Martin’s Blog 29th December

What a day (& night) at Leicester yesterday. I think we can be forgiven for feeling very hard done by leaving there without a winner on board. Paul Armour’s Somewhere To Be was given a super positive ride by Harry Stock, driving him away the start to ensure he led, which he loves doing, then he jumped for fun putting in some spectacular leaps. He had everything beaten, had jumped them all into submission and only had to jump the last ….but walked through it and gave himself and Harry a horrible fall.

So tough to take and so disappointing for Paul, Harry, Jasmin who looks after him and the whole team here who have worked so hard over Christmas and deserved to win a decent prize. However, thankfully Somewhere To Be is ok – things really could have been far worse.

Harry was taken to Leicester Royal Hospital and I joined him there as they suspected he had broken his collarbone. However, due to Harry having broken his back a few years ago, they were very thorough and he had a full body scan to ensure he was A1 and had nothing wrong internally. I’m so pleased they were so thorough but it did mean that we were there about 8 hours and weren’t home until nearly midnight. I can’t shake off a hacking cough so felt I couldn’t be on BBC Radio Gloucestershire last night and was planning on getting home early ….that changed but I felt it was important I stayed with Harry although neither of us imagined we’d be there so long!

Somewhere To Be trotted up sound this morning and is out in the field for the day. Harry rung up to see how he was and has had an ok night but I’m sure is pretty sore. I always appreciate it when jockeys call to see how horses are – I had Simon & Kath Prowting in the office with me, owners of Raving Bonkers, and they too were very impressed with Harry. It’s little things like that which make a lot of difference. We hope he has a speedy recovery – he just didn’t deserve that bad luck.

We do appreciate all your messages and will pass them all on to Harry too. A few keyboard warriors, as usual, and they simply prove how sad their lives are to feel the need to send any sort of abuse after such an incident.

As well as Simon & Kath spending the morning here, Harley Cornock’s family were here to watch him in action on the gallops so it was great to catch up with them too. Tom Bellamy, Mark Caswell and Max Comley were in to ride work and we worked Brillare Momento, Forecast, Matravers, Primogeniture, Pinnacle Peak, Back on the Lash, Young Phoenix, Gold Mountain, Acacia Dream, Robsam, Raving Bonkers, Bobble Emerald, World War, Oscar World, By Yeats and Cotswold Prince. All the rest cantered.

Yesterday Racing Club Member Neil Lloyd called in with his family to see their new purchase – ‘Herbie’ one of our foals, By Califet, who they have just bought a share in. Belinda spent some time with them and they are so excited about being part of his future and dreaming about the big prizes he could win in years to come – it’s what it’s all about. There are still a few shares available in him – he looks similar to Champion Court – imagine having another one like him?! You never know!

Along with the whole of British Racing, all of us here are absolutely thrilled to hear that Richard Johnson has been awarded an OBE. You simply could not find a more dedicated sportsman who has been at the top of his game for so long. He’s not only a role model to my boys, who think he’s awesome, but also to any young person wanting to succeed in life. Undoubtedly hugely talented Richard also works as hard as anyone I know but has time for anyone whoever they are and has never changed in over 25 years that we’ve known him.