Monday 28th September

Here is to a brand new start this week – the sun is shining, I am on the road to recovery and I even managed to get up to the gallops to watch my horses cantering on second lot. I must say they all look extremely well and I am looking forward to a fair few runners over the next two weeks.

Monday club is going to be at Neardown today as I think it would be pushing me a bit too much to go out to a restaurant to lunch, especially as I am still in my pyjamas!! (which seems to be amusing all the staff!)!!

I am being beautifully looked after by all the animals when Katya isn’t there and I am looking forward to a good catch up with all the Lambourn news over a bowl of soup and some crusty bread today! Katya is being a very good Florence Nightingale, but I think I testing her patience somewhat, and I must say she looked very happy to be very happy riding out second lot this morning, rather than looking after me!!!

Sureness ran disappointingly at Market Rasen on Saturday. I think it is time for her to have a break so that we can reassess the situation. Airpur Desbois has an entry at Chepstow on Wednesday and Le Legro has an entry at Warwick on Thursday.

Below are two video’s of the horses working up the back of the hill on Saturday:

Schooling youngsters, a few runners and unwanted Hospital admissions!!!!

Schooling youngsters, a few runners and unwanted Hospital admissions!!!!

I went to see my Bank Manager at Barclays to negotiate a new
interest rate on my mortgage. When I told him what I wanted, he said it was
impossible, to which I replied “I have already got it with another bank”, so I
will now be having a new Bank Manager and I must say, it is about time!
The horses are coming on well. I have been riding out two
lots most mornings this week. We schooled 20 horses on Thursday (see video’s
below) – it was a real eye opener as I hadn’t seen a few of them jump before.
Noel Fehily, Gavin Sheehan and James Davies came in to help with the schooling
morning, along with our in house jockeys Tommy Dowling and Shane Harte. I must
say it was a very good morning and they all looked superb!
Baltic Storm, Victor Leudorum, Le Legro & My Anchor
Cody Wyoming

Dragon City & Aspasius

Morney Wing, Elmore Back, Bridal Suite

Seventh Sky, Royal Redemption, Gowanauthat, Nimbus Gale

Some Kinda Lama, Quebec, Murray Mount, Capatosta
Charlie Nugent and Will Stuart came to stay on Thursday
night. We had a wine tasting evening at The Malt Shovel to decide what type of
wine they might serve. The Malt Shovel is all coming together very well now and
I am looking forward to it opening.
We had a new hall window put in on Friday as the last one
was a coloured glass thing, which I had actually become quite attached to.
However when the new one went in, I was quite surprised as it is stunning and
lets in a lot more light; we are very happy with it!
Matty went to pick up my new hunter Ronnie and when he
arrived I must say I was a little disappointed, as he was a bit “cobby” for more
We had Andy Stone and Bridget, and Sarah Holcroft to stay on
Friday night. Katya cooked a very nice dinner for us and we had a lovely evening
all together.
Saturday was a very busy day for all at Neardown – we had
five Red Letter Day’s plus another six people for breakfast. We had owners all
morning and then twenty people for 4th lot. Gavin Sheehan and Harry
Bannister came in to ride work up the “back of the hill” which was a great
help. The Steeplechaser’s horses looked very well (Quebec, Some Kinda Lama and
Morney Wing), as did The Neardowners’. The one that stood out to me was Le
Legro (IRE) who has got his first entry next week. There are still a couple of
shares available in this syndicate and I would advise anyone who is interested
to move quite quickly.
We then had a box at Newbury for the syndicates and watched
some good flat racing, followed by watching Madness in concert, who were very
entertaining. Johnny Seth Smith and his girlfriend Colette came to stay that
night, so it was a very sociable but lovely few days!
On Sunday we got some horses out as a friend of Andy’s
wanted to see The Neardowners horses. After they left, I thought it would be a
good idea to get on my new hunter Ronnie. Katya put him on the walker, I then
led him into the ring and got a leg up off Johnny whilst Katya held his head,
but before I could get my feet into the irons, he took off with me and I came
off after he had bolted. I was then taken to Great Western Hospital in Swindon
in an ambulance.
Having had a scan, the Doctors found that I had fractured
three ribs, my pubic ramus and somewhere else in my pelvis, and my shoulder had
dislocated. It now looks like one of Luke Harvey’s shoulders!!
I had quite a few injuries as a jockey, but I don’t think I
have ever been in so much pain!
Having spent six days in Great Western Hospital, I have
managed to get home, although I am not very mobile and am still having an awful
lot of morphine. Hopefully I will be on the mend fairly quickly and we can all
move on again! I had plenty of people come in to visit me at the hospital which
was very nice and I am very grateful for all the well wishes that I have received.
Not being able to get about is very frustrating, but I am hopefully getting a
mobility scooter which should make my life a little easier and more interesting.
I am delighted to be back at home and have my first decent meal cooked by
Katya! I don’t honestly know how hospitals can make food taste as bad as it
We had a runner at Worcester yesterday – a horse called
Murray Mount, who was having his first run over hurdles this season for Mark
Hitchcroft and was ridden by James Davies. He is a little bit backward and has
taken time to come to himself, but he jumped better and has improved from his
last performance – he is definitely learning the job!!

