Captain Flash earns his stripes.
So the last couple of weeks have been great, Starfoot started us off when he won at Market Rasen, then the following week Heroes or Ghosts ran at Warwick in a handicap chase. I was really quite confident about him running a big race, we had finally seemingly ironed out all of his problems and I was convinced that there were no more nasty surprises lurking for us - I did debate about putting cheek-pieces on him but thought that I would give him the benefit of the doubt and left them off....Oops, he came round the home bend past the stables in front, pricked his ears and allowed another horse to come past, finishing second and thirteen lengths clear of the third horse. He will be having cheek-pieces on next time!! However he did jump beautifully and really enjoyed himself, the best thing is that he came out sound the next day and can run again soon, what a step forwards!
The next day Captain Flash and John Biscuit went to Chepstow, it was a hideous day and started to rain constantly, causing the ground to change throughout racing. The official final going was good, good to soft in places. However how that can be correct is beyond me, the horses were going in over their fetlocks on the stable bend, that is more like heavy ground, which did not suit John Biscuit, but on a massive positive he settled amazingly well and travelled beautifully, he stumbled on the home bend when things were starting to quicken and becasue we are trying to teach him to enjoy racing again, Gavin didn't knock him around. What I was delighted with was that after the horses had quickened away from him, he stayed on again and ran all the way to the line, finishing closer than I thought he would on that ground.
Captain Flash ran earlier in the day and got the best of the ground, Jerry listened to my very specific instructions and jumped him out in front, Flash jumped beautifully without the distraction of other horses around him, he did make a few novicey mistakes but was so quick and clever he didn't lose any ground. He won by half a length in the end and boy did he know that he had won! It is really amazing how much horses change their outlook on life when they have won, Flash is more confident and even more freaky than before - we schooled him again yesterday and it was a joy to see him attack the fences with such enthusiasm. Heroes also schooled and here is a pic of him looking fabulous after schooling...
Our new horse "Bill" is turning out to be a really good buy, he is a serious mover and nothing is a problem for him. I have never had a young horse be able to get up our gallop first time without getting tired,, granted we were only hacking but he found it very easy.
Our lovely boys Willy Brennan and Prairie Ranger are both coming on nicely again, they both hacking around and Willy is going up the gallop everyday now, he is better then ever and for the first time since he came to me, sound all the time!