Well what a 24 hours I have had!!!
Being an owner you get used to when your horse returns to racing and the excitement as they get closer overwhelms even the toughest of owners.
My special boy Ravitude returned to racing yesterday at Taree over a distance that on paper appeared to be too short for him. In the lead up to this day, a lot was going through my mind and as always nerves filled me on his race days. This time it was different, he had been out in the paddock from August 2017 when he broke his maiden at Cobar until January 2018 when I made the decision to move him to a new trainer.
He was given a new trainer and along with that came a new routine including new work and feed. Ravitude is not the most easiest horse to do anything with as he likes to challenge those around him, yet will stand for cuddles for days on end. Even gives his track work rider a nightmare in the mornings.
So finally race day comes and with a low bench mark, not fancied in the running at all was sent out with new race colours (ours) and a jockey that had ridden him previously, with a pony to keep him calm. The key to his performance would be if he jumped cleanly and settled in the run, for this reason I did not back him as he was purely in the race to get some further fitness and freshness out of him.
The gates open and he jumps very cleanly and settles nicely for the jockey, crossing over to take up the running. Left alone in front to roll along at his own pace, coming around the home turn he gives a kick and gets away, but…….. then runs sideways for a little bit, allowing others to go past him before he picks himself up and finishes a good 3rd only beaten .24 lengths.
I honestly could not believe the run he had just put in, on his form and benchmark he should have finished down the field however, he had just beaten home some good country horses. Now showing that he has made massive improvement and that he is headed in the right direction.
So with the 3rd placing in the bag , I jump back in my car to head back to Sydney (yes I drove the over 4 hours to go watch him race). However, later pulling over on the side of the freeway to watch stable star filly LUVALUVA take out the Group 3 TAB Adrian Knox Stakes at Randwick on Day 1 of The Championships, while I don’t own this horse it is still part of my journey as I work for the stable that she is trained in. Knowing the effort that goes into this horse and keeping her happy and healthy, it is good to see the connections rewarded with another solid win.
It by far was a crazy 24 hours and one I won’t forget anytime soon.
Watch Ravitude’s replay below