Martin’s Blog 21st November

A quietish week runners wise with just two runners since Cul De Poule on Tuesday. Zara Tindall’s Cut And Run was partnered by Jonathan Burke at Warwick on Wednesday for her debut over fences. She’s not over big but has schooled very well at home however the softening ground made it far more of an effort for her to jump as I’d hoped but Jonathan looked after her and she completed. She’ll be much better on quicker ground and he was full of praise for her attitude.

With James Best back in action (just a week out of the saddle for a badly bruised lung – I’m sure in normal jobs that would be a few weeks off!) he partnered Dreamsundermyfeet at Chepstow for us yesterday over hurdles. He’s always been a big backward baby but he’s learning each time he runs and is definitely growing up a lot. His wind hasn’t always sounded great but wind surgeon Ben Brain has always been adamant that he just needed time and was too young to start tinkering with his wind. So we were delighted when James reported after the race yesterday in deep, soft winter ground, that his wind sounded fine.

He’ll need further in time he’ll be one that we don’t see the best of until he’s chasing. So although his 9th placing may look disappointing to some as it’s winners we all ultimately want, these young horses take time to mature, some more than others, and must be given that time to educate them and bring out the best in them and he’s lucky to have patient owners.

Busy here this morning and plenty of extras in to ride out too including James Best, Warren Marston, Lilly Pinchin, Jelly Nolan & Fern O’Brien. We worked a few of the horses including Witness Protection, Reve, Sarasota Star, Kazontherazz, Pinnacle Peak, Big Nasty, Mozzaro, Ten Past Midnight and Eclat Des Mottes all on the grass which rode very well. We are very fortunate to have such great grass gallops and a selection of places to ride on the grass too. Some horses only step foot on grass for the first time at the racecourse so it must be some advantage for ours to work on the surface they are going to run on.

2nd Lot James & Lilly schooled Ben Buie, Capricia and Cut & Run. The Duke used to school horses again quite soon after their chasing debut so I was keen to school Cut & Run and the experience happily did her no harm as she flew up the fences today.

Uttoxeter bound tomorrow with City Never Sleeps for our Racing Club aiming to follow up their exciting win last time again under James Best. He’s come out of the race really well and Vicki, who rides him every day, is very pleased with him. He’s got the most fragile legs so we hold our breath every time he runs but he loves his life and is one of the kindest horses to have in the yard. We are sure he will give the Club something to shout on again tomorrow and it would be absolutely fabulous if he could get his head in front again.