Martin’s Blog 10th October

What a busy day ahead. We have five runners at two different meetings and hopefully an exciting afternoon ahead.

At Southwell we have three runners with Chequered View our first runner of the day over hurdles and we are hopeful of her improving on her hurdling debut recently where she was 3rd. Leighton Aspell, who rode a winner for us last season on Zara Tindall’s homebred Somewhere To Be, takes the ride for Zara’s mother Princess Anne. Forecast is our second runner at Southwell and Conor Shoemark, who won on him two seasons ago, rides him and we are hoping that a wind operation brings about improvement in him as he has disappointed since returning from a leg injury.

Finally at Southwell we run Oscar World under Aidan Coleman and it is her handicap debut. She will hopefully have come on from her seasonal debut last month and is a mare that I have always thought a lot of.

We send both Lord Condi and Matravers to Ludlow. Lord Condi is partnered by Richard Johnson for the first time as Aidan Coleman is at Southwell. Lord Condi has won his bumper and was impressive over hurdles recently at Fontwell so has to try and give away a penalty to his main opponent in a three runner race so it could be a very tactical affair. Harry Stock takes a valuable 3lb claim off in the Conditional Jockeys Hurdle on Matravers who has been very disappointing this summer. He’s had various pollen allergies and the team at home have worked very hard with him as we are sure there is talent there but he needs to show it on the track now. He’s even spent the milder nights out in the field overnight and lives in one of our fabulous pens attached to a stable so he can come and go as he pleases.

Just a quiet cantering morning for most of the team today. Hannah Ashton was in to check some of the horses.

Last night the whole team went Ten Pin Bowling in Cheltenham as a general thank you to them for all their hard work and thanks to the generosity of our Owners and Friends at Owners’ Day who supported our raffle. It was a brilliant night and we had lots of fun and is something I think is so important for us all to get away from the yard and have a good time together. A much deserved good night out.

Our Landlord Robert Wharton has been supporting us throughout the last couple of years and shares our vision in improving the facilities here at Luckley as much as we possibly can. Although sometimes it does feel like it is going pretty slowly, when we look back and realise how much we really have achieved it makes me very proud. Still lots to do but so much done.

The latest addition to our facilities is a Viewing Platform which is on the roadside near the top of our gallop field and looks down across our fantastic range of private gallops, both Leisure Ride Carpet and grass and our vast selection of hurdles and fences too. Robert and his team have done a superb job.

Lots of Happy Birthdays today – a popular day! Happy Birthday to owner Ollie Ryan, Martin Jones who does lots of our pre-training and breaking and Sue Wilson who is a very active member of our Racing Club.