24th February – 2nd March
Miami Gator ran at Kempton on Thursday night in the one mile 0-55 handicap and Joey Haynes rode taking five pounds off. Drawn in stall eight he looked to have a good chance if everything fell right. From the start Joey jumped Miami out well and he had him prominent and he took him into the lead. Adam Kirby, whose mount started slowly rushed his horse past the entire field and went past Miami to take up the running. Miami remained in second place but was just running a little too freely. As the field begun to turn out of the back straight Joey sent Miami into the led again and had to start getting to work at him. Two furlongs from home Miami had several of the other runners in trouble but a couple of horses came out of the pack to challenge Miami. Miami to his great credit kept on running all the way to the line to finish 4th. Another good effort in a race which didn’t fall his way.
Vodka Red ran at Doncaster in the two mile 0-105 novice’s handicap hurdle and Stephen Mulqueen rode taking seven pounds off. Vodka as is the norm was held out at the rear of the field as the runners set off. As the field streamed over the first flight of hurdles in mid pack a runner fell and brought down a horse that was tracking it, unfortunately this was right in the path of Vodka Red who upon landing tried to side step them but he was knocked sideways and down ejecting Stephen onto the ground. Vodka Red got up immediately and continued chasing the pack. He was caught after doing a full lap of Doncaster and appeared OK. Stephen was taken to hospital as a precaution. His x-rays were clear with no broken bones but he is very sore.
Gold Show also ran at Doncaster in the two mile 0-125 mare’s only handicap hurdle and Tony Kelly rode as usual taking three pounds off. Tony jumped Goldie off in a decent position over the first flight of hurdles and the horse sat in midfield for much of the first part of the race. As the field reached the top of Rose Hill Tony was just beginning to squeeze away at Goldie to keep her in touch with the strong pace that was being set. Turning in the home straight it was clear that Goldie was under pressure and was struggling to keep up with the leaders in this competitive race. Tony kept Goldie up to her work and her jumping was fine throughout the race but the two miles on this quicker ground just seemed to count against her. She stayed on to the line finishing 6th but was never really in contention for a place.
Mitchell’s Way ran at Sedgefield on Sunday in the two mile four furlong handicap chase and Paul Moloney rode. Mitchells Way was settled in midfield and he jumped and travelled nicely for the whole of the first circuit but past the stands just lost his prominent position. Paul & Mitchells had the leaders moved covered and down the far side Paul got Mitchells Way rolling and they made steady headway and as the field approached the top of the hill two fences from home Mitchell’s Way jumped to the front and looked to be going best. Approaching the final fence which was the normal second last due to the final fence being omitted the favourite began to move up menacingly. Howe haver Mitchell’s Way got a great jump at the last whilst the favourite fell. There was still a good two furlongs to run and another horse came out of the pack to mount a challenge. Paul had to give Mitchells a couple of smacks with the whip to keep him going as the horse closed to within two lengths. But as they bypassed the omitted fence Mitchell’s stretched again and went clear of this rival winning by four lengths. A great win with an excellent round of jumping.