Martin’s Blog 8th March

A really busy few days with Cheltenham preparation well underway – not only do we want our team in top shape but the yard too as we are inundated with visitors and it is such an exciting time.

Yesterday Lucjan and I finished a new schooling ground. We already have a fantastic area alongside the gallops with a line of fences and hurdles but I was keen to do another line of wide hurdles lower down too. We have schooled over it for the first time today and they all jumped well. We schooled Brillare Momento, Mr Mafia, Sugar Storm, Ballymountain Boy, Spice Girl, Cut and Run, Cup of Ambition, Reve, Solstice Star and Pirate Look with Champion Court acting as lead horse for the less experienced ones. Andrew Tinkler was in for a couple of lots but we also had most of the team schooling too – they are all very capable and they enjoy it as well. In addition to the hurdles, we have three very smart new fences ready to go onto the schooling ground too – it’s going to be very smart!

The horses are always a priority and we’ve so far had Physios Maggie Turner and Hannah Ashton in plus Equine Dentist Tom Siddall and today we have our farriers Nick Partridge and Amy Clarke. We’ve waved goodbye to most of the snow – just a few bits lying around.

Yesterday Kim Smith-Bingham and his team went over and above the call of duty when we were running low on his supplement Immun-Ocean Gastro Race. They drove some over from near Towcester to us so that our horses didn’t have to miss out before we received our full order in the next couple of days. We really appreciate the partnerships we have built up and are so very grateful when they reward our loyalty with such fantastic service.

My boys are healthy again and have gone to school as jockeys this morning as it’s World Book Day take two after last week’s WBD was interrupted by snow which shut the school. We even had an SOS from another pupil’s mother as she wanted to go as ‘National Velvet’ and needed to borrow some colours. I’m not sure the boys will be feeling as well next week though…!!

No runners this week so far but entries at Hereford and Warwick over the weekend and Taunton and Stratford on Monday and no doubt the ground being the deciding factor for most. Although we are all very excited about Cheltenham next week, I know the connections of Pirate Look, for example, are very excited about his impending debut hopefully on Monday and Belinda returned from school earlier this week with two huge sacks of carrots for Pirate Look and his friends courtesy of Julie Lambourne. Much appreciated thank you Julie!