Martin’s Blog 12th April

A good trip up to Wetherby yesterday and my parents, who I collected en route, had a fun day too. A long drive up and a huge worry that the ground would be too quick and we’d have to pull them out. I have no qualms about doing that as the horse comes first but it is a frustration if/when it happens and is a wasted day for so many – and a cost to owners too.

However, no such worry as the Clerk of the Course at Wetherby and the team there had done a super job. I had a really good walk around and was happy with what I found so I allowed them to take their chance.

Leighton Aspell had ridden World War before so knew he jumped for fun and was happy to make much of the running with him. His jumping was very good and he ran a much improved race – his first proper race for quite some time and looked to be going better than ever turning for home. He tired before 2 out but will come on for the run and Leighton was pleased with his attitude too.

I don’t usually step a horse up from running over 2 miles in a bumper straight to running over 3 miles on their hurdling debut however those of you who watched Big Nasty yesterday will have realised why we did it with him! He’s huge – over 18hh and a chaser in the making and although he’s big he hasn’t a nasty bone in his body! There was no point at all in running him over less than 3 miles only to have him run off his feet so I was keen to run him on a flat galloping track and Wetherby fitted the bill.

For a big horse he enjoys good ground although with his size there cannot be any jar in it. As I mentioned earlier, a great job by the Wetherby team and Big Nasty loved it, given a very educational ride by Leighton too – he has schooled him at home over our long row of 11 flights of hurdles so was confident he jumped well. He always made sure he kept up to his work and absolutely thrilled us all by running a massive race to finish 2nd to a nice horse who was favourite. Lots more to come from him and an exciting horse for the future – happy owners and a happy trainer!

No runners today but some Morning on the Gallops guests and a stunning day to be here too. Horses just doing a couple of quiet canters ahead of work morning tomorrow. Deb Butler in for a couple of lots & to check on her floral arrangement below our Cheltenham Winners’ Board at the front of the office – Deb is the reason it is in full bloom and looking better than ever.

My boys enjoying their Easter holidays – plenty of riding and football although quite a bit of homework for Freddie too with SATS exams looming when they return after Easter! That’s a challenge for us all!