The hunt is on

On Wednesday Superb Story arrived from France. He is  a nice looking horse with a strong head. He has decent form on the flat so we will get him schooled and see what he can do over hurdles.
We went to Warwick with Attimo for his first novice chase on Wednesday. It was a very hot race won by Ptit Zig, he jumped very well but wants a slightly further trip than 2m. Noel liked him and after he stayed on his handicap mark today he should win a nice race soon.
We schooled few horses on Thursday morning, Noel and Gavin were in as usual. We got the two young horses Libeccio and Native Explorer going well over the proper sized hurdles and this time Portmonarch did not cause any trouble! This week I see they have put the Aintree national fences up on the schooling ground so Cedre Bleu will have a pop over these.
We ran Bridal Suite at Wincanton on Thursday, surprisingly after all this rain I think the ground was too quick for him, Tommy reported that he did not go as well as his first run and would want it softer. he does seem to cope with racing well so we should be able to get him out whilst we still have the ground for him.
I rode out for the first time in a month on Friday, I have to say I quite enjoyed it! I then went racing to Ascot to watch Nimbus Gale run. We were all very pleased with his run, he was a fast finishing sixth in a very hot contest and a cheap buy compared to the other horses a head of him who were all bought for over 80k, one was worth 300k! He will improve for the run and looked as though he should be winning quite soon.
We have had a lot of rain on the gallops and at times it is proving difficult to be dry! It is a bit frustrating as I have a couple of horses I would like to start off but I would not want them to go out in heavy ground on their first run.
We had no runners on Saturday so I took the chance to go hunting with the Old Berks on Katyas horse JP. He pulled my arms out, I am surprised I wasn’t stiffer than I was when I got home! Unfortunately we did not jump much but he was very good over what we did.
We had Veranos wind done on Thurdsay, he had a tie forward which should help him enormously. I picked him up on Sunday morning, he will have a bit more time in his box recuperating but I hope it wont take to long to get him back on the track. He is a decent horse and I think a lot of him.
On Monday I rode two lots, it was a lovely frosty morning with a clear blue sky. My first lot was the new horse Gowanauthat, the lads had reported that they like him a lot so I was interested to feel for myself. I found him very nice, forward and a good mover with a bit of spark about him.
Today we woke up to a frost again but shortly followed by rain, it hasn’t been the nicest days but it has been business as usual. Second lot had a spin around the grass ‘home’ gallop. Nimbus Gale managed to go from last to first pretty quickly so he is none the worst for his run last week! Native Explorer is taking it all in her stride and Portmonarch is moving well and really bouncing. He has a few entries and although he does want some cut in the ground heavy going will not suit so he will run where the ground is the best.
Cody Wyoming has entries across the board this weekend, he will run where it cuts up the best. He is on great form at home and will handle this ground.  Seventh Sky has a few options, the Grade Two at Newbury on Saturday could be a small field but he would not be on terms with the Nicholls horse so he might have to go elsewhere.
Tomorrow is our work morning so I pair up the horses that are most suited to one another and they will go upsides in pairs at a faster gallop which gets a good blow into them to increase their fitness. Those that ran at the end of last week will only do a half speed but there is still plenty to be getting on with.
Paddy Power

Paddy Power

We worked horses on the grass last Wednesday but we have not been allowed on it since as it has been ‘too wet’, the Jockey Club don’t like us using the grass when we have had so much rain! I was happy with how all the horses went.

