What weather warnings??
Having managed to get the horsebox out of Middleham with More Madness & Stags Leap on board when just the previous day had seen vehicles abandoned in the snow, the Scottish weather warnings and course inspections held no fear for Julia & Ali on their quest to get to Musselburgh yesterday.
With the 8am inspection deferred to 10am the journey north continued and thankfully racing was confirmed as going ahead, albeit on ground given as (officially) soft but with (unofficially) late leaving frost in places making it safe to run on but quite testing.
More Madness was first up in the 3m handicap chase in the colours of the Brough Farm Racing Partnership. With a bit of mutual appreciation clearly going on between Madness and Brian Hughes, he was most delighted when his “favourite” jockey was legged up. Despite being pushed wide throughout the race he jumped brilliantly for Brian and always held his position amongst the leaders. Although the track proved a bit sharp and the ground tough work for him, Madness entered into his own private battle for the 3rd/4th places and we were delighted that he came out on top – as was he!
He’s not managed 3rd for us before so that was a new number in his places – the elusive number 1 still evades him but comes ever closer??
Next up was yard stalwart Stags Leap in the feature 2m handicap hurdle. Owned by Julia’s father and Uncle (John & Billy Platts), ridden out every day by Julia, led up by Danny and with Henry on board – this was a proper family affair.
Running in a higher grade of race than he had ever contested, Staggy belied both his 11 years and 16 months off the track to run with huge credit under Henry (Brooke). He was prominent throughout the race, and hurdled fluently, finally just tiring on the home straight.
He returned safe and sound, and just as importantly showed that he retains his zest and enthusiasm for racing.