Entries & Recent Form

The new season got underway at Kempton last Monday, just 48 hours after the last one finished! Duc De Beauchene nearly got us off to a flyer, running a great race to be second. Off an eleven pound higher mark than he won off at Wincanton previously he put in another good display and galloped all the way through the line. He has come out of that race well and runs in the Norfolk National at Fakenham on Tuesday.

After racing last Monday there was a four day gap in jumping action and racing returned at Uttoxeter on Saturday and then it is non-stop action again from now on.  This week looks set to be a busy one for the stable, starting with five runners at Worcester today and then we are represented at three meetings tomorrow. Our lorries will be heading in different directions travelling to Ffos Las, Fakenham and Ludlow. We are likely to have runners at Newton Abbot on Wednesday, providing they don’t get too much rain or their meeting could be in doubt. Thursday will be a blank day, but we have entries at Market Rasen on Friday and at Haydock’s mixed meeting on Saturday. Thanksforthehelp is entered in the 3 mile staying hurdle on the card which has the Swinton hurdle as its feature.  On Saturday there are also jumps fixtures at Hexham and Warwick and on Sunday there are meetings at Ludlow and Plumpton.  Keep checking the daily blog for more news of the stable runners this week.

Holidays

Despite the rain continuing to fall, the temperatures have warmed up considerably and this week the horses will be going out to their summer holidays at grass. We have a many different fields here at Pond House which we use for turning out, they vary in size, so there are plenty of options to suit all the needs of the horses going on out to grass. We have several smaller paddocks where the horses go out in pairs, some slightly larger fields where four or five go out together and then the biggest fields will have a dozen or so horses out together. Obviously we know the horses that have previously summered here well, so we try and match them up with their usual friends. We then try and work out the new horses personalities to see which pairings or groups of horses will work best. It is quite like matching people but as with humans some unlikely pairings work well while some you expect to be fine do not always get on!! They are closely monitored and initial pairs and groups can be changed if needed, nothing is set in stone!  When the horses are out to grass we weigh them every two weeks to make sure they are putting on a little bit of weight, but not too much!  There is plenty of grass at present, but by weighing them we know later on down the line when to start giving them extra feed if necessary. It is really important that they come back in from their summer holiday looking well (but not too fat) so you have a good starting point for their pre-season training. It is it is always a nervous time when we first turn them out, but we keep a close eye on all of them and have cameras in the fields.

Renovations

The summer time is when the staff take their holidays, but there is also plenty of jobs to do back at the yard. This week they are starting work to put new roofs onto our covered barn and another block of stables. The empty stables will be gutted, steam cleaned, fogged and painted.

Sale season

We are also now fast approaching the Doncaster horses in training sale where we will be looking to recruit some new horses. It is a sale we have done really well at in recent years and so myself and the team will be going through the catalogue with a fine tooth comb. This is a mixed sale with plenty of promising youngsters as well as a lot of older horses that may just be looking for a change of scenery. There will be horses available at all budgets and so if you are interested in finding out more, please do not hesitate to get in touch. I believe there are over 400 horses catalogued for the sale so I have plenty of homework to keep me busy in the next couple of weeks! These are not the only sales either with a sale at Cheltenham, Ascot, an online sale and others also coming up.

Jury Service

Last week I completed jury service for the first time in my life. I had no idea what to expect, but it was an eye-opening experience. We finished one case but I am back to the court rooms later this week for a second case. It hasn’t worked out too bad from my point of view with no racing last week and a bank holiday today means I will be heading to Worcester racing later. The new case does not start until Wednesday, so I will also be able to go to Ffos Las tomorrow. Busy times.

John Doble Funeral

The funeral of John Doble takes place this coming Friday 12th May at Burlescombe church, Devon at 2.30pm.  John who has been involved in ownership at Pond House for many years also rode out at the yard many times, sadly passed away on 1st April aged 81.  Our thoughts are with his wife Sue and family at this time.