SWANSONG FOR MIDNIGHT TUNE . . . .

A double at Uttoxeter on Sunday completed an excellent weekend for our team. This comes after a quiet spell when a number of our horses were not quite 100% and giving the odd cough.

My thanks to our excellent vet Graham Fowke from Cotts Equine Vets who advised treating them with antibiotics and giving them an easy week before building them up again. It was more a case of prevention rather than cure and a blend of cold and wet weather over the past month meant that we didn’t miss too many opportunities on the racetrack.

The good news is that our patience has been rewarded by the results over the past 48 hours.

Regal Encore, now 13, and Kid Commando both ran great races on Saturday at Ascot with the old boy all but snatching another valuable victory on the course where he excels in the Listed Swinley Chase.

Twenty four hours later Gustavian and Midnight Tune combined to win the two most valuable races on the card at Uttoxeter. Gustavian used to be so frustrating because he pulled too hard but he is getting more manageable with racing and I am really pleased with the way he has come of age.

He is on a bit of a roll now, his jumping was better this time under top weight in the two and a half mile handicap hurdle and he was again given a good ride by Ben Godfrey who got him into a nice rhythm and moved him into contention turning for home before letting him stride clear in the closing stages.

But the star of the show at Uttoxeter was undoubtedly Midnight Tune with an impeccable display on her last outing before she retires to stud. Her owners including John Romans and Eric Jones, who race with a group of friends under the banner of the Park Homes Syndicate, were anxious to give her one last chance before she is covered this spring.

The £18,000 Mares’ Chase on Sunday looked an ideal opportunity because I was keen to try dropping Midnight Tune back to two and a half miles.

Things couldn’t have worked out better on her swansong. She led from the start, jumped well, was soon in command and kept on strongly for a decisive victory.

Midnight Tune has been part of the furniture at Potwell Farm since Rachael and I went to see her as a three year old on the recommendation of Paul and Sarah Thorman of Trickledown Stud.

A deal was quickly agreed and she has been a joy to train, with Rachael heavily involved at every stage. Midnight Tune won eight races including a Grade 2 Hurdle at Sandown and was at her best when the ground was deep. We are all going to miss her.

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