Wetherby tomorrow and other stuff….

Milder today thank goodness, a big thaw underway and the forecast looks reasonable for the week.  Two runners declared at Wetherby tomorrow where they are holding an 8am inspection to be sure it is safe for racing to go ahead on ground that sounds very wet.  Let’s hope it is on because our two runners ought to be suited by those conditions despite both being burdened with top weight in their respective handicap chases.

“The Rogue”

We start with The Orange Rogue in the 2.15, he’s yet to find his form this season but we found a little issue after his last run which we believe we have sorted, we will find out tomorrow but he remains 3lb above his last winning mark, Lucy rides and 8 run.  Clan Legend runs in the 3.30, he is up 9lb for his convincing Haydock win at New Year and this really does  take him into new territory handicap wise, a serious test for him to give weight away at this level but he has earned the chance and it will be very interesting to see if there is more to come – track ought to suit him well, 4 run and Lucy rides.

Clan Legend

We defied the elements and our Government’s advice to stay at home in taking Lake View Lad to Haydock on Saturday where I was delighted with his brave run putting it up to a very good novice chaser; he jumped really well but in the end was simply outclassed by a horse rated 9lb higher than him, I’d love to see him take him on in a handicap but doubt we will get the chance as that horse is Cheltenham bound, we however will hopefully return to Haydock for a handicap next month.

In the gloaming – Lake View Lad on Saturday

We have been through a seriously challenging spell of weather which I hope is behind us now, our team of staff have been amazing in their commitment, three of the team are off with fracture injuries so the remainder have had to dig really deep to keep the show on the road through some really appalling weather and I’m very grateful to all of them, it’s just as well they didn’t listen to our “can’t do” Government/Public Sector advice or I wouldn’t have been able to run my business – a tale of two nations?

The team heading our onto the gallop for first lot

It was therefore particularly appropriate that on Thursday the judges arrived to assess us for the “Team Challenge” competition for which we have made the final four, Kevin Parsons from the National Association of Racing Staff was joined by Yogi Breisner, Chef D’Equipe of the British Three Day Eventing Team and Laura Whyte, BHA Director and former Head of Human Resources at the John Lewis Group- it made for a fascinating morning and hopefully they were impressed by our team’s good humour and positive attitude as they knuckled down and got on with their task of preparing equine athletes. And we mustn’t forget the rest of our support structure, our farriers who are here whatever and actually appeared at 6.40 am on the bleakest of mornings to stick a shoe back on the other day and of course our vets, feed merchants and everyone else who helps keep the show on the road.  Just a shame Daniel is having to take the rubbish to the dump because the bin lorry didn’t make it, I’ll say it again – a tale of two nations. Mind you, we did fail to get our two runners to Musselburgh for the bumper on Friday….

22 January 2018|

Musselburgh, Haydock, snow…..

Heavy snow this morning, plans thrown up in the air and we have had to keep our two Musselburgh bumper runners at home due to it being unsafe to travel, that’s a first, luckily Catch and Dutch Canyon left before the weather closed in and he ran an OK sort of race to finish 5th, I guess we will drop back in trip with him next time.

The Kinneston drive at 11am this morning

Let’s hope they get home before the weather closes in again and please no disruption at Haydock or en route tomorrow where we run Lake View Lad in the 1.30 on ground that will be heavy. We’ve been fortunate to find a three runner Grade Two novice chase; he goes there in great form and track, trip and ground should all suit well so fingers crossed – Stephen Mulqueen rides, he’s the outsider of the three but you know what they say……

Lake View Lad

The meeting is subject to an 8am inspection and they are inspecting at the same time for Newcastle’s Sunday fixture which looks more doubtful, the Jedforest point-to-point on the same day has already been abandoned but hopefully will be rescheduled to next Saturday.

and the M90 at 11.49am today


19 January 2018|

Ayr today, Ayr tomorrow?

Unnervingly mild and quiet weather this morning but an appalling forecast for the week ahead with gales, rain, frost and snow.  Will be wet today at Ayr but at least racing goes ahead though if the forecast is correct tomorrow’s fixture will struggle and they are wisely inspecting first thing.  So it will be very heavy today and that will be the key to who wins the races, not the fastest horses, rather those that handle the conditions which will suit some of our runners but certainly not all.

Presenting Rose

We start with Presenting Rose in the mares handicap hurdle at 1.45, 7 run and I think she will be fine on the ground, Stephen Mulqueen rides and she looks well treated on her better novice form.

