Martin’s Blog 5th November

We had three runners at Ascot on Saturday and were looked after so well by the team there who go out of their way to make it an enjoyable experience for owners having runners there.

Chequered View tried to make all in her Handicap Hurdle under Leighton Aspell and was a little too keen and he didn’t have a chance to get a breather into her and therefore, despite jumping brilliantly, she faded from just after turning for home and he looked after her once beaten. She is tough and genuine though and there are certainly more races to be won with her.

We were doubly represented in the bumper and both behaved really well in the preliminaries although when the wind picked up a large leaf near Ben Buie in the pre-parade ring you’d have thought it was the scariest thing he’d ever seen! With no pace for most of the race, frustratingly, Miss Antipova pulled far too hard and did well to finish where she did as albeit only beating one home she was beaten less than 20 lengths.

Although we’ve always liked Ben Buie, he was making his racecourse debut and he’s not the easiest of rides at home and we were prepared for any sort of antics especially as he was dropped in at the deep end at a Grade 1 track. It was planned though as we knew the ground would suit and thought the galloping course would too. Despite the slow pace early on, he settled well and when it did turn into a sprint, despite being momentarily caught flat footed and showing a little greenness, he was soon into his stride and was professional and brave when needed to get up on the line to finish 2nd. He had the perfect partner in Richard Johnson who educated him and didn’t rush him and he was as excited about him as we were afterwards and, as always, his feedback after the race was superb. Exciting, especially as we also have his 3 year old half brother, by Yeats, who we like a lot.

Yesterday at Huntingdon Primogeniture left us scratching our heads again – he has still not transformed his decent flat form to hurdling. Harry Stock reported he was outpaced before 3 out but he stayed on whilst looking beaten up the straight so suggested stepping him up in trip. Frustrating though.

Mondays are always a hive of activity here and today is no different with Farrier Nick Partridge here and also Physio Maggie Turner. We have Jemima Turner in too on her Monday placement from Hartpury College and she is a huge help and is hopefully learning a lot too.