Martin’s Blog 12th January

Another stunning morning – no rain, a bit of a frost and glorious sunshine!

Stunning! Thanks Dan for another amazing photo.

On Monday we had two runners at two different meetings and both finished 2nd! Usually a frustrating position as it’s often so nearly a winner but with our last three runners all finishing 2nd it does show the horses are still in good form!

Samtara’s Ludlow 2nd was probably the most frustrating simply because he’s still a maiden and has finished in 2nd place five times now and four of those were a length or less – two he lost out in photo finishes and he’s been raised nearly a stone by the handicapper for not winning just running consistently. He all but made all on Monday but was clumsy when joined at the 3rd last and then again he hit the 2nd last but still led narrowly after the last but the winner had just too much for him. Roger & Yvonne Allsop, his owner/breeders, deserve for him to win a race so much – soon we hope!

At Taunton Sarasota Star also tried to make all over 2 miles in ground we worried may be too soft for him. However he jumped superbly out in front for James Best answering his every call. He was so exuberant and was so brave at the last when James needed him to be when joined by the eventual winner. He pecked on landing and somehow James stayed on although he did lose his irons. But he kept the combination together to finish 2nd and we think even without that mistake he was held and wouldn’t have won.

He’s such a lovely horse to train though (& his owners said also to own!) as he just doesn’t know how to run a bad race. He’s given his mostly new syndicate owners so much fun since they joined current owners Jon & Jack Hughes in the summer winning twice over fences, finishing a good 4th over hurdles at Cheltenham and then posting two brave 2nds over fences recently. We’re having so much fun with him. A thank you to the Vet on duty at Taunton – Sarasota wobbled quite badly after he won at Worcester in the Summer and since then he is on the BHA watch list after he runs. We think that was hopefully a one off in hot weather as, touch wood, he’s not done it since but the Taunton vet was straight away on the scene, helping Belinda throw water over him just in case and walked back across the course with Harry & Sarasota just to make sure. Top marks and hugely appreciated.

Three runners today at Leicester and Capricia is our first runner in the Novices’ Handicap Chase over 2m 6f. She’s been frustrating as she was one of our most forward youngsters initially but due to one thing or another has found things tough. She was one of the most impressive horses that schooled over fences last week but she needs to replicate that on the course. I’m surprised to see that she is joint favourite currently – I do hope they turn out to be correct – I’d love nothing more.

Our second runner is Dreamsundermyfeet who has won four times this season. His jumping isn’t always spot on so he does need to jump with more fluency but he seems well and will no doubt give his enthusiastic owners another good day out today.

Our third runner is Ollie Ryan’s eight year old Reve who won well at Ludlow back in November but has found life tougher since the Handicapper had his say. He has won on good to soft so I’m hoping it’s not softer. Sean Bowen gets on well with him and he seems well at home but despite it being a competitive race he should give another solid account of himself.

Good luck Team.



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