Martin’s Blog 9th May

The weather doesn’t know what it’s doing today! It was mild and bright first thing but then the fog descended and heavy rain during 2nd lot but it’s brightening up now.

Hopefully Nigel Kirby managed to get some good photos – he was here to photograph Abi Stock as she gets race fit to ride at York in June in her Macmillan Ride of Their Lives Charity race. So kind of Nigel to generously give up his time and so pleased, but not surprised, that the Hollow Bottom looked after him so well last night. We can’t wait to see the photos…

Nigel then headed off to Worcester where he is Official Photographer. We’ve two runners there today, both partnered by Harry Stock. Lord Condi pleased us on his seasonal debut when he was 2nd at Fontwell. The step up in trip will suit today but he won’t want much more rain. Enforcement is in good form and a return to his Plumpton winning form would see him in the mix – unlike Lord Condi, he’ll appreciate any more rain that falls.

We are also represented at Huntingdon where World War is our first runner in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle under Leighton Aspell. He was in the saddle last time when he ran his best race for us to date and if he can build on that on his Handicap debut then he should have a chance. Samtara (Conor Shoemark) runs in the bumper. He was green first time out at Warwick and I hope to see a big improvement today and hope he runs better than his price suggests.

Our two runners Exeter evening meeting returned 100%. Mr Mafia ran well for a long way but, although we won with him first time out last year, he’s a burley horse who isn’t easy to get 100% straight at home. I was pleased with his run and he’ll strip fitter next time. He probably needs a bit of help from the Handicapper now. Cloud Formation also ran well for a long time in the bumper under Aidan Coleman who reported that he gave him a nice feel for most of the race. He is still a weak baby who needs to strengthen up and fill his frame but Aidan liked him and his owner was pleased. He’ll go home for a good summer holiday and will no doubt do plenty of strengthening pre-training work at home before returning here.