Harbour Court Walkover Frustrating

joe profileHarbour Court walked over in the Mens Open at Ampton on Sunday. It was very frustrating as we were desperate to use this race as a prep for Cheltenham. I could barely hold him on Monday morning!

Rodney and Dad will decide what they want to do with him now. I’d imagine all options – starting with Higham a week on Sunday – will be kept open. Dad thinks Higham will be too sharp for him but we’re between a rock and a hard place. He may even run in a Hunter Chase but one thing is for sure and that is he won’t be running after the end of January.

We had a bit of a nightmare with him a couple of years ago when the weather closed in on us, then we found a nice race for him at Kelso only to be brought down at the first. He ended up going to Cottenham just three weeks before Cheltenham and it probably ruined his chance.

The ground was possibly wet enough for Sharp Suit (third) on Sunday but he never travelled like he can. We were disappointed. Berties Dream was on a real going day and if we were between fair and square, we’d have accepted it. We’ll make a plan for him now as we know he’s better than that and need to get him back on track. Hopefully Dad can work his magic.

I pulled Divine Folly up in the Conditions race. He needs a wind-op. His performance was lacklustre but at least we’ve identified something.

harbour court joe

Victoria will ride two at Black Forest Lodge on Sunday. Supreme Danehill has been purchased by Betfair and came to us on Monday. He ran earlier in the season for Gordon and Darren Edwards. Victoria will sit on him before the weekend and have a pop on him. I’ve sat on him the last couple of days and he seems to be alright. He’ll go in the Confined, which is likely to be a small field. It looks like a good opportunity for Victoria to get a completed ride in. He takes his racing well and hopefully we can go and run him three or four times before the Festival now.

According To Sarah came out of Barbury really well. She worked well today and is in good form ahead of running in the Ladies Open. She’d have come on for the run and hopefully she can go and complete.

There’s no reason why Victoria cannot ride in the Foxhunters but she needs match practice every week from now on. She’s got two rides this weekend, one at Higham next week, a couple at Milborne on the 31st, and then the horses running this weekend can go to Horseheath. We can keep these horses ticking over now to keep her busy.

I’ve got to be in the yard at 6am on Sunday morning in preparation for leaving just after 7 – but I haven’t been told I need to be in a good state!