Wet and wild yesterday but quieter today and looking round the country it appears we have escaped the worst of it. Friday’s winner means that we have equaled last season’s total of 13 winners, 15 was my target for the season so I will be disappointed if we don’t reach it, a quietish day on Sunday gave me time to reflect, since the season started properly at Perth in the last week of September we have had 10 winners from 46 runners, the same period last year yielded 2 winners from 19 runners.
Highly satisfactory though it hasn’t all been a bed of roses, we have had a couple of brutal setbacks. Needless to say I am trying to work out why in the hope that this form can be maintained, training is always a developmental process and we’ve changed a few things; we no longer go to Lucinda’s woodchip, the wet summer and autumn have restricted us to the all-weather much more and we have been selective with the use of the grass gallops but overall I don’t think we train them much differently. I’ve tweaked the feeding, the haylage is good, I use exactly the same supplements. What is really fascinating me is the horses’s weights, my horses have never looked “light” at the races and in general I think people have considered them to be on the tubby side but almost all of this year’s winners have been significantly heavier than when they were running last year and what is more they are actually putting on weight between runs and appearing to improve for doing so – can’t make sense of it but it must be down to the feeding and I do feel it is significant. I think that combined with an excellent team of dedicated staff who try really hard are the reasons (not to forget quite a good stable jockey!) and we just want to keep raising the bar. To do that I am hugely grateful to our growing band of owners, it is significant that for the first time we were buyers rather than sellers at the Cheltenham Select sale on Friday and when I watch horses bred at Kinneston running at Cheltenham I feel very pleased that their siblings are being raised here with the view to staying here, let’s hope we can keep things going well to allow that to happen, just need luck on our side to keep the horses sound and healthy.
Anyway, enough burble, Hexham tomorrow, ground will be testing and Milano Magic (Lucy) runs in the 1.10, 7 run, a first chase over an inadequate 2 miles, nicely in at the weights though and hardly going to be run at a fast pace. Then Caught in the Act (Lucy) in the 2.40, 13 run, hoping to build on his Kelso success last month.