It was one of the most eventful days in Paul Henderson Racing's history on Saturday as the Medburns and their owners were out in force. We made our debut at Royal Ascot and then went on to make a splash at an unsuspecting evening meeting at Lingfield.
There was a quiet buzz around Ascot as we arrived with Medburn Cutler for the final day of Royal Ascot. As the people poured into the course, top hat and tails in tow and we built up the first race, the buzz soon turned into a roar of excitement. A day of hugely exciting racing ensued and we were spoiled by the fantastic hospitality as we waited with high excitement for Medburn Cutler's race.
Medburn Cutler was going in the final race of Royal Ascot, the Queen Alexandra Stakes. It was the last and longest race of the day at 2m5f. Picked in trap 1 he jumped off well under J F Egan and was well in touch up against a classy field, which included last year's Derby runner-up, US Army Ranger. Still well in the mix, as they came around the final bend Medburn's fitness showed through as he stayed on to gain a respectable top 10 finish.
There was little time to enjoy the moment for Paul though. As soon as the race was run and the horse had been checked over, it was time to hot hoof it out of the course to beat the crowds, who were now streaming out on mass, and start our own race over to Lingfield in time for our second runner of the day.
Medburn Dream was next up at Lingfield. Having made the trip in good time and checked in on the horse, it was time to ensure that the owners, who had made the trip from Ascot by helicopter with jockey Silvester De Sousa, were settling in ok. However, Eddie was nowhere to be seen.
It turned out that after jumping down from the helicopter Eddie, still in his full morning dress had had a desperate call from nature and, in the absence of any foliage for cover and in an effort to save his modesty from the onlooking crowds, had decided to relieve himself next to the Eden Brook river in the middle of the course. However, Eddie, a couple of vinos to the good, had slipped down the bank and ended up taking a dive into the water! The racecourse sent an ambulance to his aid, but other than being soaked through and minus his favourite top hat (which was floating down the river), Eddie emerged unscathed. After a quick shower at the course hotel, Eddie rejoined the racegoers in good spirits and a full Lingfield Racecourse tracksuit. Shortly afterwards his dry cleaning bill was covered as Silvester De Sousa jumped out well on Medburn Dream who controlled the race and came home to win in the same kind of outrageous fashion his owner was now displaying up in the grandstand.
So an exciting day all round: a debut runner at Royal Ascot, a first flat winner of the season at Lingfield and we are happy to report that all horses and owners made it home safe and sound!
Read more about Eddie's exploits in this Racing Post article!
Paul Henderson & Jane Patten