Martin’s Blog 3rd September

Back to school for Harry this morning but not before he’d overseen schooling of his favourite horse, Mr Mafia, and one of his favourite jockeys was in too – Leighton Aspell.

We schooled Big Nasty, Enforcement, Mr Mafia, Ballymountain Boy, Solstice Star, Back on the Lash, Reve, Pinnacle Peak, Bobble Emerald, Sarasota Star, Cotswold Prince and Debden Bank. Newly retired Paul Davis was here too for the morning watching schooling before returning to unpack an endless amount of boxes in his new base in Bourton on the Water. A very different office to the one he’s been used to for the last few years in Switzerland – no more ski-ing holidays with him there but we will get the benefit of him being in the yard plenty of the time and are thrilled to have him back in the UK. He’s already been a big cog here remotely organising plenty of our syndicates and our Racing Club too and we are thrilled to have him back in the country full time.

Mid morning we had a visit from Anni & Bryan Eccles with their family and a quick ride on Freddie’s Shetland for Grandson Archie. Tony Send brought two friends up to see Mozzaro and to catch up with us before lunching at The Plough at Ford on their way home.

We were delighted with Witness Protection’s debut for the yard on Sunday at Worcester for Foxtrot Racing Syndicate under a super ride from Richard Johnson to finish a close 3rd. He needs further than the minimum 2 miles that he ran over and obstacles too but I was keen to get a run into him and Richard pressed on all the way down the back and into the straight to try and run the finish out of the rest of the field. They beat off their nearest pursuer but the other two came wide and although he battled again as soon as they joined him, he was just beaten by a neck and a neck. A great & enthusiastic turnout from the Foxtrot owners who were thrilled and are as excited as we are for a lot of fun over the winter with him.

Freddie doesn’t go back to school until tomorrow when he starts at The Cotswold Academy – not quite sure where time has gone?! His friends Richard Cook and Jamie Spencer however, like Harry, start back today and it was their final time here riding out yesterday as both have been here often over the summer. Two keen pony racing jockeys, they keep improving and are polite lads who are a pleasure to have in the yard.