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Cheltenham – Swanee River Supports Countryside Alliance Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

By On 19th November 2018

My Brother – 16th November 2018 – Finishing Position 2nd of 20

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After more ground worries ahead of raceday, a decision was taken to declare My Brother to run in a class 3 novice handicap hurdle at Cheltenham.  Whilst the race would obviously be very competitive, the trip and track looked ideal and it was the closest we were going to get softer ground with ideal race conditions for a couple of weeks.

Only four owners were able to attend in person, but many others were watching on TV from around the country.  Phil travelled over and was joined by Susie and Gerald who live a stone’s throw from the course and by Jamie North who had recently taken a share in My Brother when the Justice Super ownership ran its course.

Phil travelled down early to walk the course with Neil to check the ground conditions and Susie joined them on the track.  Thankfully we found that there was sufficient opportunity to leave an imprint in the turf and Neil was happy to let Bruv take his chance.

Neil had the winner of the first race when The Young Master won and with The Twisler joining My Brother in the second, it was a rush job to get the two horses saddled.  We were soon in the paddock however and discussing race strategy with jockey Noel Fehily.  It was agreed that he should settle in the front third of the field and go from there.

The trip down to the start completed, in no time, it was time to race.  Noel reported afterwards that he knew immediately that the carefully considered strategy had been the wrong one as with a sight of the front, My Brother was “lit up” early and keen to move forward.  This led to a sketchy jump at the second and Noel said that he was working on calming My Brother down for about the first half of the race.  At the top of the hill he looked in trouble for a stride or two at the back of the field and needing encouragement but Bruv soon picked up the bridle again and was tanking down the hill around the outside of the field.

Turning into the straight it looked like the leader had flown, but My Brother was right in the mix for the places as was Neil’s other runner The Twisler who unfortunately blundered his chance away at the last flight.  Bruv jumped it in the group battling for second and quickly asserted from that group, closing down the winner up the hill to finish just over a length down at the line in 2nd.

Meeting Noel on the horse-walk, he confirmed that he thought that My Brother had run a good race and may have been even closer had he settled better at the start of the race.  We then headed into the Cheltenham winners enclosure to unsaddle which was pretty special!

After some post-race photos, members of the racecourse team took us to the placed connections room for a drink and to watch a replay of the race.  Neil accompanied us and was delighted with the runs of both his horses feeling that The Twisler’s connections were unlucky not to be with us.

After watching another race the four BG Racing owners headed up to the owners and trainers bar on the second floor of the new stand at Cheltenham where a very nice three-course lunch was served and enjoyed by all.  Whilst at lunch we had an elevated view of the next two races and before we knew it, the day had rushed by and it was already time to get on the road and head for home.


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