Martin’s Blog 11th December

Cheltenham was pretty quiet yesterday by December standards but thrilled with Back On The Lash’s run in the Cross Country race even though it wasn’t a repeat of last month’s win. He finished 5th on ground probably a bit softer than ideal for him however thrilled me with his jumping which seemed quicker and slicker than last time. He’s been on the go a long time now having won over the summer too so he deserves a break and was possibly a bit flat yesterday. He’s A1 today. Lovely to have my parents back at Cheltenham – their first trip since Back On The Lash won at Trials day in January 2020.

Lash’s owner Mark Boothright was in to watch the horses on the gallops yesterday morning along with Paul Davis and then Ed Whittaker, photographer for the Racing Post was in to take photos of us for an article that will be in about the yard next week. Great to catch up with Ed and I hope he’s captured my best side!

This morning Paul Davis in along with Fi Gamble, Sheila Lewis and Hilz Long – the girls coming for a cuddle with City Never Sleeps who they adore. He’s not come right since his last run and a vet will look at his leg on Monday which may mean retirement. We’ll see but one thing is for sure, Paul won’t let him go to anyone else – he’s his favourite horse and will have the best retirement. Always so very important.

Hereford today with two runners. Debden Bank runs in the Conditional Jockeys Chase under Ben Godfrey and he’s had a decent break since fading last time at Cheltenham when bidding for four wins in a row. That race wasn’t run ideally to suit him and although he’s high enough in the weights now due to all those wins, I still think he could be competitive today for his enthusiastic owners and for Ernie who loves him to bits.

Debden & Ernie

Our second runner is Sarasota Star whom Belinda rides every day and adores him. She is pleased with how he feels at home and his new syndicate members Paul Davis, Colin Bowkley and David Bishop, who joined Jon Hughes in partnership in the summer, have so far enjoyed two wins over fences plus a 4th over hurdles at Cheltenham so I think they are pretty pleased with him too! It would be great if he could add to that tally again however it’s a competitive little race with a red hot favourite but let’s hope he’s competitive once again.

Sarasota & James flying around Chepstow last time



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