Just before lunch on Saturday I took John Hills down for a quick drink and a go at the Scoop 6, which now seems to be part of our weekly routine! John is not to good right now but he is enjoying getting out a bit to see a few people.
On Saturday Seventh Sky ran at Bangor in a Novice Chase, he made the running until the odds on favourite took him on at the 2nd last and then rather gave up to finish 3rd. For a well bred flat horse he does jump fences very well.
On Sunday I went to Stratford to watch Area Access run, lucky he won with Harry Bannister on board. it put Harry at the top of the Amateur Jockeys Championship with only two weeks left. We are going to try and find Harry some rides to get him another winner. Area Access enjoyed the step up in trip and won with a bit still left in the tank.
I rode Sureness and Gallox Bridge this morning who were nice and fresh on a Monday morning. Tomorrow I will head off to DBS with a few orders to buy horses, I am looking forward to seeing what the sales has to offer and have already marked a few possible horses in the catalogue.
Tuesday morning started with a change of preceding’s as my secretary was unable to ride out as she strained her neck, after a re shuffle of the board I rode Portmonarch and Almost Gemini who seemed well in themselves. I then had to man the office for the rest of the day which I found an absolute breeze so I am now reviewing the situation and may take up full time accounting!
We then sent a box to Tim Vaughan’s to pick up Gallox Bridge who I previously trained to win his only bumper start. He has been given back to his breeder and we may give him a couple of runs before deciding how to proceed with him.
On Wednesday morning I took Latelo and Verano to Compton to work them on the grass, they both did a very good bit which I hope has brought them on more ahead of their runs next week. Almost Gemini, Portmonarch, Sureness and Western King stayed at home but did a nice bit of work up the back of the hill. They will all be out again shortly. I have entered Sureness back over hurdles in a mares race on Thursday, I am hoping with the quicker ground she will stay out the trip better.
The horses had a quieter morning on Thursday as they have done quite a bit of fast work recently. I then head off to The Royal Windsor Horse Show to meet an owner Sue Welch to watch her show jumper in one of the big international classes. It was a very enjoyable day with plenty of familiar faces and a good chance to watch another equine discipline.
All the horses did two strong canters up the bank on Friday morning, they all look fresh and well. I declared Seventh Sky at Bangor in the Novice Chase, he has Grumeti to beat but he has the advantage of having jumped a fence compared to the rest of the field so I thought it was a better race than the h’cap at Uttoxeter. I also declared Area Access in the 3m 3f hurdle at Stratford on Sunday, Harry has now slipped to a point behind in the Amateur Jockeys Championship so I am hoping I have picked the right race for another win for both horse and Jockey.
This morning I worked two lots up back of the hill. Sureness worked very well with Western King and Elmore Back worked well with Portmonarch, Elmore Back led but idled slightly in front so next time I will have him in behind but it was good for Portmonarch to be made to do some work as he can be quite stuffy. Latelo had a good pipe opener with Verano.
I have mowed the lawn am looking forward to a nice weekend of watching our horses run as well as some high class racing at Newbury, surely to be followed a few glass of pimms whilst the sun is out!
We have sent quite a few of our horses on holiday now, a few have gone home to their owners and the rest to our grassing at Colin Tinklers. I expect once a few more have had a run each then they will go out in the next couple of weeks and we will be left with about 5 or 6 in over the summer months.
Harry Bannister came in to ride work on Saturday, unfortunately for him Mr S Crawford dead heated in a bumper the previous day which meant he has now joined Harry at the top of the leader board for the Amateur Title so we must try and find him another winner before it finishes in 2 weeks time.
Verano worked well on Saturday morning with Latelo, both are not far off a run. Murray Mount worked with Sureness and both have improved in fitness over the last week. Seventh Sky made Almost Gemini keep up to the task in a nice bit of work for them both. Seventh Sky is fit and is being kept ticking over ahead of finding another run over fences for him. Western King did a nice strong canter as did Area Access. Later on Saturday I tried to win the scoop 6 with John Hills in the Malt Shovel but our luck seemed to be out when we were knocked out in the first race!