Sureness runs at Market Rasen today. She just hasn’t had her
ground all season – she wants fast ground, but as the summer has been so
disappointing, she just hasn’t been able to run on her ideal ground. However if
it stays good today, she should run well for Paul Mott under Gavin Sheehan.
We took Seventh Sky to Kempton yesterday to stretch his legs
before his first run – Tom Scudamore rode him for us and he went really nicely.

I am currently sitting in a high backed arm chair which gives
me some relief, and if I am not in sitting in this, I have to be lying in bed!
Tess took these striking photo’s of the horses cantering along “the short” in the early morning sun:

A busy week!

A busy week!

We have had a busy week helping John and Luke Davies get The
Malt Shovel up and running as, much to everyone’s delight, they have taken a
lease on the pub for a year, with an option to buying it. The Malt Shovel
closed last November and the one thing that has come out of it in that time, is
how much we have missed it and how much we need it back! I am sure it will do
really well and everyone in the area is very excited about it. The pub now
looks fantastic and they are hoping to open it on the 1st October.
Katya has been busy helping with the interior design of the pub and it is
really coming together now.
We had lots of Red Letter Day guests here on Saturday – we worked
a load of horses up the back of the hill and it is getting quite exciting now
as we are letting them stride on a bit more. Baltic Storm looked especially
good – he is a young horse who we bought from Germany earlier this year. Katya
cooked a delicious breakfast for our guests and then rode out for the first
time in 3 weeks following quite a nasty fall; she seemed to enjoy herself and
has been riding out in the rain this morning!
We had a long lunch at The Hare on Saturday with Philip and
Jo Hunt. We watched the Ledger from there and I thought Ralph Beckett’s horse
was unlucky to lose it, but I am not sure that they will get it back on the appeal.
Ballydoyle had a fairly good weekend, having won both Ledger’s (English and
Irish), but the horse that stood out over the weekend was Treve as she absolutely
hacked up at Longchamp and it will take a very good horse to beat her in The
I took Mr Big on a local fun ride on Sunday with Mark Grant,
Dominic and Ben Ffrench Davis, but it wasn’t as much fun as I had anticipated
as Mr Big spent most of his time on his hind legs. I was going to hunt him this
year, but I am not sure he will be as much fun as I had thought!!
My sister Caroline and brother in law Mark stayed on Sunday
evening as they were on their way home from a wedding in Cornwall. They watched
their horses on the gallops this morning. They are in The Neardowners syndicate,
so watched Le Legro, Maid of Milan and Capatosta with great interest. They didn’t
pick the best morning weather wise as it was pretty misty and ever so wet! Whoever
said that we are going to have an Indian summer needs their head testing as it
has rained all morning!!

Excitingly, we have just bought a very nice horse in Germany
from Markus Klug called Ephraim. He is a gorgeous big 4yo, who has won a Group
3 race on the flat. He passed the vet on Saturday and I am hoping he will be
coming over on Wednesday. He is a very high class horse and we are hoping he
might make up into a Cheltenham contender!
Jumping galore!!!

Jumping galore!!!

