No Royal Ascot for us this year but at least it is on, despite being behind closed doors, and a very exciting morning for the team here anyway with 4 x Champion Jockey Richard Johnson in to ride out. With the help of James Best, who has been with us riding out throughout Lockdown, we schooled eight horses on our circular loop – Richard schooled Mr Mafia, Gold Mountain, Ten Past Midnight and Cotswold Prince and James schooled Lord Condi, Raving Bonkers, Capital Force and Black Prince. I was thrilled with how they all jumped and Richard and James were too.
We had a visit from Jon & Jack Hughes for the first time since Lockdown in March so it was great to see them on such a gorgeous morning. Paul Davis was in too watching schooling and Gordon Bendall, enjoying a well earned week off after working flat out throughout Lockdown was in all morning and was the only one keen enough to be here for 1st lot who pull out just before 6.30am! Great to see all of them and they were rewarded with a very enjoyable morning. Indeed Jon mentioned it was his best morning since the Cheltenham Festival.
We also had some potential jockeys of the future in with both Harry Greasby and Richard Cook in to ride out. It is a testament to both Richard Johnson and James Best that they both take the time to speak to and encourage any young jockeys we have in so Harry and Richard were very lucky to ride out with them this morning. Freddie rode out with them too and has come on in leaps and bounds just recently and it was a proud moment watching him canter around our loop with Richard Johnson who both Belinda & I have known since he was not much older than Freddie. Freddie is still smiling and I know that Richard Cook went home buzzing too. Isn’t that what the sport is all about?
An exciting afternoon of racing at Royal Ascot on the TV and good luck to Foxtrot Racing who have a runner. Syndicates are definitely the way forward and an affordable way of enjoying racehorse ownership and, as they are experiencing today, the sky is the limit.
Thanks to the Racehorse Syndicates Association, of which both Foxtrot and our Martin Keighley Racing Partnerships are a member of as we have been pulled out of the hat and are proudly sponsoring a race at Windsor tonight. We’ll be glued to the TV at 7.30pm awaiting the winner of our Race – a class 4 Handicap over 1m 31yds. Highclere Thoroughbred Racing sponsor the race before. Thanks also to Arena Racing and Windsor Racecourse for helping us all wave the flag for syndication. So very important.