Martin’s Blog 16th July

I always feel the need to start the Blog with ‘A busy morning’ as that is how it is at the moment and probably most mornings in most Racing Yards! So… A busy morning with a few of the team still furloughed, Jasmin on holiday and a few extras not in but our team are used to kicking on and if Lockdown has taught us one thing it’s that we all have to muck in and help.

Warren Marston in for a couple of lots along with Harry Greasby and, as usual, Freddie’s last week of ‘homeschooling’ has meant riding out a few lots and helping me around the yard! Lifeskills are so important and he’s learning a good work ethic for sure from the team we have here and some of the older boys that ride out – Harry Greasby and Harry Atkins. Something that is sure to stand them all in good stead. Polite boys and prepared to work hard – so employable wherever their future lies…..

Ernie Verburg came over from The Netherlands on Tuesday and not only called in and helped the girls with evening stables, she was back in yesterday early to take photos of all the team on the gallops (and brilliant they were too – so talented) but she rode out one lot too. Belinda allowed her to sit on Capricia who Belinda likes a lot so she was very lucky (!) and she enjoyed it, only admitting after she’d got off that she’d not ridden out for about 8 years! We met Ernie in our days at Jackdaws Castle, something that isn’t lost on Freddie as he finds it rather boring that it seems as if most of the racing contacts we bump into, one way or another we’ve originally met through David ‘The Duke’ Nicholson. What an academy he started – one day we plan to work out those in the Industry with a link somewhere in their past to working for him. How proudly he must be looking down. Ernie returned home yesterday afternoon but we hope to see her again very soon.

My parents had a lovely evening here last night, their first venture out of any sort since Lockdown so a massive step for them both. The catalyst was youngest son Harry’s birthday today – he is now double figures so a huge Happy 10th Birthday to him. They bought him a bike which was just what he wanted and football presents have featured highly! Thanks to all who have sent cards and messages, one very lucky boy who is growing up fast! Football party on Saturday with his school bubble mates and a day off today from school…..well he does break up tomorrow lunchtime …..! Normally we aren’t so relaxed but in these times what harm has it done and so much more important to share a game of footie with my dad this morning – he’ll ache!

Southwell winner Lord Condi along with Mr Mafia (2nd) and Raving Bonkers who pulled up after he was forced to make a mistake 2 out, are all 100% since their runs and had a quiet canter back today. All full of beans and, with it being so mild, are enjoying a night out under the stars tonight. We are training most of the team from the field but those ready to run do generally come in overnight so I can monitor their feed – I need to ensure that the more polite horses aren’t bullied out of eating and those more forward horses aren’t eating too much! They therefore get turned out after an early lunch and are back in for their supper usually. Tonight I wandered around ensuring fair play as they were fed in their field…..! Such happy horses and a special time of night.