Martin’s Blog 3rd November

A brave run in defeat once again by Mr Mafia who is as honest a horse as I have come across. Yesterday the combination of top weight and the steady pace early on beat him but he finished a very respectable 3rd adding to his four wins, two seconds and a 3rd since joining us at the start of the year. In addition he has won his owners £25,000 and only been beaten 8 lengths in total in the races he’s not won. What a record and what fun he has given us all. A real favourite not only for his owners John Abernethy and Peter Boggis but the team here love him too especially Jasmin who looks after him and both Harrys – Stock and Keighley!

Cut and Run ran a very promising race too and a much improved effort. Owner/Breeder Zara Tindall did all her pre training this time and has worked hard on her before she returned about a month ago. Leighton Aspell let her go on after the 3rd hurdle and was pleased with her jumping and her attitude. She was headed 2 out but kept on and had she not been slow over the last she would have kept 4th if not stayed on for 3rd. Lots to build on and very happy connections.

I missed Uttoxeter as I was with the family in Yorkshire attending the funeral of my Uncle John. A wonderful send off and very fitting that it was packed full of family and friends all paying their respects to a popular, kind and much loved man. He loved coming racing and would always come to Wetherby especially when I had runners with my Aunty June and my parents.

Busy day here this morning with lots of extra riders in – Warren Marston, Mark Caswell, Abi Stock, Ollie Garner and Harry Greasby. We worked Buckle Street, Sarasota Star, Oscar World, Mello Yello, Somewhere To Be, Big Nasty, Young Phoenix, Cotswold Prince and Pomme De Nuit. All the rest cantered. Tyrone, Kirsten & Kieva Hanlon here 2nd lot to watch Debden Bank on the gallops and great to see them all.

Ascot today with three runners. Chequered View runs in a Novices’ Handicap Hurdle after winning at Southwell last time out. That form was franked with the second horse winning impressively at Uttoxeter yesterday and she seems in great form so we are hopeful of another good run from her.

We are doubly represented in the bumper with debutant Ben Buie and also Miss Antipova who is having her second run. Ben Buie is a Presenting gelding that we like a lot and was ready to run in a bumper in the Spring but the ground started to go and his work rider Harley and myself felt that he could do with a summer out to mature even more. There is never any rush with these young horses and he is a lovely albeit green baby who we like a lot. Richard Johnson rides today and it will be very interesting to see how Ben takes to it all – I’m sure he is a very nice horse and we’ve done plenty with him at home.

Miss Antipova tried to run out at Fontwell last time which was totally out of character and then she stayed on really well to finish 5th not beaten all that far considering the ground she gave away. We are hoping for best behaviour today and she once again has Harry Stock on board who knows her well. The track I think will suit them both.