The buffalo has wings…

nickalexanderWednesdy December 21st… Mild air arrives, bringing rain but banishing the frost. Another day of ups and downs at Musselburgh yesterday, Isla Patriot unseated Lucy at the first which was frustrating, she then had a good winner on Red Tamber, finally in the dark the moment arrived as Buffalo Ballet made his debut. It’s an odd sensation, a process that began with planning a horse’s conception, the foaling then five and a half years of preparation is distilled into 5 minutes of agony, in the gloaming round a track that won’t suit and opposition that look decent enough. Normally no pressure, but this is a horse for whom I have always had the highest regard, doubts galore of course and they heighten as he turns for home, looking one-paced and weak, then the penny drops and in the last two furlongs he sprouts wings and flies, passes about 5 horses to finish 3rd at 40-1, beaten 5l by the winner, another furlong and he would have won going away, he tanks off round to the back straight, masses of energy left. Ate up, sound this morning, he eyes the lorry while he is being jogged up, ramp is down, he wants to go again. Trainer delighted, there should be so much more to come, we train our horses to come to themselves over time, he’d never really had a proper gallop before. Problem is that he is a valuable horse, I will need to put him on the market, being realistic we are unlikely to find someone that will keep him here, will try my best and discount accordingly if anyone shows interest…

Far from the madding crowd, trainer and son opt for a close up view

Far from the madding crowd, trainer and son opt for a close up view

Back here today frost is on its way out but enough of it about still to confine us to the AW, it’s riding well though and the horses look fresh and strong. They will all work tomorrow and then be wormed and have a quiet couple of days over Christmas, no runners until Kelso next week, no harm in taking the pressure off them for a day or two.
Vet in this afternoon to scan a couple of old injuries from last season, will help us decide when to start with them again. The mid point of the season, a chance to reflect on how we have done; 6 winners from 59 runners, 5 seconds, 44% placed – this time last season 2 winners from 18 runners so a material step up, loads of ambition to keep improving, targets for 2012 – well, a runner at one of the big festivals would be nice (not sure Perth counts!), 12 winners for the season, 20% first 2, 50% placed, main thing is just to try to keep the horses sound, healthy and running well. Main story over the past couple of months of course has been Lucy, hard to believe that 3 months ago she was still an amateur, just hope she is lucky and avoids injury and she should continue to progress, she has 5 rides at Sedgefield tomorrow – Kealigolane 12.20, Samson Collonges 1.20, Stand Clear 1.50, Stanley Bridge 2.50 and The Ferick 3.20.. fingers crossed!

Buffalo Ballet eventually returns to the winners enclosure

Buffalo Ballet eventually returns to the winners enclosure

Nick Alexander

www.kinneston.com

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