Martin’s Blog 21st February

Two runners at Doncaster this afternoon. Oscar World (Aidan Coleman) runs in the opener – a National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle over 2m 4f. She’s a mare I have always liked a lot and although this is competitive I’m hopeful she’ll enjoy the better ground and run another solid race. After I’d been trying for a long time I eventually managed to train Paul Armour a winner when his other horse here Somewhere To Be, won at Catterick recently and I’m sure it won’t be too long until she is in the number one spot too.

My other runner is Buckle Street who blotted his copybook at Ascot on Saturday by whipping around as the tapes went up and giving Harry Stock no chance of maintaining the partnership. Thankfully he kept hold of him so we salvaged something out of the disappointment and he can therefore run again today. He is feeling so well and this may have been his undoing at Ascot. I really fancied him to at least run into a place on Saturday and I actually think that the ground at Doncaster will suit him better so I hope he will go very close. He’s still a firm favourite with my family after giving Belinda a day we’ll never forget at York when they won the Macmillan Charity Race but I have to say he needs to get back into my favourites list today!

Abi Stock was in to ride out first lot and everything just cantered today.

More improvements around the yard. The sand walkways are being replaced after the onslaught of rain has replaced the earlier sand with mud. At the weekend we took delivery of two more schooling fences that we’ve bought that were refurbished by Frazer Bush and they are superb – a plain fence and an open ditch. Therefore in addition to our already pretty superb schooling ground we will add these three fences to fresh ground and they can be moved as and when we need to as well. We have added some Easyfix Hurdles to our circular loop too and these are another great addition. These extra facilities will continue to help us ensure that our horses continue to arrive at the racecourse as well schooled as possible.