Martin’s Blog 16th February

A wet blowy Ascot yesterday and some fantastic racing. What a reception Cyrname received when he appeared, relatively unscathed, from behind the precautionary screens – what a relief to see him walk away and it emphasized how loved these animals we work with are.

I was there with Zara Tindall’s homebred mare Run A Rig who I’d intended to run at Catterick last Monday (abandoned) then Wetherby on Wednesday (abandoned) as although she had an entry for Ascot we feared it would be far too hot a race. However, as you can see our hand was forced and I have no doubt we found more out about her than we imagined having had to mix it with a decent field of mares. On only her second start, Patrick Cowley had her handy from the offset and she ran a huge race, despite being the outsider of the field, to finish 4th, being just run out of 3rd in the final 1/2 furlong to a dual point to point winner. We, and Zara, were understandably thrilled with her – she showed how tough and geninue she is with a very likeable attitude.

Jo Stainer was here yesterday morning to watch Lord Condi on the gallops and entertain us all! He then caught the train to Ascot as I didn’t need to leave until after lunch with just Run A Rig in the last. Tilly Jarrett was also in for the morning with a full bag of carrots to feed to Black Prince and the Racing Club horses – they love Tilly’s visits!

Lots of birthdays over this past week so a big happy birthday to Andrew Jones, Pip Frankish, Graham Lovett and Harry Greasby and anyone else I’ve missed out too!

Hope you have all survived Storm Dennis. So far so good here although obviously the ground is awful so we are doubly thankful for our all weather surfaces. Our schooling ground does dry very well so we have been able to keep using it but it will need a dry day or two until we next use it. A huge thanks to my Team for continuing to work in such atrocious conditions day in day out – I know we really appreciate their dedication and the owners do too. Let’s hope for a long and decent summer to make up for it!

Happy Sunday everyone!