Fergus Gillard - Pastures New

We only had a few runners last week but from that we record three second places courtesy of Only Fools, Kolisi and D’jango.  While second places can be a little frustrating, all three horses ran well and are capable of winning races this summer.

This Week

It is a fairly quiet start to the week again this week but we do have two runners on Wednesday with Bashful Boy heading to Nottingham to run on the flat and Free Chakarte running at Newton Abbot.  Bashful Boy is enjoying his outings on the level lately and was a nice winner on his latest start at Salisbury.  He has gone up three pounds for that win which looks fair enough and I do think there is more to come from him on the flat.  He likes this quick ground and I would hope he has a good chance of following up. This race is a Jockey Club Grass Roots qualifier for a valuable final back at the track in the autumn and that could be a long term aim for our seven year old.

On Thursday there are two jumps meetings at Ffos Las and Uttoxeter, we have entries at both meetings and on Friday we have entries at Market Rasen.  Keep checking the daily blog for more news of our runners.

Fergus Gillard

Conditional jockey Fergus Gillard is leaving us for pastures new this month.  Fergus has been with us since he left school in 2018 and having just turned 21 this month it is time for a new challenge for him.  Fergus is very tall and as he has got older his minimum riding weight has increased which does limit his opportunity for rides.  He has ridden 67 winners in his career to date and he would love to ride out his claim and reach at least 75 winners.  Fergus has been going to Dan Skelton’s once a week riding out for the last two seasons and has decided to move up country and be based there going forwards.  He rode 13 winners last season and formed good partnerships with horses Barrier Peaks (3 wins), Only The Bold (2 wins) and Shot Boii (2 wins).  He also won five races aboard Paricolor in the 2020-21 season and he has been an even more valuable asset to our team behind the scenes as well.  Fergus knows that he is not going to be riding forever and thought he would try something new before he hangs up his boots a little later down the line.  He is going to keep in touch and will probably still ride out here on occasions but we would like to wish him all the very best for the future.

Dry Spell

May started weather wise as much of April had been…wet!  Our last recorded rainfall was on the 15th May and it has been dry since but we really could do with a nice drop of rain again!  We finished up with 76mm of rainfall for the month which is more than May 2022 but half of what we got in 2021!  It is interesting looking back at records as it really is hard to remember.  We think it is dry at the moment but we have probably had more than the average recorded for the month of May at the yard for the past twenty years.  Racecourses are doing a pretty good job of watering the courses at present but until we get some natural help from the skies it does mean some horses will not be seen in action. 

Itacare New Role

Itacare ran at Newton Abbot last week and didn’t run too badly but his owners have decided since to retire him from racing under rules but he already has an important new job!  He is going to be a school master point to pointer for young Rian Corcoran who is getting his amateur licence in the autumn.  Itacare’s owners have kindly free leased him to the Corcoran family for the next point to point season. Rian is 15 and has ridden lots of pony race winners and he comes into ride out regularly here in his school holidays.  He turns 16 in September and has big ambitions to be a top jockey.  He rides well and has ridden Itacare plenty of times at the yard.  Our six year old is a gentleman to ride and look after and I am sure they will have a lot of fun together this winter!

Social Week

I have just returned from the Algarve and I am still alive!  There was about 30 of us in Portugal over the weekend for Tom Malone’s stag do.  A good time was had by all and I will leave the stories there! There is no rest for the wicked however as I am playing charity golf tomorrow in Wiltshire for Alice Plunkett and am then heading up to Scotland for a couple more rounds as part of a friends/business few days!  Having not played golf for well over a year I am not sure how my game is going to hold up but I am sure it will be a very enjoyable few days!