I won’t lie to you, I cannot wait to this weekend and I will tell you for why; Frodon.
For those keen racing fans among you, you will know that the Old Roan Chase at Aintree on Sunday is the scheduled return to the fray for last year’s Ryanair Chase hero and in all truth hero of just about everything else.
Frodon reappears shouldering a huge amount of weight in a decent looking field, but win lose or draw this is a horse that racing fans seem to adore and as one of those fans I am excited to see him back on the track doing what he loves more than anything else.
His preparation has seemed to go well this season, but this is very much the start of a year and, for those of you with expectations of a Ryanair type performance I would warn that although he is fit and ready to go Paul, as always, is trying to prime him for later in the year and not now. I do not care too much for that detail though as watching him is always a treat and I have no doubt it will be the same come Sunday.
Young talent beginning to emerge
Looking back and, for those of you that know how much passion I have for up and coming young horses, you will know I throughly enjoyed last week in particular when one of our brightest young five-year-olds Enrilo got off the mark over hurdles at the first time of asking with the minimum of fuss at Wincanton.
For me though Enrilo represents much more than just that one day. You see he along with Flic Ou Voyou (second at Chepstow two weekends back) were bought as store horses or unbroken three-year-olds. They have been in our care from that day either with Will Biddick, learning the ropes and how to be a racehorse, or with us undergoing the fine tuning required to compete at the level we expect of them.
To see those horses which at one stage were raw, clueless and extremely babyish turn into the horses they are now and to know what is to come from them is hugely exciting. Types like Eason, Zyon and Mcfabulous are still all to come and, perhaps even better than that, the next two years of those types are looking nice as well.
Last year’s stores, now four are all just weeks away from their first bumper races while this summer’s stores have been broken, in had their break and are about to embark on their first season of training. It is a timely process and Paul could not do what he does with these horses if he did not have the backing of some incredibly supportive and patient owners, combined with talented people around him to produce them.
Touch Kick evades his rivals grasp
There have been plenty of other racing highlights for me in the past week like Ecco looking really good in his novice hurdle, Red Force One getting off the mark in the same discipline or Silver Forever looking extremely smart winning at Chepstow. However, the one victory I took the most satisfaction from was Touch Kick who added another victory to his already solid CV when winning the feature race at Fakenham on Friday.
Touch Kick has been with us from the start of his career and in that time has won his bumper, hurdle and chases. He will never be a superstar, never a champion or graded performer, but a more likeable and straightforward racehorse you could not find and I admire that in him hugely.
Touch Kick knows his limits, he knows what he can and cannot do and gets on with his job and on Friday he was a joy to watch. He and Harry jumped from fence to fence in a seemingly unbreakable rhythm that enabled him to remain on the bridle until after the last fence. Michelle, who is new this season, has ridden him from the day she arrived and it is fair to say Touch Kick now has a new biggest fan and rightly so.
The one downer of the past few days was poor Le Prezien who cut himself badly in the Welsh Champion Hurdle and will now sadly miss the rest of the season which, in hindsight, made his effort of giving over a stone away to the winner an even better performance than it looked on first assessment.
That is about all I have time for this evening so I will once again thank you for taking the time to read about my working life and will speak to you all again in a fortnight.
Go well. Harry