Part Time Racing Secretary Required

We are looking for a part time secretary 5/6 mornings a week to join our team. There is also the opportunity to ride out.

Previous experience in the role is beneficial but not essential. Knowledge of Microsoft office, sage, invoicing and Weatherbys paper work is also an advantage.

Please email CV to or call 01488 73118 for more information.

21 and counting

21 and counting

Judith Hurst a member of the Tangledupinblue syndicate that own Cedre Bleu came to stay on Tuesday night, we had a very good dinner which I think she enjoyed. On Wednesday morning I took her up to the gallops to see the horses in action. A few horses worked, including Nimbus Gale and Bridal Suite who both went well. No Bad News and Native Explorer also did a bit. Jamie Snowden then drove me to Warwick for the NTF Jumps Racing Committee meeting. We tried to put the world to rights and mainly discussed handicapping and various races in the program book.
We schooled three horses on Thursday with Gavin Sheehan and Tommy. We got Murray Mount jumping very well for only his second school.

On Friday morning we watched the eclipse but I thought it was a bit of an anti climax and didn’t really understand what the fuss was about! It was about the first time I have had BBC news on the office television in the morning and not the racing replays! The Jockey Club came to see me later on during the day to discuss the future of my gallop, it went well but I am sure there will be more discussions to come. The Jockey Club have done a wonderful job in Lambourn and the gallops are absolutely first class. The results are definitely coming and with all the ideas they are having and improvements they are making I am sure there will be plenty more to come.
We had two Red Letter Days on Saturday, Ray and David Lambert. We had a lovely morning on the gallops, they must have enjoyed watching the horses work as David has bought into the Steeplechasers Partnership and Ray is becoming a member of the CMRC. I offered them a day at the at Newbury races but they chose to go and watch Charlton ‘v’ Reading which was probably a good move as Charlton won 3-2.
I had a good lunch at Newbury with David Fox, Terry Simmons, Tony Holt and John Robinson. We ran Libeccio in the competitive juvenile handicap, although he only finished eighth he ran well. They went too quick for him and he looks to want further. No Bad News ran in the valuable DBS bumper. He travelled very well but lost his action coming into the straight, he came back very lame. I hope it is just because he banged a splint as he seems far better today.
Native Explorer ran third at Stratford, I think the track and the trip were a bit sharp for her, ideally she needs a bit further. Bridal Suite managed to win at Fontwell making it twenty one wins for the season. Tommy Dowling gave him a good ride. He idled quite a lot throughout but as soon as he got some day light he took off, but may well need some sheepskins to help him travel a bit better in the future. Paul Mott has had a good season as that was win number five and most importantly his first win when he was on course.
I had a quiet day on Sunday, Matilda came to stay with us and it turned out to be a lovely sunny day.
We have been trying to get Cedre Bleu fit for the Grand National but we are up against it as he has had a viral infection. It looks like the race will come to soon for him which is a great shame for all concerned. He is only eight so hopefully we will get him there next year-they do say nine year olds are at the right age to win it!
We have a quiet week ahead as a couple are now ready for a break but we still have a few horses in the pipelines so hopefully we can notch up a couple more wins before the season comes to an end. Verano and Bridal Suite will run again shortly and Nimbus Gale and Royal Redemption are almost ready to run after their wind ops. I have made an entry on Saturday for Always Smiling who has had a year off the track but is in fine fettle and should go well first time out which will be her first time in handicap company.
Cheltenham Antics

Cheltenham Antics

On Tuesday we had a full car when we set off to Cheltenham, these four days in March are the highlight of the year. On the first day Willie Mullin’s horses were extraordinary which they continued to be right through the week. We ran Sureness in the Mares race and she had a nice run round, we were happy with her.

The new Champagne Bar at Cheltenham where they obviously don’t like washing up!

We stopped at a pub on the way back from Cheltenham called the Green Dragon and that was our pit stop for the next three nights. On Wednesday morning we worked a few horses. Verano went very well as did Bridal Suite. We had another good day at the races and my brother-in-law insisted on staying all week!

