I left the last blog eulogising about the satisfaction of homegrown success and on Sunday at Huntingdon we saw just that. Bertenbar came home a tenacious winner of the handicap chase under Ben Poste. Firstly, this is a triumph for a very successful family started by Tim and Anne Wyatt in Norfolk. Secondly, it is testament to all the family for sticking with him to get him back to the track after an injury riddled career. Satisfaction does not come much better and the scenes in the winners enclosure (Cherry in particular!) displayed a passion one can only exude from cheering 'members of the family' come back from the brink. Sadly his very talented half brother - Theatrebar - is out injured but there was plenty of promise from The Last Bar in the bumper. As her name suggests she is the last of the family as Ardenbar died foaling her and in a strange twist of fate was reared by a foster mare found by Lady Vestey; owner of the impressive winner of the race in Ballyhenry. The Last Bar holds the key to keeping Tim's legacy going and will improve no end for her run as she has been backward mentally as well as physically. The Wyatt's had a weekend to remember as Charlotte gained a first placing on her pointer Emergency Cover at Horseheath on Saturday.
Saturday also saw Midnight Belle put in a very pleasing display at Newbury. Frustratingly the rain did not arrive in time (of course it pelted it down all the way home) but she performed with a great deal of credit in the circumstances and in a competitive race. Words simply run dry in my admiration for this mare; I just hope that she can one day have a career at stud that is similar to Ardenbar. With owner/breeders and mares in training it is not just about longevity in racing but also in eventually producing the future talent. I understand that talent does not always directly translate and whether a good race mare makes a good broodmare is debatable. However, families matter and somewhere in the pedigree a mare will pick up the thread of talent to awaken the pedigree once again. But initially a family is only well known by racing mares. This could get very 'chicken and egg' but Frankel is a prime example. His mother Kind wasn't top class but she was very talented and a half sister to the top class middle distance horse Powerscourt. This methodically thought out success stems from the tap-root mares Sookera and Kerali. Then there is Frankel's Sire Galileo who was out of a top-class race mare in Urban Sea so it can work both ways but not all the time. Sorry for the digression but as the Aga Khan puts it . . . success breeds success; just count yourself lucky that I did not get started on Marello's family.