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7th December 2015
Plus 12 and drizzling when driving in. It rained over night.
They say that you never forget something that happens for the first time?
Mark and Melinda Laws will certainly never forget their first winner as racehorse owners . Chepstow, December 5 2015, Battle Dust.. Easy?
It has always been a dream for Mark and Melinda to own a racehorse outright and although they have been involved with shares in several KBRP's and Million In Mind you cannot beat seeing your own colours on a horse.
Saturday was Mark’s birthday so what a suitable present. Battle Dust on paper won by a short head ridden by Conor Shoemark.
But that was not the whole story; unless of course you had watched or read about the race.
Battle Dust was second first time out and ran very green so we knew that on Saturday he just might do the same.. Well… Battle Dust was off the bridle after a mile and needed all Conor Shoemark’s strength and ability to keep him going… That he did, although two from home it looked a forlorn hope of winning, let alone finishing in the first 3.
BD was struggling and was just about in 3rd place coming to the last when Tom George’s horse fell and virtually brought BD to a standstill.. race over?
No Conor somehow galvanised BD to get going again and that is just what they did and they caught the eventual second on the line.. I can safely say I have never seen a race like it before.. Yes Mark and Melinda Laws will never forget December 5 Chepstow and Battle Dust.
Nor will Conor Shoemark who received a 3 day ban for careless riding.. after the winning post.. a first? You now need to watch the last part of the race.. Please Click here
Battle Dust is by the sire Portrait Gallery and there is no doubt he produces oddball horses.. Knockanrawley , Premier Portrait are two that have tested this trainer, although Gallery Exhibition is tame in comparison.. We now await on Cracked Rear View..
Yes it was a good day for Mark and Melinda and their friends Brian and Jane Moat who supported on Saturday as guests of the 'Portrait Galley Appreciation Society..'
Up at Aintree Un Ace again ran a blinder to finish 2nd. The ground was too soft for him but he showed that he was in good form and is enjoying life.. He will remain over hurdles until the ground dries up.
I have made many remarks about racecourses and how they look after owners on this blog and I am always being asked me for my top 5 and bottom 5.. So after consulting with some of my owners here are my top 5 and bottom five racecourse of the 59 racecourses when it comes The Owners Racecourse experience.
1st Ascot. Great facilities and a free lunch and wine..
2nd.. Cheltenham. Again free lunch for 4 owners and great facilities.
3rd. Haydock. Again free lunch and great facilities. Haydock were the first to really take a grip of owners experience and the first to offer free lunch
4th Aintree.. Super efficient at organising owners badges and free food and appreciated, especially in April for Grand National meeting.
5th Ludlow.., This small independent racecourse tries with GREAT Prize money and helping owners.. My owners seem to love this racecourse
I must make special mentions for Carlisle, Doncaster, Market Rasen, Kempton, Perth and Ayr who are all good.
The Bottom five..
55th Ffos Las.. Bloody miles to go always seems to be wet although a good place to practice Darts and play the slot machines in the owners and trainers..The owners day is saved by Mark Kershaw who goes out of his way to help.. Important to know him.
56th Newcastle.. Tired and unloved? The racecourse lacks atmosphere and the owners and trainers area is dire, as is their prize money.
57th Wetherby.. What I have said above sums them up too. This was a great racecourse once.. Owners experience not good and sandwiches probably left over from previous meeting and again their prize money is dire.
58th Worcester.. Great course for horses now with their new Clerk Of The Course but for owners it is dreadful.. Unloved and basically it looks and feels dead. Try leaving in a hurry after the last or for that matter getting in..
59th Leicester.. Again this as a course is fine for horses but the owners facility and owners appreciation is by far the worst. I just cannot believe that in this day and age that an independent racecourse can be so bad at looking after owners. Old biscuits if you are lucky
The last two racecourse are the only two I have ever been asked by owners not to run their horses at.. until they improve their owners experience.. It costs a minimum of £500 to run a horse..something in return would be helpful!!
To finish.. Well done Max Comley.. Max who works in the yard had his first ride in a point to piont of Troubler Digger at Barbury and they finished 7th. A memorable day for Max.