Cheltenham Day 1

Always great excitement surrounding the Greatest Show on Turf and so lucky that it’s on our doorstep. We’ve nothing there this week as we’ve a bunch of young horses and others not quite ready for the competitive Festival races and it’s simply not worth going unless you feel you have a bit of a chance (unless an owner wants a social runner of course but that’s their shout). We’ll be there all week though and very much look forward to some brilliant racing.

Yesterday Capital Force ran a blinder under Patrick Cowley to finish 4th at Stratford back over hurdles after a wind operation. At odds of 33-1 he looked set to spring a real surprise turning for home in front but we were still thrilled with 4th and he’ll come on from that.

We’d had a busy morning with Joe Saumarez-Smith, Tom Golding, Paul Davis, Jon Hughes, Pat Cornell and Carol & Matthew Baker here watching the horses on the gallops and then we all visited Martin Jones pre-training yard in Redmarley. We have three 2 year olds and a 3 year old there and we were thrilled with how they are doing. Martin and his team do such a great job. Steffan Hibbert joined us there and we then all enjoyed a delicious lunch in The Swan Inn in Hanley Swan before I shot off to Stratford.

This morning we have had Mark and Elliott Boothright with Elliott’s friend Sam and Paul & Jan Trinniman and Paul Davis were on the gallops first lot to watch the horses work. James Best, Charlie Dee and Warren Marston all in to ride work too.

We have one runner today – at Sedgefield with Run A Rig owned by her breeder Zara Tindall. She made a lovely debut at Ascot and we hope she builds on that today. Patrick Cowley rides.