Tim Stockdale is hoping to get Fresh Direct Parcival "back up to speed" when he rides the grey in two competitions at the Royal Windsor Horse Show this week. The horse was listless and off his feed last month in Sheffield, where it was originally thought that he had picked up a virus. Instead he was found to have a neck injury which, because of the height of the manger, made eating painful.
"He stayed in the back of his stable and went very dull, which is not like him at all," Stockdale said. "Usually he bucks and squeals around the box." Having jumped two good clear rounds on the grey at Newark last weekend, Stockdale is looking for further encouragement at Windsor as Parcival is due to leave for Italy on Sunday in order to jump at next week's Super League show in Rome.
Michael Whitaker is just back from the first Super League show at La Baule where he was best of the British team that finished in third place on Sunday, having incurred just one time fault in each of his two rounds over a huge course on Handel II. He will have 10 horses at Windsor, among them Abrisca with whom he won the Grand Prix at Leicester 10 days ago, and the useful nine-year-old chestnut Haddon House Carlson. Most of his other mounts belong in the young, up-and-coming bracket.