On Saturday 23rd April we saw the Firm run a cracking race at Haydock. It looked a competitive race on paper and Dale Swift rode a great race on him to come third in a blanket finish, beaten only a short head and a nose. In truth we would probably have won the race but for some interference in the early stages from the eventual winner, who cut us up and got our position on the rail. Dale had to snatch him up and drop him in, then come wide in the straight, which was probably fortunate as the winner was involved in some more barging in the closing stages going for a gap that was closing, but the stewards looked into both incidents and decided that none of it had affected the placings. OK, if you say so. A great performance from The Firm and Dale Swift, but very frustrating to come so close to earning a decent win at a top track. The photo finish picture below shows just how close it was! Despite not winning, the racecourse management still invited placed connections into the winners room for some celebratory champagne, so we were all able to watch the replay with a consolation glass of bubbly.
Only two days later we took the Firm back to Southwell. There were going to be no more opportunities for him at the track for several months, and it was a last minute decision yesterday morning to let him take his chance in the race, but it really came too soon for him after his great run at Haydock. Rob Hornby got him away smartly and was in a good position throughout. He led coming off the final bend with 3f to go and looked like winning, but he tired and just ran a bit flat in the final couple of furlongs, just feeling the effects of a quick turnaround from his run at Haydock, and ended up finishing a very game fourth. He’ll have a few weeks off now and run again towards the end of May.
Khajaaly ran at Brighton today (26th April) but hated the undulating track and will now have a summer break.