Following five winners on Sunday, we added a further success at Southwell on Monday, and I was absolutely delighted to see Ballyrock get his head in front for the first time over fences for owners Dave and Jodie Pearn.
A classy novice hurdler in his youth, finishing second in the 2011 Challow Hurdle, he has been plagued by injuries ever since, so it was tremendous to see him get back to winning ways at Southwell. Having travelled well for the first circuit, he came under pressure and was outpaced going down the back for the last time, but he was closing down the long-time leaders from the home bend and, taking up the running before the second-last, he cleared right away from his tiring rivals to win by 14 lengths.
It is hoped the handicapper doesn’t overreact to the winning margin, but providing Ballyrock is allotted a sensible rise, I am very hopeful that he can follow up next time, as the win should do a great deal for his confidence. There are obviously very few miles on the clock despite his age and, though it may come a bit quick, we could look next to the veterans’ chase at Aintree on the 23rd.