End of the season
As we look forward to next season we can also reminisce with delight in the 2015/16 season. In Ben’s short training career we have had the best season to date with 26 winners in total. Amongst these winners have been some very special days: The Grade 1 Challow Hurdle with Barters Hill and then The Grade 2 Albert Bartlett trial also with Barters. Another very magical day was our first Cheltenham winner at the Paddy Power meeting in November with A Hare Breath. We have been incredibly lucky this year with some lovely new horses that have joined the team, Silvergrove, Local Show and Cyrius Moriviere to name a few. We are also very much looking forward to getting our bumper horses and Novice hurdlers out next season. A massive thanks go to all our fiercely loyal owners who have been as supportive as ever. We simply wouldn’t be where we are without them. Our staff are second to none, they all work exceptionally hard come rain or shine with smiles all round, something I know Ben massively appreciates.
Last week was a nice way to finish the season, with all the horses running really well. Mightnight Folie ran a very promising race to finish 4th in her handicap debut over hurdles having been carried violently left at the start due to a standing start and loosing a lot of ground. Smoking Dixie ran for the first time in a bumper and we were really pleased with his efforts to finish 2nd, the winner looked a very smart prospect and just proved to have a turn of foot that Dixie didn’t. He is however a lovely horse for the future who jumps and will benefit massively for a trip and a cut in the ground. The biggest surprise of the week had to be our 50-1 winner at Taunton on Wednesday night with Newton Geronimo. We always knew that “Jerry” had the ability to win races but his quirky character had been preventing him from doing so in his last two starts as has been refusing to race. It was his last chance on Wednesday and Nico gave him a great ride dropping him out the back and staying on past horses to win by about half a length. We are really thrilled for the Foxons (pictured) who have supported us from day one and have been very patient with this horse!
On Thursday morning Tori and I headed off up to Perth with Ravens Tower. The eight hour drive actually wasn’t that bad and Ravens settled into his new stable for the night very well. He ran an absolutely fantastic race and was staying on strongly at the end to be beaten a length and a quarter. He was carrying top weight, which for a horse of his size is a lot, he was giving the winner a stone and a half. This was a sad last lead up for Tor who has looked after and ridden RT since he arrived here as she leaves us at the end of this week. We all wish her well and thank her for everything, she has been a huge part of the Ben Pauling Racing team and was Ben’s first employee when he set up three years ago. Tor will be missed more than I can say.
Nearly all the horses are being let down slowly now for their summer hols. They all deserve their rest and there is nothing better than turning them out for a break when they look great and are healthy after another busy season. We have got a few to run at Kempton and Warwick on Monday which should be an exciting day.
We have got a few that have come in for summer campaigns and are nearly ready for their first runs but as a rule the yard is much quieter in the summer and there is a lot of disinfecting and painting stables ahead…. And a holiday or two for most of the staff!!