Mark, George and Bella Hitchcroft
came to stay last Friday night. We had a very good dinner with James Repard,
his two children, Kim Meehan and Katya’s children – it was a very jolly
evening. I took Hitchy and George on the gallops on Saturday morning to see
Murray Mount (IRE) on the gallops first lot and I think he was fairly happy
with what he saw!
The annual Lambourn carnival took
place on the Sunday and sadly for all of those who put so much time and effort
into arranging it, it was a complete disaster as the turnout was poor. A very
sad individual had threatened to set up a massacre on the day and the police
had to take it seriously.
Somehow the Sun newspaper got
hold of this story and wrote an article on it. 
As a result of this, a lot of people didn’t turn up as they were too
scared of the consequences. I think it was absolutely ridiculous as a lot of work
went into getting the floats up together and I really hope people will make a
big effort to support the carnival next year.
I rode out most of last week and
got soaked at least three times; I cannot wait for next summer as it cannot be
any worse than the one we just had, although they keep promising us an Indian
summer, so fingers crossed!
We are turning the tempo on a few
horses now, and some of them did their first bit of work yesterday. We are now
schooling the horses every Thursday and hope to our horses ready and raring to
go at the beginning of October… something to look forward to!
We had a very long lunch at
Philippa Kindersley’s on Saturday and got a lift back with Stan and Sarah
Moore, who told me about a nice horse that they have in their yard that I
should try. So I went down to ride a very nice 3yo of theirs on Monday, who was
3rd at Longchamp the other day and would make an absolutely ideal
juvenile hurdler. He is a big horse with lots of bone and he should do the job
nicely. All I need to do is find somebody to buy him!
On Sunday I drove down to
Ditcheat as I was invited to Paul Nicholl’s Open day. It is always nice to keep
an eye on the opposition. Paul showed off about 80 horses and having seen them,
I don’t think we have a lot to worry about this year!! He said he is going to
make an early start to this season, so we better get our skates on.
We had a runner at Worcester on
Tuesday – Airpur Desbois, who ran very well finishing 3rd in what
was a very competitive race, which was won by the well known Hunt Ball. He is a
very nice young horse and will win his races but is for sale as he probably
isn’t as good as his owner David Fox would like. Please call me if you would like any more information on
him. We were meant to have two runners at Uttoxeter yesterday, but I had to
withdraw Sureness as Noel got off Dragon City and said that the ground was
tacky and holding. It seems to me that over watering has been a problem this
summer and proper summer jumping ground has been difficult to find. Dragon City,
who was having his first run over hurdles for the new syndicate Earth Wind and
Fire was somewhat over exuberant having had over 600 days since his last run
and pulled far too hard. He jumped extremely well but didn’t get home. The combination
of the tacky ground and pulling too hard was the problem, but a shorter
trip/better ground should be the recipe for success and I am sure he will be
winning soon!
We schooled Victor Leudorum,
Murray Mount and Quebec this morning on Kath Walwyn’s schooling ground. James
Davies schooled Murray Mount and liked him a lot. Our conditional Tommy
schooled Quebec, who was the horse that impressed me most this morning, and our
young Amateur Shane schooled Victor, who as a seasoned campaigner, jumped as
well as ever. Second lot; Mr Big (ridden by Kara) led Some Kinda Lama and
Capatosta over the hurdles. They were both very impressive, but unfortunately we
couldn’t take a video of it as the visibility was poor, but we will endeavour
to do so next time. Third lot; Tommy schooled Aspasius and Shane schooled Le
Legro in the ring, and as you can see from the video, Le Legro electric!
Although he isn’t the biggest of horses, he showed plenty of scope and
enthusiasm and will definitely jump a fence. He is one of three horses in The
Neardowners syndicate and I am really looking forward to seeing his first run.
We welcome on board some lovely
new owners called Anthony and Wendy Smith, who have bought a share in The
Neardowners, and came to look at their horses yesterday. They are new to racing
as their interests have mainly been in Eventing and Hunting, and I am looking
forward to giving them their first winner under the rules of racing! There are
now only a few shares left in The Neardowners, so please call me or the office
if you would like some more information.
Please see video below (Le Legro & Aspasius schooling):
Aspasius & Tommy

Le Legro & Shane

Fourth lot; we schooled two
lovely new horses who we bought from Sylvester Kirk; Dukes Den and My Anchor
(see video below). Neither of them had schooled before, and I must say, I was
very pleased with how they both did. They both have lovely attitudes and are
going very well up the gallops. We have just set up a new three horse syndicate
called “The Sunrisers” with these two horses are in. Please email or call the office for
more details. We will put more information on the blog re this shortly.

The children are all back at
school and we now have a week without any racing, so I am looking forward to catching
up with our owners. 
Charlie Mann Racing Club

Charlie Mann Racing Club

Today we have added two new horses to our Charlie Mann Racing Club.
If anyone would like to join the club, please download the application form on the “CMRC tab” or email for more information.
There should be lots of fun to be had and all members get a free Charlie Mann Racing baseball cap!

5yo grey mare
Great Palm (USA) – Say Sadie (Say Primula)
Agnes B is a lovely, big and athletic sort
who was bred by the Dawson family in Yorkshire, who have already supplied us
with winning horses; Bridal Suite (IRE) and To Begin. She is currently unraced
but has already schooled over poles and will run in a bumper before the end of
the year, before going hurdling. She has the scope to make a chaser in time.

Agnes B

4yo bay gelding
Moss Vale (IRE) – Edwina (IRE) (Caerleon (USA)
Chief Bottlewasher (IRE) has been
placed in an Irish Bumper on soft ground. The winner of the race, Sir Will, was
bought by Peter Bowen and has subsequently gone on to be 2nd in two
competitive bumpers. The horse that came second, Cape City Boy, also won next
time at Down Royal.

Chief Bottlewasher
(IRE) is a lovely strong horse who will go hurdling this season and will make a
chaser in time.
Chief Bottlewasher (IRE)