The first month of 2021 is in the books, and while we have some vaccine rollout and some light at the end of the tunnel, it seems unlikely that we will have spectators at the Cheltenham Festival this year, which will be a real shame.
On a personal basis, I am looking forward to the time when owners are allowed back on track, and I can get some of my shareholders back to the stables and the gallops.
Thanks for the positive comments I have received in response to these articles, it is good to know that people are enjoying them. If anyone would like to know anything specific about racehorse ownership, please do get in touch. I am happy to respond individually and/or cover the query in a future article.
Racing has continued behind closed doors, and it is likely that there will be some cracking racing at the Dublin Racing Festival, which takes place next weekend (as I write). I was really impressed with Shishkin at Doncaster yesterday, he looks brilliant every time he races over fences. He is one of those low and quick jumpers that are so good to watch.
On Track This Month
After Dynamic Kate’s hurdling debut at Wincanton on Boxing Day went OK, we approached her second run at Plumpton mid-January with a bit more confidence, but her race almost ended before it had properly begun. After jumping-off in midfield, she was in 4th place when one of her rivals put on the brakes before running left down the flight at the first. The problem for us was that Kate was just behind him on his left, and he carried her sideways over the hurdle, our jockey, Harry Reed, almost went out of the side door!
She did really well to stay upright and get over the hurdle, but Harry had to struggle to get his left foot back into the irons, meaning she dropped right back. That scare really lit her up, and she was pulling all the way down to the second flight. After all that early excitement, Harry took it easy on her to make sure she did not tire and need to be pulled-up later; she came home in 7th, some 45 lengths behind the winner.
Given that we know she should be a different proposition on good ground and that she still has plenty of strengthening to do, these runs are fine and will hopefully mean that she has a really workable handicap mark that we can hopefully exploit later in the Spring.
To do that though we will need some better weather. Jumps meetings are being cancelled all over the place, first due to frost and snow and now due to waterlogging and whilst we hoped to send Kate out for her third run at Fontwell today (31st January as I type) or at Lingfield on Tuesday, both of those have been abandoned. She is in at Exeter on Wednesday, Wincanton on Thursday and Chepstow on Friday, but with loads of horses having missed opportunities, there are large numbers of entries everywhere and it is hard to get her into a race even if the racing is on. We will keep plugging away and, once she has had one more run, we will be able to see how the handicapper has treated her.
At the Stables
Our other runner for 2021, Far Too Beautiful, has arrived at Epsom Downs with Michael Attwater, and she is getting started on her training. She is not doing very much yet, but she does not need to be ready to run until the turf season, so we have plenty of time with her. I am looking forward to getting some photos and videos of her to share with her shareholders. Not having been out for a month means that I am currently relying on photos taken last years to accompany my articles and social media posts!
One thing I have been pleased with, is the reaction to a new podcast that I started, which I have also called “Inside The Rails” the same as this article series. I host this with a colleague from the Racehorse Syndicates Association committee and we are producing one episode each month. We had jockey Tom Scudamore on episode 2 and Perth racecourse CEO, Hazel Peplinksi on episode 3 and in February, we will be interviewing ITV’s Luke Harvey for episode 4. You can listen to the podcast by searching for “Inside The Rails” on Apple or Google podcasts or on Spotify or any other podcast app that you may use. If you have watched all of Michael’s excellent videos in the Race Adviser Facebook group and you want another racing fix, maybe you could give us a listen and, as ever, any feedback is welcome!
In the meantime, I hope you are staying happy and healthy. Have a great February.