Pontefract Thursday 20th September 2018.
Quite a day really.
Started off with high hopes of another big run from Becky, especially as the weather forecast was for heavy rain…which would suit us, but not many of the others, and would mean game, set and match for us regarding the Stayers competition
Heavy rain duly arrived, which soon became torrential rain, the like of which I`ve never seen before on my many trips up and down the A1M, with the spray from HGV`s making it almost impossible to see the road ahead
On arrival I was half expecting the meeting to be abandoned, but not so, and racing went ahead.
Conditions though were so bad for the first two races that some horses were so unhappy racing in the horrendous prevailing conditions, they were virtually pulling themselves up, with jockeys powerless to control their mounts, some of which had decided this was over and above their call of duty, and thus voted with their feet.
Mainly the Southern based horses of course….not the tougher, hardy types from up north.
From Good to Firm to Heavy in 90 minutes …almost unheard of.
Anyway by the time Beckys race was due to be run, the rain was still falling, but not as heavy, and myself and the honourable member from Whitley Bay, thanks to his king sized brolly were able to shelter and keep dry in the parade ring.
As race time approached, we were confident that a half decent performance from Becky would secure enough points to give us an unassailable lead in the Stayers series, and our new jockey was given his riding instructions on how best to achieve this aim.
Sadly, without dwelling too much on what then unfolded, the best that can be said is that young Rob Fitzpatrick was man enough, immediately after dismounting, to hold his hand up, apologise, and admit he gave our horse a shocking ride, which caught Micky Hammond off guard as he was ready to dive in to deliver his opinion of Fitzpatricks performance in the form of a major bollocking.
One only has to watch a re run of the race to see just how bad a ride it was, but fair play to the lad, he picked himself up, dusted himself down, and went out and rode the last winner for Richard Whitaker…the wrong bloody Richard !!
Consequently this time, there would be no win / place prize money coming our way, BUT, I have it on good authority from Mr Hammond, that any unplaced horse that runs and completes the course in any of these Stayers Series races, earns ONE point, which means the ONE point we “earned” for finishing EIGHTH on the day became enough for us to cross the winning line in first place to secure victory for Mr Hammond, his staff and members of McGoldrick Racing.
Well done Micky for winning this “prestigious” (thats what Micky says) competition yet again, but now can we please concentrate on options over hurdles, for which I have already shortlisted for Becky, race options at Hexham, Wetherby, Sedgefield, as well as a tentative look at a race at Cheltenham in late October.
Bring on the NH season.