IT has been Racing Staff Week over the last few days and it’s a great initiative to let the staff at all the yards know how much they are appreciated. Although it’s the trainer who gets the headlines when a horse wins, we all know none of it would be possible without the hard work and dedication of everyone behind the scenes. Without good staff you’d achieve nothing and thankfully we are lucky to have the team we’ve got here. They put in tireless shifts every day in all sorts of weather to make sure the horses are happy and healthy - and their efforts are hugely valued.
Last season OKOVANGO DELTA (2.09), second with the white face, ran really well in four bumpers and while he didn’t manage to win one, those performances gave us plenty of encouragement for the future. He has summered well over the last few months, he’s been schooling great and is going well - as you can see from the video above.
He’s a horse we are excited about getting going with over hurdles, it’s a race we have targeted and won before - Rocking Blues, Vinny Gambini and Do Not Disturb are all previous winners - so it’s one we have done well in and we would love to win it again. Nicky Richards’ horse looks like the big danger having won a couple of bumpers already and looking quite smart while doing it. A few of the others have decent experience too, so we’ll see what happens. In these kind of races you often find one takes a big jump forward and hopefully today it’s us.
VINTAGE GLEN (2.44) is up in the next. He’s a big, heavy horse and we think he might just improve for the run. He’s not a speed merchant so a bit of slower ground would be in his favour too. So it will be a case of seeing whether he can lie up with them in the first half of the race - we’ll know our fate by half-way you’d imagine. If he can keep himself in the race and they don’t go too quick for him then he’ll have a chance. His Wetherby run was very encouraging way back in Boxing Day 2020, he stayed on very well that day - albeit in much softer ground. He came back a touch lame from that, hence the long layoff, but we have been happy with him at home and hopefully this year patience will pay off with him.
MONFASS (3.54), above, is another coming back off a long break but in his case it’s a mammoth 605 days! He struck into himself at Musselburgh in February 2020 so we had to give him a break. He’s been doing all his work at home and is fit enough, but after such a long time out he’ll likely improve for it. He’s ten now but we still think there’s a decent bit of mileage in him so hopefully this can be the first step towards having a decent season.