Philip Kirby Racing

Racehorse Trainer based at Richmond, North Yorkshire

Cheltenham Gold Cup day


Ace Bloodstock & Rayna Fitzgerald’s 5 year old ‘Rayna’s World’ led in to 3rd spot by Katie & Henry. Photo kindly taken by Beth Hutchinson

Just like the winner, Rayna’s World went into this Grade 2 contest yesterday as a maiden following two promising novice runs at Wetherby. Despite Phil’s words of quiet confidence she was allowed to go off a huge price, and we couldn’t have been more excited to see her storming up the hill for Tommy after losing her place early on – a lack of experience and a red hot early pace just catching out this good staying mare, but once stamina came into play she was really suited by the hill and the other horses coming back to her….watch the video here from half way.

This was a massive thrill for her Joint Owners, John Hanson  – and Steve & Rayna Fitzgerald , after whom the mare was named. John & Phil bought this mare at Tattersalls as a yearling, and she was always a fine big youngster who had the potential to go hurdling as she strengthened up. Gaining black type in this Graded contest is a massive boost for her future breeding page, and as John enjoys having his small band of broodmares she is sure to be one for the future paddocks of ACE BLOODSTOCK. Tommy was rightly buzzing after this 3rd place at Jumps Racing biggest’s 4 days – and this came off the back of his excellent ride on Louis Vac Pouch in the proceeding race. Rayna is ridden at home by Nick Barratt-Atkin and he was incredibly proud this morning of the mare who pulls his arms out every day but he has a great affinity with. After this performance he may be struggling getting back on her for the flat – the plan is now possibly an Aintree run but then a good summer out and retaining her novice hurdling status for next season.

Sanwiched between 2 Mullins horse’s either side of us, Rayna’s World excelled in the Mares Novice to make herself the only English runner in the first 5. 

Interesting photo bomb by none other than Nick Skelton!

The happy team with Rayna

40 minutes earlier we saw a really sound jumping performance from 144 rated LOUIS VAC POUCH in the Brown Advisory Plate, a staying on 7th despite finding trouble in this 24 runner cavalry charge. He hasn’t got a lot of chasing experience and this was really promising from a young horse who looks to have plenty of potential for the future. He is likely to head to Aintree all being well. Tommy is in  the white, bright blue & green just forward of midfield as we pick it up.

Katie & Henry with Louis Vac Pouch

Louis showing his well being, tugging Katie round the paddock!

Both horses were sound and well this morning. I am not sure that Phil , John & Co will have been feeling quite so fresh as they were celebrating the result in thorough style last night!

On to today and we are really pleased to be running ‘Stellar Notion’ for good friends Charles & Emma Clarke in the Foxhunters. This lovely big Presenting horse joined us 3 weeks ago and enjoyed a good school round the CheltenhamX County course in the hands of Henry last week, a change of scenery for him and he seems in grand order at home. The drying ground will help although he would prefer no ‘soft’ in the description  and its crucial he jumps off well and enjoys himself. He is a a big price but Notion doesn’t know that and he is in good hands with experienced Amateur jockey, Mr James King in the saddle. Best of luck to everyone involved.

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