Annie Mc update: I think she's matured
Annie Mc is in great form, and the plan is very much to go to Carlisle on the 27th of this month, for the Mares’ Listed race she ran in last year.
She won’t mind heavy ground, in fact she loves it, but obviously there’s a fine balance between enough rain and too much!
Given the injury problems she’s had, every time we step her up a gear in her work is a bit of ‘hold our breath’ moment, but so far it’s all gone to plan, and she’s taking it all in her stride. Having the Carlisle race as the target means we work backwards from there, so it would make life more tricky if the meeting didn’t go ahead as scheduled, as her preparation will be geared towards that one date, and with fillies and mares in particular it’s not straightforward to keep them ticking over once they’re ready to run, there is a risk that they have peaked too soon if the target is changed.
Given she hasn't raced since Aintree back in December last year, she did take time to get back to the right level of fitness. We deliberately took it gradually with her so as to not put too much pressure on her, but now we couldn’t be happier with her, and she’s giving us the same feel she has previously. She’s actually a more chilled out mare now as well. In the past she’s always been rather feisty, but I think she’s matured, and being less hot-headed is only a good thing, being more relaxed means she’s exerting herself less.
As far as this week goes, we’ll just keep her ticking over, give her the usual two canters each day, and then her work will be stepped up with two weeks to go until the race. We haven’t schooled her over fences yet as she’s a very reliable jumper and the less pressure we can put on her legs the better, but she will jump a few at home ahead of her comeback just to get her eye in.
We always knew we were going into this season with a lot of novice hurdlers and bumper horses, so we’re not expecting to have them running very often as you always want to look after these young horses, but the ones we’re running are going well, either winning or knocking on the door, so we have to be happy with how things are going. This week might be a bit quiet, but we’ve a few lined up for the following couple of weeks, including of course Annie Mc, fingers-crossed!