Once again the rain came down on Tuesday and I got soaked riding my two lots. Both lots went up the bank, the weather and wind especially wasn’t in the right direction to go round back of the hill. Area Access and Shockingtimes went up the ‘long’ which is a 1mile almost flat gallop as I want to keep them off a hill for part of their training during the week. It wasn’t a bad day seeing as I only managed to fall out with two people!
This morning we had Mark Grant and Peterjon Carberry in to ride work. Seventh Sky and Verano went well for them both. Airmens Friend, Low Gales and Who Owns Me worked well in a 3, Who Owns Me stayed on well. Plum Stone and Sands Cove absolutely flew up there, followed by Lord Of House having a blow.
2nd lot we were on back of the hill, Mr Big was under restraint from his jockey Miss P Holland this time and did a nice bit of work with Westbrooke. Dragon City and Portmonarch worked well, Portmonarch will have his first entry a week on Monday, he now really takes you up the gallop well. Dragon City is working very well but unfortunately I cant run him as I have not sold him. Sureness did a nice bit of work with Fine Parchment, FP seems to be back to himself. Area Access and Shockingtimes did a lovely gallop to get them striding out. It has also been a good morning as I have made up with the two people I fell out with yesterday!
Today we brought Victor Leudorum back in from his holidays, it is lovely to have him back as he is such a happy cheeky little chap to have around. Lord of House runs tomorrow at Taunton, he seems in good form, unlike most of my horses he has had a busy season and this will be his 8th and last run before the ground goes for him.
We worked quite a few horses on Saturday in the hope that the ground may dry up quite soon. Plum Stone worked very well and there is a nice bumper for her at Taunton on the 10th March on route to the mares bumper at Aintree. Verano worked well and there are some nice races coming up for him, he will most likely take up his Doncaster engagement on Friday in the boys race. Seventh Sky did his usual good bit up the bank and is on course for Newbury on Saturday. Sureness worked well and is settling well on the gallops and I will also enter her at Taunton on the 10th March in a Mares Juvenile Hurdle. Airmen’s Friend and Low Gales worked well together, Low Gales is a different horse in his new tongue bit from Equine Fitness. They have been entered up and will go for the best of the ground.
Portmonarch and Dragon City once again worked very well up back of the hill, they will just need the ground to dry out a fraction more before they are entered up. Lord Of House and Fine Parchment did a bit together, Lord Of House will take up his engagement at Taunton on Thursday if he continues to feel well at home.
I went to Chepstow with Tony Stapleton on Saturday to watch Almost Gemini run, he is a really nice horse who ran really well first time out over hurdles to finish 5th. The jockey said he will win next time out so he is one to follow. The horse lost 12 kilos which should mean he will come on quite a bit from the run and will improve.
I had a very good lunch at Merrick Francis’ house on Sunday, both him and Alex were on very good form and cooked a lovely lunch. His new house is situated just next to Brendan Powell’s yard but he was lucky to escape with just a flooded cellar and nothing more serious.
I rode Plum Stone this morning who was very fresh and 2nd lot I rode Murray Mount who is turning into a lovely bit horse. the win is strong in Lambourn so it wont be long before the grass gallops have dried out and we can get back on them.
We had a fairly dry day on Wednesday and worked horses 1st and 2nd lot. Portmonarch and Dragon City worked well together up the bank showing lots of speed. Airmens Friends and Low Gales worked together they are both very fresh and did a nice strong bit after not having worked for a couple of weeks. Sureness and Almost Gemini paired together and did a nice bit up the bank too. Plum Stone and Always Smiling also did a little bit together, they wont run for a bit and they don’t take much to get fit but they are so fresh I thought it might be good for them do to a little extra.
We had Edwyn Good down to watch 2nd lot and see his two horses Lord of House and Area Access. Lord of House led Verano, they are by the same sire and both very similar working well together up back of the hill. Area Access led Westbrooke and they did a nice bit together, staying on strongly up the hill. Mr Big did his own thing with Philippa Holland on board, taking Sean and Fine Parchment with them!
It was my son Williams Birthday so in the afternoon we went go-karting followed by pizza hut which rounded off the day nicely.
We had Mark Grant and Darryl Jacob in to school this morning, all the horses jumped really well. Verano and Almost Gemini were extremely good, jumping very quickly. Sureness jumped the big hurdles for the first time, the bigger the hurdle the better she is. Dragon City was very scopey. Low Gales also schooled for a change of scene. We had more rain this morning which is getting very boring.
On Friday morning I rode two lots getting absolutely socked in the process. Philippa Holland came in to school Mr Big under the guidence of Colin Brown, and seeing as she didn’t fall off it all went well! The storm picked up force through out the day and during the evening the winds had really picked up.
When I arrived on the yard on Saturday morning, I found an Irish lad trying to climb out of the tackroom loo window, I let him out with a screw driver which was a good job as the lad in question was Robbie Dunne so I would like to think that his achievement in winning the Grand National Trial at Haydock later that afternoon was in some way down to me!
The weather was so bad that morning we worked all the horses up my gallop, so not to go into the head wind up back of the hill. Almost Gemini worked well, covering lots of ground easily. Sureness worked well with Ben after trying to ditch him on the way down! Area Access again worked really well and is showing more since his little lay off than he did before. Shockingtimes is in very good order and went up the gallop well.
Seventh Sky ran at Wincanton that afternoon, he ran very well coming 3rd, he got tired just before the last hurdle. He will come on from that and will most likely run at Newbury a week on Saturday where he should be spot on.
I went to great dinner party for Simon Beccles’ 50th Birthday Party. That Marie kindly hosted, it was a very late affair!
Monday morning was a slightly drier affair and after riding out I went to Cheltenham racecourse to honour one of racings greats the late Terry Biddlecombe, in a special celebration of his life. The racing world turned out in force and it was a wonderful occasion with some brilliant tributes.
For the first time in quite a while I did not wet riding my two lots this morning, I rode Dragon City round the back of the hill, he is feeling so well I over took most of the string! Who Owns Me is back in full work now the little nick on his knee has heeled so it wont be long before he is back on the track, hopefully before the ground dries out. Always Smiling and Plum Stone are cantering away nicely showing all the right signs but being quite light mares I don’t want to do much with them before the ground comes right.
We had some TV crew come to the yard on Tuesday afternoon to look to see if it was suitable to use as one of the filming locations for a series called Glue. It is about a National Hunt Trainer who when trying to find new owners falls in love with a daughter of a foreign Prime Minister, they have asked me to play the lead part! Later that evening I was picked up by Tim Thompson-Jones to see Taylor Swift at the O2, I think the average age was about 13! But I am now a fan too and thanks to being introduced to iTunes on my new Ipad I can listen to her all day long!
Philippa Holland came in on Wednesday morning to ride work on Mr Big, as usual Mr Big took control in the piece of work . Almost Gemini did a nice piece of work, he goes really well. The other horse who also stood out was Dragon City, he was catching pigeons on the gallops! Airmens Friend and Low Gales are on very good form but as they do want decent ground so they have just been ticking along at home, it is very frustrating as there are a few races around for them right now. Shockingtimes worked well with Seventh Sky.
Mark Grant schooled Sureness this morning, she is complete natural and has bags of scope. She is big and athletic mare who will definitely jump a fence in time.
It is still raining here and the water levels are still rising. Lets hope it doesn’t get to the heights of 1947.