Martin’s Blog 20th April

Unseasonably hot at Cheltenham yesterday and we were devastated for Richard Hobson, Shirley and their team losing Dame Rose in the first race – such a lovely mare and one we had seen plenty of as Richard uses our gallops here regularly. So hard for a small team.

We had three runners. Spice Girl must be coming into season as she wasn’t at the races from flagfall despite Harry Stock’s best efforts. The vet gave her a full MOT today but nothing as yet has come to light and if it doesn’t it could simply be down to the wrong time of the month for her.

Brillare Momento was running a huge race and Aidan reported that he was totally happy with her and still felt she’d win jumping the second last but she simply didn’t get up the hill. He was left scratching his head as she acts around the track having won twice at Cheltenham. We’ll have a look at her wind and see if that is catching her out.

Chequered View ran in the bumper and we rode her patiently to get home. It was a rough enough race but she finished galloping all the way up the hill and thrilled us and connections. Harry was buzzing afterwards and is certain we have a nice horse on our hands and she’ll certainly improve when she goes jumping.

Hard for the Cheltenham executive to decide to abandon the long distance chase but then continue with the rest of the card. Racing is full of difficult decisions. To scrape water off horses or keep chucking buckets of water over them …to wear boots or not to wear boots.. none of them easy decisions…

Warm again today and plenty of visitors. Jon Hughes here to meet our landlord Robert Wharton to discuss our summer grazing paddocks, Richard Davies here to meet the vet to check over Spice Girl, Pete Wilson and Jelly O’Brien kindly giving up their afternoon to help Belinda taking photos to update the website.

Last Spring when Belinda was busy raising lots of money for Macmillan Cancer Support she gave a morning with Champion Court as an auction prize – Dawn Spooner, a self confessed super fan, didn’t surprise us by winning it! Today was the day she chose to take up the prize and she brought the sunshine with her, as well as plenty of doughnuts for the team which were hugely appreciated. She got to watch him doing his schoolmaster job leading a youngster over hurdles with young Alfie Jordan on top and then help wash down and feed him with carrots – he loved that! She then, after a good hour or two of cuddles, led him out to the field to turn him out – a perfect end to the morning and we are thrilled she seemed to love it. He’s a star and we appreciate her support of such a great cause.

Late back from Southwell but thrilled with a 3rd place for Dr Dunraven. Jon and Jack Hughes accompanied me and fellow owners Ivan and Christine Goldsmith drove six hours from Sussex to watch him with another five/six hours home – total dedication and I’m delighted that he ran so well for them following his wind operation. He’s not the easiest horse to keep the wheels on by my Assistant Trainer Foxy needs plenty of the credit as does our farrier Nick Partridge and our physio team of Maggie Turner and Hannah Ashton. Very pleased with him so well done all.