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Keeping Up With Ben

My first spin around Cheltenham will be an unforgettable one, with it being on Majestic Touch. He pretty much belted every fence until on the final circuit heading down the back straight he stepped at the first open ditch, where I remember seeing his feet come out in front and split the birch, I just thought, uh oh I don’t think this is going to end well. Going over the landing side his neck disappeared on me where I was flung into the ground and gave me a nice kicking on his way through. I quickly dusted myself off and got passed by the doctor to ride Mighty Stowaway in the next, the Ineos Mixed Open. Mighty jumped off out in front and was travelling really nicely until he missed one down the back straight. After that he just didn’t quite get back going again and was fading, so I pulled him up. He just didn’t feel 100% and after seeing the vet at Lawney’s he still had a bit of inflammatory showing up from his travel sickness when he came over from Ireland, which explains why he wasn’t at his best that evening. Mighty is being roughed off and will come back home with the others for his holiday.

It was a race to get fit for the following weekend to ride my favourite Sir Mangan at Holnicote. Majestic Touch had kicked and trod on my elbow, so as you can imagine it was quite sore that week. I went to Oaksey for physio, where they did I brilliant job in getting me fit for the weekend. Sir Mangan won the Mixed Open at Holnicote in a two-runner race beating Kilbricken Storm. The ground was a bit quick for him, so he was very careful when jumping. He hung a bit in the run in to allow the other horse to get within a length. He wasn’t at his best that day but still got the job done. He, like Mighty, is now done for the season and will come home for holiday. I’m so lucky to get back on a horse like him, he’s a confidence booster and he’s 8 wins from 11 runs for us overall.

Following day, the plan was to run Diplomate Sivola at Dingley. I was on my way to Dingley when I heard the ground was good to firm, so I decided I didn’t want to run him as he would hate it. I made a U-turn and drove to Kingston Blount to ride Tidal Flow in the open. I managed to get there with three minutes to spare to hand in my license; it resulted in my little car taking a bit of a thrashing to get there! Tidal ran as expected and finished 3/3 but it was good to have a spin. He may run again, but next year I imagine he’ll go do something else as he’s clearly not in love with the game.

Last weekend I rode Diplomate Sivola at Edgcote in the Mixed Open. He finished 5th, ran a below-the-par race as he felt flat and didn’t jump his best, making a couple of costly mistakes. The ground really didn’t help, with the straight being good to firm which isn’t favourable for him. Like Sir Mangan and Mighty, he’ll be turned away now for his holiday.

Not long left of the season, it’s flown by, but looking forward to my final few rides!

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