Martin’s Blog 3rd May

Work morning and Conor Shoemark and Abi Stock both in and Harry Stock also in during his week off – dedication! We worked Back on the Lash, Mr Mafia, Debden Bank, Bobble Emerald, Enforcement, Matravers, Samtara, Gold Mountain, Fairmount, Lord Condi, Capital Force, World War, Be Thankful, Cloud Formation and Raving Bonkers. The rest cantered.

Great to see Jo Stainer on the gallops 2nd lot watching Lord Condi and hoping to get a clean bill of health from the hospital later today – fingers crossed.

Mr & Mrs Richardson were in to watch their homebred filly Be Thankful work on the gallops. They’ve kindly leased her to our Martin Keighley Racing Club for the summer and we hope to have plenty of fun on the flat with her. Zoe Stock was in too to watch Harry, Abi & Conor in action on the gallops and we look forward to her horse, Finnick Glory, returning in the next few weeks.

This afternoon I met our vet Jeremy Swan at Hannah Ashton’s Todenham yard as she has Ballymountain Boy for a few weeks doing flat work and giving him plenty of physio. He’s pleased with him and we can’t wait to get him back on the racecourse in the autumn as he’s one we have missed this season.

Forecast tomorrow at Uttoxeter over hurdles and with Conor Shoemark, who gets on with him so well, claimed to ride at Hexham for Dan Skelton, we have got super-sub Richard Johnson – not a bad stand in! Forecast is in good form and should run well.

Meanwhile Freddie is the most excited 11 year old tonight as he has been chosen to ride in the Shetland Pony Grand National in the main arena at Badminton Horse Trials tomorrow before the Cross Country starts. He’s riding his shetland pony Blackie, who is only 6, and it will be the biggest occasion they’ve been to. All in aid of the Bob Champion Cancer Trust and he’s already been generously sponsored by Webblite (who also supplied his amazing racing saddle – designed and made by Allen Webb) and NAF RaceOn who supply the whole of the equestrian industry with nutritional based formulas for racehorses and many other supplies. Good luck Freddie and good luck to Kitty King, daughter of Mr Mafia’s owner Peter, who is currently lying in 5th place at Badminton after the dressage. The cross country tomorrow is huge and looks almost impossible in parts to the untrained eye (mine!) so it will be a fascinating day.