Martin’s Blog 18th Sept

A busy week since Hexham on Tuesday which was a mixed day and felt a very long way! Unseasonally hot weather stretched their resources to the max and they ran out of water during the meeting and had to get some more bowsers filled up from their reservoir. All hands were on deck though to ensure that the horses’ welfare was paramount.

Pinnacle Peak was very disappointing and maybe the heat had something to do with his poor performance as it took well over an hour to cool him down following the race. Richard Johnson was happy with him with a circuit to go but as they quickened he found nothing and Richard wisely pulled him up. He’ll be given a bit of time now but as we found nothing we can only assume that the heat was a massive factor.

Robsam built on his 3rd place last time out and ran an absolute blinder for Matt Capp, who had made the long trip up from London, to finish 2nd with a gutsy display. He jumped very well and Richard liked him a lot and we were just unfortunate to bump into a well handicapped horse on the day. We’ve been bumping into just one too good in those JP McManus silks a bit too regularly over this summer!!

At Doncaster we said goodbye to Raving Bonkers who has gone to Ollie Greenall’s yard and we wish them well with him. We came back with a new horse, not bought from the Sales but en route from trainer Rebecca Menzies for owner David Parry – Breizh Alko who won well for Rebecca & David last time at Haydock in the Spring of 2019. He’s had leg trouble since but hopefully our different gallops where he’ll have the chance to get fit doing plenty of steady work will help him get back to the track. He’s an exciting addition if we can keep the wheels on him and he’s settled in straight away.

Belinda’s Godmother, Dr Anita White, visited on Wednesday morning with her husband Andrew as they were staying in Stow on the Wold to visit us. I missed their supper the night before as I was travelling back from Hexham but it sound like a good time was had by all. Anita has many strings to her bow and was Captain of England Women’s Hockey Team when they won the World Cup in 1975 – Belinda blames her birth they year before for her mother not being back in the England Team in time to also be a World Cup winner! It was great to see them and have a good catch up.

Yesterday we took Black Panther (James Best) and Lord Condi (Cai) jumping at Jon Trice-Rolph’s Todenham base. It was Panther’s first time off the ground and he was an absolute natural and thrilled us all. It did Lord Condi good to have an away day as he was used as lead horse too and he loved it.

Yesterday afternoon we had our 6 monthly Finance Meeting with Roger Downes, our Accountant, Paul Davis & Jon Hughes – all via Zoom. Who’d have thought when we met in our Owners’ Room on the Sunday after the Festival and then went for lunch at The Coach & Horses in Longborough the changes and challenges the following 6 months would bring. Poor Roger was poorly with Covid 19 but is nearly back to full fitness and it was great to see him looking so well, albeit via a screen.

Rosemary and Roger Sollis in today to watch Debden Bank and say goodbye to Black Prince who has been retired. Adam Leech was in too with a couple of friends and Paul Davis as well. We are so lucky to have horses going out on different lots and have so much space that we are able to keep to the Government Guidelines.

No runners until Sunday where Enforcement goes to Plumpton under Richard Johnson for our Martin Keighley Racing Club.