I went to Kidson Trigg on Tuesday to replace some of the furniture that has gone and at least I now have something to sit on. Bill Brindle was very kind and has given me a very nice sofa, which I am very grateful for.
I had a very good supper with Dominic and Avery on Wednesday night, and whilst the last two weeks have been fairly traumatic, you certainly realise who your friends are.
We have two runners at Doncaster today – they have both gone up there for better ground, but they are very hot races and everyone wants to run there. We have three runners tomorrow; Ephraim runs in a Cheltenham trial at Doncaster and Le Legro runs in the first for The Neardowners. We have Gowanauthat running at Uttoxeter.
We had three runners at the weekend; My Anchor looked to be going really well at Market Rasen, but just didn’t get home in the ground. On Saturday, Seventh Sky ran in the Peter Marsh at Haydock and he ran a really brave race to finish 4th on ground that was virtually unraceable. We ran a nice horse at Ascot called Expedite, but again, he hated the ground; Tommy looked after him and pulled him up.
The ground is a real problem right now. You either try them on it, or you keep them til the spring. It is getting very frustrating when you have lots of good ground horses, but it is the same for everyone else.
Andy Stone and his daughter Emily stayed in The Malt Shovel on Friday night; they came to watch their horses on Saturday morning along with Bill Brindle.
We have some entries this week, but I don’t suppose much will happen until the weekend. We got some of the better ground horses out again today after a few weeks of down time.
We worked some horses up the back of the hill on Saturday – Ephraim went particularly well and is on track to run in the 3m Novice Hurdle race at Doncaster at the end of the month, which is a trial for the Cheltenham Festival; fingers crossed he can repeat his course and distance win from December.
We have had a very quiet week because of the ground.. Many meetings have been abandoned and temperatures have got down to -8 degrees, which is fairly cold I must say.
We worked some horses up the all weather today – Fine Parchment went very well upsides Bridal Suite. Seventh Sky is absolutely flying ahead of the Peter Marsh at Haydock on Saturday. He won up there 5 weeks ago and will be partnered by his winning jockey Gavin Sheehan again. He should have a good chance as conditions should suit. Expedite worked really well this morning and will probably run at Ascot on Saturday. Denis O’Regan came in this morning and rode Dukes Den – he worked well and we are looking to run him soon.
We have quite a few entries over the next few days. We are hoping for some warmer weather as we have lots of horses who need better ground.
Our amateur jockey Kara is riding in the Greatwood Charity Race at Newbury on the 5th March, so is looking for sponsorship!!! Click on this link for more information – https://www.justgiving/com/kara-gregory2
We had four red letter days here on Saturday and they were all very good fun. Will Stuart picked me up and took me to Newmarket where we were going to David Batten’s retirement party in The Jockey Club rooms. David is a cousin of mine and has worked for Tattersalls for an impressive 47 years, which is of course a lifetime! What was extraordinary about the evening, was that the woman who was sat next to him, turned out ton be his half sister, which he was previously totally unaware of, which was quite like winning the lottery. It was a very good dinner. My sister Caroline and her husband Mark Hunter were there as well.
We had a very good lunch the next day at The Three Blackbirds, which was just outside Newmarket, before Will drove me home.
We had a good lunch in The Malt for the Monday club. There was no jump racing on.
The weather has been appalling again today – we are quite keen to run one or two horses but the ground is just too soft, although we do have Morney Wing running at Taunton tomorrow for The Steeplechasers. Denis O’Regan rides him – the partnership won last time out; I don’t think Morney Wing had an overly hard race last time, and he came out of it well, so we’re hopeful for a good run. The track will hopefully suit him, but as expected, all courses are extra specially hard work at the moment.
On Tuesday we got a couple of lots out in the rain. I managed to get my hair cut in the village and Katya went off to get some Botox in her forehead. Personally I don’t think she needs it, but you know what these women are like.
We had a couple of red letter days on Wednesday and we watched the horses working up the back of the hill; Le Legro went very well, My Anchor went nicely and Cody Wyoming ran away with Shane, so he is in good form. William came to stay; I took him to The Malt for supper, which he always enjoys.
We schooled two lots on Thursday. Mark Grant came in to give Ephraim a pop. I went to Tom Butterfield’s memorial service at The Queens Arms. Tom had been the Landlord there. I saw lots of old faces and it was a really good turnout. He was a great character, and he will be sorely missed.
It is still a bit frustrating as lots of meetings are off and it doesn’t look like we’ll have many runners this week.