The highlight of the past few days racing has to be our treble at Hexham yesterday when Ain't My Fault, Mighty Thunder, and OrionInverness won successive chases at the extra Hexham fixture.
Ain't My Fault, pictured in the winners enclosure with Andy one of his Foresight Racing owners, fully deserved his win having run consistently in chases through the past year. There was no doubt that he would win having jumped the last and powering up the run in and a combination of cheekpieces and the soft ground on a staying track seems to have suited him.
Mighty Thunder schooled over fences last autumn, but we decided to give him another year hurdling to strengthen and it looks to have paid dividends as he jumped with confidence and accuracy in the two and a half mile novice chase. Further will suit him and he should be a decent staying chaser for his owners Allson Sparkle Ltd.
OrionInverness then had fun at one of his favourite tracks, being handy throughout and galloping home up the stiff final hill. He was pursued after the last by Sam Coulthard's Graystown who joined him on the line. It took the judge ten minutes to declare it a photo finish and while it is nice to win outright it is also good to share the prize with friends. Well done Tay Valley Chasers and also Stuart and the Couthards.
We have had a few decent second placings to note: Southern Girl was second in the maiden hurdle at Hexham meeting a class mare in Rayna's World, but showing a determined attitude and hurdling with more fluency. Mannochmore found the holding soft ground too much although he did settle nicely in front and jumped with great aplomb.
At Kelso, Mint Gold ran a stormer on ground that was just getting on the soft side, but jumping with sense and bravery. He has a professional attitude for a novice and should continue to progress.
Kelso had a burst of heavy rain to ease it's going and although it was not soft enough for One For Arthur to make his reappearance it was enough to make the ground safe. We were pleased with the runs from Bollingerandkrug (fifth) and Spark Of Madness (fourth) who both showed ability before greenness took their energy away. Touchedbyanangel (fourth) loved jumping the chase fences and should find opportunities round Musselburgh this winter, while a couple of the others found the conditions on the soft side, including Balranald, The Road Home and Emirat De Cantana although they still ran with credit. Signifiant was not quite so good and this was below par for him.
Today at Ayr Cockle Bay ran a super race to be second on his first try at three miles. He coped with the heavy ground and looks one to follow as he gives his patient owners some good days racing. American Tom also ran with great credit to be fourth over hurdles and looked more confident as the race went on. Eeyore found the chase fences a little much out of heavy ground, but Bayfriars Bobby ran a good race in the bumper to be fifth, looking more professional and he is now ready to start over hurdles.
An excellent few days racing and many thanks to all of our owners, horses, and staff. Racing is different for connections, but the industry is trying hard to keep the show on the road and to keep giving interest and pleasure. It has a different feel about it, but the shortfalls will not last forever and it is fabulous for Lucinda Russell Racing to keep winning races for our owners and supporters.
Our quest for more winners continues, and we will be attending the Newmarket, Tattersalls sales this week. A large catalogue of flat horses most with form, includes some potential jumpers and dual purpose horses; Paul has found a few of note who should be sensible money. Please contact us if you would like to be involved and to share his shortlist.