Martin’s Blog 27th February

Oscar World ran a cracker yesterday to finish 2nd at Leicester galloping all the way to the line. Frustrating that if the declarations had stayed as they were at 10am yesterday she’d have been the winner but I obviously understand why races with declarations of under 8 runners are re-opened however it would have been lovely if it stayed at 2! A big step forward for her though and I hope she’ll now build on that.

Another glorious morning and an opportunity for all the horses 1st lot to have a hack and canter around the fields and tracks on our neighbour’s land – Christopher & Annie Cox which the horses and team thoroughly enjoy. Fabulous for the horses to be turned out without any rugs on too in the sunshine and without the flies that bother them some summers – none of those out in February!

2nd Lot Robert Chugg was in to watch Mello Yello, who he bred, on the gallops. She’s done well for a winter break and has been back in full work for about 8 weeks. Hot To Trot Racing have leased her for this season and she will be having a run in a bumper next month.

It was wonderful to see photos of our Champion Jockey, Richard Johnson, and his proud family yesterday as he received his hugely deserving OBE from Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace. A deserving honour for a wonderful ambassador for our sport.

Yesterday lunchtime Belinda returned to her secondary school in Chipping Campden to talk to a group of 12 to 15 year olds about Racing. Teacher James Slattery met Belinda when Kathryn Albutt did a week of work experience here last year and said that he found her passion for the sport infectious and was keen for her to talk to his students. She had planned to take me along as she’s not very keen on public speaking of any sort but as I was racing she had to go it alone and was pretty nervous! She not only explained how we started and all about what we do but also how Pony Racing has helped our jockeys of the future. She was keen, however, to point out that there are far more opportunities for people to enjoy being part of the Racing Industry – certainly not just wannabe jockeys – and how lucky as an industry we are to have organisations like Racing Welfare and all they do for us all.

It sounds as though they all thoroughly enjoyed it which is brilliant. I do think we are a brilliant industry and do have so much to offer and think that there should be more people going into schools and planting the seed in the youth of today as they are our future workforce in all areas.

David Robinson called in to see us late morning and had reports of his mare Jeans Lady who he nearly retired due to injury and having not lived up to what we originally hoped for when she was here as a youngster. She ran in her first point to point on Sunday and jumped for fun finishing 2nd so he was thrilled he’d persevered. Let’s hope she can fill the number 1 spot soon.