Horse who used to ‘buck everyone off’ returns to winning ways following kissing spines diagnosis

  • Trainer Ray Owen’s tailored approach to his horses and team was rewarded with a golden double and a runner-up spot across the open races at the Lanarkshire & Renfrewshire and Eglinton point-to-point at Overton, South Lanarkshire.

    The established partnership of Immy Robinson and Thyne For Gold bagged their third win of the season as a combination – and second in as many weeks – with victory in the ladies’ open.

    “He used to hang quite badly. We did some investigating last summer and we found that he had kissing spine. So we had some treatment done. And now, what a different horse we’ve got,” said Ray, of The Tyrnog Racing Partnership’s 11-year-old gelding.

    “He’s won three races and been second twice this season against a very good horse – Dundrum Wood – from Tom Ellis’s yard. He’s very consistent. He’s just happy with life now. Immy and him are such a partnership, they just get on so well. Before, there was always a question about whether he would get three miles and if he’d go on soft ground. He’s done all that this season.”

    The Robin Des Pres son joined Ray’s yard three years ago. They turned him away for the first summer and when they brought him in that September, he was “bucking everyone off”.

    Ray worked to get to the bottom of what was going on, including enlisting the help of a Parelli specialist.

    “He was always quite quirky. Going down to the start, the jockey would have a job to hold him and we would have to put a hood on him to race. He had run some good races that season, but we thought ‘There’s something not right with this horse’,” Ray added.

    Further investigation led Ray to suspect he had kissing spine, which was confirmed on X-ray.

    “He is just totally different now. It’s all about experience and listening to horses,” he said. “There’s always a reason why horses ‘misbehave’ the way they do.”

    Stablemate Write It Down claimed the runner-up spot, with Sam Morrlle in the saddle. The yard’s success continued with Fred Timmis piloting Gold Time to men’s open glory, securing a “fairytale” quick-fire double for the Owen team.

    “The ground has come right for her. She’s obviously a spring horse,” he said. “We’ve always said she’s a dark horse, she’s always underrated.”

    Riders Natasha McKee, PJ Brown and Abby Robertson all scored their first wins.

    Natasha piloted her own Istimraar to a 15-length triumph in the conditions (level 2) 6yo&up, with PJ breaking her duck in the the maiden conditions on Tom Flynn for owner/trainer Julian Swinbank and Abby scoring on her 29th start in the maiden on her father’s Ardbruce.

    “He just loves a bit of sun on his back and he has just really come into himself the past few weeks. Last weekend, we were looking like we were going to run really well and he fell two out. So it was good to put that to the back of my mind,” said Abby.

    “He’s so straightforward and easy to do, but he’s very strong. So it’s taken a good few runs for me to get to know him for him to get to know me. The past two runs we have put him out in front and he just seems to absolutely love it.”

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