Sunday, 13 May 2012

Poppy asleep in lorry after a big day out
A great days racing in that Leon actually finished his race a very creditable fourth. He was only about 6-7 lengths from the winner and really seemed to enjoy it. This has been his first completion over three miles as up to now he has always pulled himself up two or three from home and we thought that he just didn't want to do it. I had noticed in his past races that as soon as he heard the whips going around him he had always put his head in the air and stopped trying, so this time we put earplugs in so that he couldn't hear the whips, and I told Peter, the jockey to try not to put him under pressure and make him feel as though he was in control and not lift the whip at all but just to encourage him along with a pat or two. Pete did exactly as instructed and got the result we have been waiting two years for! A real achievement and Leon must have known that he was in 'last chance saloon' as he made a real effort. Jo, the owner has been really patient with him as I'm sure most people would have given up on him by now. He is a very happy boy this morning and obviously knows that he has done well. Oh, and I must mention that he won 'best turned out' as if I don't Laura will be cross with me!  Laura and the team have won 15 best turned outs so far this season - a real credit to them.
Velvet Cloud was also a little star - we were worried that she would work herself up into a state waiting such a long time to race, but she was extremely well behaved and just lovely in the lorry, and then very grown up in the paddock. It was a very fast race as it was only over two and a half miles, but we were delighted with the way she kept with them for a circuit and a half - She made a bad mistake at the ditch and then again three from home so Toby very sensibly pulled her up. We are fairly sure that she will stay three miles, so that will be our plan next time. What we were particularly pleased with is how unfazed she was by everything and how she just wants to race. She will be a great fun race horse for next season when she has strengthened up a bit more.
It was a beautiful day and just lovely to be out enjoying the racing and the company in the most stunning countryside with red kites swooping down around us. A very rewarding day out. Hopefully today will be the same with Harry (Unoitmakessense) and Cloudy Moon having an outing at Chaddesley Corbett. It may be a bit too soft for Moonie, but she is full of herself and needs a run and she will then be fit for Dingley at the end of the season, and hopefully Harry's headgear will help him to concentrate at his fences....