10/1 selection MIDNIGHT SHADOW was a winning NAP for me on Saturday November 13th. I was delighted with that winner for members and especially pleased for my one time near neighbours, Sue and Harvey Smith.
Credit where it’s due for them sending Midnight Shadow all the way from High Eldwick near Bingley in West Yorkshire to Cheltenham. Not for the first time. It’s a track the horse likes and, as I am fond of saying, I always favour runners at Cheltenham and Aintree that have been to the tracks previously and either won or performed with credit. The fences on the Grand National course at Aintree, and the climb up the hill to the finishing line at Cheltenham, test the jumping ability and stamina of thoroughbreds.
Midnight Shadow raced well throughout what was a competitive and often gripping Paddy Power Handicap Chase. He idled when all on his own coming up that hill but stayed on well for victory.
I have known Harvey and Sue Smith for decades and I am a great admirer of how Sue has turned the operation at High Eldwick into an efficient, caring and successful business. I also appreciate her willingness to send thoroughbred racehorses the length and breadth of the UK to do what they are bred to do. Race.
Too often these days, some trainers avoid races. They find reasons not to enter their horses into a competitive event. Often feeble excuses. Whereas Sue Smith trains the horses to enjoy racing and believes that if you have to be in it to win it. That’s how and why Midnight Shadow came to win a big field race in good style.