Sue Smith did not waste any time in getting stuck into the enigma that is our Romeo Brown.
EIGHTEEN races to date without a win !! Near misses occasionally yes, and at times, exaggerated waiting tactics in some races may have been an issue, but more often than not, we were left scratching our heads wondering what had happened to the form Romeo had shown with us in his early days.
After less than five weeks at Craiglands Farm however, the news came that Romeo had been entered to run in a 3ml hcp 0-110 at Southwell.
Many pundits are still of the belief that one day, the REAL Romeo will show up again, hence, the money always comes for him, and not for the first time in his eighteen race losing run, yet again he went off a well backed 5/2 fav. in the chosen race at the said meeting.
As the race progressed, myself and four members present could see…ears pricked, he was jumping well and travelling nicely for Ryan Mania over the extended 3mls.
As they rounded the final bend into the straight, and approaching the second last hurdle, Mania had moved to the inside rail, and us guys could see there was only one horse to beat, Phil Middleton`s Exitas
Jumping the second last we were within half a length of the eventual winner, and still full of running.
Surely this was going to be the day when that long losing run was about to come to an end.
Alas, it was not to be, and the fickle finger of fate struck yet again, and within a matter of yards Romeo had completely lost his action and went from near first to plum last horse to finish.
At the time many thought he simply blew up !!…that was rubbish.
A frustrated Ryan Mania, who caught up with us after he had left the horse with Joel and the vet in order to weigh in, was adamant he had the beating of the horse in front of him, his horse was going so well.
The vet reported the horse was quite badly lame, but no visible evidence of swelling.
Despite the various post race emotions within members present, the serious worry was ..how bad is the injury.
The following morning I drove up to Craiglands to see Romeo and meet with the vet, and I was delighted to be told by him, the cause was a minor muscular injury that would need ten days rest and a course of tablets.
Very mixed emotions then, and the old saying “so near yet so far” springs to mind.
Rest assured, our belief in Romeo has never been stronger, and after his convalescence is over, he`ll then be turned out on Harveys vast moorlands for a few weeks summer break, before returning to prove to his loyal owners and Sue and Joel, their faith in him will be well rewarded.