What a difference a year makes - last year during the cold weather we were at a complete standstill, not only was there no racing, but also we were unable to keep the horses in full work due to the frozen gallops etc. This year our routine hasn't been held up at all and that is due to the fantastic facilities that we have here in Lambourn. The gallops really are amazing. We were even schooling yesterday morning.....
We have been busy recruiting some new horses over the weekend. We have bought an exciting 5 year old mare called More Talk (she is Idle Talk's full sister) and she looks a lovely type. I'd hope she could follow a similar path to Miss Milborne, and be competitive in bumpers this spring, before going novice hurdling next season. She has been pointing in Ireland, and has some very good form.
Another nice purchase has been a strapping 5 year old by Kris Kin called Scuderia. His dam was a half sister to a Listed winner, and Scuderia finished 2nd (beaten a short head) in an Irish Point last weekend, on his first and only run to date earning an excellent RPR of 87. The Irish timeform noted,"Scuderia, a newcomer that wasn't overly ready, stayed on well in the final analysis & he has definite track aspirations." He is for sale - so please do let me know if you'd like to come and see him?
Scuderia puts in a fine leap in his Point.
22nd January 2012
We have had another really fabulous week, as the horses continue to run well. Miss Milborne won again today at Towcester where Tom O'Brien gave her another lovely ride, and she defied a penalty with ease. However, I'd hope the handicapper doesn't alter her mark, as she beat a 115 rated rival by 9 lengths pretty much off level weights, so our mark of 126 should stay the same. Our aim for her is the Mares Novice handicap hurdle final at Newbury, and she should have a decent chance off her mark. I cannot wait for next season though, as she'll be a lovely chaser. That is now our 16th winner of the season, and we have reached £100,000 in prize money - all credit to the staff for their continued hard work.
Knighton Combe ran a smashing race in the big handicap at Wincanton yesterday to finish 4th. He's still 7lbs higher than when he won the Summer National, and at the age of 12, he is not really in front of the handicapper, but he is still as game as ever, and we will continue to have a lot of fun with him. Jamesson ran a nice race yesterday in a novice hurdle, but we won't really see the best of him until he is over a fence on some better ground.
We have some nice novices still to run this season, and Caminero will be out in early February, as will Sutton Who and Millers Reef. We also have Ballyboker Boy back on song, and he should be ready in the first week or so of February as well.
Ballyboker Boy and Caminero schooling.
14th January 2012
What a fantastic week we have had, in fact what a great 48 hours we have had..... Marodima sauntered to a 53 length win at Fontwell in the hands of Tom O'Brien on Thursday, and he followed up under a penalty today at Warwick to give us our first Channel 4 winner. I'm not a fan of running them so soon after a win, but I anticipated a bit of a hike in the handicap, and so we took the gamble to run with a 7lb penalty, and thankfully it paid off handsomely. Tom gave him a lovely ride today, and I am so chuffed for John Finch and Jon Hughes who have been big supporters of the yard since we began just over 3 years ago. Marodima has had his problems, and it is all thanks to our wonderful team of staff that he has come back better than ever.
I was really very pleased with Millers Reef on Thursday where he finished 6th in the bumper. He was a bit over keen, and so didn't get home in the very testing ground. However he travelled well into contention, and just got tired in the ground. He'll be a smashing horse over the spring and summer.
10th January 2012
We've had a couple of quieter weeks on the runners front, but I am looking forward to getting some of the newer horses onto the track in the near future. The club horse, Millers Reef, will run at Fontwell on Thursday which should be quite fun, and then Marodima will be back on the track on Saturday. He has had 6 months off with a minor injury, but is back in full health, and will be an exciting runner for us and his new owners.
El Diego was disappointing at Wincanton last weekend. Having had a soft palate op, I hoped we may string some of our seconds into winners, but the race wasn't run to suit as they went so slowly and then sprinted for home. We'll get him out hunting, and then run him again on Monday at Plumpton.
Caminero is looking an exciting prospect for 2012. Having won a point in Ireland on his only start, he obviously has an engine, and we'll school him up over hurdles before letting him have a run in early Feb. He is working nicely and I hope he turns into a nice sort.