A busy Saturday morning, worked 17 horses on the all-weather and an enjoyable visit from the members of the Kinneston Racing syndicate, in to see their 5yo gelding Allforthelove have his first steady canter.
Then on to a small lunch to celebrate the 80th birthday of Ella MacGregor, one of Scottish racing’s great characters who after successfully training her own pointers and hunter chasers went on to have great success breeding and racing flat horses with her late sister Ina. As well as producing many winners in her own colours she also sold horses she bred to the Sheikhs and the USA and uniquely she sold a rather slow sprinter which went on to win Gold at the World Eventing Championships in Kentucky under Mark Todd.
She has her home-bred MacGregor’s Ace in training here as well as a share in Buffalo Ballet – it is a privilege to train for her, she loves talking about horses and I always learn something from her.
We are steeling ourselves for an emotional farewell to Commercial Express this afternoon. Originally raced by David Johnson and trained for him by Martin Pipe and Peter Monteith he came to Kinneston five years ago; unbelievably I only managed to win 2 races with him but he gave us a very special day when he won the Hunter Chase at the Perth Festival on Kit’s debut ride under rules, he was still in good enough heart to be 3rd over hurdles at the age of 12 this January but time for him to move to another life and I am delighted that he will be going to be a hack for the Willoughby family in Dumfriess-shire. Guy is one of Scotland’s great unsung heros, perhaps the bravest (or madest?) man I know the work he does around the globe as chief executive of The Halo Trust is inspirational and truly life-changing for so many people – have a look at the website, it’s a wonderful cause.