This time last week I had just returned from holiday but it has been very busy since I got back and it already feels like a lifetime ago!  There is a lot going on back at the yard with various little projects going on and everywhere is starting to take shape in preparation for our Owners Day, Racing Club morning and National Racehorse week visitors next month.

Recent Runners

Last week we just had the three runners and they all ran well even if it was a little frustrating that it was two seconds and a fourth, one winner would have been nice! I can’t fault the horses however, it is just the way it goes sometimes.  Nibras Gold probably ran a career best at Newton Abbot and went down fighting to be second last Monday.  Having led the field the whole way he was challenged approaching the last and got into a good battle with the eventual winner.  We didn’t meet and jump the last hurdle quite as well as the other horse and that ultimately sealed our fate when then run in is so short.  First time cheek pieces really helped him to focus and concentrate and I am sure he can be winning again soon.  He may improve by stepping up in trip a little but I think he can win again over two miles and he will be out again soon when jumping resumes after this mini-break.

Our other two runners were at Stratford last Thursday where Dindin finished second in the colours of the David Pipe Racing Club and Lady Reset finished fourth.  Dindin travelled and jumped well and seemed to enjoy the track and conditions.  Jack Tudor thought he might win coming to the last fence but we just got in a little tight to it while the favourite was away from it much quicker.  Despite chasing him valiantly all the way up the run-in we could not pass.  Dindin is wonderfully consistent and versatile and I am sure he can win again soon.

Stratford had quite a lot of rain fall at the track between declarations and race day which was not ideal for Lady Reset.  She was going for a hat-trick of wins in the same race but it wasn’t to be and she finished fourth.  It was a much improved effort from her only other start over hurdles this summer however and she ran well up until she got a little tired on the ground from the last hurdle.  Hopefully the handicapper may give her a little help after this and I am sure she can return to winning ways in this sphere.

This Week

Jump racing is on a little mini-break this week and so we will be quiet on the runner’s front in the coming days although we do have two runners at two meetings on the flat on Wednesday.  Ocean Heights runs on the all-weather at Kempton while Pepsiwithacap runs a little closer to home at Bath.  Ocean Heights has not been the easiest to train at home so it is great to get him back on the racecourse and he has run well on the all-weather in two previous starts for the yard.  Pepsiwithhercap ran her best race for the stable over hurdles at Worcester last time and returns to the level for what looks like a suitable opportunity while there is no jumping.  She is probably a little better on the all-weather than the turf and her ratings reflect this but as long as the ground continues to dry I would hope she has a good chance in this 0-55 contest.

Tom Malone Wedding

I had the pleasure of being an Usher for Tom Malone at the weekend when he got married to his beautiful wife Sara in a ceremony at Quantock Lakes.  It was a weekend long affair with a lot of family and friends travelling over from Ireland for three days of celebrations!  It was a lovely day and thankfully we missed the worst of Storm Antoni as even though the ceremony had to be done inside it brightened up for photos and drinks outside.  I am feeling a little jaded to say the least and it may take a day or two for me to recover!

Jim Old Charity Golf Day

I was delighted to support the Jim Old Charity Gold Day once again held in honour of the Injured Jockeys Fund.  My team consisted of three former members of staff at Pond House, Ken Rixon, Tim Eades and Myles Doyle and we had great fun round.  I am not sure we were well handicapped enough to challenge for the prizes but at the time of writing the finishing order had not been announced.  I think it was 55 teams that took part with many names from the racing world that you would recognise and a great amount was raised for a good cause.

Ed Barrett

I must just say a special well done to Ed Barrett who yesterday completed his challenge of climbing Snowden also in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund and Midlands Air Ambulance.  Ed used to work at Pond House and indeed rode as an amateur jockey for us.  He suffered a terrible fall in a point to point at Upcott Cross in 2015, breaking his neck and being paralysed from the neck down.  He has been on an extremely tough and gruelling mental and physical journey to get to this point and what a phenomenal achievement yesterday.  He has completed a few challenges along his journey since that fall but this was by far his toughest so far.  He used his specialist carbon fibre leg splints and crutches and was supported a small team of people.  It was a fantastic effort and he has raised over £10,000 for his charities.  If you would like to find out more and donate to his cause, please follow the link below.

Stray Bullet Still Looking for an Owner!

Our gorgeous grey three year old gelding looking for an owner!  Stray Bullet is twice a winner in France on the flat and placed second twice as well from just seven starts he has settled in well since arriving from France.  He is showing us a good attitude, has taken to jumping extremely well and is ready to run in juvenile hurdle races very soon.  He is a great fun dual purpose horse who will give you action straight away all for the bargain price of 15,000 Euros! (+ Travel associated costs) For more information please do get in touch This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or telephone 01884 840715.