AP’s last winner at the Festival.
We schooled Verano and Gowanauthat on Thursday morning and then we set off to the races again in a very full car which Tom Swerling very kindly drove. Having watched a very good days racing again we had a pit stop in the Green Dragon and had some bad news that Katya’s cat Oscar had been run over.
Gavin Sheehan winning on Cole Harden.
Friday we had another brilliant day, we had a full car and spent a lot of time in the Turf Club. I took a friend of mine down to the last fence for the Gold Cup and it was great for racing that Coneygree won as it is nice to know that a smaller yard can still win these Championship races. The whole week was a real eye opener as it seems that Willie Mullins has a tight hold over most of the Championship races probably for the next few years.
Katya and I enjoying Cheltenham.
On Saturday we worked a couple of horses of which Nimbus Gale worked well. Caroline and Mark left to go back to Edinburgh. Katya and myself went to Uttoxeter to watch Verano run. Gavin Sheehan rode him and he won really nicely. I told everyone at Cheltenham over the four days that if their betting went wrong their get out stake was Verano on Saturday and for once I was proved right! On the way back we picked up poor old Oscar who has lost his tail and looks like a shaved chicken.
Tony Holt collecting his trophy

Verano after his win.
We had a nice quiet lunch on Sunday with my daughter Tildie and a friend Riddles. On Monday I rode out two lots for the first time in a while. I went to Mike Ashley’s funeral and saw a lot of people I haven’t seen for a while. We ran two horses at Southwell, Attimo and Gowanauthat. Attimo finished fourth but he broke a blood vessel so I think his days are numbered. Gowanauthat I really did think was a certainty but he ran no race at all and I cant for the life of me think why. Having done numerous tests on him nothing has come out.
We don’t have many runners until the weekend. We then have quite a few entries, Libeccio is in at Newbury and could take his chance if the top horse doesn’t run. Seventh Sky is in a couple of races but we might wait till the following weekend. Native Explorer, No Bad News and Nimbus Gales could take their chances.
Sandown Seconds

Sandown Seconds

We worked a few horses on Wednesday. Nimbus Gale went very nicely as did Sureness ahead of Cheltenham. Gowanauthat worked well but will need another week after his time off. We then had a late lunch at the Hare with Mark Hitchcroft who had come to see his horses.
Western King has now been in since Christmas, in preparation for his summer campaign he had a wind operation and came back in on Thursday. Harry Bannister and Philippa Holland came in that morning to school. Philippa schooled Mr Big under the tuition of Colin Brown of Desert Orchid fame, this was her last schooling session ahead of riding Mr Big in a point-to-point on the Sunday.
We went to Sandown on Friday where we had three runners, we had a box for lunch with quite a lot of owners there for the day. Lambro ran in the Military Gold Cup but unfortunately pulled up, I think the consensus of opinion is to retire him on that note. He has been bleeding very badly and although he has been on a new medication from America it has not been working well enough and he is panicking in his races. We will find him a nice home where he can enjoy retirement.
Sands Cove finished fourth, they went far to fast for him and I think I ran him a bit to soon after Southwell as he was very tired the next day. We will freshen him up and find a suitable race on some decent ground. Native Explorer ran a really nice race, she finished fourth in good company and will come on a bit for the run. She may get a mark now but she look capable of winning something so we will look for another race for her in about three weeks.
We then drove to Windsor Castle to have drinks with the Queen which is always a splendid occasion. It was Katya’s first time and she managed to do a very good curtsey! I enjoy talking to the Queen as she loves talking about her horses and her trainers! We left Windsor castle and had supper with Tony and Rita Stapleton which was a wonderful end to the evening.
On Saturday we worked some horses, Gowanauthat is coming on as is Bridal Suite. We had two runners at Sandown and one at Chepstow. Libeccio ran a good race and finished second in his first handicap. I think when he gets a little bit further and some better ground he will be winning quite soon. Seventh Sky ran a really nice race over a trip that was too short for him. He was second running on at the end. He is a remarkable horse and that was his fourteenth run of the season, he has hardly been out of the money. John Heron his owner has had a lot of fun from him this year.
Lord of House ran at Chepstow. He needs soft ground and the ground had gone the wrong way for him. He didn’t enjoy himself, spat his dummy out so was pulled up. It has been very frustrating this year as he hasn’t been right when the ground was soft, we must get him back on track to have him ready for any rain. We went from Chepstow to stay with Katya’s sister and brother and law at Ferne Park which must be one of the most beautiful houses in the country. We left on Sunday morning to go to the BV point-to-point. We ran Mr Big in the members race, it was a very hot race and they went too quick but he got round in his own time and Philippa enjoyed her spin. We had a very good picnic lunch with Paul Nicholls who was moaning about the fact he hadn’t got many runners going to Cheltenham this week as Willie Mullins. It nearly got to the point where I felt sorry for him!
We have got a busy time this week as we have people staying for Cheltenham where we will all be heading everyday. Unfortunately we don’t have as many runners there as Nicholls! Sureness runs in the Mares race on Tuesday. My tip of the week is Many Clouds in the big race for Oliver Sherwood.
Action packed Newbury

