There was no chance of a lie-in after all the excitement at Ascot yesterday, as Joss, Rex, Katherine, Sarah and I set off for Cumbria at 3.30 am.
But the journey home always seems a bit shorter when you have had a winner, and Sojourn landed the valuable long distance handicap Chase, with our Conditional jockey Rex Dingle on board. He is a lovely horse – a big baby really, who is still maturing and strengthening up. He jumps soundly and was lobbing along at the head of affairs the whole way before pulling clear on the uphill run from the last fence. I suspect a few of his rivals underperformed and just hope the handicapper does not take the form at face value.
Sojourn is best fresh and doesn’t want a lot of racing so he’ll have an easy time now while I look at long distance targets like the Tommy Whittle, the Peter Marsh and Coral Welsh National.
Earlier I was really pleased with Sam Brown who jumped beautifully and ran right up to his official mark of 152 in finishing a solid third to Imperial Aura. He is at his best in deep ground, stays well and is another of ours who is best fresh.
Sojourn was recording the seventh success for the yard in the past fortnight from fifteen runners. This puts our runner to winner ratio for the season at 39% at this point.
Following on from yesterday, I’ve been really touched by the incredible number of messages and phone calls that I’ve had in the last 24 hours – recognition to all the hard work, and fantastic team effort that has put us on the front foot at this important stage of the season.
Tomorrow we have 3 runners at Plumpton :
12.20 MIDNIGHT CALLISTO in the Breeders’ Cup Live On Sky Sports Racing Mares’ Maiden Hurdle
2.30 AVOIR DE SOINS in the Free Tips Daily On attheraces.com Handicap Chase
3.40 NOCTURNAL MYTH in the attheraces.com/breederscup Handicap Hurdle