We head to Newton Abbot today with two lovely mares who have won a couple of races a piece for us already. Brianna Rose is our first runner and she won a two horse race over fences on her chasing debut. Obviously this is much more competitive and the favourite looks a worthy one but we hope she will go close as she’s so genuine and usually gives her all. Miladygrace has won twice over fences for us and she seems in good form and should be straight enough for her return after a short summer break.
We’ve been hitting the crossbar too many times lately with four 2nd placed horses in 24 hours in the middle of the week. Our four Uttoxeter runners yielded 4 placed horses and they all ran blinders but I can’t admit to being happy going home without one managing to hit the back of the net! As one owner reminded me, ‘2nd places are almost always an indication that you have done everything right but just been unlucky’.
Ten Past Midnight ran into trouble wherever he went and just did not have any luck in running so did well to finish 2nd. He was boxed in and they got 1st run on him which was frustrating as he is such a strong stayer. Kazontherazz ran well on her re-appearance to finish 4th (she was in 2nd place jumping the last!). Poor Miss Antipova…forever the bridesmaid, never the bride?! Over the last couple of fences it really did look like she was going to lose her maiden tag – she’d done nothing wrong and jumped for fun under James Best and is so genuine and tries so hard. However, as usual and as has happened on her other 4 most recent runs, one came out of the pack to collar her. One day?!
Blazing Court also ran an absolute blinder and is going to be a lovely chaser in the future. He jumped the final hurdle looking like he might just go and win….but….got collared approaching the line and it was another 2nd!
Belinda was threatening to go down to Ditcheat that night, a day early, to collect Freddie from his work experience at Paul Nicholls! I promised her I’d be chilled out about the day by the time I got home! She collected Freddie on Thursday and he’d had the best time on his school work experience, luckily able to stay with Clifford, Sarah & Charlotte Baker, who treated him like family and rode some lovely horses and learnt a lot. Very lucky boy and thanks to Paul, the Baker Family and all the team at Ditcheat for looking after him so well.
Some of you may have seen on social media and/or ITV Racing’s Home Schooling feature that Mr Mafia went to visit his friends up at Newlands of Stow last week. He really is a tonic for the residents there and they absolutely love seeing him. He throughly enjoys the carrots they provide too and Belinda really enjoys taking him. She took Harry (Keighley) with her this time too and the residents seem to enjoy talking to him as well. Such a kind horse who was fit enough to win 10 days earlier but gentle enough to allow them to feed and pat him. He’ll be back to see them again soon.
A few sore heads in the Cotswolds I’m sure this morning as Ollie Garner & Steve Adams treated lots of us to a fabulous party “Cotswold Rocks” last night to celebrate their joint birthdays plus 8 years in business. We were one of, if not the, first client for them and they supply us with our haylage and shavings. You could not get more committed, hard working people and it was a fabulous night with Dodgems, music and plenty of laughter. The weather gods weren’t very kind to them so there was plenty of mud too but we never let a bit of rain get in the way of a good party!