Taking nothing for granted as finishing touches are applied for Cheltenham
A lot of the hard work has been done. Don’t get me wrong, we won’t be sitting at home twiddling our thumbs waiting for Cheltenham as there’s good racing in Ireland this weekend and in the build-up to the festival, but what I’m saying is most of the horses have done everything they need to do before travelling.
There may be another couple of fast pieces of work for them all but in the weeks leading up to Cheltenham you’d really only be keeping the horses ticking over.
With that in mind, every day is a good day as long as your horse is happy and healthy. I may be young but I’ve been involved in racing long enough to know that things can change very quickly when you’re dealing with animals.
We’ve lost some very good horses this year at Gordon’s – the likes of Fayonagh and Mega Fortune – and one thing we can never do is take things for granted.
Sometimes from the outside looking in people can view horses as machines but they’re similar to humans in that they can have niggly little problems and each one is different.
We’ve got some brilliant facilities and people working in Gordon’s that cater for each horse’s needs. It’s amazing that when you work with a horse every day you get to know their character, and if they are acting unusual you can be sure there’s something amiss.
Touch wood, everything is on track for Cheltenham and we’re all hoping that things stay that way for the rest of the season and that we arrive at all of the big festivals with our horses in peak form. If we can do that then hopefully we can have a few winners.
Job Stable lass for Gordon Elliott
Best moment in racing In my opening diary last week I spoke about how popular Cause Of Causes is at home and how lucky I am to be associated with such a legend of a racehorse.
He provided me with my two best days in racing, the first coming three years ago when he won the 2015 National Hunt Chase under Jamie Codd, the first of their three successive festival victories.
That was my first time to lead up a Cheltenham winner and I can barely describe the buzz of the whole occasion.
Even though he went on to win twice more at the festival, my joint-favourite moment with him came last season when he finished second in the Aintree Grand National.
That’s the one race that everybody outside of racing watches each year and to say I led up a horse that went so close to winning it was huge. Those are the two standout days for me.
Best non-tip tip for Cheltenham As stable workers we can sometimes take for granted how close we get to the action but if I could give any advice to people making the trip to Cheltenham this year it is to watch the Cross Country out in the middle of the track - and hopefully see Cause Of Causes storming up the hill.
The atmosphere in the stands is amazing but if you can make your way to the centre of the course, or even stand down near the last hurdle, you’ll get a true feeling of what championship racing is all about.