Martin’s Blog 4th August

Two runners today at Market Rasen. Cotswold Prince returns after his summer holiday and looks bigger and stronger than he did last season. A repeat of his Doncaster 2nd would see him go very close in his Maiden Hurdle and he has the assistance of the Champion Jockey, Richard Johnson.

Later on in the day Lord Condi steps right up in trip over hurdles to 3 miles and I am hopeful that the step up in trip will really suit him. He won three races last season but has been frustrating in a few runs since and is a nice horse so it would be great if he could bounce back to form. Leighton Aspell rides him.

I was at The Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park yesterday, home to HRH The Princess Royal, watching two of Leighton’s daughters in the Shetland Pony Grand National there. I was, of course, there to support Freddie and his pony Blackie in the same race and they had a lot of fun without troubling the judge! He’s on a pony who, before this season, had not only never raced but had also hardly been to a competition so it never fails to amaze me how well behaved he is in these big arenas with such large crowds. After saying that, I hope he doesn’t let me down today as they are back there again. They are learning so much together and doing all they can to hold their own against much older and experienced ponies.

Aside from that it’s always a brilliant day out for the family with so much to do, from watching the impressive cross country phase to pony club games in the main arena to plenty of shopping as well! Zara Tindall couldn’t make it to Bangor on Friday to watch her homebred mare Cut And Run win so I delivered her prizes yesterday and she was thrilled with the goodies that Bangor supply their winning owners.