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Spring Showers


It has been a mixed bag at Hill Barn this past fortnight as things quieten down for the Summer.  Most of the horses are now out on their summer breaks enjoying the spring grass which is starting to grow with luster after this last spell of rain.  We have 2 potential runners to look forward to on Tuesday, in the form of Warranty and Neverbeen to Paris at Nottingham but otherwise we'll be busy doing summer jobs and sourcing more quality at the sales... 
Our first runner of the new season came on Bank Holiday Monday when See The Eagle Fly lined up in a mares’ handicap hurdle at Kempton.  Fitted with first-time cheekpieces, she was sent off favourite in a field of five and went through the race with plenty of zest in the headgear.  Jumping into a share of second at the third last, she was ridden along entering the home straight but just couldn’t find a sufficient change of gear, keeping on at the one pace to be beaten 6¾ lengths in 4th.
The following day, Calidad made his second racecourse appearance in the first division of the bumper at Southwell.  The recipient of a wind operation since finishing down the field on his debut at Cheltenham last autumn, he was also fitted with a tongue tie and raced freely under restraint in a slowly-run affair.  He came off the bridle as the pace lifted three furlongs out but was unable to quicken and understandably got a little tired in the straight as his early exertions told.  A horse with potential, he is bred to stay well but is a work in progress at present.
Last Sunday saw Sir Sholokhov head to Ludlow bidding for a hat-trick and looking to maintain his unbeaten record over fences in the process.  Stepping up to three miles for the first time under rules, he was held up last of the four runners and on the heels of the leaders as they exited the back straight on the final circuit.  It was at this point he came off the bridle with the response not what we were hoping for as he failed to pick up in the rain-softened ground, combined with watering earlier in the week meaning conditions were riding slower than ideal.
Waterlefe Getaway made her return from 177 days off the track at Southwell on Monday evening, stepping up in trip for her handicap debut following wind surgery.  Fitted with first-time cheekpieces, she took a nice grip in a race where only five of the 11 hurdles were jumped due to low sun, moving into second with a lap to go.  Poised on the shoulder of the leader as they turned for home, she found disappointingly little for pressure over a trip she would have been expected to stay based on pedigree.
It is set to be a quiet time next week with only a couple of possible runners on the Flat.  Neverbeen To Paris is a candidate for races over 2m at Nottingham on Tuesday or Goodwood on Friday, and although un-raced on the level since September 2018 when with Michael Bell, he would be an interesting contender, with his hurdles form suggesting he could have untapped potential at staying trips on the Flat.
We are also considering the same race at Nottingham for Warranty, a horse who ran well on his return to the Flat when 2nd over the marathon distance of 2m5½f at Pontefract last month.
Danny has shown a great attitude all season and is constantly working hard while staying focused and motivated in all aspects of the job.
Until next week...