What an exciting few days we have had! Monday saw ‘Autonomy’ win at Wolverhampton under a perfect ride from Ben Curtis – this big green horse didn’t get the best of breaks & he had to sit and suffer near the back, and then come quite wide but he didn’t panic and ultimately Autonomy found the extra gear necessary to beat the favourite and record his first win under rules over this 1m 4f trip. He is a very well bred horse bought cheaply at the sales out of Sir Mark Prescott’s yard, purchased with a injury and given the recuperation here at Green Oaks before being prepared for this campaign. Being out of the same dam as Derby winner Authorised, he was certainly not bred to win a 0 – 50 classified at Wolverhampton, but we’d like to think he can now go on and win further races, there is certainly scope for him to go up in trip, and he should prove better, the more experience he gains. This was a first win in the mauve and purple colours chosen by our daughter Indy, although they are officially registered in Phil’s name, they are very much her colours and she will have them when she is older enough! She shouted Autonomy home very loudly from our living room on Monday night, there is no bigger racing fan than our youngest daughter!
We were across two cards on Wednesday – Catterick and Newcastle. ‘Whoshotthesherrif’ & jockey, Sean Quinlan got us off to the best possible start for owners, Hambleton Racing with a smooth success in the Novice Chase.
Winning as he liked by 15 lengths, this step up in trip seemed to suit the big Dylan Thomas gelding, and as Sean indicated on the subsequent interview, his next target may well be the Future Champion novices chase at the Scottish Grand National meeting. Sheriff has shown his best form on a sound surface and judged on this evidence, the 2 mile 4f of that valuable race should suit him down to the ground. It’s something to really look forward to for his Owners. He is a real star for us and to look at and ride at home he is the equivalent of a Rolls Royce!
We also had Dubh des Champs & Milanvera at Catterick, the former running a sound race in 4th after quite a break but the little mare has now been retired to the paddocks. She is from a high class family and has another job.
Up the A1 at Newcastle, ‘Madeeh’ made it an across the card double for us with his 4th win of the Winter campaign and his third in a row under the excellent apprentice, Billy Garritty.
He has proved a lucky horse for his Owners, The Harbour Rose Partnership, some of them also Owners of Courtown Oscar & Top Ville Ben. This was another gritty performance and he just continues to improve.
‘Stargazer’ had run another good race in the previous contest to finish 3rd, he maybe didn’t show quite the finishing kick he might have done a year or two ago but he still ran very well in another high grade handicap and at 8 years old he continues to fly the flag for our flat horses, rated in the 90’s and continuing to run well at this level takes some doing!
Yesterday was time to reflect on two excellent days racing and celebrate our daughter Indy’s 12th Birthday. There was a quiz and family karaoke in the Green Oak and perhaps it was lucky that no one else was there to hear us! Megan made Indy the most beautiful cake in her colours.
Some photos from the yard…