Monday, 5 March 2012

A mixed week-ends racing - On Saturday we took Shade and Oaka to Didmarton - luckily they split the maidens, which meant that we didn't have to run them against each other, and we had the perfect nine runner race for both of them. We expected great things from Oaka, who had his first run at Didmarton last season and ran a really good race in very strong competition coming 6th out of 14 runners. He was understandably backed into favouritism as he looked fantastic in the paddock and it was a relatively weak maiden, so you can imagine how disappointed we were to see him trailing at the back and then being pulled up after only doing a circuit and a half -we thought something must have gone wrong with him, but were relieved, yet puzzled to see that he wasn't blowing at all and was as fresh as a daisy. Will's explanation was that he thought he didn't like the ground and that the pace was too strong for him, yet the ground was exactly the same as it was last time when he came 6th, and the time then was two seconds quicker, so that simply didn't add up.
Shade was the next to go and she actually ran a better race than Oaka as at least she was in the race for a short time - she was also pulled up after a circuit and a half, and although she was very green, we were reasonably pleased with the way she went and it was a good introduction for her. Both horses wouldn't have blown a candle out afterwards, so we know they were fit enough. We had already had Shade's bloods taken during the week to make sure that she hadn't tied up during the cold snap, and her bloods were fine, so we had the vet out today to take Oaka's in case he has something wrong with him. The way he was galloping around the field, it seems unlikely but we hope we will find out more when the blood results come back.
On Sunday we had a much better day - Amy rode Aitch in the Ladies Open at Garthorpe and both horse and rider got around in one piece. it was the first time Amy has completed and the first time that Aitch has ever done three miles. Aitch is a real success story for the yard as he broke down very badly when he was trained professionally and before that his trainer disliked him intensely as he was so difficult to train. After he broke down Emma took him into her rehabilitation yard, as she thought that is what her late father (and the owner of Aitch) would have wanted and the trainer told her she was completely mad and he wasn't worth the effort. Apparently he was virtually unmanageable and used to explode with fear when being saddled up for a race. It has taken a while but gradually he has learnt to trust us and Amy has got on really well with him, it was lovely to see them both having so much fun yesterday, Amy with a huge grin on her face and Aitch so happy and relaxed - that's what it is all about. The highs and the lows.....