Martin’s Blog 13th December

Heavy rain overnight and hoping Southwell doesn’t go too soft. Debden Bank and Ten Past Midnight head there, both partnered by James Best.

Debden seems to enjoy fences and Ernie is really happy with him at home so we are hopeful of a big run from him. Ten Past Midnight has been disappointing as he shows us enough at home but hasn’t transferred that to the course as yet. He needs to show us a lot more today and we hope he does for his supportive owners and because he’s a lovely horse who is popular in the yard.

My fears were sadly correct at Cheltenham on Friday with Sarasota Star who showed that his recent hard race at Carlisle had taken more out of him than we thought. He’s a horse who runs best fresh but with the conditions of the race we’d planned to go to Cheltenham (or Doncaster where he held entries on the same day) 12 days later having won a Conditional Jockey’s race at Carlisle therefore running without a penalty and before his new handicap mark came into affect. We’d done very little with him at home and he seemed fresh and well. Rex Dingle got him jumping for fun and I asked him to ride him handier, which he did, however although he flew the second last and jumped into the lead going as well as anything the petrol gauge ran out and Rex felt he’d left the turbo required to gallop up the hill at Carlisle. He looked after him from then on and he’s A1 afterwards trotting up sound the next day and eating up too. We had to go for it but he’ll have a nice break now and is such a nice horse to look forward to.

Yesterday we had Neil Clifton in to watch Debden Bank and Hogan on the gallops and Paul Davis too. A work morning so James Best and Warren Marston also in.

A rare day without runners so I was able to watch Harry play football which I usually miss as he only plays on Saturdays. He scored a hat trick and helped his team win 11-2 – or we think that was the score as there were so many goals it may have been more! Good luck to Freddie who is back playing today.



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