Sunday, 8 May 2011


So, rain arrives, ground softens and competitive point-to-pointing returns with lots of runners in front of a good crowd at Aspatria deep in the Cumbrian countryside.  We ran two in the Mens's Open but we were up against it taking on an improving young horse from Cheshire ridden by the man who has ridden more point-to-point winners than anyone ever, Richard Burton, who was sent off the 2-5 favourite; Commercial Express gave him plenty to think about in a ding dong battle all the way up the home straight but he just failed by a neck, it would have been a famous scalp for Kit to claim as a novice rider but he just didn't quite get there.  Almost Blue stayed on to finish 3rd having somewhat disgraced himself in the preliminaries; he started by bucking and "double-barrelling" the winning post twice smashing it up completely, he then ran backwards through the running rail breaking that, then reared depositing Uncle Jamie heavily on his head, he then took off across the course and trotted round and round a field of spring barley delaying the race for about 10 minutes whilst his hapless connections tried to catch him, not surprising that he then ran a bit "flat."  The only upside was that I didn't manage to get to the bookies and Robert M-B failed to answer his mobile when I attempted to delegate this task.  Robert later told me the sad news that his splendid horse Thunder Hawk wouldn't be racing again this season, I'm sure he won't mind me sharing the pictures below of his latest run with Lucy on board winning at Hexham - that damn rollercoster again!
Noir et Vert then finished a good second in the NPPA race, he's found one too good five times this season which is a trifle frustrating but I am sure he will be winning soon.  The end of the pointing season looms and championships come to mind, Kit is involved in a tussle for the Novice Rider title and having lost the lead last week is now level with two fixtures to go; it will be touch and go as to whether we get Skipping Chapel back on the track this season and Commercial Express has now had two tough races in 9 days - the horses' welfare must always come first but there is definitely an added frisson with the title race in the background! I also have possible targets under rules for both horses which don't count, hmm.  Hats off though to Lucinda's Badger Foot which will be the top horse after winning the Ladies Open, he has won his last five races carrying five different riders from the yard, tremendous and I am sure unique achievement - I almost thought of asking her whether she would let me ride him next week but then again it would be a shame to end his winning run!
Very pleased with myself for managing to stay awake to watch the Kentucky Derby, superb TV coverage, record crowd attended of 167,000, quite incredible.  Desperately sad about Seve, almost a relief knowing how ill he had been but awful to lose such a charismatic genius who did so much for his sport.  Focus now is on sifting through the entries for Perth, watching the rain fall and wondering what the ground will be like... Thunder Hawk........
Over the water..

Upsides at the last


Edging ahead

TH led in by triner Stuart Coltherd

the winning connections

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