Every trainer has one and we have Hag Stone. He really let himself and me down today. Until he manages to control his emotions he is going to make life difficult for us. Throwing himself at hurdles is certainly not what he has been taught to do here. He has not beeen left short of schooling and is foot perfect 99.9% of the time. Today, if I didn’t know any different I would say he had never seen a hurdle in his life. The champion jockey suggests we run him back quickly and I’m inclined to agree with him. Wrapping him up in cotton wool is not the answer either. If we run back quickly he will have to learn about acceptance. To some point, he has to come through it to get out the other side. His brain is racing and he loses all equilibrium. If he behaved like that at home we could educate him on a daily basis. He behaves in a perfectly acceptable fashion at home and jumps beautifully. Only racecourse experience will make or break him.
The BHA are now rolling out the padded hurdles, they are different to look at than the traditional ones and I'm not a fan having seen them previously at Newton Abbot and Tauton. Hag Stone hadn't seen them before today but I don't feel on this occassion, they were soley the balme for his eratic behaviour. If you read my previous blogs I did predict his brain was likely to be his downfall.
Hag Stone jumping in the menage 16 months ago!
Those that did a bit more yesterday had quiet canters this morning and others put in some hard yards on the sand. The 3 year olds we bought in the Spring are having an easy fortnight while the weather is still kind.