Crisp and bright at Perth today but thankfully the wind dropped and a decent crowd enjoyed an exciting afternoon of competitive racing.  Kinneston fortunes were mixed with everything happening too quickly for Left Back in the opener, he’s a 17hh chaser in the making and the good ground and sharp track caught him out, his day will come.  Jet Master ran right up to his very best in the feature chase beaten less than a length  by the winner, he’s an exceptionally versatile horse running so well here in a 3m chase having won a 2m hurdle at the track earlier this season, not bad for an 11yo and a joy to have in the yard.

Jet Master

Andhaar gave Crawford a great spin for his first ride finishing mid division but Calivigny disappointed in the novice chase, I’m  not sure why as I thought everything was right for him today, he’s been in for a long time but I don’t really want to use that as an excuse, I think maybe like a lot of horses by his sire he is a bit quirky and we might try some headgear next time to make him focus on his job.  Back to Perth tomorrow where we have three declared runners on ground that might just end up on the quick side of good after another drying day, we start with Dance of Fire in the first race at 2pm, he is gradually getting his act together over hurdles and whilst he is likely to find a few of these too good for him at this stage I hope he will run well, Lucy rides and 12 run.

Dance of Fire

Then in the 3.05 Christmas in USA has to shoulder top weight in a competitive enough looking 16 runner handicap hurdle, I’d quite fancy him if he was at the other end of the weights as I imagine a few will be better off than him but he should still run well enough back at this minimum trip having not quite seen it out at Kelso last time, Lucy rides.

Christmas in USA

Finally we run Landecker in the conditionals race at 4.45; runner up in this race last year off exactly the same mark he should run well again but I guess he probably needs to be a bit lower before he can win again, Blair rides and 8 run.


26 April 2017|

Perth tomorrow

Exceptionally cold for the time of year with a bitterly cold North wind blowing in occasional flurries of snow.  Not what we expect for the spring Festival that opens the season at Perth tomorrow; we have four declared runners on ground that has been well watered and is likely to be on the soft side of good which should be perfect.

Left Back (Charlotte)

Left Back runs in the first race at 2pm in what is quite a good maiden hurdle for the time of year; we are putting a hood and tongue tie on as he was too keen last time out at Ayr and needs to learn to settle and focus on his hurdles so that will be the aim, 11 run and Grant Cockburn rides.

Jet Master

Jet Master runs in the 3.35, this is a competitive 3m handicap chase for a good prize,  he’s had a long season but seems in very good form and I’ve been wanting to try him over this trip, again Grant rides, 8 run.

Crawford leading up Andhaar at Musselburgh- will be great to see him on board tomorrow

Then Andhaar runs in the 4.10, he will be Crawford Robertson’s first ride under rules, he is fresh and well and should give him a great spin in this 15 runner amateurs hurdle,  Kit rides The Wise One in the same race.  Lucy makes her comeback from recent injury on Calivigny in the 4.40, this is another competitive race but he feels well-handicapped to me and should appreciate the step up in trip.


25 April 2017|

Ayr, Perth & John Cockburn

Cool, breezy and remaining dry today with no sign of rain imminent, irrigators in action on the racecourses and would be no surprise to see them make an early appearance here on the farm after the driest April on record.

4yo filly by Kalanisi ex Westgrove Berry is one of five young filles we have to run on better ground through the summer

Ayr’s two day Scottish National Festival kicks off today and they have some fantastic racing lined up despite minimal representation from Ireland and no runners from Kinneston. As the leading trainer at the track this season it is disappointing not to be represented at their flagship fixture but the horses we had entered prefer softer ground, simultaneously stepping up in class on ground that would not be in their favour didn’t feel at all sensible to me; it is wise to be wary of having runners for the sake of it at the end of a long season on drying spring ground though Ayr will have been very well watered.

This 4yo filly is by Ask and is a 3 parts sister sister to Buffalo Ballet – she is neat and seems quite fast

I am sure that the same will apply at Perth next week where we hope to be well represented at the Festival that opens their season, we will have plenty of entries and hopefully end up with a dozen or so runners, ironically with having had so few runners recently we have more horses down to work tomorrow than we have had since November, no rest for the wicked!

Landecker (Kelly) – planning to run at Perth on Thursday

A profoundly bitter sweet day yesterday when I attended the thanksgiving service for the life of John Cockburn with Mrs A, Lucy and Kit; a lovely service triggering so many happy memories but just so very sad at the same time.

