Martin’s Blog 5th January

A belated Happy New Year to you all and already it feels like so much has happened. We were hoping to be at Cheltenham on New Years’ Day then Ludlow today – both succumbed to the weather and then, of course, we found out last night from Boris that we were to go into Lockdown for 6 weeks. Thank goodness racing as an elite sport can continue – saving so many livelihoods in this industry – it will continue to be tough but at least it will continue, so many incomes ceased overnight.

What a roller coaster of day on Sunday for the Zoe Davison yard – sending out a double (the first of which was partnered by our very own James Best who was understandably emotional passing the post) and then to hear the news that she’d passed away at home just over an hour later was so sad. What a fitting way to go out though and thoughts with all her family and friends. She sounded an amazing woman. Cancer is so cruel. Although we didn’t know her personally, her loss did bring back such sad memories for us of 11 years ago when Wolf Moon won for us at Cheltenham on New Years’ Day when Belinda’s mum was nearing the end of her 18 year battle with cancer and sadly we lost her 11 years ago tomorrow. Hopefully in time their thoughts of her will be happy memories rather than raw grief.

Bitterly cold here but the snow my boys loved playing in has gone. No bad thing even for them as home schooling has begun. Freddie, thankfully, this time is on ‘Teams’ online so ‘all’ we have to do is get him into the Owners’ Room, where the wifi is better than the house, on time! Yesterday’s novelty is wearing off today! Harry was at school yesterday and loved it – obviously at home now and he needs more help as he’s working from worksheets – over to Belinda!

Wind surgeon Ben Brain here this morning to check Enforcement, who underwent an operation with him last week, and look at dear Solstice Star who struggled terribly with his win at Warwick on New Years’ Day. There is still so much fire in his belly despite turning 11 years old on New Years’ Day and so discussions into what we do with him with his owners. We are so fortunate to have Ben on the doorstep and he is always so interesting and insightful.

I’m sure many of you have given in and no longer ‘enjoying’ Dry January as of Boris’s announcement last night! Let’s hope this 3rd Lockdown, in conjunction with the vaccine, will get us all back on track sooner rather than later. Stay safe everyone.

Meanwhile Happy Lockdown birthday to David Bridgwater and Alice Plunkett.

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