He’d been so unlucky in his last couple of runs, but up until the point where he’d pulled up, through no fault of his own, his jockeys had been delighted with the way he was running, so if everything could just go his way, we knew he was capable of landing a big win.
He had a fair bit to do turning for home but both the horse and his rider Barry Geraghty know where the winning post is and they finished so fast that at the line they were one and three quarter lengths clear of the runner-up Minella Daddy.
To put it together in such a big race was incredible and the day was all the more special as I actually led him up, with Mum on babysitting duties with Harry.
He came out of the race feeling very pleased with himself. He had a day off and he’s now having a daily canter to keep everything ticking over. His long term goal could well be the Irish National.
I recently bought a foal by Shirocco who is a half brother to Regal Encore. If he’s half as good as Regal I will be delighted.
On a memorable day for the yard our exciting Irish recruit Ms Parfois ran a race of great promise at Haydock in finishing third in the Class 1 Listed Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle in the colours of Martin Chapman. She needs a true gallop over slightly further where she’s not doing all the work in front, but the way the race panned out she had to do it on her own. She kept galloping and she’ll have learned a huge amount. She is definitely one for the future.
It’s fortunate that Christmas falls on a Sunday this year as the horses have a day off anyway, with just the Boxing Day runners needing to be ridden. We’ll have half the staff on who will come in as usual and get the horses done quickly before heading home for the Christmas dinners!
Our small Christmas gathering on Tuesday grew into a wonderful party with guests enjoying some good old-fashioned Christmas cheer.
Santa Claus (Jeremy Barber) arriving on a sleigh with his two Elves (Chloe Emsley and Danni Legg, our travelling head girl) was a classic moment I don’t think anyone will ever forget!
We decked out the indoor school, had mulled wine, food, a Santa’s Grotto, and we dressed Chester, a rather old Shetland pony, as a reindeer and he gave the children rides.
We had a collection for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital – everyone was so generous – and thank you to Jeremy Barber who proved a natural as Father Christmas!
Tomorrow we’re heading to Taunton for our staff Christmas party where everyone will go ice skating. Fingers crossed we will all come back in one piece!
Chloe Emsley has made it through to the final ten in the Goldophin Stable Staff Awards which is a fantastic achievement. She’s been with us for four years since she was 16 and joining us from the Racing School. She’s such a lovely girl, and is really enthusiastic and wants to ride out all day long so fingers crossed.
Our stable amateur Will Gordon registered his first British success with Unify winning the two mile novices’ handicap chase at Leicester on December 7. He’s from Plymouth and joined us very recently through Roddi Green who’s been teaching him and its great that he’s joined the team.
We might have a few runners on Boxing Day. Le Couer Net is gaining experience with every run, but we are in no hurry with him as he’s quite immature. He may go to Fontwell on Boxing Day or he might have a break. Pure Vision may well go in the Winner Event Services Handicap Hurdle at Fontwell.