Toby Coles’ diary: four runners in one day and a Golden Button

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  • After our mammoth 300yd move from Chestnut Tree Stables to Cedar Lodge, we began preparing for the weekend which has just passed. We had four runners on Friday, three of which were at Lingfield and one at Wolverhampton.

    On the Tuesday Main Beach decided he was going to add just a little stress to the mixture as he had developed a very small quarter crack on the inside of his off-fore in exactly the same place as the one on his other hoof. Thankfully, it had not gone the depth of the other and was easily patched.

    Coles Racing’s busiest day yet

    Friday morning was an early one as we set out on what was to be Coles Racing’s busiest day thus far. My landlady, Mrs O’Neill, and a part-time member of staff took Main Attraction, Batya and Cotton King to Lingfield where I was to join them an hour or two later. Thankfully, the traffic was not too bad and I got to Lingfield with plenty of time to spare. The owners of both Main Attraction and Batya were unable to make it but the long-standing Mrs Hamilton was there to watch her Cotton King, half-brother to her treasured mare Pivoting.

    The first to take to the racecourse was Main Attraction. This sizeable filly sprung to the lead under Ian Mongan and remained there until just over a furlong out. I was happy with the race she ran as she showed some good travelling speed and she will have come on well for it as it had been nearly three-quarters of a year since her last start.

    Batya, a German-owned filly, was the next to stick her head above the parapet in a mile handicap. The race was run at an extremely slow pace to begin with. With this in mind and the slight downhill finish, the sprint that the race turned into did not suit her in any way. She was beaten four lengths.

    Cotton King took his place in the mile and a half handicap, where he finished a pleasing fifth after a short lay-off.

    On to Wolverhampton

    After a quick goodbye to Mrs Hamilton and checking that all three runners had come through their bouts without any significant damage, I was on the road north to Wolverhampton, a journey that is not particularly nice on a quiet day, never mind on a Friday evening.

    I made it in just the nick of time to collect the saddle from an expectant Eddie Ahern who was to ride Main Beach in the mile maiden.

    Unfortunately, Main Beach and his giant bulk did not particularly appreciate being squashed into a starting stall. He had no malice about him, but took a little time to load, and unfortunately in the eyes of the starter was not up to standard and will, therefore, have to do a stalls test before he is to run again, something which nearly drove me to distraction! However, the rules are the rules and there is no point belly aching about them.

    Despite his lack of obedience in the starting stalls I was very pleased with the way he ran. He dwelt badly at the start, maybe not quite as badly as Zenyatta, but he would come a close second. Without a clear run into the straight he ran on strongly at the end finishing just four lengths from the winner carrying 22lbs more.

    Friday had been a trying day at the office as all four horses were just outside of a place, but they all ran with promise and with a little bit of luck we will have some exciting times coming up.

    Find out how Toby got on in the Golden Button Challenge

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