1st October news

Weekend Gallop News

A Deer in October

There was a definite autumn feel to the gallops on Saturday morning. Not only was the weather a mixture of quite sharp showers and bright sunshine, overlaying a mild, pleasant temperature but some of the more forward horses underwent their first pieces of 'work'.
As long as each horse is looking healthy, has eaten up etc., each morning's exercise will see the individual striding out at half pace on the Up-the-Middle gallop. The horse may come up once, twice or even three times depending on various factors such as maturity, fitness, proximity of racecourse appearance and so on.
For example, our flat runner Wor Lass has been fairly busy during the summer, running about once a fortnight. She seldom needs more than one spin on the gallops each morning to keep her in fettle for her next race.
Anyway, during the (jumps) season we have 'work' mornings which are usually Wednesdays and Saturdays. Traditionally named in racing yards, the term 'work' defines faster pieces of exercise - in our case, horses coming up the gallops upsides in pairs. Care is taken to match horses in work so as not to overface a lesser horse, not in terms of pure ability but more in the make-up of the horse. I mean, it wouldn't be ideal to match up a stamina laden 3 mile hurdler with a sharp 2 mile bumper sort.

So, Saturday was just about the first work morning of the season for the winter horses and, whilst not present as a group, there were smatterings of The Saturday Morning Gallop Watchers (TSMGW) on the hill braving the rain or enjoying the sun, depending upon their luck.
Another young visitor joined us too, pictured above striding out purposefully across the grass.
Great to see Nick, Ron & Eileen, and Al but where were you Fozzo?

In detail

Lot 1 were out at the crack of dawn, certainly too early for our web-team photographer, so no photos from that quartet. But, as Les Dodds quipped later on, Wor Lass would be travelling too quickly to be captured by him anyway!
Wor Lass and Side of the Road travelled up the Up-the-Middle gallop together a couple of times, and pleased their work riders.
Wor Lass runs on Tuesday at Ayr in a Class 5 1m 7f handicap off a BHA rating of 72, with Rowan Scott in the saddle. This probably represents her best chance for a couple of months. Note that Ayr are using their hurdles course for this race given recent waterlogging problems which forced the cancellation of their Western Meeting last month.
Side of the Road is one of a few horses for whom we'll start planning a race in 3-4 weeks time.
A couple of unraced 5 year olds made up the second pairing, doing the same routine as the above duo but at a lesser pace. 'Sid' and 'Spud' are progressing, but are still a wee bit backward, so each will be given more time to come to full fitness before a racecourse debut.

Similarly, Lot 2 was made up of a quartet of horses.
Doing just the one gallop were Shades of Midnight (looking in marvellous condition), Dali Mail and 'Sting', and joining this trio was Tomahawk Wood who did a couple of solo pieces of work (went well).
'Sting' is in the same category as Sid and Spud from Lot 1, in that he'll need a steady few months of cantering before a racecourse debut is considered, which will probably be next Spring.
Shades of Midnight and Dali Mail have been on the gallop now for a week, and their exercise will be stepped up gradually during the course of the next month or two.

Sat Morning gallop
The rain is falling as Tomahawk Wood strides out tracked by Shades of Midnight, 'Sting' and the grey Dali Mail

Lot 3 were welcomed by bright sunshine.
Travelling upsides in pairs, the quartet did a couple of pieces of fairly steady work. Night Comes In and the unraced Eternally Yours seemed happier leading the pair of chestnuts Hartforth and Paper Promise.

Sat Morning Lot 3
Night Comes In and Eternally Yours set the pace for Hartforth and Paper Promise

Our final group of the morning (Lot 4) was split in two. 'Reeva' and Keyboard Gangster were put through their paces by work riders Sarah and Pinky respectively, and each rider reported back 'well pleased' to The Trainer, both travelling well in two pieces of faster work. At this stage 'Reeva' (a filly by Oscar), who along with Eternally Yours, looks the most forward of our unraced youngsters and may be the first in that group to make an appearance in a bumper, probably towards the end of the year.

Reeva and Kerr
'Reeva' and Keyboard Gangster

All of which left a trio of horses making up the second part of Lot 4, and doing a gentle canter once up. Big Bad Dream, Paper Roses, and Baby Ticker are coming along steadily.

Trio of horses galloping
Left to right : Big Bad Dream, Paper Roses, Baby Ticker

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