Its a huge day for the yard and connections of stable star Goldan Jess. Its also a day tinged with Sadness as one of his loyal Owners, Mr Brian Cobbett passed away peacefully in hospital last week after a brave battle with Parkinsons. Brian had long been an avid follower of the yard and over the last couple of years, a good family friend , enjoying regular phone conversations with us from his home in Somerset where despite being confined to his bed for he last ten years he remained remarkably cheerful and knowledgeable about all things racing and the horses Phil was training. The phone would ring when we had a winner and he loved to share the excitement we had each time. He bought a small share in Agglestone Rock having long been a fan, and enjoyed his comeback 4th at Musselburgh a few years ago but we transferred this to Goldan Jess when we struggled getting Aggie back on the track. It was an immensley proud day for all of us and Brian when Jess lifted the big race last year, and he had been looking forward to watching him again. His son Darren will have been instructed to put a small each way investment on him, and as he would have wished, Brian’s share transfers to his Son and Grandson today as he bids for glory at Cartmel.
Kyle James is the obvious choice for Jess today, the pair of them just click and in true Kyle fashion, he has told Phil he thinks they will win! We love his enthusiasm and its exactly this never say die attitude that matches him and Jess perfectly. They will be jumping out to make
all as usual and although we only dared school Jess once with his legs of glass, he jumped as slick as ever. We couldn’t believe he won it last year off a career high mark at the age of ten, after one rushed prep run at Kempton just 10 days previously. Jess has broken down twice in the past and had two seperate long spells on the sidelines. After claiming him for £6k at Ludlow, we had struggled winning with him for a few years until the tactics were changed, and realising that his lack of finishing effort was all down to an inability to quicken at the end of his races we decided he should make all, and when Jess is 6 clear round the final bend it takes a strong horse to pass him. But still the task 12 months ago seemed unachievable – not a single one of his loyal band of Owners were there to enjoy the day, but all bar Brian will be there to cheer him on this afternoon. He is owned by ‘The Jessies’ a team of Racing journalists including regular Attheraces forum member, Will Hayler, Colin Fletcher who was also part of Simply Smashing, and ourselves – we tried for months to lease or sell his quarter but gave up a few years ago, now we are very proud part Owners of one of Racings bravest handicap hurdlers! This is what Racing Post have to say about his chance today:
Jess’s final run last year he attempted to give the unbelievably well handicapped and subsequent TRIPLE winner ‘Teak’ more than a stone, (Teak was third at Royal Ascot this year) – what a performance! It was really a better run even than his Crystal Cup win, and over a trip he had never attempted before, 3m 1f, not really suited to his front running style. Its back to 2m 5f today and we are all nervously excited but whatever happens, a safe clear round for our old warrior is foremost in our minds, if ever a horse deserved an honourable retirement it is him! But despite being 11 years old now, as long as the legs hold up we are hopeful he will race on for another year, just like a fine wine, he is a horse that just seems to get better with age. And for all of you who believe he is a girl, Jess is in fact a gelding!!
- Posted in: News