I was hopeful of a winner yesterday so to have a double was fantastic and to train my first winner for HRH The Princess Royal with a horse she bred herself was very special indeed. We are very proud of our heritage here and our massive connections with David Nicholson, who put Condicote on the map, and The Princess is also a huge part of that as she had horses in training with The Duke and rode out regularly for him in the 1980s/1990s – at a time when Belinda was riding out every day before school.
Chequered View was given a super front running ride from Leighton Aspell on only his second ride for us (his first was on Zara Tindall’s Somewhere To Be which also won!) and she jumped for fun and was tough and genuine when pressed up the run in. Absolutely thrilled and even more so when I learnt that it was her first winner in 31 years – fantastic!
Foxy, my Assistant, was in charge at Ludlow and minutes later Lord Condi was in a 3 runner hurdle under Champion Jockey Richard Johnson, another great friend from our Condicote days, and we’d planned to track the favourite and pounce late using his turn of foot. However, they went a good gallop and Lord Condi didn’t make things easy with a few novicey mistakes (still only his 3rd run over hurdles) and he looked booked for 2nd over the last when 2 lengths down. Our Champion Jockey never knows when he is beaten though and Lord Condi responded to every urging from Richard in an exciting finish which saw him eventually win by 1 3/4 lengths. Condi’s 3rd win of the season and the Team’s 12th.
Forecast ran a solid race too back at Southwell under a good ride from Conor Shoemark, as he’s not the easiest, to finish a running on 2nd. It won’t be long until he jumps fences and yesterday’s 2nd was very pleasing. Oscar World didn’t have much luck in running in a muddly race but Aidan returned very positive despite her finishing 6th and we look forward to running her over fences. Matravers was disappointing under Harry Stock at Ludlow and we may now switch him to the flat in a bid to get him to show on the track what he does here at home.
A fantastic double for the team and a huge team effort to get five horses to two different tracks and keep the show on the road at home too so a huge thank you to them all.
On to today and we took two to Ben Brain’s yard near Bourton on the Water for an Overground Scope this morning – he’s one of the best wind surgeons in the country and always an informative session.
Two runners this afternoon at Worcester – one of our local tracks who look after us well despite not having the best facilities for owners. They do great work on the track and hopefully today’s ground will suit our two. Back on the Lash won his only start to date at Ludlow in a bumper beating a highly regarded Henderson horse that there was plenty of buzz about. He’s had a good summer holiday and we’ve done plenty of schooling with him so we hope he’s ready to do himself justice and will be thereabouts in a competitive race.
Harry Stock is on Primogeniture who was terribly disappointing at Stratford last time out. He’s since had his palate fired and we hope he shows on the track what he does at home in an open looking race.