Martin’s Blog 23rd February

What a fun day in London and so proud to make the final four for the Lycetts Team Champion Award. Well done to Warren Greatrex and his team who won the over 40 horses category and to Nick Alexander and his team who won the under 40 horses category. A brilliant initiative and we have certainly learnt a lot throughout it and must thank Lycetts, the National Trainers Federation and The Racing Foundation and especially Rupert Arnold and Shelley Perham for all their hard work. Each of the Judges went out of their way to come and see us afterwards to explain how close it was and told us how proud we should be of all our team – we are!

A fun day and I took Belinda, Foxy and Harley for a quick drink at The Ritz on the way back to Paddington Station as a much deserved treat. Although we didn’t manage to win the £4000 first prize for the team, we’ll still implement one or two of the things on their ‘wish list’ as they have all worked so hard towards the application and thoroughly deserve it.

In my rush yesterday I didn’t have any time to talk about Buckle Street’s win at Doncaster on Wednesday. He’d disgraced himself at Ascot on Saturday when whipping around at the start and unseating Harry Stock when we’d really fancied him to run a big race. On Wednesday he didn’t repeat that however looked far from the winner turning in when he was toiling in 5th or 6th under heavy pressure from Harry and possibly not helping him as much as he could do. However, he showed how tough he is as set sail for home, winged the last two hurdles and eventually won it almost cosily to the delight of the members of The Condicote Clan who own him. Only about half of them could be there but there would have been plenty of support from Miami, Poland and Gloucester (not forgetting Belinda screaming at the TV in the owners’ room at home!). So he’s redeemed himself and is well and truly back in mine and Harry’s good books too! He’s giving his owners so much fun – from winning a York charity race to winning at Catterick on Harry’s 21st Birthday to winning at Doncaster with a 3rd place at Cheltenham in between – what a great horse for them to be involved in.

Chris and Charlie Dee and Emily Birch here second lot today to watch Pirate Look working on the gallops. There is a 1/12th share in him still available and he is so far doing everything well at home. The aim is to run him in about two weeks so do get in touch to come and watch him and get on board.

Work morning and Andrew Tinkler and Tom Bellamy in to ride out. We worked Ask Alice, Young Phoenix, Somewhere To Be, Ballymountain Boy, Gold Mountain, Cut and Run, Cup of Ambition, Dr Dunraven, Enforcement, Back on the Lash, Raving Bonkers, Lady Vitesse, Cotswold Prince, Pirate Look, Mr Mafia, Chequered View, Sugar Storm and Madame Fiona. The rest just cantered or the next few days runners did a breeze up – Morning Herald and Mister Valentine (tomorrow), Weyburn and Richie Valentine (Sunday).

Due to three more horses arriving today (more about them later) we are looking for another member of staff to join our team. This is ideally a full time position but we could work around a part time person and we could also split it into a non-riding position and a part time work rider. Do get in touch if you wish to join our team – every opportunity is given here to further your career however you wish to do so – rides under rules, in charity races, further education etc.