The Racegoers Club were here on Friday morning which kept us busy – they are the largest National racing club with 80,000 members. We sent three horses up to Doncaster as the ground was fairly decent up there. I went to Newbury to watch Cody Wyoming. We ran Victor Leudorum at Doncaster and he ran in snatches, finishing in the middle. He may be better going back over fences, but wants decent ground. Dragon City was very unlucky – if he had jumped the last, I think he would have won, but ended up being 3rd and was not beaten very far. Cody Wyoming disgraced himself again. We are going to send him off to try something different as we need to get his head sorted out. Baltic Storm ran a nice race and should have been 2nd, but it was a very slow pace and a muddling sort of race which didn’t suit. He should win his race, but he needs a decent gallop.
We had three red letter days from Liverpool on Saturday morning. I had to leave them in Katya’s hands as I had to leave for Doncaster races at 9am. We ran Some Kinda Lama in his first hurdle race; he ran a really nice race and will benefit from going a bit further. He will make a lovely chaser in time. We then ran Elmore Back in his first chase and as he had been off the track for a long time. he ran a really good race to finish 4th. He will come on a fair bit for his run and will be a lot easier to place now as he can run in handicaps, but again, he really should be winning soon.
Fine Parchment ran at Bangor on Saturday too. They went fairly quickly in very heavy ground. When the pressure was turned on, he slightly gave up and he only lost 4kgs, so he didn’t over exert himself.
We had a very good dinner in the Malt on Saturday night with Paul Mott and Jackie.
We ran a nice horse called Expedite at Leicester on Sunday. It was his first run over hurdles and I thought he ran a really nice race to finish 5th. He jumped very well and wants slightly better ground.
All in all it was a busy weekend. We ran quite a few horses last week and most of them were placed, so they are running well, but it would be very nice to get a few winners! It will be a quieter few days this week as a result, We are looking forward to possibly running Seventh Sky overt the National fences on Saturday as he is in the Grand Sefton. We are running a nice new horse tomorrow called Tango Unchained and if he copes with the ground, he should run well.
As it turned out, it was a good decision taking Baltic Storm out as the ground, as expected, rode very “dead” at Ludlow on Monday. To Begin ran a good race to finish 5th considering he hated the ground.
We had Denis O’Regan riding out on Tuesday and I had no secretary as Tess was on a first aid course all day. Tommy schooled Gowanauthat and he jumped very well. I went racing to Lingfield and picked up Tony Stapleton on route. We ran Maid of Milan in the bumper on the all weather, which as it turned out, was a mistake as it was far too quick for her, but I was very keen to get a run into her. Noel Fehily rode her and said that she is a very nice mare, so that was something.
We had some very nice people for breakfast on Wednesday. I went racing on my own to Fontwell, where I met up with Bryan Beacham. We ran a little horse in the first called Dukes Den who coped with the ground very well and ran a nice race to finish 4th. We also ran Gowanauthat in a chase with Tommy Dowling on board and I must say that he jumped very well for Tommy, but he slipped at the second last and ended up finishing 3rd. I picked up my son William on the way back and took him to The Malt Shovel for supper with Katya. We had a very good meal – they get very good fish in on a Wednesday.
We schooled this morning; Mark Grant came in. They all jumped very well.
We have a busy day tomorrow with three runners at Doncaster and one at Newbury. Victor Leudorum runs in a 3mile Handicap Hurdle race, Dragon City is in a 2m4f Novice Handicap Hurdle race and Baltic Storm runs in the Novice Hurdle. We then have Cody Wyoming trying to redeem himself at Newbury with Tommy Dowling on board. He has been a bit of a monkey in his last two runs and we have done a lot of different things with him in the past two weeks and are hopeful that he will be a lot more genuine tomorrow.
We schooled two lots on Thursday; Gavin Sheehan was in to help. Everything jumped well and we were all happy.
