Martin’s Blog 2nd November

Another frost and a stunning morning here in the Cotswolds. The rain we all need though has been promised over the next few days so lets hope it arrives.

Two runners today at Uttoxeter. Zara Tindall’s Cut & Run makes her seasonal debut over hurdles under Leighton Aspell, who won on Zara’s first homebred Somewhere To Be this time last year. Zara’s done all the pre-training with her and done a great job and she returned to us about a month ago looking really well. No novice hurdle is easy at this time of year so it looks very competitive but she’ll hopefully run a solid race.

We also run Mr Mafia, our summer hero with four winners during the summer and some fantastic placed efforts since. I was so disappointed that he was balloted out of taking his chance at Cheltenham last Saturday when some horses whose trainers had told Agents weren’t running then declared and we missed the cut by 2. I’m a great believer in things happening for a reason most of the time and he seems to have a great chance today. As usual, Harry Stock rides him and they get on so well. John Abernethy and Peter Boggis swap colours each run and today it’s Peter’s turn. He seems in great form and the good ground should suit him too.

After nearly 3 years in the yard we say a very sad goodbye to Ash Hark who is relocating with his girlfriend to Devon. We will all miss Ash so much – one of the team mentioned yesterday that he’s simply irreplaceable – he’s been a very popular member of the team and we are all sorry to see him go. I know two little people who will miss him too – my boys and especially Freddie whom he helped and guided so much, in particular with his riding. Ash came to us from Zara Tindall’s and nothing has ever been too much trouble for him and we wish him well in his new career – he’ll be a huge loss to racing too. Good luck Ash and thank you for everything! He’s at Uttoxeter today so please do wish him well if you see him there.