Last week saw plenty of action at Dason Court. It began with a very taking racecourse debut from Gayebury. He really did show great tenacity in the battle to the line. Sadly the stewards took a dim view of the bump he gave the runner up and was subsequently demoted to second place. As frustrating as this was he remains a horse with an immense amount of promise for the future and has a fantastic attitude. It was great to train 'a winner' for locally based Robin and Scarlett Knipe whose week got even better when their home bred Thistlecrack simply cantered away with the Long Walk hurdle at Ascot.
There was also a very pleasing racecourse debut made by Llantara at Towcester. In what looked a warm fillies bumper she travelled well and was only beaten 2 lengths by the winner and yet finished 6th. Another homebred who only does the minimum required of her at home there should be plenty of fun to be had with her. Carhue Princess ran much like her usual self and came up the Towcester hill well to be third. Her enthusiastic team were out in force and enjoyed a good day. Certain members even enjoyed some television time with the ever eager interviewer Matt Chapman.
The week ended on a sky high note at Ascot on Friday when Hollywoodien triumphed in a competitive
novices' handicap chase for Sir Peter and Lady Gibbings under a fine ride by Aidan Coleman. It was a fantastic day and proved his British debut all wrong with some breathtaking leaps (one heart stopping) and an impressive cruising speed. Sir Peter and Louise have been such huge supporters and care so much for their horses so it was a much deserved success for them. They were so patient with 'Woody' and the time they gave him has certainly rewarded them with a strapping 4yo- and to think he is only a 4yo...
Sadly as we ushered in the ecstasy of success, agony came knocking as Kaki De La Pree was unable to run in the Welsh National. Hopefully nothing more than an unfortunately timed knock so he shouldn't be out of action for too long. However, in terms of perspective, Alan Lee was with us when we celebrated on Friday and he was no longer with us on Sunday. This immensely talented journalist and thoroughly kind man is gone too soon.