Cedre Bleu left, Attimo  on the right

Noel Fehily and Gavin Sheehan came in to school on Thursday morning, while we were changing the jockeys around my new assistant Foxy got double barrelled by a horse and was lying flat out on the ground. Luckily he was alright bar the hoof imprint on his face and we managed to catch both horses before they got to the bottom of the gallops. So I didn’t get to see many school but I have heard from the jockeys that Attimo jumped very well over a fence and the young horses were good over the baby hurdles for the first time.
 I drove Noel Fehily to Ludlow at midday, Noel was riding Murray Mount in the bumper and Daryl Jacob on Cody Wyoming in the handicap chase. Cody made all the running again, the only mistake he made was at the 3rd last leaving him demoted to second place. I thought he ran a very nice race and we are all very pleased with him. There are more spaces available in the ‘Charlie Mann Racing Club’ that leases Cody so please get in touch if you are interested in membership. Murray Mount is a lovely horse that we ran in the bumper. He ran a very good race in ground that was a little soft for him, he finished 6th but a long way clear of the chasing pack. Noel really liked him and I think he will make into a lovely horse.
On Friday it poured down with rain in the morning and we all got soaked. I drove Tony Stapleton racing and had a lovely lunch with all of Lambros owners at Cheltenham. He ran in the Cross Country race but he definitely does not stay the trip, this will rule out the cross country  races for him in the future so we will go back to the drawing board to find a suitable race for him. He jumps and tries so hard he will be sure to pick up a race.
On Saturday morning we once again had a house full for a lovely breakfast cooked by Katya. Everyone headed to Cheltenham for our two runners and another lovely lunch with all the owners. Verano ran in the first race of the day a handicap hurdle. I thought he was well handicapped and on the basis he settled more than at Ascot he could be in the frame. Unfortunately I could tell straight away there was something up as he faded quickly along the back straight. He will have an over ground scope tomorrow so I will know more then.
Cedre Bleu ran a cracking race in the Paddy Power, he was travelling really well two out making us all miss a heart beat! However a slight mistake at the penultimate he used it as a bit of an excuse not go with the leading horses. He is a frustrating horse but very talented all the same. He will have his day soon and has been entered over the National fences in December.


Cedre Bleu two fences from home.
On Sunday I went to Fontwell, Champagne N Caviar entered in his first chase ridden by Harry Bannister and Lord of House in the Salmon Spray hurdle. Although Champagne N Caviar clobbered a few fences he ran a very sound race to finish 2nd. On the back of this he should be able to win a race or two. Lord Of House had his forst run in a while, he was a well beaten 4th but he will come on for the run. The aim is to get him back over fences.
I ran a new horse called Miller Of Glanmire at Plumpton yesterday, he finished 4th but I ran him over the wrong distance especially in the heavy ground. He wants dropping back in trip. He was ridden by my new conditional Tommy Dowling.
I managed to buy a new horse at Arqana Sales yesterday called Superb Story, he is a 3yo who has won on the flat for Johnathan Pease. There was a bit of English jumps interest for him and having done some research on him previous to the sales I think he will do the job. He has been bought for Tony Holt and John Robinson who are members of the Hennessy Five Partnership.
It has been a long week and although I was hoping a winner may emerge from the talented bunch that ran I am sure they all will, we did at least have five best turned out prizes that keeps Iffy in bread and milk and shows what a good job the staff do in getting them looking fit and well and most importantly all the horses have come home safe and sound.

Grass is the name of the game!

