It was lovely to see Lough Derg Way back on the racecourse yesterday having had nearly 600 days off the track, but it was amazing to see him put his head in front. He jumped really well on his chase debut to win the novice chase at Newton Abbot - what a legend....! He won a bumper and a novice hurdle for us in 2011, but he strained a tendon when winning his novice hurdle at Worcester, and had a year on the sidelines. He then strained his other tendon, and he's had various foot issues since, and its all credit to the team here that he's back on track, and thankfully we have the use of a swimming pool in the village. I knew he was fit enough to swim to France, I just hoped he was fit enough to gallop 2m5....! I am chuffed not only for the horse, but for his owners who have shown such patience with him - they deserved that win.
Lough Derg Way in the paddock before wining the novice chase at
Newton Abbot following an absence of nearly 600 days.
Niki Royal ran in the same race to be 6th - she just needed softer ground and a drop in trip. She can have a small break now, and come back in the autumn. I was pleased withShinko Moon's run at Wincanton last night, where he finished 4th on his first try up in trip having had a year off - he should improve on that, and should win his fair share of races over the summer. Dancing Royal made his eagerly awaited racecourse debut last night, where he finished 3rd in the novice hurdle. He was brave to jump around in his own time when the other two runners dropped out early on, and although he had no chance with the winner, he should come on for the experience.