Fakenham – Greene King IPA Handicap Hurdle
By BG Racing Syndicates On 5th November 2018
My Brother – 31st October 2018 – Finishing Position 3rd of 8
After several aborted attempts to find a suitable race for My Brother, we finally found ground that we thought was soft enough for him at Fakenham on the last day of the shareholding year. It was still touch and go, 24 hours before the race though. The ground at Fakenham was good but they were forecasting 8-10 mm of rain on the day before the race and we felt that if that arrived, then this would be OK for us.
A group of four made the trip to Fakenham, with Phil, joined by Lawrence Grima, Cliff Filsell (a new shareholder) and Rainer Metellus, who was to be a shareholder by the end of the day!
Lawrence and Rainer lived near to each other, so Phil arranged to meet them near Bluewater and Lawrence acted as chauffeur. Stopping off in Royston to pick up Cliff meant that the BG Racing group all arrived at the racecourse together and we were greeted at the member’s car park by the steward Gary who had been helpfully supplying Phil with weather updates through Facebook the previous day!
Collecting badges was no issue and we were soon settled in the small but very nice owners and trainers bar. Cliff is also a member of the British Racing Club, who had a runner in our race and he introduced the group to Rupert Fowler who runs British Racing Club. We quickly agreed with Rupert, that if one of us did not win, we would cheer on the other, so that Cliff had a winner either way!
Our race was the second on the card and we went straight to the paddock after the first race where we met Liz Harrington as Neil was at the sales. Billy was leading My Brother up and it was not long before we were joined by Noel Fehily to discuss riding tactics. Despite the obvious worry that My Brother might be too keen and pull his chance away, we decided that given that Fakenham is a tight track, we would be best served by racing close to the pace and that this was a risk worth taking.
This plan went beautifully but only for about two furlongs! Turning into the first bend, My Brother slipped and stumbled badly, forcing jockey Noel Fehily to pull him back sharply to help pick him up off the floor. In one movement he went from 3rd to last – about as far as possible from where we wanted to be. Noel stayed cool however and gave My Brother time to compose himself, getting him popping over the hurdles down the back straight. Amazingly, however, when turning into the home straight at the end of the first circuit, My Brother slipped again. This one was not so bad, but probably still dented his confidence.
Noel was straight back into rebuilding mode and he stayed at the rear of the field onto the last circuit, letting My Brother regain his enthusiasm. He jumped the third-last flight, at the end of the back straight, still two lengths last of eight, but moved up round the last bend to go seventh at the second last and then to sweep through on the home turn and up the home straight to stay on strongly to finish 3rd.
Noel felt that he had been very unlucky with the two slips and that without these he felt he would have gone close. He reported that the trip was fine but that My Brother might prefer a more galloping track and then headed in to weigh on.
After a nice lunch in owners and trainers, Phil discussed the race with Neil and on reflection, we agreed that this was a very positive run, that we should be (and were) delighted with. My Brother did everything we would have wanted him to, he settled better, he jumped better, and he showed a good attitude despite a situation that must have shaken his confidence.
The whole group at Fakenham felt that there is plenty to come from My Brother with Rainer being so impressed he bought a shareholding! At the end of an enjoyable afternoon, we were off home looking forward to what seems likely to be a very enjoyable winter ahead if My Brother stays injury free.
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