Martin’s Blog 15th October

A very early start to head north to Carlisle with Back on the Lash and Sarasota Star – we chose to travel up early this morning as there was more of a concern about Lash not settling in a new stable overnight and possibly not eating or drinking. So they were fed their breakfast at 3.45am and what they’d not finished they ate on the way up.

We always make sure they have access to haylage too, all day plus whilst travelling and with Sarasota Star running later he’ll have it in his box there too. We have decided this because it is meant to keep the horses’ guts healthier and ensure they are healthier and happier generally and this advice came from research carried out by Bristol University, of which Deb Butler who is part of our team was part of and after consultation with our Vets.

Back On The Lash makes his chasing debut under Richard Johnson and has pleased me in all he has done at home. He won last time out over hurdles at Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham in January and was going to have his final start over hurdles at their April Meeting which was obviously then cancelled. He’s not very big at all but has schooled well at home and I always think Carlisle is a lovely track to start over fences. He missed Ludlow last week as the ground was a bit too quick for him.

Sarasota Star has always been a horse that I’ve liked a lot. He’s been placed on all four starts over hurdles and has been learning all the time. Physio Hannah Ashton has worked hard on him as he is difficult to keep topline muscle on and we have been working him on our deep sand circular gallop, often with draw reins to encourage him to really use himself. She was very happy with him when she checked him earlier in the week so we are hopeful that the hard work has paid off and we have another bold show from him today on ground he should enjoy. Richard Johnson rides him too.

Ben Buie, meanwhile, heads south to Wincanton – 315 miles away from us in Carlisle and will be partnered there by James Best. He will wear cheekpieces for the first time just to help him concentrate and will be making his handicap debut over hurdles. He’s been working really well at home and is the size of a chaser but I’d be disappointed if we couldn’t pick some hurdle races along the way.

Steve Speller was here yesterday morning to meet Hogan our Sageburg Gelding who is available at 1/125th shares @ £395 – an all inclusive price from now until December 2021 – no more to pay. He’s a nice looking individual who has been backed and ridden away by Martin Jones and came back here for a short break in the field with some of our other youngsters before coming into training. Great to meet Steve yesterday.