St Scholastica

Dason Court had a lot of exciting runners at the weekend. The results frustratingly saw no winners but plenty of promise. Kaki De La Pree was back to horse we know in the Grade 2 3 mile Prestige Hurdle at Haydock in finishing second to Toubeera. I don’t mind an all-Herefordshire finish as the currently all conquering Venetia Williams trains the very progressive Toubeera who was also getting 10lbs from Kaki. He is an exciting chasing prospect for his ultra-supportive owners Sir Peter and Lady Gibbings. Incidentally their beloved Duc De Regniere also ran a good race to finish 3rd in a point to point at Barbury Castle on Saturday.

Sunday saw a trip up to Market Rasen where the ground had dried out considerably. This meant a big change to the nature of the racecourse as it became a sharp track for the speedier type of horse. Midnight Request capitulated as he simply couldn’t go the gallop but thankfully returned home in one piece. While Theatrebar didn’t run a bad race I think he also struggled. To corroborate with our theory both Arden Denis and Straits of Messina ran creditably and they appreciate better ground. ‘Straits’ had dealt with heavy going at Fakenham in a moderate race but essentially wants good ground. Arden Denis really pleased us as he was doing his best work at the end and will be a lovely staying hurdler next season. His enthusiastic team of owners certainly gave Market Rasen a taste of their passion and if the weather hadn’t blown the roof off already then they nearly did.

While winners are the best form of advertisement a safe return for all really is paramount. Subsequent events at home certainly proved that as we sadly lost Scholastica on Tuesday. I know these things happen with animals but she was a mare who bore a lot of resonance for us. She was very athletic with a diehard attitude and the first horse we bought with the help of David Redvers and Hannah Wall. Both she and Trojan Sun were the first horses we had and very much part of the foundations at Dason Court. Furthermore her residual value as a broodmare to Dominic Burke and his team at Witley Stud was so important. Both he and joint owner Jonathan Palmer-Brown showed a great understanding at this awful event. I was greatly looking forward to seeing her offspring on the racecourse. Her Ascot win this season will live long in the memory. Her hurdling that day was simply awesome and although not an Annie Power she meant an awful lot us. With a risk of becoming repetitive, ‘as long as they come back’ is always what matters most as whatever the result that day, it means that tomorrow can be and is . . . after all another day.