I rode Murray Mount on Monday morning and he was incredibly fresh and nearly bucked me off, but when you have been riding as long as I have you know where to sit when that happens! Later that afternoon Charlie Nugent who was a member of the Icy Fire Syndicate came to look around the horses at evening stables followed by supper at Mike Blanshards.
Noel Fehily came in to ride out on Tuesday morning. He sat on Elmore Back and I rode Portmonarch. Portmonarch will run tomorrow at Ffos Las in his first Hurdle race, as he is a nice horse I hope he runs his race. Almost Gemini also runs at Ffos Las tomorrow in a h’cap for the first time, he seems in good form at home. I plan to run Elmore Back, Airmens Friend and Westbrooke at Fontwell on Friday and we may send Area Access to Bangor. We have Gavin Sheehan riding Portmonarch for us tomorrow and he will be in first thing to school Seventh Sky over fences as well. He had a very good season last year and I thought he did exceptionally well to being champion conditional and losing his claim with 50 winners. I plan to put him on a few more of mine this season.
This morning Duke of Monmouth worked well this morning, he will run if we continue to get some more rain. Airmen’s Friend and Elmore Back went very nicely together and Seventh Sky flew up in his usual manner. We took 2nd lot horses up the back of this hill where Victor Leudorum stood out doing a very nice piece of work with Verano. Area Access and Western King also went well, both are picking up the bridle now and staying on till the top of the gallop.
Looking through some old photos yesterday I found a great picture from back in the day! Guess who these two jockeys are???
On Wednesday afternoon I took Jerry my cat to the vets at Faringdon to get his hair cut! Bearing in mind my hair costs me £10 a cut in Lambourn I was a little miffed when it cost me £200 for Jerry’s, I think it would have been cheaper going to Toni & Guy! (Although he did try and kill the nurse and had to be sedated!)
On Thursday morning we schooled 8 horses on the summer schooling ground that belongs to Cath Walwyn. They all jumped well with Elmore Back and Portmonarch being very quick over the hurdles and Seventh Sky jumped a fence for the first time, he really did go well so hopefully that is the making of him.
After schooling we had a routine Jockey Club inspection which is our first since being at Neardown, I think he was impressed by the facilities and everything seemed in order. I then went down for lunch with Sue Welch and had a look at her young stock, she had a lovely foal that I liked.
Yesterday I went to the Brightwells Cheltenham Sale, there were a lot of Irish p2p winners and horses with form. I nearly bought one but quite honestly I thought the prices were crazy. The top lot went for £300,000 and the average was £86,000. I think at this sale the only way to go is to be selling not buying as there is no value there. Hopefully DBS in May will be more fruitful as I do need some new horses. Who Owns Me ran at Chepstow in the evening but I think the races at Wetherby and Newbury had taken a toll on him as he never got into the race. He is a lovely little horse and deserves a holiday now.
We worked most of the horses this morning and as the season finishes today I am looking forward to running some nice novices next week that we have been waiting with so not to ruin their novice status for the 2014-2015 season. Elmore Back worked very well and Victor Leudorum has improved in fitness two fold. Verano has now done two pieces of work since his wind op so is almost ready and Almost Gemini worked very well up the bank which I think suits him better as its not as quick as back of the hill.
We had a very successful Lambourn Open Day on Friday, it was attended by a record breaking number of people which they say was over 12,000. The weather was very kind to us and plenty came to look round our yard. Lambourn residents and trainers were very happy that the day still attracted plenty of attention and for those of us against racing on Good Friday our attendance was better than that of Lingfield’s.
On Saturday we had some horses working up the back of the hill gallop, they all went well and had a good blow. Area Access ran at Newton Abbot, although he finished 3rd the ground was probably quick enough for him and he could do with maybe stepping up to 3m.
I took my daughter Tildie for a ride on her new horse called Sweeney, he is a lovely horse from Ireland. For lunch we had lovely big BBQ which included 8 children enjoying the nice weather. Willy Watson then hosted a very good drinks party in Upper Lambourn to celebrate the completion of their lovely house.
On Sunday we had a few people round for drinks and to see there horses, Paul Mott came to see Sureness who should by back on the track shortly after a wind op and Victor Leudorum who is almost ready for is first run this year. Kodie schooled Mr Big in preparation for the Old Berks Point-to-Point on the Monday.
