Firstly apologies for the lack of blogging this week, I have been at the sales since Monday. It has been a busy three days at Newmarket. I have bought four horses from Tattersalls and one from Mario Hofer in Germany.
I will put pictures and details of the new horses on the website shortly. One of the horses I bought is a gorgeous Galileo called Portmonarch from David Lanigans’, He is for John Heron who owns Seventh Sky. He will be gelded tomorrow as apparently he is a bit of boy!
The other four are very well bought, they are substantial types and look as though they will do a job.
I am on the way to Stratford where we have Who Owns Me running in his first Novice Chase, he jumps very well and the track should suit but it is a competitive race and he is high enough in the handicap. Area Access is running in his first race for us, he is a point to point winner in Ireland so this will be his first novice hurdle. He goes well at home and the ground should suit him, this race should give me more of an idea about him.
Mark Grant and James Davies came in to school 1st and 2d Lot this morning. We got most horses out jumping, Greyfriars Drummer, Airmens Friends and Low Gales all had their first pop since their injuries. I am pleased with the way Lord Of House, Duke Of Monmouth, Stoney Silence and Attimo all jumped as they all have entries next week. Elmore Back was particularly impressive, he is very quick and clever over hurdles which I hoped pleased one of his owners Bill Brindle who came in to watch him school.
On Wednesday we had Harry Bannister in to ride work on his 3 horses. They all worked well for him and look especially well.
Attimo worked well with Fine Parchment up Back of the Hill, he will get his first entry next week. The plan will be to head to Sandown with Fine Parchment in the first week of November. Who Owns Me and Duke Of Monmouth are coming on nicely, although neither of them are particularly speedy they both impress me with their workman like attitude and 100% effort.
Shockingtimes and Western King had a nice breeze up in preparation for their runs. We are getting close to running the majority of the winter jumpers now.
Thursday Noel and Mark came in to school. We schooled 6 horses and Mr Big lead as usual. They all jumped beautifully. Who Owns Me, Duke Of Monmouth and Lord Of House are jumping fences really well, and I am confident about their novice chasing debuts.
Yesterday I drove my 2 children to Southwell. On the way there we passed a Go Karting track, I told them that if we had a winner we would stop on the way back. Shockingtimes was given a confident ride by Mark Grant, and absolutely sluiced up. It is the first time we have had the horse right in two years due to a back operation for Kissing Spine last December. He rightly rewarded the patience of his owners as Simon Beccle won so much money on him that the Tote couldn’t pay him out all in one go!
We then drove home and stopped at the Go Karts, where I listened to Western King running at Ludlow. On the commentary he was quite well back and losing ground so I had my doubts but he stayed on and won in a flourish. It was a good day in the office which got better when I beat both my children on the Go Karting circuit, so you could count that as a Treble!
Lucinda Green stayed last night as she was riding out Sprinter Sacre this morning. Before she headed over to Hendersons I put her on Mr Big so she could she what a proper horse felt like to make her comparisons!
I have entered Who Owns Me in a Novice H’Cap Chase at Stratford on Thursday and also a new horse Area Access in the Maiden Hurdle.
Veronica Thorneloe came round on Friday afternoon. She liked the look of Sands Cove so much so that she has purchased a 1/4 share in him. Having won the Military Gold Cup for John and Veronica it is nice to have them into another horse.
We had a busy morning on Saturday. 1st lot worked on my gallop and they all seemed to work very well, especially Stoney Silence and Area Access. Area Access has sharpen up a lot, I will start to look for a nice National Hunt novice hurdle for him over 2m4f to 2m 5f.
Airmens Friend and Low Gales are coming on, they did a nice bit of work together. They are both still a bit behind the others due to us taking our time with them after their injuries last year, but they look very well and are catching up.
2nd lot went up Back of the Hill. Plum Stone worked really well with Always Smiling. It was Plum Stones very first piece of work, I was impressed with how nicely she went. Latelo and Lord of House worked nicely together. It was frustrating having to watch the racing on TV on Saturday and not be amongst the action, but the horses are coming on and we should start making some entries next week.
It was a good work day and I was happy with all the horses.
We took Western King to Kempton yesterday, only to see the heavens open and the going change so we bought him home again.
Planning the week ahead I am hoping to run Shockingtimes at Fontwell on Wednesday, Western King at Ludlow on Thursday and Victor Leudorum at Fakenham on Friday, but looking at the weather forecast I suspect the ground will have gone for WK and VL.
We had a schooling session this morning with 5 jockeys in, Noel Fehily, Mark Grant, Dave Crosse, Harry Bannister and Ben Ffrench-Davis. The first 5 schooled very well. Mr Big lead Lord of House and Shockingtimes and then Duke of Monmouth and Champagne N Caviar followed.
We then schooled 3 over hurdles, Mr Big lead Area Access followed by Attimo and Stoney Silence. All 3 jumped very well, they are improving each week.
Who Owns Me schooled over fences well, however he stumbled on landing but came away unscathed.
Always Smiling was lead by Western King over the hurdles, giving Western King a little jolly before his next run. The mare jumped well and wont take much more getting fit so I will look for a nice Mares Novice Hurdle for her shortly.
I am glad I did not run Shockingtimes today, I was unsure of running him over 3miles first time out and wanted to give one more school and another piece of work to get him ready so I decided to wait. Standing Ovation won the race very nicely so I think I made the right choice! He has a few entries next week, the most likely option looks to be Fontwell on Wednesday in the 2m 6f h’cap chase.
We started clipping horses on Tuesday. Anita is doing a very good job, she is quick and efficient and they all look very smart. It is nice to get their coats off as you can see that they are getting fitter.
Later on Tuesday we had John Francome round for supper, he was in very good form and it was a good old catch up.
This morning we worked a lot of horses. Lord of House worked with Fine Parchment up back of the hill, they both did a nice piece of work and are only a couple of weeks off a run. Lord Of House is a bigger horse again this year, he had a wind operation 6 weeks ago so I hope this will ease his breathing difficulties that became apparent at the end of last season. I took a look at the race program for Fine Parchment this morning and there looks to be a nice race at Sandown for him at the beginning of November.
Area Access showed me a bit more this morning when he worked with Greyfriars Drummer. He does seem very green but is getting stronger in himself and improving with it. Stoney Silence went well up back of the hill, the penny seemed to drop with him this morning, he was more focused and put in a good piece of work.
Champagne N Caviar did a nice bit of work up the bank, he is a big horse with a long stride. I am not sure how much he effort he ever puts in but is still improving in fitness and is where I want him at this stage.
The grass gallops up on Mandown have also now been opened, a few strings were out and about on the them today, it wont be long before we start going up the grass but I would prefer some more rain first!