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Sidi Ismael - Winner of the Lincolnshire National

With the blink of an eye Christmas has been and gone and I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful Festive period.  Our day was a little quieter than usual with part of the family suffering from Covid it was just the five of us sat around our Christmas dinner table and can I just complement our chef, my wife Leanne on a superb lunch (I hope she may read this!)  Our day started in the usual way, I am up early to feed the horses and by the time I return back to the house at about 7am the kids are all awake and buzzing to open their presents.  After a quick present opening session it was back down to the yard for Leanne and myself as the team of staff were in to exercise the horses and get all the jobs done.  Christmas hats were donned and work was done in super quick time. 

Let’s just say with all the kids’ new toys there was no rest for the wicked in our house!  A cricket bowling machine was the highlight of Jack’s gifts and after setting it up in a shed indoors a good deal of time was spent out practicing.  I thought I was doing quite well until Jack told me I was only on level 3 of 10 with regards to the speed so I think there is plenty of room for improvement!  Sophie had a sewing machine and she is busy creating pillows for anyone who would like one and Martha had a new mini iPad.  All three had an oodie each, I had never heard of them before but the kids love them – it is like an oversized hoodie jumper that keeps you lovely and warm, I am not sure they have taken them off since! They think I should have one but I am not so sure!  Our Christmas lunch is postponed to a New Year’s Day celebration so I am looking forward to more Turkey at the weekend!

It was great to get a Boxing Day winner courtesy of Sidi Ismael up at Market Rasen.  We bought him from Doncaster Sales last summer and that was his third win from as many starts yesterday.  His owners, The Show is Over Syndicate are new owners to racing and it has been a dream come true for all of them.  Indeed, I have received a couple of videos with all the celebrations after the race and the enjoyment is what it is all about.  Sidi Ismael won on stable debut over hurdles at Lingfield and followed that with another win over fences on his chasing debut at Wetherby last time out.  The handicapper put him up nine pounds for that win so it was no easy task carrying top weight yesterday.  He was trying the 3m3f trip in the Lincolnshire National for the first time in testing conditions.  He jumped brilliantly for a novice and from turning in it looked to be down to a two horse race and then it was just whether he would stay or not.  At the last it looked like he was getting very tired but another good jump sealed the deal and he kept going really well to the line.  He has come back in really good form this morning and it will be interesting to see what the handicapper does now but he is likely to be rated in the 130s.  There are plenty of options for him in staying chases going forwards but for now we will enjoy that success and give him an easy few days before deciding on his next target.

The rest of our Boxing Day runners did not quite go to plan with Trusty Scout being too enthusiastic for his own good in his race and doing too much too soon and Master Blaze has yet to fulfil the promise he shows at home on an English racecourse.  Doyen La Lutte was a little disappointing at Wetherby and we know she is better than that and there will be other days for her.

Today is a slightly shorter blog than normal as I am just heading off to Chepstow where we have four runners (unfortunately Duc De Beauchene is a non-runner) and Ramses De Teillee runs in the feature Welsh National.  The rain has come for our grey who finished runner up in this race three years ago so fingers crossed he can put up a bold show.  Our other runners on the card are Brinkley who will also love the underfoot conditions, Seventeen O Four and Thanksforthehelp.  At Kempton we run two in the Juvenile hurdle, Titian and Kolisi.

Looking ahead to the rest of the week we have two runners at Leicester on Tuesday, Crossing Lines and Red Happy.  Both are making their stable debuts and it is just brilliant to get Crossing Lines out on the racecourse for the owners Middleham Park Racing who have been very patient.  Our seven year old has been at Pond House for a little while but setbacks have prevented him making it to the track until now.  He is a dual Irish point to point winner who will love the ground so fingers crossed he can run well and we have something to build on for the future.  Red Happy is a lovely big four year old who makes his debut in the handicap chase.  He won his last two starts in France, has done nothing wrong at home since he arrived and it will be interesting to see how he fares on his British debut.

On Wednesday we have two runners at Newbury with Ladykiller returns to action after a break over hurdles and Gericault Roque is trying to win for the first time over fences.  He was a close second at Chepstow last time and has done nothing wrong in two starts over the larger obstacles so far.  The track and ground will suit and he can hopefully go well.  On Thursday I will probably a few runners at Taunton and the plan is to run Vieux Lion Rouge at Haydock in the staying chase.  Keep checking back on the daily blog for more news of the stable runners.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year.  Thank you for all of your support throughout the last year in what has been some difficult times for everyone.  May you all have a happy, healthy and winner filled 2022.