Martin’s Blog 17th December

Apologies for no Blog for a few days but my typist (& my sons) have been busy packing and moving to Olympia with Blackie the Shetland ready for Freddie to race at their International Horse Show in the Shetland Pony Grand National so she’s had her hands full! We left home at 5am yesterday morning and I dropped them all off, they are all settled in and his first race is tonight – good luck Freddie! I’m going to try and get to watch him later on in the week.

Back at home we had an early start today too sending three horses up to Catterick. Reve is our first runner with Sam Twiston-Davies on board. He won at Catterick back in February and has since had a wind operation but found the heavy ground unsuitable last time out at Lingfield and Richard Johnson looked after him when he was beaten. Today’s Good to Soft should suit and we are hopeful of a solid run from him.

Ben Buie is also partnered by Sam Twiston-Davies and has disappointed us in bumpers since a very promising debut at Ascot in November last year. He’s been a big baby though and has always shown us promise at home so we are hopeful that a switch to hurdles will bring out more in him as we’ve always liked him. There are a couple of highly rated horses in the field so we’ll struggle to beat them however he has been working and schooling well and we need to see a lot more encouragement ideally today.

Last but not least we run Run A Rig for Zara Tindall in the bumper under our Conditional Jockey Patrick Cowley. She’s out of Zara’s mare Somethinaboutmolly so is a half sister to two other homebred winners for her we have trained – Somewhere To Be and Cut And Run and the third horse, which she sold, has won too. She’s a nice mare with a lovely attitude but is only four so will improve on anything she shows today.

Chequered View ran well at Cheltenham to finish 2nd last Friday under Gavin Sheehan who was a last minute replacement for Richard Johnson who was stood down for the day following a fall earlier in the day. Whilst we’d obviously have loved to train a winner for HRH The Princess Royal at Cheltenham, 2nd was still a good result and she was pleased too as was Zara who was representing her. She’s A1 and she may well now go home for a winter break and we hope we will have her back in the Spring as she’s in the form of her life at the moment.