Martin’s Blog 5th April

Yesterday Peter and Jane Boggis brought Mr Mafia back to us and Harry Stock did a piece of work on him up our gallops. He has wintered with the Boggis’s and so it is no surprise to see him looking fabulous. He worked well and, after looking again through our racing plans, they decided to leave him in the yard so that we can target a debut in about 4 weeks.

He’s had a great winter holiday whilst the ground was unsuitable for him and the Boggis Team have been pre-training him but he’s now ready for the finishing touches. Great to catch up with Peter & Jane and we wish their daughter Kitty all the best as they all count down to Badminton Horse Trials at the beginning of May.

Superb racing at Aintree yesterday with some fabulous results. Our boys were particularly thrilled with Tabitha Worsley riding the winner of the Foxhunters, Top Wood. Tabitha is a great role model as not only has she come back from a broken back 18 months ago, she helped Freddie at a Pony Race at Lingfield last autumn. She gave up her time to walk the course with all the children and when Freddie told her he was nervous about the Start she promised to be down there and give him confidence. Then, when Freddie was unfortunately unseated as he walked to post and another pony cannoned into him, Tabitha was in the right place at the right time – she scooped him up and walked to post with him ensuring he not only still raced (& finished 2nd) but most importantly returned with a huge smile on his face. You can imagine the noise in our house yesterday when Tabitha firstly kicked for home before 2 out and then again when she was narrowly headed at the Elbow. A brilliant race – well done Tabitha!

What cold, wet weather we have had over the last few days however it’s great for the ground and we have been able to school this morning on the grass. We schooled Capital Force, World War, Reve, Back on the Lash, Cotswold Prince, Somewhere To Be, Primogeniture, Brillare Momento, Champion Court, Forecast and Lord Condi. Conor Shoemark was in for two lots along with Beth Whittle and Abi Stock. Abi is getting fit for her York Ride of My Lives race in June and is planning lots of fundraising events to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Research – she’s already raised over £10,000 and with a Gin Night, a Race Night and a Bingo Evening already planned she is undoubtedly going to raise much, much more. Well done Abi.

Two runners at Sedgefield today – a four hour drive but both in suitable races so will hopefully make the journey worthwhile and run well. Enforcement should be full of confidence following his win at Plumpton last time. He takes on the horse he beat by a nose on the same terms so it could be very close between those two again. Harry Stock, who gave him such a great ride at Plumpton, retains the ride and also rides Miss Antipova.

Miss Antipova is making her hurdling debut in the second race, again with Harry Stock on board. She has been very keen in her bumpers so our main aim is to get her switched off and concentrating on her hurdles. She has jumped well at home and has had a wind operation since her last run which will hopefully help too. She’s owned by The Batsford Stud Racing Club but with lots of mares due to foal in the next few days both Alan and Anna Varey are unsurprisingly too busy to go to Sedgefield today but were keen for her to still run and will be no doubt glued to the TV.