Martin’s Blog 9th September

Three runners at Uttoxeter today and Cotswold Prince kicks proceedings off under Lilly Pinchin in the 2 mile Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle with blinkers on for the first time. It’s a wide open race but he needs to improve on recent form and I hope the blinkers will help him concentrate more.

Raving Bonkers is in the 2nd division of the race, also under Lilly Pinchin who came in to school him yesterday in blinkers and he was very good. He’s possibly been the unluckiest horse we’ve had for a while as nothing seems to ever fall his way especially last time out at Newton Abbot where he was still travelling well when making a howling mistake 3 out and unseating James Best. As I say, so unlucky. Let’s hope the blinkers sharpen him up and I’ve taken the tongue tie off as he didn’t seem to thoroughly enjoy that last time. Nothing would give me more pleasure than for him to turn things around and for today to be his day….we’ll take a good round of jumping and anything else a bonus!

Finally Dreamsundermyfeet makes his hurdling debut under James Best after a very disappointing three runs in bumpers – and after extensive investigations he had wind surgery. He has certainly grown up a lot this summer and Jasmin has done a great job with him at home and, if he’d not run so disappointingly in those bumpers, from his work at home you’d never think he’d start at odds of over £200/1 on his hurdling debut! But he does have to do it on the track which he hasn’t as yet, quite clearly, but I’m hopeful he just needed time too as he’s a big imposing looking character. Fingers crossed.

Yesterday was one of those days we’d rather never happened. We sadly lost Beneagles, who died of a heart attack towards the end of a piece of fast work right in front of me, Paul Davis and David Bishop who were in to watch Eclat Des Mottes his work partner. It happened so quickly and Jasmin was very lucky indeed to walk away with just bruises. It was quick and the vet assures us he’d have known nothing about it. But so very sad for our team here as, although he’d only been here since last December and, due to Covid-19, only run once, he was such a likeable character and a polite ride too.

He’d spent his summer break with Chris Dee in Winchcombe with his mate Eclat Des Mottes, who Chris has a share in, and she tells us that she used to go and have a G&T and sit in the field with them every evening during lockdown as they were so friendly and she loved having them both around. I often think it hits a small team harder when we lose a horse as we’ve all generally had something to do with each horse, be it riding, taking out to the field, getting in etc and so we found it tough yesterday. So grateful to Gordon Bendall, who had a share in Benny, for sending us such a lovely note – he definitely loved his summer with Chris and he loved it here too and was a bonny horse but there was so much more fun to be had with him.

Onwards and upwards and working as hard as we can towards that change of luck we hope is just around the corner! Disappointing to hear that stricter lockdown measures look like they are coming into place and will await to hear how it will affect us all later this afternoon.