Double delight as Captain Drake and Ishkhara Lady win at Uttoxeter

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Victories by Captain Drake and Ishkhara Lady at Uttoxeter provided our first double since our move to Higher Crockermoor Farm in the summer.
The sight of Captain Drake just beating stable companion As I See It in a close finish to a competitive handicap hurdle and Ishkhara Lady bouncing back from an absence of 669 days after a serious setback was a timely boost of the decision by Ciara and I to create a new yard and gallops on the farm we bought a few years ago in West Dorset.
The horses are healthy, they look really well, and are undoubtedly relaxed in their new surroundings and I feel a mixture of excitement and relief that they are starting to deliver on the racecourse. That gives me a lot of confidence going forward now that the core jumps season is under way.
We were struggling at times last winter when the team’s well being was affected by the never ending rain to the point that we had to make a decision to change things which involved considerable investment, time and energy which is now beginning to pay off.
I wasn’t expecting Captain Drake to win under his big weight on his return to action but stamina is his greatest asset and he finishing stoutly to catch As I See It who travelled for a long way like best horse in the race. The runner up didn’t enjoy fences last season and it was good to see him back to his old self at Uttoxeter.
Captain Drake is bang on course for the Coral Welsh National at Xmas and I have to decide whether to keep him over hurdles until then or give him another run beforehand over fences. It is a nice dilemma to have.
I’ve always thought the world of Ishkhara Lady who won on her debut like a smart filly before slipping the tendon off her hock. Her owners have been extremely patient during her long rehabilitation and I am delighted their faith has been rewarded.
At some point Ishkhara Lady will have to go hurdling but before then I am looking at a Listed bumper for her, maybe at Cheltenham.
Picture: Philip Kirby Photography
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