Martin’s Blog 29th January

What a strange day yesterday was at Cheltenham. Such a tremendous buzz at the course for such amazing racing. All week Freddie & Harry have been talking about the Cotswold Chase as Freddie’s favourite horse is Thistlecrack and Harry’s is Many Clouds.

Tarnya Sherwood had recently offered a prize for my ‘soon to be announced’ Charity Evening of a “Meet Many Clouds Morning” and had told Harry he could also go whenever we could get a morning away. She also kindly brought a new Many Clouds badge for him yesterday as Belinda couldn’t find the one she’d bought him on Friday night so sent Tarnya an SOS! A visit to the Racing Post Stand as soon as we arrived secured the very last Many Clouds scarf too – a happy Harry and a relieved mother as Freddie already had a Thistlecrack scarf and hadn’t lost his Thistlecrack badge!!

Before the race Tom Scudamore kindly posed for a photo with Freddie and offered to bring Leighton Aspell out for a photo with Harry – photos they will treasure.

What a race it was and those around the boys in the Paddock were amused at their rivalry throughout. The delight when Many Clouds got up … Harry high fived Nathan his work jockey and gave Taryna a hug – amazing scenes then the awful news he’d collapsed turned to hope he’d be fine then despair when we all heard the dreadful news that he’d died. Oliver, Tarnya and their whole team so dignified and brave afterwards and so very sweet with Harry too – the racing family we find ourselves in are the biggest support in times like this – such genuine lovely friends who all understand the wonderful game we are in but how hard it sometimes is.

A shell shocked spookily quiet Cheltenham and Any Currency in the very next race aged 14. Someone said to wrap him up and take him home but, like Many Clouds, he’s a racehorse and that’s what he is bred and trained to do. He loves it and we hoped we’d see a new enthusiastic Any Currency after a couple of lack lustre runs over regulation fences that seem to bore him!

He was delighted to be back over his favourite course and we are absolutely thrilled with his 3rd place under a great ride from Richard Johnson deputising for Aidan Coleman who was at Doncaster. The ground would have been a bit soft for him and we left a bit to work on for The Festival so he will definitely come on for the run and we will have him in top shape for The Festival in March where he must go there with another live shout.

Solstice Star ran well for a long way but now he’s getting older Conor felt he was always flat out and maybe now needs further. We’ll also have a look at his wind too just to make sure we’ve covered everything. He had a lot more weight than last year but found it a lot more difficult.

Both horses sound this morning and out in the field for the day. Thoughts still with the Sherwood team who despite having three winners from three runners yesterday finished the day heartbroken. So many lovely Many Cloud memories and the tributes flooding in across social media show how many people loved him too.