Sunday, 27 November 2011


As wild a night as I have known last night, gusts of 94mph recorded at local weather station and well over an inch of rain.  There is always a certain amount of trepidation when one heads outside to feed the horses after a night like that but to my amazement there appears to be no damage, these ancient buildings must have been cleverly built.
Initial reaction has to be an ordinary couple of day's racing for the yard, that's the nature of the game, there will be plenty of them for various reasons but that reaction soon overtaken, firstly by the magnificent Overturn who became the first horse to complete the Northumberland Plate/ Fighting Fifth hurdle double in front of a rapturous Geordie crowd all of whom appeared to have backed him, great stuff, and then sitting in the car waiting for the jockey I opened my ipad to discover the wonderful news that Carruthers had won the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury; after last Saturday's great win by Kauto the sport was again united in celebration, this time for a struggling but talented journeyman jockey gaining the biggest win of his career aboard a horse owned, bred and trained by the Oaksey family.  The manner in which Mattie Bachelor's weighing room colleagues celebrated this success with him sums up everything that is good about the sport, to quote Oaksey himself - "the brotherhood of hazards shared" - is one of the great but unsung qualities of National Hunt racing.  And of course, a wonderful victory for Lord Oaksey - sadly too frail to attend but hopefully aware of this great victory through the mists of old age, most of you will be aware that he founded the irreplaceable Injured Jockeys Fund which has done so much for so many people and was himself a thoroughly accomplished journalist and amateur rider, in the latter role giving my father his greatest moment as a trainer when winning the Aintree Foxhunters for him back in (dare I say it!) 1967.
Today Lucy rides at Carlisle, Red Tamber in the 1.20 for Bruce Mactaggart and Proud Times in the 1.55 for Alan Swinbank, we hope to be back in action at Ayr on Tuesday then Kelso on Sunday.
A day in the sun, Mattie Bachelor aboard Carruthers

No comments: