Martin’s Blog 14th January

Catterick has had snow, and lots of it, so Capricia has stayed at home today as it’s off. We knew early though as there was no need for an inspection and so she hadn’t set off. Frustrating though as it looked a decent opportunity for her especially as with James & Lilly elsewhere, we’d enlisted the services of Kevin Brogan who, after today, loses his 7lb claim.

Our busy Monday with four runners didn’t result in a winner…but so nearly did. Samtara, partnered by Gavin Sheehan for the first time as Patrick Cowley is out injured, had absolutely no luck in running and didn’t seem to concentrate at the back with his jumping which didn’t help his position. By going wide they eventually managed to get a clear run only to be agonisingly beaten just a short head on the line. That’s the second time running he’s lost out in a photo and we couldn’t be more desperate to train a winner for Roger & Yvonne Allsop (Cul De Poule was 2nd recently too!) especially as Yvonne has been poorly and we send her all our good wishes. Let’s hope the Handicapper is kind as going up 5lbs last time was painful!

Over at Doncaster and Dreamsundermyfeet was running a big race until his wind caught him out. I spoke to wind surgeon Ben Brain on the way home and Dreamer has already been in and had an operation and is recouperating well back in the yard with us. He thankfully has patient owners and we pray they are rewarded with him at some stage. We remain convinced he’s a lovely horse for the future.

Big Nasty was next and, despite being flat out the whole way, he ran his usual genuine race with a never-say-die ride from super fit James Best to finish a good 2nd albeit well beaten by a very well handicapped rival. He really does deserve to get his head in front soon.

Found On has missed a few opportunities recently and I was disappointed with her as I’m sure she’s much better than that showing. She finished very tired indeed and it looked to take a lot out of her – a completely different horse to when she won in similarly heavy ground at Leicester when she was buzzing afterwards. She’s been on the go a long time and doesn’t ever give herself an easy time at home as is quite keen so she deserves a winter holiday. Mares seem to thrive in the spring with a bit of sun (hopefully!) on their backs so I’m sure we’ll be able to put a line through that run and she’ll bounce back later in the season.

Home schooling is going ok – the boys & Belinda are still speaking to each other although Thursday is one of Freddie’s worst days! Harry’s school are aiming for more interactive live lessons from next week so that will help too – he checks into tutor group every morning already at 9.30am so gets to see his class mates and teachers which is great. They get to discuss any problems and have a catch up.

Quiet cantering day today with no extra riders in. Our physios Maggie Turner and Hannah Ashton have been here earlier in the week but Farrier Nick Partridge was in today.

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