Sunday, 11 April 2021

 We had the loveliest day racing today without actually running the horse!  Sadly the course hadn't had a drop of rain and the ground was just too quick to risk ruining a gorgeous horse like Flo. Having said that it was a great course and we would thoroughly recommend it for next season. The Croome and West Warwickshire hunt had put such a huge effort into starting up this new racecourse and they deserve to be very successful with it.

Ella's parents had bought a huge picnic and drinks hamper, the weather was lovely and the everyone was very friendly. It made me wonder why I don't just go pointing without the worry of taking a horse - It is so much more fun!

Saturday, 10 April 2021

 Both horses back safe and sound thank goodness. Will Biddick said that Top Garry was still feeling his back as he couldn't shorten into his fences and lost ground if we wasn't on a good stride. We will get his back looked again but my gut feeling is that he isn't aggressive enough to be a racehorse and is a bit 'soft'. He is the loveliest person and almost too nice to be a racehorse so we will have to think about what the right thing would be to do with him in the future  for his own sake. We were so proud of little Archie as although he pulled up two from home he jumped really well and Will made sure he enjoyed the experience. I was very reluctant to put him in a short maiden as I wanted him to have plenty of time to see his fences and Will said it was all too quick for him. However, he was really pleased with his attitude and said he would come on in leaps and bounds from his run. He wasn't at all tired and has just eaten up so a very good job done.

We watched the National from the race track as they had a big screen and it was fantastic to see a female jockey, Rachel Blackmore winning the race for the first time ever. History has been made and a very well deserved winner with Rachel. 

We are keeping everything crossed for tomorrow and hoping that the ground will be good enough to run Field Exhibition.

 We are excited about going racing today at Mollington as we are taking 'Daring Dove', otherwise known as Archie for his first start. Top Garry is also having a run and we are very much hoping that we can put his last run behind us. If he doesn't want to race this time then we may have to think about letting him do a different job...Fingers crossed that won't be the case as we know he has so much ability.  We have got the brilliant Will Biddick riding both of them, so there will be no complaining about jockey error!

Field Exhibition did a lovely clear round with Ella last week at Kimble. She was beautifully behaved and jumped like a bunny. However, she didn't appear very competitive so it might be time to take off her hood. She is hopefully going tomorrow to the Croome and West Warks if the ground isn't too quick and we will try her with her hood off then and see what happens...

Keeping everything crossed that they both come home safe and sound today

Monday, 29 March 2021

 It was lovely to be racing today although our two runners were a bit disappointing, particularly Top Garry who looked absolutely fantastic in the paddock and was tipped to win by the commentator  - The track was much sharper than we anticipated but I knew there was something wrong as soon as Garry jumped the first fence. He stuttered into it and then as the rest of the field was going so fast and he was on the outside, he got left behind and looked really uncomfortable and unable to catch the field up. Zac pulled him up after a circuit and a bit. We were really disappointed and confused as he had been going so well at home -  but then he bled when we were walking him off so we thought that was the reason. However, This still didn't explain why he was jumping so badly right from the start and with so little enthusiasm. We pondered about it all the way home and then when we got him in the stable and took his cooler off we could see why. He had a great big hematoma lump on his back. The saddle had obviously slipped (Zac said the girth went up four holes when he got to the start) and was badly digging into his spine. He has had a bag of frozen peas on it, but he is too sore to put a rug on. Bless him. We forgive him now! We will just have to make sure that doesn't happen again and that he has a decent pad under the saddle next time. It could have been the stress of running when he was in so much pain that brought on the nose bleed but we will get his bloods checked anyway just to make sure there isn't anything else wrong with him

Secret ran a better race but just isn't experienced or quick enough for sharp tracks - She jumped beautifully and plugged on but couldn't go with the leaders - She pulled up having done two and a half circuits. Only three out of thirteen finished and the ones that did finish were much more experienced. Most importantly they are both back in their stables safe and sound and ready to fight another day.

What a pleasure it was to be back racing though - The sun shone and everyone was in the very jolly mood. They really are a very friendly lot at Revesby and it was great to be there. 

Saturday, 20 March 2021

Good Morning

 This was Bertha first thing this morning - She had clearly had a good nights sleep. Still very snoozy...

I'm still getting over the thrill of Cheltenham - Such fabulous racing. The Irish horses were absolutely superb and trounced England in the Prestbury Cup 23 wins to Ireland and 5 to England.  There has been a lot of angst about this in social media but it shouldn't come as any surprise that Ireland is so much better than England at anything to do with horses. Horse breeding and riding is in the Irish blood -  There was a photo of Rachael Blackmore hunting as a five year old which is normal in Ireland. Most youngsters that go into the racing industry are proper horsemen and make fantastic work riders which is crucial to the success of the yard. English trainers really struggle to have the same quality of staff (and horses) and this must make a huge difference. There are twice as many brood mares in Ireland as there are in England and the Irish would be more knowledgeable about breeding than the 'hobby' breeders in the UK.  The Irish government also support the racing industry and the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association are extremely proactive at encouraging sales of the Irish progeny. Very different from the rather tweedy English TBA who couldn't be less commercially minded if they tried.. Far too uncouth! They also seem to have better stallions in Ireland although this is more difficult to judge as the stallions in Ireland get a better quality of mares, but suffice to say we are sorry not to be visiting the Emerald Isles this year with any mares as Covid and Brexit has made it too complicated.  

Jack Kennedy on Minella Indo winning the Gold Cup

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

 What a fantastic two days so far at Cheltenham. Needless to say it would have been even better if we had been in attendance but the racing has been awesome. Such a good result for the mares with Honeysuckle winning the Champion hurdle with Rachael Blackmore on board and then 'Put the Kettle On' winning the Queens Mother Chase, and Heaven Help Us, another mare winning the Coral cup.  It was also lovely to see two much loved geldings win that everyone had written off with one of my favorites winning the handicap chase, Vintage Clouds and then good old Tiger Roll thoroughly enjoying himself again over the cross country fences. Just wonderful to see. Fingers crossed the next two days will be just as enjoyable and with no disasters... 

Honeysuckle with Rachael Blackmore on board

Saturday, 6 March 2021

 All good here - The spring weather has really given us all a boost particularly now that Covid restrictions are going to be lifted and we will be pointing again at the end of March. Happy Days!  We are going to Revesby on the 29th March with Secret Getaway and Top Garry. We really wanted Zac Baker to ride both as he gave Secret such a lovely first time outing at Barbury Castle. Unfortunately he can't ride Garry in the restricted as he is committed to another horse so we have decided to run him in the Intermediate where he can definitely ride him. It might work out for the best as if he gets placed then he can hopefully have a crack in the Intermediate final at Cheltenham - Roy's wish may come true after all! Archie is also going extremely well and will hopefully be running at Kimble where we are also hoping that Ella will have her very first ride on Field Exhibition. Exciting times ahead....................

We are still hanging on by our fingernails at Blackgrounds although we are completely surrounded by HS2 works with a big compound in the very next field. The ADR will hopefully be getting underway soon as HS2 have at last submitted their report. " Onwards and Upwards" as C.S Lewis would say.