WITH the weather washing out all the action at the start of the week, the big news in the racing circles over the last few days was the retirement of Borderlescott.
A dual winner of the Nunthorpe Stakes, he was superbly handled by his Wetherby trainer Robin Bastiman who feels age has finally caught up with Borderlescott, who as well as winning the 5f Group One in 2008 and 2009 recorded victories in other major sprint races including the Stewards’ Cup and Audi King George Stakes.
“We’ve decided to retire him. We were a bit worried after his last run, he wasn’t quite right. He was probably telling us in a way and we roughed him off after that anyway,”
“The owners have given the horse to my daughter Rebecca.
He’ll be staying with us – he’s part of the yard.
“It’s a sad day but he’s done us proud.
“It’s time now. He’ll be 11 next year and there’s all these young sprinters coming along.
“They lose their pace eventually and he’s had to run against the best all the time with his rating.
“The highlight was when he won the Nunthorpe at York on home ground. The first time he won it was at Newmarket as York was abandoned. With him being a Yorkshire horse, that was the day.
“There have been plenty of good days – when he won the Stewards’ Cup and he just got beaten a short head the following year.
“He’s simply been a great horse.
“With most Group Ones, they are won by colts and you never see them again, they end up being stallions and he’s a gelding.
“He’s out in the field now and is as happy as a sand boy.
He’s being roughed off and taking it well at the moment.
“He’s been a star. He’s got a good home and my daughter will look after him.”
Borderlescott won 14 of his 66 races and earned £775,000 in prize money. His last success came in the Beverley Bullet in September.
With Sedgefield and Wetherby forced to abandon due to the latest floods, attention turned to the all-weather circuit where Elaine Burke had a fine across-card treble on Wednesday.
The Middleham handler was first on the mark with Bay Laurel, who was having her first start to the yard and strikes as the type to remain competitive over the coming months.
Later in the evening there was better to come as, up in class, both Rivellino and Media Hype both came home in front.
With all the rain around it has been a challenging week for all the ground staff at Newcastle racecourse ahead of tomorrow’s Stan James Fighting Fifth Hurdle.
But their hard work has paid off as the meeting will go ahead but the ground will be very testing.
For that reason, last year’s Champion Hurdle winner Rocky On Ruby will not be running but, the highly-promising Cinders And Ashes makes his seasonal reappearance.
His trainer, Donald McCain has won the race for the last two years with Overturn and Peddlers Cross and Cinders And Ashes should make it three in a row for McCain.