On Friday I did something that I haven’t done before; I sadly went to two funerals on the same day. I went to Uffington for Michael Hinchcliffe’s funeral, who was an ex trainer and racehorse transporter. I then popped into my house to watch My Anchor run a very nice race at Ascot, to finish 4th. He should get a handicap mark and we will be able to place him to win something off that run. I then went to Savernake Forest for Joan Buckingham’s funeral, who was John Hills’ mother in law. Will Stuart then came to stay the night.
We had a lot of jockeys in on Saturday morning, including Denis O’Regan, Mark Grant. We had 6 red letter days and they all seemed to enjoy themselves. I took Will racing to Ascot, where we had two runners; Ephraim & Seventh Sky. Ephraim ran a really nice race in finishing 3rd, but I wish he had been ridden a lot handier than he was, as he won his Group 3 on the flat making all the running. We had lunch with David Fox, George Bromfield and his father. David was happy enough with the run. Ascot do a very good job, by giving you a very good lunch and as much wine as you can drink. I think more racecourses should follow suit! We then ran Seventh Sky in a very hot race and we were only really there to pick up some prize money. He was a fast finishing 4th and was unlucky not to get 3rd. It is frustrating having to run him in these big races to nick prize money, but there are literally no other races for him off his handicap mark. He is still in The Hennessy, but he will probably go to Aintree next. There was some good racing elsewhere and I thought Cue Card was very impressive.
I was driven down to Exeter on Sunday by Paul Mott in his very smart Porsche. I do think it is a question of time before he starts getting some speeding points, especially as his car stands out! We watched Airpur Desbois, who we thought was going to bolt up on the bend, but he just did not get home in the ground and ended up finishing 4th. He is a little bit weak, but is a very honest horse and he will win his races. We got back in record time and the horse is fine today.
We were meant to have two runners at Ludlow today, but I have taken Baltic Storm out of the first race at Ludlow today as it will ride like dead ground and won’t suit. We will let To Begin take his chance as he might be able to handle the ground that bit better.
We had a good frost last night and it was very cold this morning.
We managed to refurbish accommodation for four of my lads, and they all moved in today. It all looks very smart and I hope they will keep it that way!!
We had a big storm on Monday – they are calling it hurricane Barney. We’ve had a lot of rain, which has stopped us running quite a few horses as they all need better ground, and it is now getting a bit frustrating!
We are taking two horses to Warwick today in the hope that the ground is OK, but I fear it may be on the dead side. We have Murray Mount in the handicap hurdle and a nice mare called Maid of Milan who is having her first run for us over here. I will see what the jockeys say about the ground after the first race before committing to running her. Maid of Milan is one of “The Neardowners” syndicate horses, of which there are still shares available!!
We have plenty of entries over the weekend; Seventh Sky might go to Ascot, along with Ephraim.
Hopefully this weather will dry up a bit and we can have some runners!
We worked some horses up the back of the hill this morning. Le Legro worked well and Dukes Den went nicely too. Ephraim and Baltic Storm did a nice bit of work together, and Expedite and My Anchor also travelled really well.
On Friday my sister Caroline and brother in law Mark came to stay as they were doing three days at Cheltenhams’ Paddy Power meeting.
David Lambert and two friends dropped in for breakfast on Saturday – they watched his horses on the gallops on their way to Cheltenham.
John Davies picked us up in a bus to take us to Cheltenham, where he had a box and we had a very good day! We watched Cody Wyoming up at Wetherby – he behaved like a pig and decided that he didn’t want to try… It’s all in his head as he is in great form physically, so we need to try and get him back to his chirpy self.
We picked up my daughter Tildie on the way back from Cheltenham – we then had a very good dinner at The Malt Shovel.
On Sunday morning I had to take Dragon City out of his race at Fontwell because the ground had gone soft.
Iffy then drove us to the races, where Mark had laid on a surprise party for Caroline, in a very smart box, with all her friends there. It was a great success and everyone enjoyed it immensely! It was great to see Sprinter Sacre back on track and it must have been very satisfying for Nicky Henderson and his team. There was good racing over the three days and we saw some very good performances.