Martin’s Blog 23rd July

James Best was in first lot and cantered and schooled Raving Bonkers ahead of his run at Newton Abbot tomorrow and schooled last week’s Southwell winner Lord Condi. I always like to school horses soon after they have had their first one or two runs over fences – it’s something I’ve always done. Both were very good.

James has come in for more rides for us as unfortunately Richard Johnson is feeling too sore to ride and has stood himself down. We hope he is back 100% fit soon. James therefore now rides Cotswold Prince today at Uttoxeter and he’s in great form and we are hoping he’ll build on his re-appearance. He looks fantastic and I think is the strongest we have had him – one of our physios, Hannah Ashton, has never felt him better so fingers crossed he runs a big race for his fabulous group of owners.

James was already riding Capital Force and Gold Mountain tomorrow but now also comes in for the rides on Mr Mafia and Raving Bonkers, replacing Richard. An able deputy though as James has been in every day during Lockdown riding out and regularly since so knows the horses very well.

We also had young Harry Atkins, Harry Greasby and Richard Cook riding out for us this morning. Richard is just a year older than Freddie but the Harry’s are a few years older than them both and are good role models for them as they ride well, are polite and have a good work ethic. Four boys to look out for in the future if they carry on working hard and improving as they currently are. A tough industry but a welcoming and supportive one to get into and so many more opportunities and so much more support too these days. Will be very interesting to see what becomes of them all in 5/10 years time!