IT has been a frustrating time lately with the weather causing havoc to the fixture list and losing Kelso’s meeting today was disappointing.
Here at Hazelrigg we had a bit of snow last weekend but mainly it has just been very cold and we've only missed one day on our gallops.
At times like that we are grateful to have our covered ride. Being able to keep the horses indoors to do their work is a huge help and because of that the team haven’t missed a beat as they prepare for their engagements ahead.
We head to Ayr tomorrow with six runners, with the racing taking place on heavy ground.
First up is FAMOUS MOMENT (12.25) in the two-and-a-half mile maiden hurdle. He’s run once for us in a bumper and is making his debut over obstacles here. We like him a lot, he’s a nice horse for the future and has gone well at home. He has schooled well but as always in these races, it’s about getting them to the track and getting their feet off the ground for the first time.
We also run WORCESTER PEARMAIN in the same race. She’s a point-to-point horse really and the plan was to get her handicapped so we could run in an amateur race - but they have stopped those. That’s disappointing but we are going to do it anyway and run under rules because the points are off for the time being. A real old yard favourite, she’s 11 years old so we’re not expecting too much but it will be good to get her racing.
SEVEN EYE BRIDGE (12.55) won very well at Carlisle when he stepped up to 3m1f last time. He looked a proper stayer that day and although what he beat remains to be seen, he’s a horse we like a lot. The horse from Brian Ellison’s stable sets a fair standard in this race so it will be difficult to give him a penalty. But racing over 3m on heavy ground should be right up his street, so we’ll see what happens.
We decided to drop BAKO DE LA SAULAIE (2.30) in trip from his last race at Wetherby. He was disappointing that day, we went into it thinking he’d have a real chance but he ran way below expectation. So it’s a bit of a recovery mission in what looks a very competitive race. There are a number of horses in there who could win it, but we’ve freshened him up and we’ll ride him a bit differently to get a little more daylight than last time. Hopefully he will recapture his form because we’d been pleased with his first couple of efforts this season.
SHANBALLY ROSE (3.00) makes her handicap debut off a workable mark and we think this will be the right kind of race for her. We can’t say for sure what she’ll think of the ground up there as it will be by far the deepest she’s encountered so far. But she’s a nice horse who does it well at home and we’d like to think she’ll be competitive.
Our last runner is FINAL FLING (3.35) in a 3m handicap hurdle. Everything looks to be in his favour here, the trip and ground will be right up his street and it’s not too big a field. Lorcan Murtagh gets on really well with him, which is nice and hopefully he can get back to the form he showed a couple of years ago.
After Ayr we’ll have some runners at Musselburgh and Ascot later in the week, so we’ll update on those in a few days.