Gwafa wins the Swinton

GWAFA got our new season off to the best possible start by winning The Pertemps Hurdle (The Swinton still to many) at Haydock on Saturday.

Never can have two return journeys south on M6, made four weeks apart, been so different! There was heavy gloom most of the way home after Gwafa was brought down at Aintree, but cheerful sunlight all the way from Haydock!

This horse is some ‘pro’ and was always just doing enough up the run-in to repel his challengers. His owners very kindly filled our tack-room with drink for our team to celebrate and the yard was buzzing again on Monday morning.

We are so grateful to his owners Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar, their manager Tony Nerses and all at Blue Diamond Stud for their patience and for sending Gwafa to Cropredy Lawn.

We also owe big thanks to his half-brother Australia Day for being such a star himself and helping us to make this connection. Gwafa will get entries at Royal Ascot in the Ascot Stakes and Queen Alexandra, as well as The Northumberland Plate. Obviously the rest of last weeks’ runners did not reach such dizzy heights, but most ran with credit. Mr K looks as though he will go very close next time over a little further.Hollow Bay got no luck in running at Fakenham, clipping heels and stumbling badly just before the second last. Copperfacejack ran well to finish third and Tindaro ran really well to finish fifth in a competitive handicap at Ascot.

Our big disappointment was Dreyfrus only finishing 5th at Ludlow on Sunday. We love this horse who has become known in recent week as “Little Rupert” due to certain resemblances to dear Time For Rupert. Dreyfrus made the running under sufferance, but did not power away in the straight as expected and got beat just under 6 1/2 lengths. This just did not make sense as he’d worked so well with both Gwafa and Tindaro on different occasions at Wolverhampton. We scoped him and found he was full of thick mucus, the type caused by the emergence at the end of last week of that ghastly stuff, oil-seed rape. Dreyfus had given five uncharacteristic coughs on his way home from exercise last Friday, so we scoped him then and he was ‘crystal clean’. However those coughs must have been the beginning of him inhaling the pollen which manifested itself into mucus by Sunday. At least we have an obvious reason for the disaster and still have an exceptional horse to look forward to in the Autumn, as it takes a good one to only get beat 6 lengths when they are ill!

Red Cossack will experience soft ground for the first time in his life tonight at Chepstow, so we are ‘in the dark’ and it may be by 7.25pm, about him! Michaela makes her hurdling debut at Worcester on Wednesday and has schooled really well. This looks competitive but she has an each-way chance. We seriously hope that Pretty Mobile gets into a race on Saturday as she is working so far above her handicap mark. If the ground is dry enough, Tindaro might run at Market Rasen on Sunday in a valuable chase and his run at Ascot should have put him ‘spot on’.

No ‘laurel-resting time’ around here!

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