As the Christmas festivities finish, yet another year ticks by, horse racing never stops.
Dancing Bay goes to Cheltenham and takes the 3rd place prize money. Almost a week later Rehearsal is 2nd at Lingfield.
A couple of defeats before a 3rd position for Trompette in a Warwick Novice Hurde, Spanish Lace gets his head in front in a Wolverhampton maiden.
February saw Rehearsal 4th, Trompette winning at Plumpton. Dungarvans Choice and Dancing Bay both coming 2nd at Leicester and Fontwell respectively.
Cheltenham Festival time seems to arrive quicker every season, last year’s Cheltenham success Penzance fell in the Champion Hurdle won by Brave Inca, Dancing Bay once more in the Coral Cup but didn’t trouble the leaders.
It would be nearly the end of March before another winner when Trompette took a Juvenile Novice Hurdle at Plumpton.
Dancing Bay ran in the Further Flight Stakes at Nottingham in April and came 2nd. Dungarvans Choice 4th at Carlisle. Eisteddfod suffered a rare defeat whe 3rd to Welsh Emperor at Thirsk. Penzance would be a credible 3rd in the Betfred Million Hurdle at Sandown. While New Seeker could only finish 5th at Leicester.
In May it was Ionian Spring rolling back the years to score a victory at Chepstow. Shamrock Bay 3rd at Catterick. Dancing Bay placed again, this time 4th in the Chester Cup.
Royal Citadel another purchase I had made separate from Elite Racing Club was proving to be a massive disappointment after showing early promise. She was clearly not in love with racing any more and would soon be off to the sales.
May ended with two 5th placed finishes for Trompette and Eisteddfod.
Two successive 2nd’s for Travolta and New Seeker started June.
Royal Ascot, and our heroine Soviet Song was back and winning the Windsor Forest Stakes, this would turn out to be her final Group race victory. Eisteddfod in the Golden Jubilee Stakes, Rehearsal in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes and Dancing Bay in the Queen Alexandra Stakes all half way down the field in their big races. Monolith would win the Pontefract Cup.
New Seeker came 3rd in a Group 3 at Newmarket in July. Royal Citadel was sold for 2,500 Guineas. Soviet Song who had won the last 2 runnings of the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket was trying for the hat trick, but she could only trail in 6th. It was looking like retirement to the breeding programme was in store for her. Still at Newmarket it was 4th for Oceans Apart, and she would be 5th a couple of weeks later at Sandown.
August saw Soviet Song come a useful 2nd behind Court Masterpiece in the Sussex Stakes, maybe our favourite girl wasn’t quite over the hill just yet? Rehearsal ran on Shergar Cup day and came 4th. “Sove” had another attempt at a Group One and was 5th in the Celebration Mile at Goodwood. Eisteddfod over in France and Oceans Apart at Sandown both managed 2nd.
September at Hamilton in Scotland, Eisteddod was 3rd, Tredegar was 2nd at Lingfeld. New Seeker won a Listed race at Redcar.
Soviet Song was to be 2nd again, this time in the Group One Sun Chariot Stakes, beaten by Spinning Queen. Elite Racing management decided this was an opportune moment to retire Soviet Song, what a glorious career she had.
October brought a win for Tredegar at Newmarket, 2nd places for Sha Bihan and Penzance. Monolith would win at Cheltenham. Travolta would take 3rd at Plumpton, Penzance 2nd at Exeter.
November at Windsor, Eisteddfod was 5th in a LIsted race. Trompette was 3rd in a handicap hurdle at Sandown. Tredegar followed up her last race with another win at Wolverhampton. Penzance would go for a Grade 2 Chase at Cheltenham, coming 3rd to Fair Along.
November passed with Travolta 3rd at Taunton and Penzance 2nd at Fontwell.
The Christmas celebrations were soon to return, but not on the racecourse, Entranced coming 5th at Southwell, Sha Bihan only 8th at Taunton, and Kadount Pulling himself up at Cheltenham.
Another year over.
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