George Baker Blog - Place In My Heart

Chepstow. A meandering journey through the Wiltshire (and other counties west) landscape. A pretty drive. But a slow drive. Eventually hitting the M4 near Chippenham. Before diving down towards the Severn Bridge. And the toll that charges you to enter Wales. But not to leave....
Windy. A fresh day. But Keith Ottesen and his team producing an excellent cover of grass. A Clerk that we can believe in. Thankfully, there appear to be more and more of them around the country, and far fewer of the "old school" who would provide optimistic going reports from deckchairs on their lawns...
Our first 2-year-old runner of the season. Place In My Heart, a Whitsbury home-bred daughter of Compton Place. Fast away from the stalls. Always handy. Perhaps a little too handy for choice as she never had anything but "daylight" to aim at. Mugged close home by the experienced Hannon trained Wolfgang. Beaten a neck. A lovely introduction. A perfect ride from Martin Dwyer. Very pleasing. Especially as this gives us an early barometer as to where we are with the other 2-year-olds. 25 other 2-year-olds at home. Some, clearly, more backward types who won't be out until the backend. But enough precocity about the place to give us hope that we have a nice bunch. On pedigrees and looks, by far the best (and most, numerically) bunch we have trained....
Hurakan on the comeback trail after 440 days off. Losing all chance when rearing as the stalls opened. But Jimmy Fortune still managing to nurse him back into contention 3 furlongs out. Before he tired on the run to the line. He will come on massively for this outing....
With it's undulations and irregular cambers, Chepstow is not everybody's "cup of tea". But the ground was excellent, and we will travel anywhere for that alone. As I have said before, the Owners and Trainers Bar frustrates me. The bar itself clearly the wrong side of the room. Blocking any view of the course. If the bar area was switched to the other side of the room, patrons would be afforded a stunning view of the racecourse and the Welsh countryside beyond. As it is, we sit with a fascinating view of the old saddling boxes....
Racing providing another reality check over the weekend. Poor Isabel Tompsett lies unconscious in hospital after a sickening fall. She has never ridden for us, but clearly this qualified vet is a hugely popular member of our insular little community. And she is clearly a capable amateur jockey. Our thoughts go out to her and her family, and we all hope and pray that she makes a full recovery.  

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