Martin’s Blog 1st November

Quiet day today so all the horses went for a hack ending in a quiet canter. Thursdays are a set day for our Farriers to come in too so Nick Partridge and Amy Clarke were in all morning. As we turn horses out every day in their paddocks they do occasionally pull shoes off our in the field too as they enjoy galloping around and messing about so we are very fortunate that Nick also manages to call in at evening stables or get here early on one of the days he shouldn’t be here. He’s a big part of our team.

Local Trainer Richard Hobson often uses our gallops to work his horses and yesterday he kindly allowed us to use his gallops near Little Rissington to give two of our youngsters who’ve hardly left the yard, a trip in the lorry and a canter somewhere new. They were both very well behaved and took it all very well and was a worthwhile exercise. I always think Racing is different to many sports as although we are very competitive and love nothing more than winning, we also try and help out other Trainers as and when needed and it works really well. This area is getting more populated by Trainers and rather than this be a negative as some feel it is, obviously competition is high for owners but it also definitely brings more owners into the area which can only be a good thing for us all and the sport as a whole.

One runner today – Matravers for our Martin Keighley Racing Club at Stratford. Although he is the outsider of the field in a Selling Hurdle, he’s proving very popular for the Club as we have lots of them in attendance today.

We run a ballot for tickets if there are more people wanting to go racing than there are tickets available however the Courses are generally very generous to us and I don’t think we have ever turned anyone down. Occasionally if they are unsuccessful in the ballot and we’re oversubscribed on extra tickets then courses offer us a very generous reduction in price for an Owners & Trainers ticket so no-one has yet been disappointed in 2 years of our Club. A lot of that is thanks to Paul Davis who runs it superbly for us and whom we are so lucky to have as part of our team. There are still places left in the Club and it’s a fabulous Christmas Present (sorry but my boys told me this morning there are only 50 days to go…!) for a racing fan @ £500 for the year or £42 monthly by direct debit. Do get in touch to find out more.

Hopefully Matravers will put his best foot forward today but I know whatever happens the friendships that our Club Members have made already within the Club will ensure that they will have a great day at Stratford.

It’s Stratford’s last meeting of the season and the final day for Head Groundsman Eric Harris after 22 years of service at the Track. I’ve known Eric for years and he has done a fabulous job at Stratford and we wish him a long and happy retirement and hope he’ll have more time to call up and see us now!