Martin’s Blog 23rd June

What a great week of racing at Royal Ascot especially Frankie’s fabulous four winners on Thursday. Belinda & I went on Friday and had a great day. We chanced the train and thankfully the strikes made no impact on our journey and we were joined on the train by NAF’s racing expert Sammy Martin and Jo Brown from Overbury Stud so a fun time was assured!

Royal Ascot certainly know how to do things well and it was fantastic to meet up with so many friends as well as being treated to superb hospitality from Chris & Jo Massey, owners here, in their wonderful Winning Post Garden Chalet. Fun company, delicious food and what a spot – we could see the winning line from our seats – the view was awesome.

Whilst we were at Royal Ascot Primogeniture (Conor Shoemark) ran a blinder at Market Rasen for our Racing Club to finish 3rd. Unfortunately Ben Buie was very disappointing again in the bumper under Richard Johnson who could offer no explanation to why the horse who he got off at Ascot after his debut and said he was a proper horse ran so badly again. Lots more head scratching – a good long holiday becons and hopefully he’ll bounce back after that.

We watched the race with Kieran Ryan who is part of Owners for Owners syndicate that own Ben. We needed a very stiff drink and decided to put it temporarily out of our minds by joining the packed Band Stand for the Royal Ascot tradition of a good old sing song. Kieran led the way!

Three at Southwell today and sadly Richard Johnson is too sore to ride after a crunching fall yesterday – thankfully just soreness as it looked nasty so I wasn’t surprised when I was informed this morning he wasn’t riding today.

So Lord Condi is now partnered by Leighton Aspell, Forecast is partnered by Conor Shoemark who has won on him too so knows him and gets on well with him. Harry Stock retains the ride on Raving Bonkers who was so, so unlucky last time out at Ludlow. We went there for the good to firm ground he loves but the heavens opened as we were saddling and in hind sight I should have pulled him out. However, no-one could have guessed good to firm would be changed to soft/heavy with just one torrential shower but it did and Harry weighed back in 7lbs heavy – that’s how wet it was. Showers are forecast later today and he’s in the last again – surely we can’t be that unlucky again – can we?! We are therefore hopeful of a better run from him.