CAN IT BE ‘TEN UP’ FOR OUR LADY?
We’ll be holding our breath come 3.35 today as stable Queen ‘Lady Buttons’ lines up for the Jim Joel Memorial Trophy, a 2m class 2 Handicap at Newbury in what is sure to be fading light at the Berkshire track. This will be her first time in handicap chase company after contesting 3 novices last season, winning 2 and coming 4th in the Grade 1 at Aintree at the end of a long season. Her opening mark of 140 looks about right and hopefully she can make her mark in what is undoubtedly a competitive event, she will have to be on her game against seasoned professionals and it will be all about the jumping over the minimum trip. Any further rain shouldn’t be a hindrance and her regular jockey Adam Nicol is going there on a high after a superb win aboard Dubh des Champs at Doncaster yesterday.
Phil set off early this morning after feeding Buttons at 4.45 am, giving her an hour to eat her breakfast and think it was just another normal day. Julie will be leading her up and her Owner Breeders Keith and Jayne Sivills will be watching with pride as she strides into the paddock – you wouldn’t find a better looking National Hunt mare anywhere in England or Ireland.
The day she heads to the paddocks will be almost a relief as it’s nervewracking watching her but her star is still in the ascent and we are going to enjoy the journey as she reaches her pinnacle over fences, even if we shut our eyes sometimes as the fences approach! Adam won’t be, that’s for sure…he has every faith in this mare and they have formed a wonderful partnership of 9 wins to date.
Here are the runners for the race:
And we would also like to thank The Yorkshire Post for the excellent piece in this morning … this is just the headline.
On to Doncaster now and we have another lovely mare, Shine Baby Shine in the 1.10. She was a winner last season at Catterick in novice company but found life in a handicap pretty tough first time out at Wetherby and reverts to the minimum trip on her second start this term. Wishing her group of enthusiastic Owners the best of luck this afternoon. With Tommy out of action she will be ridden by the experienced Jamie Hamilton. Hopefully the ground is perfect again and we don’t see any more issues with the slippery bend that caused racing to be prematurely abandoned before Skipthescales race yesterday.