23rd January - Hereford
Three runners tomorrow at Hereford.
1.10pm Cheeky Rascal runs in a novice handicap hurdle over 2m.
Cheeky won a juvenile hurdle race at Wincanton first time out for us, it wasn’t a great race but he did it nicely.
His form was regressive after that and as he was still a colt we had him gelded (??) to try and concentrate his mind.
Cheeky has ability and he has been re fitted with the blinkers he has worn on the flat, it could be that being fresh will also be to his advantage.
Cheeky is as his name suggests, a bit of a boy, you can’t help but like him and there is no harm in him.
1.45pm Piton Pete runs in a beginners chase over 2m 5f.
This is a decent race but because Pete really needs soft/heavy ground it has been difficult to find races for him recently.
Horses are no different to any other athletes, you build them up to full fitness and you then have a window of a couple of weeks to hold them at that level, if the ground or races don’t suit you during that time we let them back down again briefly before starting again..... anyone can get horses fit but keeping and peaking them at the right time is where the skill comes in.
Pete has had two runs this season on ground that has been too lively for him therefore he hasn’t yet got into any real rhythm in his jumping, he schools well at home so it’s only a matter of time but ground is key.
Pete is an easy horse to deal with but as with most Westerners he can worry at times.
They will be ridden by Leighton Aspell.
3.55pm Rouge Et Blanc runs in a hunter chase over 2m 5f.
Dear old Rouge, he’s fourteen now and he’s just as enthusiastic as the day he arrived.
He’s a right old bugger at home, he regularly runs away with his jockeys on the gallops and still acts the goon on the way home.
Rouge ran in this race last season and it was equally as competitive, he will definitely improve for the run and it will be a great opportunity for him and Kai to get to know each other ahead of easier opportunities.
Rouge is a star to have in the yard, he is a fantastic work horse and does a lot of work teaching the babies to jump.
If at any stage we think he’s not enjoying his racing anymore we will retire him immediately but so far the signs are still good.
He will be ridden by Kai Lenihan, this will be Kai’s first ride for me having joined the team last summer.
Nineteen year old Kai has had a few rides in Italy and France over jumps and three rides on the flat in this country, he does plenty of schooling for me and hopefully this will lead to more opportunities for him.
Cheeky is looked after and will be led up by Jan Soldan, he is ridden at at home by Kai or Charlotte Reid.
Pete and Rouge are both looked after by Kai, he will lead up Pete and Jan will lead up Rouge.