We enjoyed a brilliant afternoon at Wincanton on Saturday with a high profile double from BLACKJACK MAGIC in the £70,000 Badger Beer Handicap Chase and GOOD LOOK CHARM who landed the £35,000 mares handicap hurdle named after my mentor Richard Barber.
Both were very well ridden by Rex Dingle who is building up an impressive portfolio of big race victories.
Rex saved a bit all the way round on Blackjack Magic before they saw off the sustained challenge of Threeunderthrufive by three lengths.
He is a horse who likes a bit of daylight so Rex started him on the outside before taking a nice prominent position which played to his strengths.
I thought he might just need the run a bit and really only ran him as an afterthought. It was a case of why not let him take his chance and see what happens!
He kept jumping away, led after the 13th fence and racing off a nice low weight of 10st 2lbs he was able to hold off the runner up and was pulling away again at the line.
Blackjack Magic enjoys soft ground and took to fences well last with two wins and a second from four runs.
He is owned by four jumps enthusiasts and hopefully there will be more to come from him once the handicapper has his say.
Good Look Charm then completed a memorable day for the team with a fine victory in the Richard Barber memorial handicap hurdle over two miles, five furlongs in the colours of the Isle of Blue and White.
Richard was in turn my boss, my mentor and my friend. Rachael and I remember him with great fondness with good reason. She became National Lady point-to-point champion jockey in 2006 riding most of her winners for him and we both learned so much working and riding for Richard.
Good Luck Charm was back over hurdles after a disappointing campaign over fences last winter that left me scratching my head because she schooled great at home but could not get it together on the racecourse.
She was left in front sooner than Rex wanted on the final bend and then spent her time pricking her ears and looking around. But she found plenty when Vicki Vale came to challenge and held on to win with something to spare.
Good Look Charm enjoys a break between races and could run next in another mares’ handicap hurdle in a month’s time.