Having bolted up last time out, the handicapper could have crucified Bucko’s Boy, but instead he put us up 8lbs, and to be fair to the handicapper he was almost spot on as Bucko was denied less than a length back at Newton Abbot on Tuesday. He jumped and travelled well, but jumped the last a bit big and was denied by a narrow margin. I suspect if the handicapper had only given us 7lbs, then we would have won!
Fortunate Fred has been narrowly denied in a couple of maiden hurdles this summer, and we thought we'd found him the perfect opportunity to get his head in front at Fontwell. However, he ‘unfortunate’ly picked up an injury when 3rd, so he’ll now have an elongated winter holiday, and will be back in the spring when we’ll send him novice chasing.
One of the very first horses we trained, in fact one of our first winners, was a mare called Tea Caddy (aka TC). She won four races for us, despite having the odd ‘quirk’! So, it’s lovely to be training her first homebred produce, Teeceethree, who ran a cracking race on her debut to be a running on 4th at Stratford in the middle of the month, from which she has to improve as she hadn’t been away or worked on grass, so she shouldn’t be far away next time out.
I am pleased to see Night Fever is improving with each run, and she stepped up to be beaten less than 4 lengths at Worcester this evening on her handicap debut. It was her first start since a recent wind operation and I’d like to think she has a decent chance on her next start now.
Having won the Summer Hurdle at Market Rasen with Pisgah Pike, our plan was always to go back there in September for the Listed hurdle in which he was 2nd a couple of seasons ago. However, as he was bouncing out of his skin, we gave him a run at Worcester last week. Unfortunately, he pulled both front shoes off when he reached for the 3rd flight of hurdles, and as his feet are his ‘achillies heal’, he was always struggling from there. Lets hope he keeps his shoes on next month at Market Rasen!
Unfortunately, Valamix fractured his hock on his handicap debut. He had been progressing nicely, but is now being operated on and will be back in action in the spring.
Having won at Stratford in July, I was looking forward to seeing College Oak back there last week. However, we weren’t as positive this time, and the race developed into a sprint and we were outpaced when 4th. I’d like to think that we can find him another suitable winning opportunity before his winter holiday.
We took the decision to retire Some Day Soon this month. He has been a legend over the years. He has won 5 of his 27 starts, with 6 seconds, and 6 thirds too, and just shy of £60,000 in prize money. He consistently ran to RPR of over 130, including on his seasonal debut this time around. The highest OR he got to was 139, and he consistently was placed off these kinds of marks, even though he never won a handicap. Arguably his best run came when 3rd in the Grade 2 Persian War at Chepstow, but I think his fourth novice hurdle success at Stratford was pretty special, whilst it was an amazing team effort to get him to win on chasing debut when he wasn’t a natural chaser!
We have welcomed a few more horses to Folly House this week. Spice Heaven is out of a half-sister to the Gold Cup winner, Sizing John, and our Grade 2 winner, Anythingforlove. Spice Heaven was in pre training in Ireland last season and will start out in bumpers this term. The same can be said of Villainess, who is out of a wonderfully bred Listed winning dam, who has produced three winners, from three runners in three bumpers. Let’s hope she can follow in her siblings’ footsteps by winning a bumper on debut, and that she can pick up some black-type for her owner/breeder.
We have also bought a 2-year-old filly called, La Marquise, who is by Beaumec de Houelle (a son of Martaline), whose eldest crop are just 2 years old. This filly is out of a winning Pivitol sister to a black type winner. She is the sister to Mister Policement who won in France and is now in training with Willie Mullins. La Marquise will be backed and ridden away through the autumn in preparation for next seasons Junior National Hunt Development Hurdle Races.
Having not been able to get away for the past three years, it was lovely to be able to take the family to Zakynthos for a week this month. We went away with our sister and brother-in-law and their family, so there were 10 of us in a villa in the north of the island, and we had a wonderful break. Lots of time in the sea, and on the sea, and in little tavernas by the sea! Now, the horses, staff, and the trainer are all refreshed and ready for the season proper to kick into gear once we’ve had some rain! For now, we’re all gearing up for our owner’s party, and I look forward to learning more about the new recruits in our team. Exciting times ahead…..