ALAN will shortly embark on his traditional family holiday – he always makes sure he’s back for Royal Ascot – and as he reflects on the jumping season which is now but a distant memory he can congratulate the team on another terrific winter’s work.
Remarkably, we finished the season with 75 winners, the same as the previous winter, and our prize money haul of £1,140,598 is up by 28 grand, echoing the consistency of the Barbury squad.
That never-to-be-forgotten Cheltenham success with Uxizandre, a marvellous farewell Festival triumph for AP McCoy in the JP McManus colours, was obviously the highlight, but now most of the jumpers are out at grass enjoying their summer break.
However, we still have a couple of runners at Southwell today and also two on the Flat at Chelmsford, where the new polytrack surface has been met with mixed reviews.
Both ours, trying the surface for the first time there, run in the finale, and Alan said:”Hughesie rides Mystery Drama, and they were only beaten a neck together the last time they teamed up at Salisbury in August.
“Mystery Drama is now 2lb lower, while Our Phylli Vera (Pat Dobbs), who was disappointing over hurdles last winter, has the ability if things drop right for her, and she, too, has dropped a couple of pounds since she last ran on the Flat last September at Newbury, where she finished third under Megan Nicholls.
Howwrongcanyoube, runner-up at Market Rasen, makes his first appearance in a handicap at Southwell, while Daydreamer, who has run respectably on the Flat, will appreciate this dryer ground than the soft which he encountered on his jumping debut at Kempton.”