Spoils Of War gave us a mildly surprising first win of the new season when streaking home at Perth this evening. Poor Spoils was very close to being put to sleep after a deep tendon cut at Kelso two years ago, and it the skill of our vet Eugenio, and the patience of his owners, Mark, Mhairi, Rob, Ginny and James gave him the chance to return to training. This season has been a tricky one for him after a loss on confidence and enthusiasm over fences was then followed by a terrible run in blinkers. However, this evening with no headgear, and jumping with confidence after some work in the school, Blair guided him home in convincing fashion. Thank you to everyone for giving him the chance to win again. Mhairi, Rob and Ginny are pictured with Spoils, Ailsa and Blair in the winners enclosure.
In the same race, Rivabodiva scared herself early on and was never jumping with conviction. She will likely have a good break now.
We had two good second placings with Alizee De Janeiro running a super race to be nailed after the last by a fast finishing Gold Chain, and Ryalex running one of his best races to date, settling after a few fences and staying all the way to the line. As his confidence grows the wins will come, and he looks much happier with racing.
Miss Joeking also looks to have found her niche, with a solid round of jumping on her chase debut. On tonight's run she should pick up races over further, and her jumping will stand her in good stead in novice chases.
Maraweh was running well until fading rapidly after four out after which Derek wisely pulled him up. He returned to the paddock with an injury to his hind fetlock where it looks as if he has been jumped in to. Jaimie went beyond the call of duty, taking him to the Dick vet, where, happily his x rays were clear. He is to have an MRI scan tomorrow to give a full check, and will have the cuts cleaned and treated.
On to tomorrow with another half dozen runners.
Mr Grumpy ran a better race last time over hurdles jumping well and staying on and we are hoping that he can build on that run.
Katalystic has been finding his feet over hurdles and once he is settled and jumping he can run a big race. He is still immature, however, and everything needs to come together for him.
Dear Shine A Diamond has been running some good races and has been unlucky not to have finished closer in a couple of runs. He has the cheekpieces back on tomorrow and could be a solid each way bet.
Deepsand has had a good winter and while he prefers heavy ground he should be fine on the well watered and maintained going tomorrow. He goes well for Alex and has been very fresh at home recently.
Finally, in the last race we run two. Thorpe has been off for a few months and may be sharper for the run but he has been in good form at home. He takes on the horse with the most determination that we have in training, Urban Kode who won this race last year off a similar mark.