Quest for Moore… apart from being one of the best horses my brother rode, it also has another meaning. Josh Moore had a horrible fall not long after coming back from an injury about a month ago and is still in hospital. The Moores are a big part of the racing community, my brother rode hundreds of winners for Gary, and Ryan was a great friend. In the same sense I know Jamie, Josh and Hayley from the weighing room. My first ever double was at Upper Sapey in 2013 and one of them was a spare off Hayley! All my thoughts and wishes are sent their way for a safe and speedy recovery from Josh.
Recently I heard the harrowing news that Gabe Mahon had passed away. This was an utter shock as he’s a very poignant figure in the pointing sphere, always attending meetings and generally being great fun. It didn’t matter if it was Chaddesly or Cheltenham he was always sharply dressed and even if you couldn’t see him no doubt you’d recognise his voice from a mile away! I've been great friends with Leo Mahon for a long time now, from back when we were trying to ride 4-year-old maidens every weekend! I quite often wake up at the Mahon Manor on a Monday in Ryan's old bed which is the biggest bed I’ve ever stayed in! Joe Hill shared it with me one night and it's so vast I didn’t know he was there! Anyway I think the best way to remember Gabe was the last time I saw him; we were having a drink in the local with Richard Evans, Sam Davies Thomas, and Leo and we struggled to touch our pints as we were laughing so hard!
On another note, my first boss & best mate, Martin Bosley, has called time on his training career. It's such a shame as he and Sarah are the most wonderful people and the greatest of teachers. Lots of fond memories with Dale Peters there as teenagers! No doubt my life would’ve been very different had I not gone there from the age of 12 until I was about 21. Sadly they just can’t find the staff and Martin can’t ride 8 lots a day anymore; Sarah used to be the same but had to back off the riding a bit as she had a bad fall. I wish them all the best whatever they do and hopefully they don’t stray too far from the industry. On the plus side Martin can play loads more golf! No doubt without them I wouldn’t have learnt to drive a car…or a ball!
Right, that's the sad and depressing news out the way! Onto the comeback; Easter was one of the best weekends for me. Normally its a good day Saturday, nothing on Sunday and Paxford Monday and that was all the same this year. I headed to Dingley on Easter Saturday and luckily I got cleared to ride at 8am from the BHA so managed to take my 4 rides. Anyone that rides at that meeting knows to get there early as it takes about 30 minutes in the queue to do the last mile or two and this year's renewal was no different. There were thousands of people there and the weather didn’t disappoint either. It was roasting and my first two rides were for Stuart Morris and Mrs Wilson; unfortunately Mrs Wilson's colours are woollen and I very nearly passed out riding Volnay de Thaix in the first. I thought he was a certainty in the hunt members, only to get beaten by a maiden of Dale Peters' by 4 lengths. My poor old lad was off the bridle most of the race and made hard work of it but is now retired. I thought "that's it, no birthday winner for me". Neumond pulled up in the next and I thought the writing was on the wall...I was getting annoyed watching Dale Peters ride all the winners! Then my next ride was on the promising Champagne Glory in the maiden. I thought we would have won the time before at Guilsborough but we fell after overjumping the ditch. Anyway, he led pillar to post and won readily on the bridle! Stuart was laughing at my Jamie Spencer look between the legs after the last!
Moving on to Monday at Paxford. The last meeting they held there was 3 years ago pre-covid and I managed a treble… surely it couldn’t happen again! It was Tommie O’Brien’s birthday and he was there along with James King so I thought I'd have my work cut out! Tufton Avenue won the maiden nicely for Maurice Linehan so I had the dream alive to ride my 100th pointing winner aboard the awesome Green Winter in the Mixed Open. 2m4f seemed like a big ask for the 14-year-old as he stays all day but I was quietly confident as he’s won there before. Setting off in front I rode him like a go-kart; fast as I dared and trying to cut every corner. I looked like I might get swallowed over 4 out but the old boy found a new gear and shifted clear to win well. What a fairytale to do it aboard him and one I won’t forget! Nothing quite like winter in summer.
The gorgeous Cashmoll lined up in the conditions race next and looked held when James King floated past me 3 out. Incredibly game, she got back past him over the last to make it a treble!
Only being my second ever treble I had my sights set on going for the 4 timer in the last! 3 runners in the veterans' race on the temperamental Chu Chu Percy seemed like I had every chance. Knockaderry Flyer was the one to beat but he was giving me 10lbs so I was positive. Anyway I couldn't get passed him and finished second but I can’t complain, 3 winners and a second isn’t a bad day!
I didn’t have much luck the next couple of meetings; 3rd in my first ride in the Dunraven Bowl at Chepstow and managed a walkover Garthorpe on Badbad Leeroy Brown. Shame as I was looking forward to some competition! It was fun at the hunter chase evening at Cheltenham mind! I might have pulled up on Cashmoll but it was great to see Tommie have another winner there and Darren Andrews ride one too! Lauren Hawkins works down the road at Kim Bailey's and she had a dream start to her under rules career by winning! Great to see Daniel Bourn have the winner too; sadly I've only had one ride for him to date and I managed to fall off it at the last. Green Winter went to Huntingdon last week for the marathon 3m6f hunters chase and I thought we could go close. Sadly Le Breuil was in great form and won well, relegating me to 2nd. I didn’t realise how much weight I had to give him with Pete Mason claiming off him. Its not all bad though as I beat Ben Pauling home!
Next port of call is Aintree for the point-to-point bumper. I think these evening meeting are far too late sometimes, 8:45 at Aintree on a Friday is ridiculous! Its bad enough for me riding but the lads with the horses will be back even later! Hopefully Tufton Avenue can replicate his win around Paxford and a winner at Aintree would be brilliant!
By the time I write my next blog the season shall be over, the end is neigh! Roll on Tom and Gina's end of season party!