WE have had a few memorable moments this season, from welcoming old Jonniesofa back to the winners’ enclosure at Carlisle in December, to watching young horses like Le Cheval Noir, Trooper Turnbull, Fete Champetre, Dream Over, Seven Eye Bridge and Rath an Iuir show loads of promise for the future.
But the highlight for me so far has been Some Reign’s win last weekend. He’s been a grand horse for us over the years, winning a couple and always running his race on the big day.
So it was brilliant to see him get back in front again at Carlisle. He would have had back-to-back victories at the tail end of last year had he not come down at Wetherby when in the lead at the last, so it felt like nice justice to get him back into the number one spot before the season ends. It was a fantastic ride from Conor O'Farrell, who gets on so well with him.
The handicapper has raised him again to 138 now, which is fair enough, and he’ll now be aimed at Perth later this month for a 0-140 chase at their three-day meeting.
Before that, though, we head to Newcastle tomorrow with two runners in the 3m conditional jockeys’ handicap at 2.33. SHANBALLY ROSE delighted us with her run at Musselburgh in early March and we thought we’d found a good race at Sedgefield next time out. But she didn’t like the track at all, the undulations are not for her so it’s back to a flat track this time round.
If she replicates what she did at Musselburgh we’d be hopeful of a decent run. ARDGLASS STAR will also run, ridden by Kieren Buckley, and it’s a bit of a fact-finding mission. We know he’s got a problem with his wind, that’s why the tongue tie is on, and he’s got a few P’s and one UR on his recent record now.
Last time out Colm McCormack thought he was just creeping into the race when he unseated so we still don’t really know how much having his wind done last summer has helped him. So we’ll go again here, on a better ground and hopefully he’ll see out his race a bit better.
At Kelso on Sunday, HITMAN FRED (3.05) goes attempting to make it back-to-back wins after getting his head in front there in March. He’s in good form at home, we know he likes the track and good ground is fine so hopefully he’ll run a similar race to last time. Fourteen year-old PURCELL’S BRIDGE will also run after missing out on the point-to-points lately, Craig Nichol rides. He’s bouncing around the yard so needs a race and we’ll give him a spin here.
The same goes for WORCESTER PEARMAIN (4.41) who gives James Robottom a ride in the Buccleuch Cup - it's a special race for us as I rode the winner trained by Dobbs years ago. It's a race we like a lot, so we're delighted to have a runner. Apple is a real yard favourite and we can’t wait to see her in action over fences in a rules race again.
Lastly, we will introduce WATCH LAW (5.11) in the bumper. A lovely six-year-old owned by the McKie family, hopefully we’ll get his career off to a nice start. Conor O’Farrell rides.