of runners who I think will run well. Ride and Prejudice may have finished last of five on her debut recently but she was only beaten four lengths by the winner and should have come on a lot for the run. She has really settled down since then so I hope she can run a big race for our small two-year old army.
The other runner there will be Terri Rules who is looking well handicapped now but keeps losing ground at the start of her races. If she can jump out on terms then I think she will have a great chance.
Noble Account is entered at Nottingham on Friday but looks unlikely to get a run with loads of other horses entered. You would think that horses who have never run before, like him, would get preference to race over others that have raced but unfortunately it doesn't work like that and he will probably have to go somewhere else to make his debut.
Back at the same track on Saturday will be Sea Shack and Oceanus entered in the same race. Sea Shack has been ultra consistent on the all-weather this winter and I don't see why he shouldn't be the same on grass whilst I'm just desperate to run Oceanus anywhere there is soft ground as it has been hard to find for him so far this year.
FOUR TO FOLLOW STANDINGS
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