I drove up to Doncaster Sales on Tuesday and sold Almost Gemini as he had not progressed how I had hoped. I had a look at the horses offered for sale and thought that there was a lot better value compared to the week before at Tattersalls. I bought a nice horse called Gowanauthat (Ire), he won a point-to-point in Ireland at the beginning of October in the fastest time of the day. He is a good looking type who I hope will have a career under rules.
We worked a few horses on Wednesday, Verano and Lord of House went well together as did Portmonarch and Nimbus Gale. I then went racing to Chepstow to watch Bridal Suite. I gave my new conditional Thomas Dowling the ride, they both got on very well and finished 6th.
On Thursday we schooled 3 lots with Noel Fehily, Gavin Sheehan and Harry Bannister as well as Tommy and Johnny. Among them we schooled Lord of House, Champagne N Caviar, Attimo and Big Jer over fences. Nimbus Gale and Portmonarch also schooled well over hurdles. 3rd lot we schooled some babies over the barrels for the first time in the arena. As you can see from the videos posted they both jump well.
On Thursday night I went to Cath Walwyns 86th birthday party, it was nice to congratulate Austin Powers aka Jamie Osborne on Toast of New York success at the Breeders Cup, it is great for the sport to have such a good English runner and also great promotion for Lambourn’s gallops.
We went up the grass gallops on Friday morning, the horses thoroughly enjoyed it. On Saturday we also worked the horses on the grass on the back of the hill gallop. Lots of owners came in to watch so it was a rather jolly morning and katya cooked a lovely breakfast for us all. Cedre Bleu worked very well with Attimo. Lambro loved going up the grass and went very well on the bridal all the way to the top. No Bad News impressed with his first bit of work on the grass, he is a lovely young horse with a great attitude. Miller of Glanmire showed a nice turn of foot and looks as though he is now ready to run.
We took Murray Mount out of the Wincaton bumper on Saturday. Having driven to the races with his owner we watched a few races and decided the ground looked a little to soft for him and we would wait for another day.
On Sunday I drove all the way to Market Rasen with Tony Stapleton, I was hoping we would have at least one winner but it was not to be. We ran Seventh Sky in a novice handicap chase, the ground was very soft and although he jumped very well he just did not get home on that ground. Sands Cove ran in the 2m handicap chase, he never featured and didn’t jump very well which is most unlike him. He came back in lame with a suspected pulled muscle. It was a long drive home.  Sands Cove seems none the worst today but he will see the chiropractor at evening stables who should set straight anything that’s amiss.
We were on the grass again on Monday, all the horses were very fresh, Kryrl on Lord Of House has arms two inches longer now!
I have been trying to find horses for sale in various different countries for the passed couple of weeks. Nothing has taken my eye so far as there is no real value or the horses are just not good enough, I will be going to Brightwells on Friday so hopefully my luck will change.
I took Lambro to Cheltenham this morning, Mark Grant rode him over parts of the cross country course to give him a look at the fences He jumped beautifully and might well take his chance in the Cross Country race on Friday. He has come out of the Pardubice bouncing and although we didn’t have to school him as he was already qualified on the back of his Czech run I thought it would be a nice confidence boost and its is always worth taking a look at the fences.
Cody Wyoming should go to Ludlow on Thursday and possibly Murray Mount. Verano and Cedre Bleu have entries at Cheltenham on Saturday and although they have entries else where this is the preferred option at this stage. Lord of House could run in the Salmon Spray on Sunday and  Miller of Glanmire has been entered at Plumpton on Monday. Nimbus Gale, Attimo and Champagne N Caviar all have various entries.
Videos of todays schooling with 2 babies

Videos of todays schooling with 2 babies

We schooled Libeccio and Native Explorer over some barrels in the school this morning. It was their first time jumping. I was very impressed with them both. The filly Native Explorer (2nd) is jumping bred which showed in her natural technique.

Lessons learnt

Lessons learnt

I hit terrible traffic on the way up to Wetherby on Friday that I only just made it in time to see Cedre Bleu. Unfortunately I got the tactics completely wrong, we tried to make the running with him which was a great pity as it was a fairly soft race which he was more than capable of winning. I suppose we did learn that we cant make the running with him and that he does need the blinkers!
On Saturday we worked most of the horses. Portmonarch is going better now he is strengthening up. Miller of Glanmire worked well, the conditional jockey schooled him on Thursday and told me how impressed he was with his jumping. Lord of House worked nicely but just needs the rain. Murray Mount worked very well, he is ready to run in a bumper and showed that he might be capable of winning one. Royal Redemption worked well, he was hard to pull up at the top so I should think he will stay all day.
The two young horses No Bad News and the Brian Boru did two half speed canters, they both impressed me. No Bad News is a year older and for this a stronger horse, he wont take to much to get ready.
We went to Ascot on Saturday and had a nice lunch with the Kempners in their box. I ran Verano in a very hot handicap hurdle, he ran too keen but considering this he didn’t disgrace himself. I think I could have found an easier race for him fors time out. He jumped a little left again so I will definatly look to run him left handed and he should be a lot better for it next time out.
I have a couple of entries this week, Bridal Suite should run at Chepstow on Wednesday if he gets in and Murray Mount will run where the ground is best. When the entries come out for the weekend I will have a  better idea of what the weekends runners may look like.