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At Last...Ayr

Polly meeting her new owners the MS Borders Racing Club

AFTER two weeks without racing because of the weather conditions, we’re delighted to be heading to Ayr on the final day of fixtures before Christmas. You’ll notice we have our four entries in just two races so will be running against each other. It’s something I don’t like doing but we need to get runs into them so it’s a case of needs must - although we’ll be watching the weather closely before deciding for certain if all four take part.

The frost and snow has caused havoc for the racecourses but thankfully we have our covered ride, so we didn’t lose a single day and the horses were able to work as hard as normal. Hopefully we’ll see the benefit of that on the track now it’s getting going again and a winner or two before the end of the year would be fantastic.

WILD POLLY (2.00) has been off for the best part of 700 days after suffering a tendon injury, so we’ll be delighted to get her back on the track again. She was a hugely promising young mare a couple of seasons ago with some smart form in the book, so it was a shame to lose her for that length of time. She’s ready to run again now and with Dylan Johnston taking off ten pounds, she should be competitive.

She will be our first runner for the MS Borders Racing Club in a while, since the days of Sierra Victor, Pegasus Walk and Caerlaverock. Rhona Elliot, who organises their group, got me going point to pointing and does a fantastic job raising money and awareness about the disease. It’s lovely to be training for them again and hopefully we’ll have success together. Ronnie Jacobs also has a leg in Polly after his other horse Cailin Dearg was ruled out for the rest of the year. He’s had a tough time since having a stroke back in April so it would be great to get an early Christmas present for him with a nice run.

The one thing I would say about tomorrow, though, is Polly does need softer ground so whether she definitely takes part will depend on the feedback from the jockeys in the earlier races. With it being so frosty lately the worry is the underfoot conditions end up sticky so hopefully a bit of rain arrives to loosen it up.

RAE DES CHAMPS (2.00) is declared in the same race and we were a bit disappointed in her finishing fourth at Newcastle last time out. She ran well enough but we thought she ought to have been good enough to win that day. If she hadn’t had that Newcastle race we would really fancy her this week, but there’s now a question to answer. She’s in good form at home and we’re hopeful she could finish a few places better this time - ideally three!

We will have a change of tactics for RATH AN IUIR (3.00), who will be ridden a bit handier than he has been in the past to see if that makes a difference. He will be wearing cheekpieces for the first time as well, so hopefully that sharpens him up a bit. Although he’s not been in the best of form this season he has been running through the line so there’s no doubt he’s still got bags of stamina, we just need to see him quicken up a bit because he’s looked a bit slow. Rain would be good for him, so we’ll have to see what the weather does.

HITMAN FRED (3.00) ran very well on his comeback at Kelso just eighteen days ago and while that’s fairly quick on him considering how long he has off, he’s a chilled customer and if it turns out to be proper good to soft ground, we’ll give him a spin because he might not get that again for a while. It’s a tough race, a 0-125 so he’s in at the bottom of the weights but he’s in good fettle. I expected him to blow up sooner than he did at Kelso so he was further on fitness-wise than we thought. If he takes a step forward from that he’ll hopefully have an each-way chance.

Last but not least, we want to wish everyone who reads our blog a Merry Christmas and we’ll be back with info on our runners from Boxing Day onwards.

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