Hexham, Newcastle and Permission Granted


AAZZA (1.20), above, won round Hexham the last time we ran her there and sprung a bit of a surprise in the process. She will face different conditions today and has a penalty today as well, so she’ll need to step forward. We think she will like the softer ground but she’s not been on it yet, so we will find out today. It doesn’t look the strongest race on paper, so hopefully she runs well and can make it two from two.


ESPOIR MORIVIERE (3.20) loves it round there, he’s on a good mark and the ground will suit him. You can see why he’s been made favourite and if he runs to his best form he should take a bit of beating.


Tomorrow CAPTAIN QUINT (2.50) will go to Newcastle after missing out on a trip there for the French Furze on Fighting Fifth day because we couldn’t get the lorry out of the yard after the storm. He’s an exciting horse who did it really well last time and while it’s a competitive race, we will go there hopeful of another good run.


Monday at Musselburgh was a terrible day, losing Permission Granted to a broken leg in his race. It’s very upsetting for everyone here and for his owners. He was running a really good race on his first effort over fences, but made a mistake and probably tried too hard to stay on his feet. If he’d gone down he probably would have been okay. It’s just really heartbreaking to lose a horse who was so honest, genuine and loved by everyone associated with him.

On Sunday at Kelso we didn’t really want the rain to come so it wasn’t in our favour to see the ground go fairly soft. Diable De Sivola ran a great race under Will Ramsay, above, who gave him a fantastic ride and has plenty to look forward to in the months ahead. Definite Wisdom and Do Not Disturb ran credible races in conditions that didn’t suit them. Definite Wisdom, in particular, really pleased us because he showed a lot more confidence in his jumping again.


The disappointment was The Player Queen, who reared over backwards before we put the saddle on her. She didn’t travel or jump well, which made us wonder whether she’d tweaked or hurt something. Her performance was nothing like the horse we saw at Ayr. She was scoped and that looked fine, so we’re hoping she just got a bit of a fright and that was the reason for it. There’s no doubt she’s miles better than we saw so there’s still plenty to look forward to with her.