Action packed Newbury

We worked quite a few horses last Wednesday, there are a couple of horses on their way back from wind operations and various other ailments. But it shouldn’t be long now till we can get a few back on the racecourse.
I took my cat Jerry to the vets to have a hair cut and was given a bill for £164 which is probably more than Katya spends on her hair in London!
We schooled a few horses on Thursday and we had James Davies and Gavin Sheehan in. Everything jumped well. Katya then drove myself and Johnny Portman to London as it was the National Trainers Federation AGM. We were all introduced to Nick Rust who is the new chairman of the BHA. Although we have seen it before I was quite impressed with him even though he is an ex bookmaker. We then went to Harry Holcrofts exhibition and saw some very nice paintings.
We had to take Cody Wyoming out of Newbury on Friday as he had a sore foot but we ran Portmonarch up at Doncaster. Unfortunately he was fatally injured. It is always sad when you lose a horse and I don’t think we have had a fatality on course for about five years.
We had a very busy day on Saturday, we had four Red Letter Days in. We worked Nimbus Gale, Gowanauthat and Native Explorer together and all three went very well. We drove off to Newbury where we had taken the Highclere box for the day. We invited nearly fifty people and it all went really well.
We ran Seventh Sky in the Greatwood Gold Cup and although he finished fourth he ran a little bit flat. Verano ran a nice race and he finished sixth but will come on a great deal for the run. Cody Wyoming didn’t run as well as expected but it has turned out he probably hasn’t got over the infection that he had. I was disappointed with Murray Mount in a bumper up at Doncaster and just think we will have to put a line through it. Expedite ran in his bumper and I think got stuck in the ground, we will see how he comes out of the race before we make a decision as to what to do with him. Lambro had a nice spin round in the Charity race in preparation to the Grand Military Gold Cup on Friday.

We got up very early on Sunday morning and took Lord Of House and Cedre Bleu to Newbury Racecourse for a gallop round. They both seemed to enjoy it and should come on along for it.

John and Pam Walsh popped in to see Sands Cove and Lambro on Sunday. We had drinks at Evelyn Fabers and I must say the conservatory I put on the side of his house works really well. We then had a very nice lunch at home and watched Ireland beat England in the rugby.
On Monday we had Paul Mott come down to watch Sureness school with Gavin Sheehan on board. She jumped really well and will make a lovely novice chaser. We had lunch in The George later on and in the evening we had a Lambourn Trainers Association meeting at Oaksey House, normally nobody ever turns up so it was extraordinary that we had nineteen trainers there and not enough chairs for everyone to sit down on, which gives us all a lot of optimism. I was then on the panel for a Cheltenham Preview night at the Royal Oak at Bishopstone. Gavin Sheehan and Nick Deacon were also answering questions so I hope we gave everybody a few winners for next week. It is only a week now till Cheltenham and there is a lot of pressure on the trainers with fancied runners and I hope they all get their horses there in one piece.