Belle and the Beast

During a quiet week for Dason Court there was a welcome awakening on Thursday. Midnight Belle was triumphant at Ludlow with a very slick round of jumping. Ben Poste has been instrumental in her successes so it was good to see him write another chapter in her career. In doing so he repeated his success in the race as he won it for us aboard Valmari in 2013. Incidentally, he also finished second on Midnight Belle at Carlisle last month and our disappointment is less than it was at the time as her conqueror Big Water was impressive at Market Rasen on Thursday as well. Midnight Belle has been a revelation and is a very different horse to the one who arrived when we first started here. Her will to win and eagerness to fight is immeasurable. To put it another way, if she doesn't feel she has done herself justice we know about it - a very sore loser. Hell hath no fury indeed . . .


Lewis also ran a very good race at Wincanton. When he first arrived it could have been easy to be the Ratched to his McMurphy but we decide to let this fully creased animal iron his own mind in order to become more at one with himself. He is a gorgeous looking beast - despite missing part of his ear (Van Gogh did a much better job) - with the ability to match. When he first crossed a hurdle at home you could see that he immediately enjoyed his new job. What I am trying to articulate is that it was never going to be immediate with him and that as long as every turn of the screw we make is tightening his mind rather than loosening his grip then we are happy. He will improve greatly for his experience at Wincanton and will need further in the not too distant future.

Being a trainer on the TBA committee it is very satisfying to see two British-bred horses do well and particularly a homebred. Supporting stallions based in this country will mean studs are more likely to try and get better stallions rather than let them go off shore. At least I can add my view with the evidence of practicalities. Mind you, the way Midnight Belle is going she will not need to join '' in order to find a husband.