French Mix becomes our third horse to win in 2019, picking up our 4th and 5th wins for the season. This also brought up a 100 professionally trained winners from West Buckland and pushed the yard up into 18thplace on Tuesday in the Flat Trainers title. Between these two convincing wins, Blackwater Bramble made it 3/3 in point to points on Saturday meaning that we now have the joint leading point to point horse in the country in our yard!

Round Up of runners

An excelling performance on the flat this week, after a small break in our flat declarations, seeing 7 of our 8 runners finish in the top 4.

French Mix recorded 2 victories this week, the first coming at Lingfield. She broke really well and settled into the race near the front. All was fine till 3 furlongs from home the leader in front started to back track which she did well to avoid but 2 furlongs out the next leader did the same leaving French Mix. Being the brave mare she, she battered a way through the slow traffic in front of her to get some space to put 3 tidy lengths between her and the field on the line. The second leg of the double came over 1 mile 6, a marathon for French Mix. Luckily Hannah Welch was up to the task and gave her a peach of a ride, breaking out the stalls first to put the handbrake on the field around the bend effectively turning the race into a 1 mile 3 affair. French turned into home second, slipping up the inside of the leader to secure the double. This was French Mix’s 5th winner for us in just under a year, winning on both turf and all weather and I am ecstatic with the way she has developed in that time.

Punkawallah ran a far better race on Monday finishing third behind French Mix, securing the Welch’s a near front row lockout. He ran very well, just being done for toe down the back but staying on strongly at the end. This was the longest trip he has run over, upped by around half a mile on his usual running, and he dealt with the demand impressively. This was also Tamby Welch’s first ride, having had well over a 100 pony racing rides and dozens of winners, and he was very tidy riding the finish maturely and hopefully hungry for more come the future.

Diamond Reflection was unlucky on Friday at Lingfield, running into a well handicapped horse Collate. He tracked the leaders taking it up 2 furlongs from home before finally being nabbed by the winner with a 100 yards to go. The handicapper has recently been kind to this horse but I’d love to get another winner into him while this lasts. He has been a great little fun horse, collecting 2 wins and 8 places in the 13 months that we have had him.

Cry Wolf ran yet another consistent race, finishing 3rd beaten 1 ¾ lengths in the class 4 affair. We felt that he should have been second had the interference not occurred on the run in with the winner, which the stewards supported in taking action against the winning jockey, though this doesn’t rectify the £1,000 difference between second and third. This was his 11th run for the yard, only finishing outside the first 4 once and has been remarkably consistent throughout his time with us.

Ventura Blues made her first start for us and her new owner Leslie Clune. She appears to be a fantastic claim, nearly covering and making a profit her first race in a class 2 at Wolverhampton. She ran so well and deserved more, being held up in the rear, making her move 2 furlongs out and just getting penned in at the vital closing stages, consigning her to fourth place and missing out by 1 ¾ lengths on the £17,000 prize. She has another entry at Lingfield on Friday which we plan to take and hopefully can build upon this great start.

Compton Abbey was the last of the flat runners finishing a creditable 3rd. All this despite carrying top weight, a lengthy time in the stalls, slow out the gate, wide on the bend and wide out at the finish. Everything humanly possible went against her and yet she still picked up the third comfortably. As a result, that meant this was a win that got away from her and was heart wrenching to watch but leaves a positive mood knowing that based on this, there are good things soon to come.

And finally but by no means least, Blackwater Bramble made it 3/3 in point to points at Larkhill on Saturday. He was a little cold over his first few jumps but soon got into a nice rhythm. He took up the lead from a mile out, but John sat very patiently on him letting him coast home with Indian Chance right next to him pushing for an opportunity. Blackwater jumped the last spring healed and quickened away to put 4 lengths between him and second, another 20 lengths to the third. He won with ease and so hopefully can carry this form through the rest of the season. John also rode former under rules graduate How About It, in the first of the four point to point classic races on Sunday over 3m6. He ran a blinder not quite getting up on the line to be beaten a short head, though quite a result for a classic race.

News in Racing

Unfortunately as is the case for this time of year, the cold does get the better of some cards and on Wednesday claimed Leicester and Plumpton. Lingfield was abandoned Tuesday and I do not hold much hope for Wincanton or Fakenham Thursday.

Like me you are probably sick to death hearing about drones. Recently they have been a menace at both Leicester and Haydock, their danger to the racing needs no explaining and are a nuisance on race days. The Civil Aviation Authority have said they cannot interfere as it is not a crime to fly a drone in an uncontrolled airspace around racecourses. However, if the drone is flown for profit it must have a CAA licence plus if these images are being used for punting then I am guessing that the punters involved are not paying their fair share towards image right etc. Hopefully common sense can soon prevail and these drones banned from racecourses.

Statistical Summary

Jumps 18/19

Earnings - £74,524

Wins - 7

Top 4 finishes – 39/112 (34.82%)

Flat 19

Earnings - £31,068

Wins – 5

Top 4 finishes – 11/21 (52.38%)

Total 2019

            Earnings - £33,244

            Wins - 5

            Top 4 finishes – 13/31 (41.94%)