Another Mattie

Another Mattie (Lucy) runs in the 2.15, a competitive race for the grade and Mattie was out of form before Christmas, we’ve changed a few things with him and he wouldn’t be running if we didn’t think he was back in form – a decent run to demonstrate that would suffice, he won’t mind the ground, 9 run.

Buffalo Ballet

Buffalo Ballet on the other hand won’t like it at all, the race ticks every other box though so having missed a few engagements it’s worth taking him taking his chance in the hope he slops through it, his race is at 2.50, 8 run and Lucy rides.

McGinty’s Dream

Finally, McGinty’s Dream takes a sharp drop back in trip in the 3.20 – he has missed so many races since his promising chasing debut at Hexham in November that we are taking this chance to run out of necessity rather than choice – there isn’t a perfect race for him until next month – having said all of that he’s in great form, runs off his mark and will love the ground which will bring his stamina into play if he can keep up.

Jet Master has been a joy to train and to be 3rd beaten 3l in yesterday’s £25k feature chase was no mean feat but his achievements have been limited by mistakes like this one despite being as good a jumper at home as we have ever had.

Seven runners at Kelso yesterday all home in one piece – delighted with Massini’s Lady (2nd) and Jet Master (3rd), pleased with Silk or Scarlet (8th) and Top Cat Henry (5th) a little disappointed with Gold Opera (5th) and Thomond (4th) and a bit more disappointed with Moores Novelty (12th) – he scoped clear after the race and seems fine so am hoping it was just the ground but he’s a much better horse than this, we will see if anything comes to light.

Massini’s Lady stuck her neck out to gamely win her side of the race, unfortunately another came past up the other side of the track – drat!

15 January 2018|

Kelso tomorrow

A quiet day weather wise but raining now and forecast pretty dreadful with rain coming then frost again later next week, desperately hoping it doesn’t interfere with the imminent fixtures as we are hoping to have plenty of runners over the next few days.  Kelso tomorrow at least should be OK and they have an excellent card of competitive racing and we have 7 declared runners on ground that is expected to be soft, we start with two runners in the 2nd race at 1.10pm.

Moores Novelty

Moores Novelty (Lucy) and Silk or Scarlet (Grant) are both nice young horses that would prefer better ground and a longer trip however they need experience and we are just looking for nice runs that they can build on in the future, 14 run.

Silk or Scarlet

We also have two runners in the 8 runners feature chase of the afternoon at 2.15, Jet Master (Lucy) and Top Cat Henry (Kit); Jet Master seems fresh and well despite his advancing years and this trip, track and ground combination should suit him well, Top Cat Henry is having his first start back after a break and will come on a lot for the run.

Jet Master

I guess Massini’s Lady will be our shortest price runner of the afternoon in the 2.45, whilst her better form is at more galloping tracks she is fit, could improve for this step up in trip and should run well fresh – however I’d have preferred to have gone chasing with her and having missed numerous engagements over the larger obstacles this is no more than an adequate replacement, Lucy rides and 14 run.

Massini’s Lady

Gold Opera rides in the 3.15, he has questions to answer after a disappointing trip to Haydock two weeks ago so I am hoping he can leave that behind him tomorrow, he seems in grand form and nothing came to light after Haydock – 8 run and Lucy rides.

Gold Opera

Finally Thomond makes his stable debut in the 3.45, 5 run and it’s a little ironic that the three best horses appearing at the meeting are running in this Hunter Chase for the, a sighting shot therefore for us running him against this opposition, Kit rides.

Top Cat Henry

13 January 2018|

Too much weather!

Sharp frost this morning, -5.5 in the car when I popped out to get the papers just after 8am, at least things will be drying up after a very wet week. Wetherby was abandoned on Friday when our lorry was at Dunbar, Newcastle and Alnwick both off today due to waterlogging – my philosophical attitude to these abandonments now being stretched to the limit as several of our horses have now lost 5 or 6 possible races and have been ready to run for a month.

McGinty’s Dream – one of many of our horses that have now lost multiple opportunities to run

Testing times for their owners as well as the team of staff here who are putting in so much effort to keep the horses fit and ready so I’d love to be racing again soon before any more of the season slips past.  Ayr on Wednesday the next possible fixture for us, frozen waterlogged ground there so we will need luck on our side, thereafter Wetherby, Kelso, Ayr and Ayr 13th – 16th so let’s hope weather settles for those important fixtures.

7 January 2018|