Cross country day at Le Lion is always one with huge atmosphere and truly unbelievable crowds which flock onto the racecourse venue from early doors. For many of the horses, especially those who missed out on the 6 year old class, it is their first sight of big groups of people surrounding each and every fence and lining much of the route. It is all part of the invaluable learning curve but it’s a bit unnerving when your horse spooks his way from 1 to 2 before bombing up the hill!
Tim set off with enough pace on Happy Boy to ensure concentration from the off as Happy can sharp enough when his mind is allowed to wander! Happy looked the total and utter pro today as he answered every question under a superb ride from Tim and visibly enjoyed his biggest challenge to date. The ground was much better out on track than it was in the main arena and the horses all seemed to relish it.
Happy was faultless and crossed the line easily within time and looking as bright as a button. He moved up 8 places to sit inside the top 10 in 8th and within a rail of the lead which is a huge achievement and all credit to them both. The amount of mileage gained in jumping a track like that is something that will be one of the foundation stones of Happy’s career and his future is looking very bright right now.
The crowds looked as interested as ever but it does look cold and wet out there! I am sure Tim is hoping that as he heads South on Monday for Pau that it will warm up a bit!