I was given two tickets for the Chelsea flower show on Saturday evening at a very good dinner party but I am unable to go as it is the first day of Doncaster sales, I was bitterly disappointed as it is a great spectacle but they got passed on like hot cakes so someone else will enjoy them!
On Sunday I went to Ludlow where I ran Sands Cove in a very competitive h’cap chase, the ground was fast and they went very quick for him enabling him to get into the race, Sam Twiston-Davies pulled him up to save him for another day. He has had a long season and it may have been one to many for him but he went into the race well and we will see how he is at the end of the week with a view to run him one more time or for him to go on holiday.
Victor Leudorum ran in his first race of the season in a h’cap hurdle at Plumpton, Ben French Davis took the ride on him. He didn’t run to badly being beaten by 20 length to 5th, he needed the race and will definitely come on for it. I was happy with the run and as usual he jumped very well.
This morning I rode out Portmonarch and Almost Gemini, they both felt on good form. I hope to run Portmonarch on some softer ground soon and Almost Gemini will make an appearance in a couple of weeks.
We schooled 4 horses on the grass last Thursday with Noel Fehily who schooled Verano and Seventh Sky and report that he liked the pair of them. Western King and Portmonarch also had a pop before their runs. Later on Thursday afternoon the bank manager gave the go ahead for the building work in transforming the old hostel in to some luxury accommodation. Which is just as well as the building actually started 5 days before hand!
On Friday morning I rode 2 lots and then had a nice lunch with Andy Stone and his daughters before we went to Fontwell to watch Elmore Back. He ran a credible 4th beaten only 2 lengths, the ground may have been a little quick for him and he came back a little jarred up. He is now cantering again and having some physio and will be out again one more time before his summer break. We ran Westerbrooke in the last race and Ben Ffrench Davis had his first ride for us, he is a very gross horse and we are finding it impossible to get him fit at home alone. He is gradually losing his tummy and has shown he has an engine at home so we will try and tighten him up as best we can. At Bangor Area Access ran a good race to finish 2nd to a very well h’capped horse of Jonjo’s.
I took Andy and the girls up the gallops on Saturday and then went to Uttoxeter for our three runners. Seventh Sky ran and jumped ell in his first Novice Chase coming 2nd to a decent horse of Nicky Hendersons. Almost Gemini was very disappointing but we have subsequently found he had struck into himself very badly and lost a shoe which would have been enough to stop him. Airmens Friend finished 6th, we had hoped for better as he is very well h’capped but we have decided to pull up stumps with him as he is not letting himself down after a leg injury 18 months ago.
It was no let up on Sunday with 4 horses to get out for a canter a pop ahead of running on Monday and then I had 15 people round for lunch.
On Monday I rode out Verano and over took most of the string as he was in such good order! I then went to Kempton to watch 2, Portmonarch went okay but the ground was to quick and he needs a step up in trip, Noel thought he was a nice horse. Western King ran okay for his first run back, they broke the track record being a very fast run race which wasn’t ideal for him. Duke of Monmouth finished 5th at Ffos Las and will now go on holiday.
Noel rode out on Tuesday and did a strong canter on Verano who he thinks will be ready after a few more bits and would stand a good chance of a win next time out. I then quickly got in a car with Willie Muir and drove up to Wogan Abbey to play in the Tattersalls golf tournament, I have long suspected that golf isn’t the game for me and after confirmation yesterday if any one wants to buy a set of clubs I have some for sale!. At least I came back in one piece unlike poor Noel who had two falls and has fractured an eye socket and check bone, I wish him well and hope he wont be out for to long.
Verano worked nicely this morning with Latelo and Victor Leudorum. Sureness did a bit with Murray Mount, she has really settled and sounds much improved after her wind op. Murray Mount was fresh but is still green. Sands Cove worked on his own and did slightly more than normal in preparation to run on Sunday.