We continue to have good runs, and following our Aintree and Kelso successes we had a super run from Aurora Thunder at Ayr when she was second in the Class Two mares handicap hurdle; she is pictured in the blue Allson Sparkle silks. Stepped up to three miles on the good ground she stuck with the leader and was just denied at the line to post one of her best runs. Knowing that she will stay the extra distance on good ground gives us plenty of options next season and she will now have a well deserved holiday.
Lucky Flight did not run at all well, pulling up when looking under par and he was found to have an irregular heartbeat. He will be treated at home and given time to get over this new issue.
On last Tuesday Conner McCann had his first ride on the flat on Gripper at Newcastle and both performed with credit coming fifth. Gripper may next be seen over hurdles at Perth.
The yard has had a sad loss this week when Majestic Storm presented with an aggressive tumour on his jaw. Following a CT scan which showed the full extent of the damage to his jaw and the rapidly spreading tumour, the sad decision was taken to put him down. We all feel the loss but none more so than his owner and breeder Geoff Brown, his daughter in law Karen and Angie who doted on Storm.
The yard is focussing on the Scottish Grand National tomorrow and we have two runners, Mighty Thunder and Big River.
Mighty Thunder has been a revelation this year having taken well to chasing. His three wins include the Edinburgh National and he was most recently second in the Midlands National. I would rarely run a horse in more than two marathon races but Mighty is thriving and he has come out of the four mile races better than he ever did after shorter races. The Scottish National will have new challenges of faster ground and an experienced large field but he is well up to the task. He will be ridden by Tom Scudamore after Blair's fall at Kelso earlier this month where he fractured and dislocated his thumb.
Big River is no newcomer to long distance chases and having been fifth in this race two years ago he has to have a live each way chance. His jumping this season has been more accomplished and we can draw a line through his Eider run. If all goes well for him, Big River has the class and experience to be very close up and he is ridden by regular pilot Derek Fox.