Martin’s Blog 4th July

Racing Staff Week continues and a fabulous week of celebrating the backbone of our Industry and those without whom we simply could not carry on. We have Honor Devas here this week for a week of work experience from The Cotswold School and she has fitted in really well and is hopefully learning a lot too. She thoroughly enjoyed helping Maggie Turner yesterday whilst she was checking and treating our horses – I knew she would as Maggie is very generous with her time. Lots more for her to do throughout the rest of the week.

Thrilled for the Stock family to have a winnner last night at Stratford – Chris’s Good Tradition winning by a wide margin over hurdles under a good ride from son Harry. All the family there and great that it was Stratford as his sister Abi is a huge part of the team there – after a tough few months let’s hope this is the first of many celebrations.

Harry rides Dr Dunraven for us today at Worcester in a Conditional Jockey’s hurdle and no doubt he’ll have spoken at length to Andrew Tinkler, who has won on him the last two times, to find out all he needs to know. Andrew gets on so well with him but this race was more suitable than the others this week and the Handicapper put him up another 5lbs yesterday so has rather forced our hand. He seems in great form and hopefully he’ll give our Racing Club something to shout about again this afternoon. Lots of them look to be coming racing which is fantastic.

Earlier in the day Forecast is set to make his seasonal debut after a year off with a leg injury. He’s not taken up a couple of his entries lately due to the heat as he’s a free sweater however we are hopeful that it will be a little cooler today – that’s what the weather forecasters have assured us. He’s in good form and, as long as I’m happy with the ground, he’ll take his chance and, although is the outsider of the field, he will hopefully run a good race on his return. Tom Bellamy gets on well with him and was in to ride him yesterday and is in the saddle today.

Another of our owners is there today as their special guest. HRH The Princess Royal, who herself rode Cnoc Na Cuille, trained by my mentor David Nicholson, to victory over fences there in 1987 (before my time at Condicote but Belinda remembers Cnoc from her school days helping out at weekends – she was very young IN 1987 she wants to point out!!!) is there to help them celebrate their 300th Anniversary.

It should be a good day and, whilst we may struggle to keep up our 100% record there so far this season (Dr Dunraven & Mr Mafia) we will give it a good go!

What a gripping game it was last night…we were ready to send the boys to bed after full time happy after a 1-0 win …but it wasn’t to be! Eventually we had the outcome we all wanted – our team looked composed in the penalty shoot out and got the job done. Gareth Southgate looks to be doing a very good job and long may it continue.