Andhaar (Kim) who we hope will be Crawford’s first ride under rules on Wednesday having been granted  his Amateur’s Licence yesterday

John was a lifelong family friend who rode point-to-pointers in the 1960’s for my Father and latterly owned horses here at Kinneston, not to forget that he was an extraordinarily brave test pilot for Ferranti & BAe Systems pushing fighter jets to their absolute limits in the skies above Europe, enjoy his obituary here, he died following a heart attack at the Berwickshire point-to-point having just won the Borders Hunt Club Members race with Always Tipsy – he was particularly pleased to see his own name on the trophy in 1960 and 1964, life’s full circle…

Rather pleased with photograph of Edinburgh taken en route to the Borders yesterday

21 April 2017|

Back at base – a brief news roundup

Cool today, a strong North West wind has been blowing for a few days and due to continue, conditions are now exceptionally dry and watering the racetracks prevails. The upside of all that is the farm goes into the growing season in great shape and we have our “riverbank” gallop back in action a month earlier than usual; the few horses we have for the summer are upping their work on that and going well.

Top Cat Henry puts in a superb leap at The Chair to jump himself to the front in the Foxhunters last week.

A wonderful atmosphere at Kelso on Monday with recent Grand National hero One for Arthur being paraded before racing to a most appreciative crowd, a mixed sort of day on the track for team Kinneston with most of our horses running well; Landecker was a close 3rd closing in all the way to the line, he will now step up in trip at Perth in two weeks, Dutch Canyon also gave us plenty to look forward to with a solid effort to come 4th – his first completion over fences which is a big relief.

This 4yo Kalanisi filly is a sister to the high class Jetstream Jack, she has just started faster work and is available for lease – contact me for further details.

Dance of Fire took another step forward, travelling strongly and jumping well until perhaps just failing to see out the 2m 2f but he wasn’t beaten far behind some decent horses, he will either drop back in trip or be ridden with more restraint next time.  Clan Chief is frustrating, whilst he ran well enough to finish 5th he could have been so much closer with a slicker round of jumping, when he meets the fences right he is brilliant but he’s awful when he doesn’t – we will keep working on this and maybe adopt different tactics, a drop back to Class 5 races would no doubt help as well.

The Kinneston arable ground this morning

The disappointment of the afternoon was Benny’s Secret who was sent off warm favourite for the last but pulled up before the last, a post race scope found him to be full of mucus, this has been a recurrent problem with him this season but at least should be fixable though I think we are now on about Plan F in our attempts to do so!  Whilst we have entries at Haydock and Carlisle on Saturday it looks as though the going will be against us so an opportune time to catch up in the office for a few days after a hectic couple of months.



12 April 2017|

Kelso and King Arthur!

Wow! What a magnificent result at Aintree on Saturday, precisely what is needed to set jump racing in Scotland alight ahead of the excellent fixtures coming up at Kelso, Ayr and Perth.  Well done to all at team Arlary along with owners Debs and Belinda and Derek for a masterful ride, all richly deserved and a timely reminder that dreams in jump racing can come true.


Fine drying spring weather and I am delighted that Kelso have been proactive with their watering putting on 14mm to ensure ground on the easy side of good there tomorrow where we have 5  declared runners.  Unfortunately Lucy won’t be riding any of them as she took a heavy fall at Newcastle yesterday and needs a few days off ; we have some able deputies booked starting with Kit on Landecker in the first race at 2.10. The going, trip and track are ideal for him and he seems in particularly good form, I suppose my concern would be that he may prefer a smaller field, 12 run.

Dutch Canyon

Then in the 2.40 Dutch Canyon reverts to fences, he’s put in a few decent efforts over hurdles this winter and whilst he is yet to show anything over fences he jumps them well and should appreciate the track, trip and ground, he’s slightly out of the weights but Grant claims 3lb and his hurdle mark is higher.  We run Dance of Fire in the 3.40, 12 run and we would hope that he can continue to build on his improved effort at Musselburgh last time, the trick then appeared to be to kid him into the race so we will try the same.

Clan Chief

Clan Chief runs in the 4.10, we’ve been waiting for this better ground for him and he was runner up in this contest a year ago off a 10lb higher mark so I hope he will go well, Grant rides claiming 3lb to counter him also being slightly out of the handicap, 8 run.  Finally we run Benny’s Secret in the 5.10, Blair Campbell rides and 13 run, we’ve struggled to keep this horse right this winter but he took a big step in the right direction at Ayr last time and should appreciate the drying conditions at his winning course and distance from this time last year.  Kit also rides Sounds of Italy in the Buccleuch Cup at 4.40,there should be a great buzz at Kelso with the Grand National winner being due to parade in front of what will be  hugely appreciative crowd so make it there if you can!  A considerably better performance today from Allthekingshorses to finish 4th at the Morpeth point-to-point, he’s had a few issues and not been easy to train so should be able to build on this, our other two runners, Bertie Milan and Rossini’s Dancer stayed on the lorry as I felt the ground was too quick for them.

Benny’s Secret



9 April 2017|