I rode out 2 lots on Monday then drove Mr Big, Rose, Kodie, Sylvia and Lillie to Lockinge for the p2p. The ground was quick but had been eased up by all the rain on Sunday I decided that he could run. But whilst in the middle of a very good picnic lunch I heard a lot of banging from inside the box and when I looked inside I found Mr Big had got both his legs over the front partition of the horse box. After a struggle I managed to get him down but unfortunately he had bruised his off fore leg so we couldn’t run him. It was very bad luck for Kodie as it was going to be her very first ride.
Seventh Sky ran at Market Rasen on Monday, he came a disappointing 4th. We had put a hood on him for his last 2 runs and while it has had the affect of calming him down it has now sent him to sleep! We may now send him Novice chasing next week.
On Tuesday I rode out 3 lots. Later in the morning I went to see a friend of mine who is hospital in Swindon with a broken ankle. Poor Evelyn had broken his ankle in 2 places, smashing it up when walking passed my yard of Sunday evening walking his dogs. Hopefully he will be allowed out of hospital today.
We had a very good work morning today. Western King worked very well with Elmore Back who was absolutely flying. Victor Leudorum, Portmonarch and Verano worked very well in a 3 together. It was Veranos first bit back after his wind operation which seems to have been a big success from what I have seen so far. Almost Gemini led Westbrooke and they both went nicely. On The Bank Airmens Friend led Duke of Monmouth and Shockingtimes. Shockingtimes flew up the gallop. Who Owns Me led Latelo and although Who Owns Me doesn’t quite have the speed of Latelo they both worked well together. Most of these horses will run next week.
The best thing about this season is that it finishes on Saturday. It has been very frustrating because of the lack of horses and the dreadful weather we had. We are going to put that right and start buying horses at the end of this month to add to those that have won this season. We have got some nice novices to run next week with the likes of Elmore Back, Verano , Almost Gemini and an unraced horse for us called Portmonarch so hopefully they will get the ball rolling for next season. We plan to have a busy May as we need to get some winners on the board.
Area Access, Portmonarch and Seventh Sky all worked very well on Saturday morning, if I can get all three to win over the next 10 days I will be very happy. Victor Leudorum and Western King also showed that they are well on the way to their first run of the season as they worked nicely together on the back of the hill gallop.
We had a very quiet weekend with no runners but the sun came out so I enjoyed some gardening in preparation for the Lambourn Open Day.
On Monday morning I rode Elmore Back who is jumping out of his skin he is so well! Now the horses are all fit and well they only do one canter on a Monday however this does make for some very fresh horses when walking home. Most of the horses will then go twice up my gallop (the Bank) each morning for the rest of the week.
Yesterday Sands Cove ran at Kempton, he ran a very nice race finishing 2nd to a well h’capped horse who had just had a wind operation. He was only beaten by half a length, he really does deserve to win a race as he has been knocking on the door all season. We will hopefully run him again before he has a summer break.
As the good weather has continued we have been able to put the finishing preparations to the yard and with all the flower tubs pruned and watered and every inch of grass mowed we are right on schedule for the Lambourn Open Day on Good Friday. We hope to see you all there as it is a great day out with plenty to see. I should think Neardown will receive plenty of visitors as we are opposite the main car park! We will have refreshments for sale, bathroom facilities and a warm welcome to those who come and visit us.
On Thursday we schooled four horses up on the Mandown Gallops, the grass is now shut but we used the all weather schooling strip. Western King jumped superbly over fences and Portmonarch and Seventh Sky both jumped well over the hurdles. Kodie schooled Mr Big over fences ahead of their Point-to-Point debut.
Later that day we had Shockingtimes running at Ludlow, he jumped better but I ran him over the wrong trip on the better ground. He needs 3m not 2m 4f on the good ground. Hopefully it was a confidence boosting round and I will find a more suitable race next time.
This morning I rode Western King who absolutely flew up the gallops and I also rode Almost Gemini who feels on tremendous form.
We have no runners this weekend as the races don’t really suit but I plan to run a couple on Tuesday, Sands Cove at Kempton and Duke of Monmouth at Exeter however he might not get in but there is a cracking race for him at Newton Abbott on Saturday week so we might wait till then. Area Access will also head to Newton Abbott.
We are busy getting the yard tidied up for the Lambourn Open Day on Good Friday so it is all hands on deck with grass cutting, weed pulling and many other little jobs. The yard will be open from 8.30am till 1pm. More information on the day is available at http://www.lambourn.info/open-day/