A day of contrasting weather at Musselburgh yesterday was also one of contrasting fortunes for the yard, though we were delighted to register our 500th winner, with the progressive Figaro benefitting from an outstanding ride from Richard Johnson to land the £10,000 handicap hurdle.
I am so pleased for Dave and Jodie Pearn, who have been tremendous supporters of ours and it was brilliant to bring up such a significant milestone for the yard with one of their horses.
Figaro is really beginning to click over hurdles and, having run Captain Cutter close at Market Rasen three starts back and then finished runner-up on his handicap debut to a well-treated rival at Doncaster, I am hopeful he can progress further in the coming months.
Just over half an hour later, Golan Way was a warm favourite to defy a long absence in the hunter chase, but unfortunately a mistake at the second fence saw him part company with Bradley Gibbs. Thankfully, he is absolutely fine this morning (he had a good gallop when loose!) and, while very frustrating for us and for his owners in W R B Racing, he retains plenty of enthusiasm, had been working nicely and, all being well, will be out again in two or three weeks to try to atone for yesterday’s mishap.
I was pleased with Nathan’s Pride run in the concluding bumper as, though it confirms he wants a better surface, he took a step forward on his Ascot debut for us and he is a fine prospect to go novice hurdling in the spring.