With members newly assembled and smiling to you all above, we travelled to Sedgefield hoping to see evidence that Romeos debut would show our money had been well spent.
The usual dilemmas at this time of year had inevitably cropped up beforehand, mainly ground conditions and imminent forecasts of snow and ice, hence two other entries were also considered at Wetherby and Kelso.
Phil decided to settle for the Kelso option, fully aware it would be unlikely we would beat the Ellison horse Windsor Avenue, a highly rated prospect within the Ellison yard.
So it was reasonable to assume that the chosen race would be more of an assessment, and less of a winning opportunity.
And what we saw was an excellent run from Romeo considering the following facts;
We were carrying a weight penalty
For a horse described as being “not the biggest but very athletic” it was very difficult for an athlete to be seen at his best under the prevailing gluey good to soft conditions, with wide finishing margins from first to last throughout the card.
In with a decent chance of finishing close to the winner and second at the top of the hill, our fella, at the second last hurdle, made his only jumping horlicks of the race, thus his winning chance, though improbable, had gone, so the excellent Sean Quinlan accepted the situation, and was not hard on his mount, who came home to finish a respectable third.
Post race comments from jockey, trainer and members were very positive, and even trainer Jane Williams, from whom we bought Romeo, when I phoned her after the race, was gracious in saying she had watched the race and things definitely bode well for us members with a horse she truly believes has a big future in front of him.
Romeo is now in good hands with Phil Kirby, who I`m sure will prove Mrs Williams to be right.
Finally as we speak, I have secured, as a one off, the voluntary services of one of my splendid members who has agreed to write his own “members view” on how his appetite has been whetted since Romeo came on board.
Watch this space.