The photos of my first winner on the flat at Kempton on Wednesday evening are definitely ones for the family album.
It was great to see Zubayr break my duck on the flat and even better that he was given a fine, patient ride by my daughter Megan who was completing a double on the card.
While I was as proud as punch standing in the winner’s enclosure afterwards I should make it clear that I am not for one second thinking of switching codes to the flat. Jumping is and always has been the name of the game for me. It is just that this summer we have a few hurdlers who like good ground and had fair form on the flat before joining us. So it makes sense to keep some of them going over the next couple of months.
High Secret and Volpone Jelois were both second on Saturday ridden by Megan and now Zubayr has finally broken the ice in what looked on paper to be a competitive maiden.
Zubayr was a bit unlucky not to win the Scottish Champion Hurdle in April and is one I always felt might make a decent middle distance flat horse.
He certainly looked the part at Kempton as he came from off the pace with an impressive run that saw him win with something to spare. We will see what handicap mark Zubayr gets and hopefully it will be high enough for him to get into the Duke of Edinburgh handicap on the Friday of Royal Ascot over twelve furlongs. In addition High Secret, who stays well, could run in the Ascot Stakes on the opening day.
Megan works really hard all week riding out for various trainers around the country in pursuit of success.
Evenings like Wednesday when she won on both her mounts make it all worthwhile.