Martin’s Blog 1st May

Today is the first day of the 2017/2018 season after one day off for us all yesterday! Last season wasn’t the easiest but we are still here and a lot of that is thanks to the support and hard work of my faithful Team at home and my wonderful team of owners and friends. Through sticking by us they have given us the strength to enter the new season with even more enthusiasm, excitement and hungrier for winners and to try and propel Team Keighley to the next level than ever before. It’s such a fantastic time to be involved here and I am so fortunate to have the team I have behind me and I look forward to working harder than ever to justify the support you have all had in us all.

Any Currency’s new lucky pilot Dickie Barrett was in to ride out three lots today – I think to help persuade me that they could come and collect him this morning. He couldn’t go until work rider Issy Mangan had given him plenty of hugs and then owner Jo Stainer had filled his tummy with polos and the rest of us had said our private goodbyes too. Obviously not really goodbye as we hope to go and watch him a lot Team Chasing and he will hopefully come back to parade at Owners’ Day and similar which he will love however an end of an era after 9 wonderful years and all a bit too much for a few of us this morning! He’s a lucky boy and I simply don’t think we could have found him a more suitable home. We wish them all the luck in the world.

Ollie Garner was also in first lot this morning. Ollie supplies us with our hay and bedding and it was great to have an extra rider outer as we’ve four runners at Kempton Park.

Ocean Eleven is our first runner who missed Huntingdon on Friday night as I felt it was just a little too quick for him. I can’t wait to see him over hurdles and hope he proves as nice as we think he is at home. Ballymountain Boy is next and it would be fantastic if he managed to get his head in front for his enthusiastic group of owners. Andrew Tinkler rides both of those. Brass Monkey is in the second division under Lizzie Kelly, who he ran so well for last time out, and he’s been working really well at home and I couldn’t be happier with him. Finally Ash Hark, who works hard in the yard, has a chance on Cup of Ambition. He ran well last time at Chepstow and 2nd was the best he really could have finished given an impossible task against a very nice individual. It was a good run though after a bumper run we put a line through and hopefully him and Ash will build on that again today and he’ll run well for two owners who have been so supportive to the yard. It would be great to kick start the season in the best possible way if at least one managed to get their head in front – fingers crossed!

Great to hear about horses in their new careers since leaving us. Always Bold and Miranda Theobald continue to sweep the board wherever they go! Early this morning they were in action at Allens Hill in a ROR Qualifier Show Class which they won and then went Reserve Champion. On Friday they won their first Novice Dressage test so well done to them and great for him to have such a wonderful home.