CATTERICK 28th FEB 2017
First of all, sincere condolences to connections of Fayette County who suffered a fatal injury in the race won by our horse Delusionofgrandeur, thus the interesting three way contest which seemed to be developing was not to be, and all racegoers at Catterick were left shocked and saddened by the event.
The two horses remaining though produced an amazing, unforgettable climax, as we watched the finale unfold.
I like Peter Naughton, the Racing UK presenter on duty for the day, as he normally is at Catterick.
He`s a straight forward, no frills Yorkshire lad, who I`ve known for a long time, and he always gives the “Mister McGoldrick ” connection a mention, whenever we`ve got a runner on one of his shifts.
I remember him one day, in front of the camera…microphone in hand… winding up the days events at the end of a Catterick meeting.
As the dark clouds gathered, lightening flashes began to illuminate the sky, and distant cracks of thunder were getting nearer and louder.
Peter though, up to now, the ultimate professional, was becoming more and more agitated, which, after one real humdinger of a bang, culminated in his days round up of events coming to an abrupt end with the words…”sod this, I`m not standing here and getting electrocuted…I`ve got a wife and family at home….I`m off” …..and with that, the microphone was dumped and Peter exited stage left in search of shelter, leaving the camera crew and producer to pick up the pieces.
To get to the point, Peter knows his horses, and immediately after Delusionofgrandeurs superb winning effort, he commented live on RUK…and I quote” I`ve never seen two horses go for home so early at Catterick…it was almost like a one mile sprint with jumping involved…..such a joy to watch….like two heavyweights slugging it out”
And he was right. It was amazing stuff to watch, Skelton v Cook…..flat out for over a mile, with both their horses jumping superbly at top speed, but Danny, once again, showing just what it means to have him on your side in a finish, was superb in getting our horse up in the last 100 yards to win.
So, if we get in the race, it looks like DoG will be going to the Cheltenham Festival for the Royal Sun Alliance Novices Chase on the Wednesday…but, according to Sue Smith,” he will only run if the ground is suitable,” and she was quite adamant when she said it.
If we don`t race, its not the end of the world. There are opportunities elsewhwere for DoG before the end of the season, and one very experienced, ex trainer, said to me after the Catterick win, “that horse is a Scottish National horse if ever I saw one”
So, with feet firmly planted, lets not get carried away, but I`ve got the feeling, watching him staying on so strongly after sprinting for the last mile at Catterick, we`ve got a horse with both speed and stamina which must bode well for the future.