Kayley Woollacott: I couldn’t believe Lalor was so far clear
The Betway ambassador reflects on a remarkable win in the Arkle Trial at Cheltenham on Sunday, and weighs up what might be next for her stable star.
I was a bundle of nerves on Sunday. I didn’t sleep very well on Saturday night and just felt sick all the way up to the race.
I even contemplated driving myself up to Cheltenham because I was in such a state, but I decided to come up in the horsebox with the guys.
Thankfully Lalor was a lot calmer than me. He’s always so chilled before a race, so I didn’t have any worries from that point of view.
I started watching the race in the stands but I couldn’t keep still, pacing about in the crowd, so I had to leave and go down onto the grass.
He was a little bit keen early, but his jumping looked pretty good to me. He dived at the second a little bit, but I was pleased with him and Dickie [Richard Johnson] got him nicely settled.
He was in a lovely position, although I thought he might get a bit outpaced coming to three out, but he winged that and came back straight on the bridle.
After the last I think I stopped watching it, I couldn’t really believe he was so far clear. We were obviously all thrilled with the performance.
It was a great moment for David and Bunty Staddon who have been such loyal supporters and it’s fantastic that they’ve got such a lovely horse.
We got back to the yard at about 18:30 and Bella was there to greet him. She said how fast he was on the telly! He ate up well and he’s absolutely fine.
He’s one of the most relaxed horses you could ever see, you wouldn’t know he’d done anything.
He’s A1 this morning, he’s been out for a pick of grass and a leg stretch. He’ll have a well-earned day off and then he’ll have an easy week. We’re not in a rush to get him out again.
In terms of a next race, there are a number of options but we’ll just take a step back and let things sink in. We’ll then speak with David and Bunty over the next couple of weeks and make a plan from there.
We know that he loves Aintree, but he’s now run two excellent races at Cheltenham. I see he’s nearly favourite for the Arkle [ in the latest horse racing betting] and obviously we’ll have to take a close look at that.
Dickie was really pleased with him. He said he’d improved from last year and strengthened up. He’s just a very exciting horse.
As I’ve said before, he was Richard’s favourite horse and it’s a great way to continue his legacy.
I’m incredibly grateful to all our supporters, we’ve had some lovely messages.
I’d like to thank my team who work so hard, particularly David, Fionn and Neil. It’s a real team effort and everyone was delighted in the local pub last night.
I got a call from my sister Steph shortly after the race who is out in Australia. She was up half the night but I think Lalor made it worthwhile.
The Kings Writ off to Chepstow
The Kings Writ, who we call Brian, is Lalor’s work partner and next door neighbour, so I’m hoping he’s given him a few words of advice!
He goes to Chepstow on Wednesday and we’re looking forward to running him in the handicap chase (15:20). It’s his first start of the season but he’s ready to go and hopefully he can run a nice race.
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