In with the new

Although there is a few days off from National Hunt racing, there is still plenty to do in preparation for the new season that starts on Saturday.

Present From Dubai is entered at Uttoxeter on Saturday in the National Hunt maiden hurdle.  Hopefully the ground won’t be soft for him.

He ran well at Doncaster on his hurdling debut and his point to point form is working out well. We have a few more to run next week and look forward to starting off the season in the same form that we finished.

Wishing a happy retirement to two great jockeys in Katie Walsh and Nina Carberry.  They were certainly bred to good and although it would be great for the sport to have a top rider to come from city suburbs having had no racing connection, there is no doubt that being bred for the job helps.

As Noel Meade said of Nina, her greatest quality is that she is a Carberry.  Her father being one of the best the sport has seen.

Katie’s brother Ruby, is obviously right up there in the top echelons of race riders while father Ted, is some mentor.

Quite simply, whoever they rode against would be full of admiration for the two of them.  Thankfully racing will still see plenty of them in their new guises.

A wonderful front page to the Racing Post today, with the heartwarming story of Dan’s Dream.  Bred by owner Steven Smith, a share in the horse was put up for auction for the Nichols Spinal Injuries Foundation.

The opportunity was to have a racehorse trained by sporting legend Mick Channon and part owned by fellow legends Sir Gareth Edwards and Sir Ian Botham.

The charity is dear to Steven’s heart having suffered a serious injury in the past and the horse is named Dan’s Dream after Dan Nichols who was paralysed at the age of 18.

The horse has been supplemented for Sunday’s 1000 Guineas and the prizemoney will go to the charity that is researching into how to get paralysed people mobile again.

The dream continues.  Good luck to all.