Our Neil Mulholland Race Club horse, Doing Fine, was the "winner" of last Saturday's void race at Sandown which has attracted plenty of comment since.
Unfortunately, there was a horrible incident heading towards home on the first circuit when Houblon Des Obeaux suffered a heart attack and collapsed. It was distressing to watch and obviously the horse medics were on the scene as soon as they could get there. Sadly the horse could not be saved and our deepest condolences are with Venetia Williams, the owners and all connected with the horse. These veteran chasers earn a lot of affection and his loss is very sad.
There was not much room between where Houblon Des Obeux was being treated and the running rail and a decision was taken to stop the race. There are apparently not as many flagmen on the course as you might expect there to be and the yellow "stop racing" flag was only shown as the field approached the same area on the final circuit. It would appear that the intention was for the jockeys to pull their mounts onto the hurdles course to pull up and one or two jockeys at the back did this, but the location of the flag led to confusion and most of the field carried on racing up the home straight where Doing Fine passed the winning post in front. After a stewards enquiry, the race was declared void, and hopefully, lessons will be learned from the incident in terms of getting races stopped more quickly and safely should anything similarly unfortunate happen in the future.
Obviously, the most sympathy is reserved for connection of Houblon Des Obeaux, but it was also hard not to feel for stable conditional Phil Donovan who lost a possible big race win and for the members of the Neil Mulholland Racing Club which owns Doing Fine.
Club members can at least look forward to the future with Doing Fine who has proven that he is very much capable of winning at this level and he should give members some pretty exciting days at the races in the coming months. Membership of the Neil Mulholland Racing Club is £150 per month including all costs and VAT and new members are welcome to join at any time. New horses will be added to the club as the membership grows with at least one horse in the club for every 12 club members. Members get badges when the club horses run, as well as stable visits, regular communications and a share of prize money. See the race club page on the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Doing Fine was entered at Cheltenham on 13th December, but is not ready to run again there. We are looking for a suitable race for him though and now would be a great time to get involved.
The horses are all running well right now, in the last couple of weeks, we have seen another win from the consistent Queens Magic at Huntingdon and another from Chirico Vallis at Ludlow as well as several close runners up.