I knew as soon as I crossed the Severn Bridge in the horsebox, and only got charged the car rate, that our luck might finally be in yesterday. And so it proved. We had a great journey down there, the filly travelled well, and the weather was lovely but not too hot. On the track she proved the run at Lingfield the week before to be all wrong, in the process showing that she is quite happy on fast ground on turf. Andrea gave her a lovely ride to grab the near side rail, and the filly was very genuine to stick her neck out all the way to the line. I was over the moon for her owners Inside Track Racing Club, who have been great supporters of ours, and in one fell swoop you have the reason why we do this – yesterday morning I was looking at an impending entry on the cold trainers list and all of a sudden all is well again. Let’s hope we can keep the run going now.
We have made four trips across to Ffos Las in recent years, and have so far come back with 2 winners and a short head second, so there is a good chance that when the right opportunities present themselves we shall be back there. However, this does all have to be balanced against prize money and the risk-reward ratio, and with a trip that will cost the owners well over £500 (not including jockey fees, entry fees etc.), winning prize money of £1500 to the owners is certainly not going to tempt many to go, particularly as it is also very costly for owners to get there. We used to send horses all over the country in search of winners (Wolverhampton and Southwell were weekly hunting grounds), but have become a lot more selective recently as most of my owners just cannot wear the costs, particularly when they struggle to get there to see their horses run. Whilst prize money remains where it is, my trips to the sticks are likely to remain the exceptions rather than the rules.
I send Perfect Pastime to Lingfield today hoping he can regain the winning thread. He paid for his consistency with his handicap mark last season, but he is now on a very winnable mark, and if the visor helps to sharpen him up again he is capable of running a decent race. I wasn’t impressed with the surface at Lingfield last week, where I think the prolonged hot and dry spell has taken it’s toll, but hopefully he will be able to hold a prominent position and avoid the worst of the problems.
I shall be heading from Lingfield to Sandown with Pip in the evening – we don’t have a runner, but will be making use of my trainers badges to catch Travis after racing. I have seen them a few times live in the dim and distant past, and am just hoping that I won’t be listening to ‘Why does it always rain on me’ in the middle of a thunderstorm.