A wonderful weekend at Cheltenham

Wow! What a weekend. Huge internet problems yesterday so catching up today! We only had two runners – Buckle Street & Cottersrock – they both ran good races despite the ground and although they didn’t trouble the judge they put up decent performances under good rides from their young jockeys and thrilled their owners. Isn’t that what it is all about?

As you’ll all know the weather on Saturday was awful. We had a quieter morning here with only about 15 on the gallops in the morning and by second lot the rain had started to come. ‘A few light showers’ were what the Weather people promised us…they were wrong – big time! By the time we got to Cheltenham for our Picnic the rain had set in heavily for the day so I was sent off to the Cheltenham stand for umbrellas and they were worth their weight in gold by the end of the morning! Sam Wallin provided us with delicious canapes and home made soup whilst Chairman Jon Hughes cracked open endless bottles of Bollinger and fine red & white wine. Thank you to so many hardy owners and friends who braved the elements to join us – and there were about 40 people that did!

Team Keighley can never be accused of not having a good time and, despite the driving rain, that is exactly what we did … so much so that the ITV Crew who had been watching us from the warmth of their lorries sent a cameraman to capture the fun being had in the rain as only us British know how! Sadly they missed Paul Davis and Harry’s rendition of ‘Singing in the Rain’ worthy of a place on the West End Stage or, as a Guardian Reporter quoted ‘A Bafta winning car park performance’ however as soon as we bumped into ITV’s main presenter Ed Chamberlin he proudly told us that the shots of our picnic opened their Saturday show! Not bad coverage by anyone’s standards!

We managed to catch up with more friends than usual on Saturday due to having no runners so we were fortunate enough to spend more time with people we usually have to settle for just a quick drink with. Thrilled for John Neild and Tom Bellamy to win the BetVictor Gold Cup with Splash of Ginge – Tom rode his first professional winner for us on Ponchatrain and John Neild is a friend to all in racing and epitomises the joy that racehorse ownership can bring. He’s clearly been watching us celebrate in the Paddock too….! Fantastic.

Yesterday morning we schooled some horses on the grass – fantastic to see youngsters improving and learning with each schooling session. This morning was a work morning so Warren Marston in to ride out. Plenty working and most worked up the grass which is riding really well.

Kim Smith-Bingham from KSB Equine here too – we use some of his supplements to help the horses stay fit and healthy and it is always good to have a catch up.

Meanwhile our thoughts are with Pip Frankish and Sylvia Amos who have both been in the wars lately. Pip has broken her ankle so we wish her a speedy recovery and poor Sylvia has been involved in a car accident – we are relieved to hear she is out of intensive care and send her all our love too.