Martin’s Blog 1st August

A frustrating day at Southwell on Thursday with Lord Condi who was returning there after winning well 16 days earlier. He’d pleased us at home since his win and, despite it looking a more competitive race, we were hopeful of another solid performance.

However, it was not to be. Plenty wanting to make the running and our boy needing to be up there too, he and one other just broke into a slow canter as they approached the tapes so it was deemed a false start. I have to say I knew our fate as Lord Condi needs to be kept going forward which was why James Best was keeping him moving into the tapes the first time. I totally disagree with the relatively new rule that if there is a false start there then needs to be a standing start – in my opinion it just doesn’t work. When are these fit racehorses ever asked to stand still and then jump straight into a canter/gallop? If they can’t come in a 2nd time maybe have it without the tape or have the tape far enough away from them so they don’t have the chance to back off/whip around when it flings back.

Anyway, Lord Condi was very slowly away having ducked away from the tape and James and Condi did very well to get back into the race but had used all their energy up in doing so and were never going to be able to finish strongly. He tried hard though, jumped well and although finished 5th, the race was a lot quicker than the race he won so it was still a solid effort. But the start stopped any chance of him winning prize money for his owners so it did feel like a wasted run/wasted day. He returned safe and sound though so that was something to be grateful for.

Lots of visitors yesterday and always great to see Stefan Hibbert who called in to see the foals and also youngsters Duke of Luckley and Herbie – both still out in the field however Duke is due to come in on Monday. Stefan’s first ever winner as an owner was at Worcester a few years ago with Thady Quil on his wife Gwyneth’s birthday (well planned by the Trainer!). Thady is now retired with one of our owners Pip Frankish and lives a life of luxury at Wellington Riding Centre with Pip tending to his every need. Pip’s partner Paul, who runs our Racing Club and many of our Partnerships as well as keeping a very close eye on our finances, goes to ride Thady as much as he can.

Derek and Honor Newton called in mid morning to bring a selection of delicious vegetables from their garden in Worcester and bring Belinda some flowers. They are avid followers of the Blog and never forget the boys’ birthdays and we really appreciate their generosity. Like us, they are missing their days racing at Worcester this summer and can’t wait to get back there in 2021. Such a shame for such a hard working team there.

This morning David Thorpe, Chairman of Arena Racing Company, called in to meet Jon Hughes, our Chairman and joint author of the Blueprint for Racehorse Ownership in the UK and to discuss the Blueprint. David has had a few horses with me over the years including Brimham Boy, Won More Night and bred and had a share in Cheltenham winner Bobble Emerald too. Great to see them both and I even cooked them breakfast!

James Best, Lilly Pinchin, Harry Atkins & Richard Cook all extras riding out today. We worked Found On, Sarasota Star, Mozzaro, Reve, Be Thankful, Eclat Des Mottes, Pinnacle Peak, Beneagles and Ten Past Midnight. All the rest cantered.

Tomorrow is our Virtual Owners’ Day at 11am where you can be part of our annual event in the comfort of your own home. Sadly we inevitably couldn’t hold it here with an actual audience but we hope that this will still be an enjoyable event, lasting approximately 90 minutes, however you will have to provide your own refreshments! If you have a PC/Laptop/Ipad it is relatively easy to log on, even if you aren’t familiar with Zoom but you do have to register beforehand so if you’d like to be part of it then please drop us an email and we will send you the link and information. Thank you so much to Neil Lloyd, MD for our yard sponsor FBC Manby Bowdler, who not only cycled to see us this morning, some 100km round trip, but is helping host the Webinar and has put a lot of work into it and helped a lot. We are also very grateful to Sky TV Presenter Hayley Moore who has agreed to help host our Owners’ Day. Exciting times and very much hope to see a lot of you ‘virtually’ tomorrow.

For those of you who are unable to watch live, it will be recorded and we will share it after the event.