Martin’s Blog 13th July

A fun Saturday morning where we welcomed Team Vaughan 1st lot who must be thanking their lucky stars that they got here in one piece….they left Wales at 4.30am and somehow made it here in 2 hours however the wheel on their car all but fell off as they turned off the road into the yard. Thank goodness that didn’t happen on the motorway……

Great to see Tim and Abbie and they brought with them pony racing star son Ed, show pony superstar daughter Grace who also did a few shetland pony grand national races with Freddie last year and Ed’s great friend and also successful pony racing jockey Henry Pugh to all ride out. We just about had enough tack and with Warren Marston, James Best, Harry Atkins and Lilly Pinchin also in to join our usual team here it was a busy morning. Good fun though and I love encouraging young talent and there was plenty on show here that morning – I’d never have believed at the beginning of lockdown that Freddie would be riding out with them too albeit he’s a lot to learn from the likes of Ed, Harry and Henry. The great thing about racing is that people are so gracious with their help and advice – James Best is always looking out for and helping our team and it’s great to see.

Paul Davis was in on Saturday too along with Tilly Jarrett and Chris Dee to watch their horses in action. Chris & Tilly also assisted me with cooking breakfast for them all. Landlord Robert Wharton came across for a bacon sandwich after it smelt so good from his house a few hundred yards away!

A romantic morning of riding out for Belinda too – our 22nd Wedding Anniversary! It wasn’t as sunny 22 years ago though sadly!

Hannah Ashton, one of our physios, was in yesterday before declarations (now 48 hours due to Covid-19 restrictions) which I was so grateful to as it meant that one horse wasn’t declared and one was directly down to Hannah’s assessment. We are so fortunate to have such supportive backroom staff who are vital to the wellbeing of our horses.

Physio Maggie Turner and Farrier Nick Partridge in to day and Polly Turner thankfully in to hold horses and trot them up for them both – a godsend when we are busy and the rest of the team are riding out. Hopefully she learns a lot too to add to her homeschooling! The Turner girls are stars as older sister Jemima comes in regularly as well.

Three runners at Southwell tomorrow and all seem in good form. Those that have run so far have been running at long prices although Gold Mountain outran his ‘outsider of the field’ tag last week under James Best to finish a very good 2nd. Let’s hope they outrun their prices again tomorrow as none are outsiders of the field. Fingers crossed.