You will have to forgive me this week as I normally endeavour to pen my blog on a Sunday evening, however today I am once again in the back of Mr Harry Cobden’s car Plumpton-bound on a Monday morning.
I fully intended to write my blog last night when I got home until my illustrious leader and pals decided that Frankie and Bennys was in order and, being one not to turn down a New York chicken and vanilla milkshake, I happily agreed.
However, the detour did mean I was back late so the blog took a back seat. No matter though as the three or so hours it takes to get to Plumpton should provide plenty of time to tell you all about the previous week.
Thankfully, we enjoyed more success on the track with winners at Hereford, Taunton and Cheltenham.
It was great to see Touch Kick back in the winner’s enclosure at Hereford following 11 months off the track. He jumped quite brilliantly on Tuesday under an excellent Sam Twiston-Davies ride. Obviously Sam is no longer attached to our yard, but he and Paul are still on excellent terms and we are lucky enough to be able to use his services when it suits both parties, so it was great to give Sam a nice winner like that.
Without question one of the highlights of my week arrived at Taunton on Thursday where we enjoyed two winners courtesy of Southfield Stone who will do nicely when he goes hurdling and Braqueur D’Or who jumped perfectly under a cool Cobden ride to win really well.
Braqueur is a sweet horse who always improves for his first run, loves a flat track and good ground so Taunton suited him perfectly. Perhaps the best part about Braqueur D’Or running however is the fact we all get to see a lot of his part-owner Mr Ed Seyfried, who I shared a car with on the way down to Taunton. Now journeys with owners to the races can range from not particularly exciting to downright hilarious as was the case the case with my trip with Ed. It turns out Ed has plenty of excellent stories from his life in the military and in business and I honestly have not laughed as much in a long time. Ed absolutely loves his horses and it was great to see Braq do the business for him and his good friend Jamie who also owns him.
Of course last week was always going to be centre around a weekend at Cheltenham so it was great to start the Saturday with a bang and collect the first two races with the ultra tough and improving Quel Destin followed by the reformed Ibis Du Rheu, who showed when on song he is a very capable horse indeed.
Harry gave both horses very good rides and I thought he was particularly good on Ibis where the partnership was faultless for the whole race, sealing the contest with a brave jump at the last. I found the victory of Ibis very satisfying on Saturday as for some time he has been a hugely talented horse held back by physical problems. Happily, this year though we have enjoyed a clear run with him and he has really come back to his best. Big thanks in part to David Rochester who rides him every day.
David, head man of our second yard Highbridge will hate me for giving him any kind of credit but he deserves plenty having enjoyed a fruitful week, with his runners Touch Kick, Southfield Stone and Braqueur D’Or winning out of his yard.
You could be forgiven for thinking on first glance that David might be masquerading as a miserable so and so, but nothing could be further from the truth. He is a hard working, dedicated and passionate member of the team who has a great heart at the root of his grumpy exterior.
Although we were lucky enough to have two winners at Cheltenham this weekend the two stand-out highlights for the team were the yard hero’s Frodon and Old Guard who both ran massive races in defeat in the two big pots over the weekend. The due are an absolute credit to the whole team as they give their absolute all every time they go racing and we are incredibly lucky to have them in our yard.
Rose’s recovery at the fore front of our thoughts
Of course, as was the case last week, for all the yard news and business that has transpired, there has been only one person at the fore front of our mind and that of course is Rose. A week in hospital has confirmed what we already knew about Rose that she is made of sterner stuff than most.
With three operations already under her belt, including having her leg pinned, undergoing a skin graft and coping with a multitude of other painful procedures, her sense of humour is still firmly intact and nothing made me smile more than getting a text from her this week saying that with alcohol, caffeine and biscuits a ‘no no’ she is already desperately missing the morning breakfast club and work. Ditto Rose, we miss you desperately too. She tells us that she will hopefully be able to get off the bed for the first time on Wednesday which is amazing progress and obviously all of us will continue to be fully behind her in her recovery.
Thanks to Harry I am now well fuelled up with a sausage sandwich from a friendly chuck wagon alongside the A303 and Plumpton is a little closer, but before I leave you I just briefly want to touch on the week ahead.
With a number of big races on the horizon this weekend it promises to be an exciting week of preparation, schooling and work. Clan Des Obeaux, Magic Saint, Modus, Captain Cattistockand Politologue are all horses that could run over the weekend and if that doesn’t get the heart pumping then I’m not sure what will.
Until next time though, I wish you all a successful and safe week.
Go well, Harry.