Although we were fast out of the blocks this summer with three quick winners in May, we've not had many runners throughout June. We've less in training at this time of year as we're making a big effort to reinvest into a strong winter team, who are all enjoying a summer holiday ready for a winter campaign. Previously we have had a strong summer team, but this year we’ve less in at this time of year, and unfortunately some of the summer horses have picked up injuries too.
Stoney Mountain was in the process of bolting up under a penalty over fences at Hexham earlier this month, when all of a sudden, he went wrong approaching the last fence, and Gavin immediately pulled him up. He sustained a bad tear to his near fore tendon and regrettably has had to be retired from racing. The plan is for him to retire back at his owner’s house, where he will enjoy a long and happy life outside of racing.
Having brought Sandaroc back from a fractured hock, it was disappointing that she damaged it again on her comeback run at Newton Abbot. She’ll be retired now, and we’ll find her a different job outside of racing. Unfortunately, we have had a couple of other injuries with both Mr. Cuddihy and Shakermaker picking up niggles, so they will be out of action for a moment too.
Of our recent runners, Night Fever ran well to be 3rd on her hurdling debut on the back of a year’s absence, and there should be a great deal of improvement to come from her too. Fortunate Fred was 3rd on his comeback run too, and again he should come on for that as well. Whilst, Bucko’s Boy was also 3rd, but only beaten a couple of lengths, and his turn should come around again before long.
Night Fever looks a useful prospect.
Valamix is improving with every run, and was 4th (beaten only 4 lengths) at Uttoxeter last week. He has been a slow burner, but continues to improve and I look forward to seeing him once the penny drops. Arbennig had won in May when allowed to bowl along over 2m, and dictating the pace over the minimum trip looks the way forward for him after disappointing when held up at Stratford last week.
So, whilst we are quiet on the racetrack, we continue to be busy adding to the team, and our most recent acquisition is Adrrastos’ half-brother. Roger Pol (pictured below) is an athletic 4-year-old bay by Shantou (the sire of multiple Grade 1 winners) out of a flat, and jump winning dam. Roger Poll is a brother to the Grade 1-placed and 3m hurdle winner Minella Crooner, and a half-brother to the 7-time winner, Adrratos (who we used to train) and L'Aigle Royale. Roger Pol was 2nd on his first and only start to date in an Irish Point-to-Point at Ballingarry, where he only went down narrowly to the £180k purchase Wrestlingwithrae. He looks smart enough to win a bumper in the autumn, whilst he should easily develop into a capable hurdler this coming season, and (like his brother) will in turn be a better chaser. We are partnering him out in 25% shares, and have a couple left, so do let me know if you might be interested.
It was a great honour to be included in the Guard of Honour at the Derby during the Platinum Jubilee weekend. Having ridden winners for HM The Queen, I was privileged to be part of many legends in the parade (picture below). It was an entertaining changing room that day as not many pairs of boots and breeches fitted! There was plenty of talcum powder in use!