DANCINGINTHEWOODS, aka “Woody”, had his first canter back this morning after his three month winter break and he was in good form.
It was a bitterly cold day at Harper Lodge Farm but that didn’t seem to worry the 4yo gelding, who looked full of beans as threw in the odd playful buck on the gallops, keeping jockey, Sophie Ralston on her toes!
Physically, he’ll never be a big horse but he has grown a little taller over the winter and Dean Ivory remarked that he looks longer in the back which he was pleased to see.
Last year, things never really panned out for Woody, who started the season off a mark of 80 and finished the season on the same mark. He was arguably a tad unlucky not to win at Newmarket in August, when touched off a neck by Broughton’s Gold after coming with what looked like a winning late run down the outside.
However, the form of his 2yo season, when he started off by winning at Headquarters on his debut at 50/1, has worked out well. Not only did that race throw up 11 individual winners but on the horse’s second outing, he was beaten by none other than the great Pinatubo. His third run saw him come runner-up to Mark Johnston’s Thunderous, who subsequently won the Group Two Dante Stakes and finished the year rated 112.
Woody has always run well fresh and he’s not a horse who takes a lot of getting ready, so although he’s not done any proper work yet, the plan is to get him ready for the start of the turf season, which opens at Doncaster towards the end of March.
Hopefully, this lightly-raced son of Garswood can regain the winning thread as a 4yo and give his owners, Solario Racing (Ashridge) plenty to shout about!