Cooler today down here in Newmarket where I am attending the July Horses in Training Sale. A showery outlook at home and it should be perfect good ground at Perth on Sunday where we run Benny’s Secret in the 4.40, 10 run and Grant rides.
It is a competitive enough race for the grade and this minimum trip could be on the sharp side for Benny but he wasn’t right last season and I wouldn’t be running him if I didn’t think he was right now so fingers crossed for a decent effort, he schooled well this morning.
Tough work down here, hard to believe that after much research, talking and looking a catalogue of 909 horses ends up rounded down to one that we are happy to vet and bid on, frustrating therefore to come out as the underbidder, it will be interesting therefore to see how Falak fares for Gordon Elliot. My disappointment greatly lightened by the exciting news that Moore’s Novelty had arrived safely at Kinneston from Co Cork.
As I’ve said finding value this sales season has been especially hard but I’m delighted with the five horses that we have now added to the team for next season, time will tell but I feel they are well bought and we will keep going in the hope of adding another two or three. Lucy is riding in France this afternoon, in the 4.35 at Senonnes, an unraced 3yo filly starting out over hurdles, fingers crossed for a good spin.
Warm again this morning in Normandy and back to the sales for the Horses in Training section prior to a late flight home tonight. An excellent day yesterday with Queen of Avalon running as well as could be expected to finish 3rd and late in the afternoon managing to buy a lovely young son of Great Pretender.
A 3yo, he did his first bit of fast work when breezing on the all weather here the day before; he’s called Elvis Mail, is a three parts brother to a good horse and should come to hand quickly. It will be good to get home after over a week on the road, 10 horses came in on Monday and with more to come in next week Catch and the team have been doing a great job finishing off the refurbishment whilst managing the Perth runner as well, plenty to look forward to.
Warm and sunny today in Deauville and looks like being very hot this afternoon when 110 two year old and three year olds with good jumping pedigrees will be sold.
Trade was very strong last week in Ireland and I suspect some records may be broken today, not easy finding value for more realistic budgets but with a fair wind there will at least be a couple of lovely looking prospects heading to Kinneston as a fruit of these travels.
This means of course that I sadly won’t be at Perth today where we have one runner on what should be perfect good ground; Queen of Avalon runs in the 2.10, 5 run and Brian Hughes rides, she has failed to build on her third at the turn of the year appearing not to stay, back to two miles today and hope she can finish the race off and give us something to build on.
Warm and sunny again today, needless to say the rain we missed in April and May all arrived in the space of about 72 hours earlier in the month but conditions have dried up again now and on balance it’s been a fair summer so far; a few pictures showing summer life at Kinneston.
Only two horses in training at present, Benny’s Secret and Queen of Avalon, another half dozen still in recovering from injuries but two more going out tomorrow and work continues at a pace to ensure everything has been steam-cleaned and repainted prior to the horses starting to come back in from grass, 20 of those turned out earlier are due in by the end of the month.
We’ve found lovely new homes for a few old favourites this week; Clan Chief, Wicklow Lad, Heilan Rebel, Farewelltocheyenne and Bertie Milan are all moving on but my priority is to source new talent for the yard and after recent visits to France, Doncaster and Ascot it is over to the Derby Sale in Ireland next week followed by France again and then Newmarket in July – value seems particularly hard to come by at present but we are working hard to fill our target of 8 new horses for the upcoming season; most of these are for specific clients but we will also be buying a few on spec that will be offered for sale later in the summer.
A stormy wet night down here in London, very wet at home as well and concerns re drought and applying to SEPA around extend our irrigation licence very much on hold, for the moment anyway but rather typical that this comes just as we have turned out so many horses, weather due to cheer up again tomorrow thankfully. BHA yesterday and a first visit to Ascot Sales today – looks like it will be damp but Tattersalls are successfully upgrading these sales and it will be good to see first hand what is going on having bid remotely over the last couple of years.
A somewhat disappointing weekend on the racecourse, not entirely unexpected in some cases but Bertie Milan falling for the first time in his life was a surprise and I had hoped for better from Final Reminder; Queen of Avalon didn’t stay 2m 4f, Dutch Canyon and Clan Chief both need a break and stepping up in trip for Christmas in USA certainly wasn’t the answer.
What I have learnt (again!) is that running horses in the summer that have been on the go all winter doesn’t work. Tremendous racing at Perth though in front of a huge crowd, it would be good to have the resources to prepare horses specifically for these meetings as Scottish trainers were notable for their absence in fielding runners, especially for the better races. A quieter time now on the racing front but a lot going on at home, working on some major improvements to our facilities, more of that later…….