We finished 2020 with a handful of runners in December, beginning with CHEESE AND WINE in a 12f handicap at Wolverhampton at the beginning of the month. She was well positioned through the race and had everything going for her but, once into the straight, emptied out fairly quickly, eventually finishing 6th. Turning for home, I thought she might hit the frame and so that was a bit disappointing. We can’t find anything wrong with her and so this remains a bit of a puzzle.
We were back at Wolverhampton in the middle of month, firstly with FRONT OF LINE who finished runner-up a 7f novice. She ran well but just bumped into a good one on the day. We were tracking the leaders, following the eventual winner through, and looked briefly at the top of the straight as though we might get to the front. When the winner found its stride, however, we were never going to beat it. Still, she ran a solid race in defeat and certainly up to her best.
A few days later POET’S PARK ran in a 1m½f novice. Her previous race at Doncaster on bad ground had been very disappointing but on a sounder surface and upped in trip, she ran a much better race here to finish 5th. That was much more promising and being a biggish filly, gives us encouragement for the coming season.
As for January, the only horse like to run is FRONT OF LINE. There is a race for her at Kempton on Saturday and we’ll have a look at the opposition there before making a final decision about that.
The other horses are back from their winter break and so we’re all systems go, getting all the preparatory work going. Other than a couple of the yearlings that will be with us shortly, I think we’ve got our full complement in. All those that have had a holiday will be doing plenty of trotting over the next few weeks. We usually start them off in the indoor ride but try to get them out onto the Heath if we can. We’ll then start cantering them in early February, weather permitting.