After the tragedy that befell Delusionofgrandeur at this track just eleven days earlier on 24th Nov, Micky Hammonds preference to send our Becky to Haydock instead of Sandown three days later, left me feeling somewhat uncomfortable.
Mickys reasons though were logical enough, whereas mine were based on anger with Haydocks management decision to mess about with their fences at the previous meeting,which ultimately contributed to the death of our brilliant 8yo gelding.
Haydocks management decision to revert back to how the fences were built pre 24th November, came as no surprise, but was too late, and no consolation for myself and members involved in the Delusionofgrandeur syndicate.
It won`t be easy to find another like Delboy.
Back to Becky`s race, a very competitive looking handicap which looked a hard race to win.
Micky was hoping the 10 lbs allowance received by young Billy Garrity would serve us well on ground that was very soft and tiring.
He was oh so nearly right.
The race itself began at a decent pace, and our jockey couldn`t get Becky into the forward position he wanted.
Indeed going down the back straight and 1ml 2f from home, Billy was hard at work, rowing away in midfield, with Becky, at this stage, the only horse OFF the bridle.
Thoughts / expectations of her being pulled up were going through my mind…but they certainly were NOT going through young Billys.
Turning into the straight it became evident that Becky was responding to our jockeys never say die urgings, and soon it was a case of….bloody hell, she can win this !!!
Valiantly as both jockey and horse tried however, in a thrilling 300 yd battle from the last hurdle to the winning post, our Becky, who turning into the straight was nearly last, had passed every other horse, and was within a neck of passing the only one left, when the winning post arrived to deprive Becky and her young jockey of what would have been a very memorable victory.
Nevertheless, from the doom and gloom moanings of your correspondent midway through the race, it was a thrill and a half to watch a spectacle like that, and to finish as near to glory as we did.
Could we have won the race ? Probably yes.
To finish so well and get to within a neck, knowing another ten yards and we would have won, tells me she could have won.
There again, a more experienced jockey would have been carrying an extra 10 lbs, and its doubtful Becky would have been able to finish as she did, carrying that extra weight over a testing 2ml 4f
So well done young Billy Garrity, a young rider following in the footsteps of his dad Russ, who has a big future, and, all being well, will take the ride when Becky next runs, hopefully at Wetherby on Boxing Day….weather permitting.
The winning horse Secrete Stream, was ridden by 7lb claimer Aiden Blakemore, a young lad who was educated at Firth Park school in Sheffield where his teacher was…my brother Steve.
Aiden keeps in touch with “sir,” and “sir” has been instructed by me to issue him with a 3 day detention for inconsiderate riding !!!