It`s been a long time since we spoke, a time which I would gladly prefer to forget.
BLASTER YEATS…. Fighting fit and all set for a trip to Haydock in early March, when he suffered a serious injury during his final preparation for the chosen race.
Examination showed Blaster had suffered a broken pelvis, and whilst we were hoping he would recover, it soon became obvious he was in great pain, and after a further veterinary examination, we were told the only option was to put him to sleep.
So very sad for everyone involved.
NORTHERN PHOENIX….became the horse Micky Hammond was asked to to find by members and myself, to replace our beautiful mare Becky the Thatcher, who we lost due to complications following a colic operation.
Originally the plan was to start Northern Phoenix`s career in a bumper.
But delays and setbacks, plus the decision, because we hated the name Northern Phoenix, he was re named MISTER McARTHUR meant he didn`t get to run his first race until February when he finished well beaten on bottomless ground at Catterick in February.
Micky then took the decision that “Arthur” as he`s known in the yard, would run on the flat.
2nd May at Wetherby, was the day Arthur was scheduled to run his first race on the flat, and as members present on a beautiful, warm sunny afternoon watched in hope, Arthur decided he was having none of it, and after dumping Billy Garrity on the Wetherby turf twice, then refused point blank to go into the stalls, the starter, not surprisingly, let the others go without him.
Can you see there`s a theme developing here which led to my opening remark about a period I would prefer to forget.
But, always the optimist, surely Arthur had to have learned from the experience, and surely he would enter the stalls for his next race, which was at Redcar on the 17th May.
Cometh the day and indeed he did go into the stalls like an old pro….but not before…as soon as he set foot on the lush Redcar turf… he had dumped jockey Jack Garrity twice.
The only option left was for the jockey to give up the idea of mounting him for a 3rd time, in favour of trotting him down to the start….a distance of of nearly one mile, causing a delay to the start of the race of over 10 minutes….and eventually a second visit to the stewards room for an explanation.
Arthur did exit the stalls though…albeit the last one out, but, at last, a glimmer of hope, as, even with an impossible task, he made up ground and stayed on nicely to finish 9th of 17 and running a creditable race in the circumstances.
Another similar race is on the cards at Ripon on Thursday 27th May in the hope Arthur will settle and behave himself, run a half decent race, and avoid yet another trip to the stewards room.
Members have always thought highly of our Yeats gelding, but have been frustrated by his inconsistency over the last 12 months.
Three fair efforts in Bumper Jumpers at Newcastle yes, but his inconsistent hurdle form, including erratic jumping had become very frustrating.
So much so that a vote amongst members was eventually taken, and hard as Phil Kirby had tried, the difficult decision was made to move Romeo to Sue Smith.
The transfer was effected on the 7th May, so early days yet, and its up to Sue to decide the route she wishes to take with Romeo.
In conclusion, if you have read and digested ALL the above, you will appreciate just how difficult its been having to manage and deal with setback after setback as described.
I can`t even use Covid as an excuse !!