Ben Jenkins, 500 Club member and Post Racing representative on the day answered my text to him asking for trainer comments shortly before the start. Nicky Henderson had simply told our jockey, “Mid division and learn as much as you can, he doesn’t want soft”
In the run up to the race I had been monitoring the Exchanges for betting moves and the price quoted for Tower Of Allen was up and down like a yo-yo but for sure, someone must have been listening to our trainers words because within seconds of that text arriving ours drifted from 8 to 16.
There had been three races run on the hurdles course before we got to the Bumper and it had cut up. Once the tapes went up David Bass had him in midfield, out wide and along with the majority of the jockeys, let those front runners blaze a trail and effectively took no part in proceedings.
I am afraid that Tower of Allen simply hated the ground at Newbury today which was bottomless and he honestly couldn’t act on it at all. He looked simply magnificent in the parade ring and went to post beautifully but in the race itself the writing was soon on the wall and he began to labour a long way from home. David Bass looked after him and allowed him to come home quietly and he seemed none the worse after the race which was a great relief. Nicky was absolutely furious with himself for running the horse in such bad ground but at least we know never to do that again and I have no doubt whatsoever in my own mind that this is a really lovely prospect who may well go hurdling from now on. I am so sorry that today was not exactly what we all had hoped for on Tower of Allen’s debut and I will of course let you know how he comes out of the race as well as Nicky’s plans for his next run.
With my very best wishes,
Simply put, we should not have run but no damage has been done, we live to fight another day. He’s no two mile flat horse, he’s a 20 furlong hurdler, before he goes ‘chasing and I have absolutely no doubts at all we have a proper horse on our hands, who will prove this to be the case when he heats his ideal conditions.
Yesterday was all about the horses education but we all, trainer included, learned something.