Martin’s Blog 11th October

It’s been a quiet week on the runners front with the weather playing havoc with the ground. Too wet for some then too dry for others – twice declaring horses – Back on the Lash at Ludlow on Wednesday and Mozzaro at Chepstow yesterday and not running either. With 48 hour declarations now (as opposed to 24 hour decs before Covid-19) a lot can change in that time and those are both lovely young horses and I wasn’t prepared to risk them. I’m so fortunate to be supported by such good owners who trust my judgement, it’s often a tough call to make but, as one owner mentioned – it’s a long season. It is and no-one wants to risk any injury to our horses so they stayed at home. Both fixtures had masses of non-runners – frustrating for the courses too.

Autumn is properly setting in and Deb Butler is buiser than ever with her clippers as the horses coats change naturally getting thicker to prepare for the winter. This then means they sweat more and, without sunshine and warmth to dry them off after we’ve washed them down, it makes life difficult and the last thing they need is either a sweat rash/rubs or a chill. So we remove all of their coat leaving just their legs (for added protection), a small saddle patch (again for added protection against any rubbing etc) and we choose to leave the front part of their heads unclipped as we are sure they can’t enjoy being clipped around their eyes etc! Just a personal choice and Deb does a brilliant job. Most are very accepting of the clippers, some take a lot more patience and occasionally some need sedating. We are guided by Deb’s judgement as she used to clip all the horses for David Nicholson so is vastly experienced. I’d rather choose to sedate a horse than injure her every time.

A few visitors this week. Great to see Matt Capp at the beginning of the week and he watched the horses on the gallops and we went to see our youngsters in the fields too – he has a share in Spice Girl’s brother who is a yearling.

John & Claire Abernethy were here mid week at evening stables and had a look at their horse, Capital Force, in his stable. He injured his back racing a while back and we’ve worked hard to get him 100% again thanks to Hannah Ashton, one of our physios, and her Indiba Machine and a lot of flat work from Beth Whittle. I’m so pleased with him and he should be out again soon. John & Claire so generously brought us a whole Lamb – we are very spoilt! Lamb chops that evening were delicious, as was the lambs’ liver and a roast leg of lamb supper tonight awaits! I do need to repay them with a winner or more now!!

David Parry was in yesterday to watch the horses on the gallops and meet our vet, Jeremy Swan, here too. He’s sent us his lovely horse Breizh Alco and despite being very talented, he’s also frustratingly fragile so it was good that he was here to speak to Jeremy and discuss Breizh. These horses are sent to try us at times. Great to see David, as always, and the boys were very happy too with a new football and a football shirt for Harry who, like David, is a big Manchester City fan. He went off to his footie match yesterday with a bounce in his stride and duly scored twice helping his team win 8-4. Freddie’s team played really well today too but a tough game and a gutting final minute equaliser from their oppponents to draw 2-2. That first goal for Freddie still awaits….! (Younger brother has bragging rights but is being very gracious!).

Paul Davis has been in the yard a few mornings this week too and is busy helping us with the new Sageburg gelding that is here after being backed and ridden away at Martin Jones’ Redmarley base. He’s having a short break here and looks a lovely type – I know Martin Jones liked him a lot too. Shares in him are available for an all-in one-off payment of £395 which will take you through all costs and a 1/125th share in him up until December 2021. Do get in touch if you would like more details. What a wonderful Christmas present he would make – Certificates to all shareholders. With Covid-19 changing our lives so much, if you’ve ever dreamt of racehorse ownership then maybe this is your chance to tick something off the bucket list.

The horses are looking fresh and well and I’ll share a video compilation on social media later today of some footage of the horses this week. Another horse that returned from it’s owners a few days ago was Cut And Run who looks a picture and has done her pre-training at home with Zara Tindall. A tough mare who I’m pleased to have back in the yard and can’t wait to get back out onto the track with.