OrionInverness' win at Perth for the Tay Valley Chasers marked a super end to the Perth summer racing season. Given a very positive ride by Stephen the late maturing seven year old jumped as well as he has ever done and although the winning margin was a head from the odds on favourite this was an excellent effort. We had thought that the track would be tight and that Borris as he is known would come on for the run; like many of ours who were having their first runs back, but Borris has improved through the summer and this was a great starting point for his season.
It was also a poignant win as we lost dear Sam Morshead, who, along with George Godsman had the idea of a Perth based club hence the TVC was formed. We will all miss Sam, and his gung-ho enthusiasm but he has left many legacies; the TVC is just one.
We had nineteen runners over the two days at Perth and are very satisfied with the performances of the horses. Taking advantage of the good to soft ground (although we did take Kilbree Chief out when it dried just a bit too much for him on the second day) we ran many winter horses to get them going for the season.
Particularly pleasing were Mighty Thunder who came back to form with a bang, coming second in the two and a half mile handicap hurdle. He will make a decent chaser so this effort was all the more noteworthy. He beat the ultra consistent Urban Kode who lost nothing in defeat and should be able to improve on his fourth place in the next few runs.
Also second was the established chaser Mumgos Debut who fought back having been outpaced mid-race and earned the Racing Post's 'Eyecatcher' award. In the same race, and exceptionally pleasing was Vinos Choice who was third; this was a huge step up for the headstrong gelding who was settled by both the hood, the pace of the race and Blair's riding and now looks capable of winning a similar event.
Patience is very necessary in horseracing, and County Set Five and Thomas Kendall, John Johnston and Ginny Stewart have had to be very patient as Mr Grumpy returned from over five hundred days to be a staying on third in the handicap hurdle. Possibly the most inappropriately named horse in training, the kind gelding has plenty of ability and if he can remain sound he should be good fun this autumn and winter.
Also third was Chanceiton, my father's point to pointer who gets on so well with Cameron his amateur jockey. He may look for another hurdle or chase before returning to point to points, although he is currently giving Cameron great experience under rules.
Glenpark is one of our French bought two year olds who have had a season pre training and although understandably green he coped well with his first run to be fourth against much more experienced rivals and his new owners have a decent prospect on their hands.
Blaydon was also fourth and will have learnt a lot on his hurdles debut. A son of Milan he will take time to learn his job, but he is genuine and jumps well so should win some hurdles along his way to chasing. His owners had a good run with Ask The Tycoon who was fifth after being outpaced and will be happier when the ground is deep. Seven Devils also ran well for a long way, returning after a long lay off but jumping with a new found enthusiasm.
Another hurdle debutante, Emissaire (fifth) showed up well and should be exciting in the future as he gains in strength. Likewise, Pinspot (sixth) also had his first start over hurdles and although jumping big at a few obstacles he stayed on and will be better over further in time.
Lady Jane was unlucky not to be in the winners enclosure with Revocation who was running a blinder and looking assured of a place at worst when blundering two out and unseating Blair. He should make amends soon. We were out of luck in the novice chase too; Chasseur De Tete was brought down after the last when in contention for a place and jumping so well on his chase debut. Behindthelines did not travel on the good ground and although he jumped well Derek pulled him up when his chance had gone.
Finally, we had a clutch of fifth places with some handicappers having their seasonal debuts; Vengeur De Guye looked happy back over hurdles, Shanroe Street should find a nice long distance chase this season, and Present Flight should enjoy softer ground later on this autumn.
Roll on some soft ground and more racing!