Tomorrow sees the first day of the 2021 Go North weekend, a showcase of the Northern racetracks, trainers, and horses. A year ago there was a lot of momentum about the weekend with yards planning to hold open days to encourage racegoers to see the high standards that we hold. Of course, that was cancelled as we locked down and had to turn horses out, but the Go North weekend is back and with it some tasty prizemoney for the Northern Lights finals.
Musselburgh holds the Northern Lights hurdle finals and we run Diamond State in the two mile handicap hurdle. He was desperately unlucky last time to make a mistake at the last when looking a potential winner. He schooled yesterday proving rapid and clever so we are looking forward to seeing if he can break his duck in this valuable contest.
We run three in the mares hurdle; Gemologist runs brave races each time and she deserves to win a contest such as this. Aurora Thunder won nicely at Ayr earlier in the season but the sharper track and faster ground is a bit of an unknown. Methodtothemadness won round here last season and she is capable of putting some middling runs behind her.
Finally, we run the outsider Flutter Down in the two and a half mile novice handicap hurdle. He showed ability in a bumper but has been a hard horse to get right since then. He has had a clear run recently and it will be good to see him perform with promise.
At Kelso we had a return to form for Emissaire when he loved the step up in trip to be second. Emissaire has matured and improved at home and he should be able to build on this run again. Emirate De Cantana was third, looking much more confident at his fences and he is another who could improve again now that he is more relaxed through his races. We had solid runs from Boys On Tour who was fourth and Slainte Mhor was running a super race when unseating at the second last.
Unfortunately, Blair broke and dislocated his thumb in the fall and he had an operation to wire it today. We feel for him as he has been riding well especially on Mighty Thunder, and had some good races to look forward to in the next month.
At Wetherby, Caboy was fourth jumping well until a jarring error two out. He returned lame but x rays have proved negative which is a huge relief to his owners and trainer. We will take it easy with him for a few days before checking him again.