There is still a buzz around Racing Club HQ a good few days after Wendigo made his racecourse debut at Worcester Racecourse last Thursday. The way he ran on through the line to finish 3rd has given us all a lot to look forward to over the coming months. Trainer Jamie Snowden was always very positive with his updates on Wendigo’s work at home but obviously it’s all about putting it in on the racecourse!
Wendigo had performed well in Point-to-Points in Ireland finishing with a solid victory at Taylorstown in his 3rd run and had settled in well since arriving at Jamie’s yard in Lambourn. He was entered in a couple of Bumpers (National Hunt Flat Races) last week but Jamie felt Worcester was the best option, being a flat, galloping track and the forecast ‘Good to Soft’ Going looking ideal for Wendigo.
When betting opened on Wednesday evening Wendigo was as big as 14/1 or 12/1 in places but was well found in the market, no doubt by our army of enthusiastic and faithful shareholders, and was sent off as 3/1 2nd Favourite. Gavin Sheehan was onboard and had Wendigo covered up towards the rear to help him relax and settle into things on his first proper racecourse experience. As the race developed Gavin was able to ease Wendigo through the field and had him right in contention a couple of furlongs out. The front 2 kicked clear in the last furlong but Wendigo ran on through the line full of running, just under 3 lengths back in 3rd.
Gavin was very pleased with the run and said ‘He went through the race lovely, very nice and a lovely way of racing. He was still learning on the job going around, we got a little bit tight for room but when we got the gap he went forward. Head down, he galloped all the way to the line, a lovely attitude and plenty of fun to be had. I think the right horses were up there and it was a good starting point for us.’
Trainer Jamie Snowden provided an update the day after the race ‘I am delighted to report that Wendigo trotted out sound and well this morning. He hasn’t got a mark on him, he ate up most of his supper and lost 18kgs, which is within normal limits for a racehorse. He has been out in the paddock for a pick of grass, and looks very well in himself. I thought his debut under rules was full of promise. He behaved beautifully, and held up in the field he switched off and travelled kindly through the race. Jockey Gavin Sheehan got a nice passage through the race and he looked to have every chance passing through the final set of wings, he just got a bit tired inside the final 100 yards, but stayed on nicely to be 3rd and beaten only 2 lengths.
He will undoubtedly improve for the run both mentally as well as physically and I look forward to finding him a suitable winning opportunity next time out. Gavin was very complimentary about him, and as that looked a competitive bumper it bodes well for the future.
We’ll give him an easy week now, let him splash in the river and get plenty of turn out in the paddock before we get him back into his canter routine.’
There is plenty to look forward to!
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