Martin’s Blog 13th December

Snow, snow and more snow!

We have managed to keep the show on the road thanks to the hard working team here and our fabulous carpet gallop as well. They have all done so well to get into the yard and ensure the horses continue to be looked after in the manner which they are accustomed!

Our final runners before the cold snap took hold were Bella Ciao, Pattern Cutter and Borderline who all ran with credit at Southwell on Sunday without troubling the judge. However, poor Paddy, Sian and Aidan had an eventful drive home as the snow had simply not stopped falling and they were 1/2 an hour from home when an accident stopped them in their tracks. With not many options of a diversion on any of our maps, they followed a fellow horsebox thanks to directions from a Policeman but it wasn’t the best of advice and they ended up having to reverse in convoy. A stop to get warm at the pub after ensuring the horses were happy and warm (we always travel our horses with feed and haynets plus an extra rug and water ‘just in case’) and the original road was soon open and they were thankfully home safely. Huge relief but a two hour drive took nearly five. With the roads not great and a further evening of very cold temperatures we decided to start an hour later on Monday.

I didn’t make it to Southwell as we’d already arranged to meet with Ollie & Irene Ryan for Sunday Lunch and we had a thoroughly enjoyable meal at The Plough at Ford and it was great to catch up with them both. Their lovely mare Found On, winner of five chases on the bounce culminating at Cheltenham’s October Meeting, has returned from her break and may now go back there on New Year’s Day.

Racing has obviously continued to be cancelled this week although Zestful heads to Chelmsford on the all weather on Thursday night and, as long as the roads are safe, she’ll go there. No sooner had we declared Enforcement (Harry Atkins) and Kalibrate (James Best) for Exeter on Thursday, it was abandoned!

An exciting new arrival today though, Shinji, who arrived from Roger Varian’s Newmarket yard and has won his only start in a bumper at Fakenham a few weeks ago in good style. He seems to have a lovely attitude and we’ll get him settled in and are looking forward to hopefully having plenty of fun with him. He’s a new horse for Andrew & Louise Jones and we’ve already enjoyed plenty of success with them, especially at Cheltenham, so it would be fabulous to think that this chap could make his way onto our Cheltenham Winners’ Board on the front of the yard.



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