Martin’s Blog 2nd April

Happy Good Friday to you all. The sun is trying to come out too as I type but it’s been a cold morning with a bitter wind – although we were spoilt with such glorious weather earlier this week. It doesn’t yet look like it’s returning soon!

We worked a few this morning and Warren Marston was in as was Miranda Theobald too. We also had a visit from Claire Millington, who has a share in our nice looking youngster Herecomeshogan, owned by The Cotswold Lockdowners, and it was so good to see Claire, especially on a morning with Miranda in to ride out as we all go way back to the David Nicholson Condicote days. Deb Butler, also an owner here but who rides out every day, does all of our clipping and much more too, was in as well so it was a proper old ‘Duke’ school reunion in a covid secure kind of way! Looking forward to the days when we can all properly socialise but anything is a bonus now we are out of lockdown!

We worked Big Nasty, Fiddledi Dee, Back on the Lash, Reve, Mr Mafia, Dreamsundermyfeet, Mozzaro and Samtara. The rest all cantered and those coming up to a run who didn’t work today will be working tomorrow. We find it easier for our yard to not have set fast work days. This allows us more flexibility when owners can come and watch, with different jockeys that come in, the weather when we are working on the grass and need more or less rain – 24 hours can make such a difference. Horses often work Tuesday and Friday or Wednesday and Saturday. With it being a bank holiday today we are always keen to get the team home earlier if possible and a shorter evening stables so it all helps.

Yesterday Gordon Bendall and Linda Swain were in to watch the horses on the gallops. Sadly they chose a bitterly cold morning in stark contrast to the warm day 24 hours earlier but both seemed to enjoy themselves and it really is lovely to have different friendly faces back in the yard and on the gallops. With so much outdoor space it is very covid secure too for any of you thinking of visiting.

Wednesday was a busy day for us runners wise with 4 horses in action at Southwell. Eclat Des Mottes found things happening a bit too quick for him on good ground over the minimum trip although he jumped well and, at the end of the day, Enforcement probably felt the same in the concluding hurdle as he never properly got into it.

Our two performances of the day were in the middle of the card. I did mention in the blog that Miss Antipova’s should outrun her price and she did just that. It all nearly got a bit too much for her in the paddock though and Paddy did a great job with her as did James Best and James quite rightly got a huge shoutout from Luke Harvey on Racing TV for his horsemanship on her. Onto the race and she jumped for fun under a quiet ride and on the turn for home looked the probable winner! She couldn’t quite go with the leader and dropped back to 3rd before running on gamely after the last to finish a very good 2nd and absolutely delight us all especially owners Anna & Alan Varey.

Brorson was in the following race in what looked a pretty hot bumper on paper. He’s had three runs in Point to Points but has been keen at home so, although professional in the preliminaries, we decided to drop him out and switch him off and then creep into it from turning in and see where we finished. James did just that and he absolutely flew past his rivals up the straight to finish a very good 2nd to the smart looking favourite and earn him the ‘eyecatcher’ of the day in the next day’s Racing Post. We are all so thrilled for owner David Maughan, who was able to be at Southwell, as he looks like an exciting prospect for the future.

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