ONE runner at Sedgefield tomorrow, with CAILIN DEARG (2.07) heading back to a track she knows very well. A two-time course winner, this will be her eighth appearance at the County Durham track since she moved to us from Ireland. She returned there in November after a break of over 500 days before having another at Catterick four weeks later. Her runs have been relatively low-key so far and as a result she’s now dropped 8lbs from her comeback mark so is now back in the same ballpark where she was winning from.
We know the track, trip and soft going suits her so a few of the boxes are ticked, although she will have to jump better than she did the last time to be involved in the finish here. There isn’t a whole lot of winning form in the race bar the two at the head of the weights, so if she returns to her form of three years back - and, obviously, it’s a big if - then there’s a chance she can be competitive.
Gentleman De Mai
It has been a sad week here at Hazelrigg after losing Gentleman De Mai to a sudden heart attack on Tuesday morning. He was on his way back from the gallops when it happened and thankfully Neil Leach, who rode him every day, avoided serious injury.
Gentleman was a gorgeous and sweet horse who we all adored, and who we expected to see plenty more from on the track in the months and years ahead. After 12 months off having fallen ill soon after winning his maiden hurdle, he’d really looked the part as a staying chaser this season, winning at Kelso then following it up with a fine second there only a few weeks ago.
It’s a real shame we won’t get to see him progress further into the racehorse we knew he could be. You are always left wondering what could have been when something like this happens and, more than that, we’ll miss him around the yard every day.