Martin’s Blog 24th January

A fantastic weekend of sport although we were watching from the sidelines with no runners as so many of ours are having a mid winter break. Plenty of visitors here on Saturday including Tilly Jarrett, Matthew Baker, Jack & Amy Rogers and Tracey Robottom – all superbly looked after by Paul Davis as usual.

Gorgeous morning – thanks Dan for another cracking shot.

My boys were busy playing footie – Harry has moved to a new team and now plays for Broadway U12s and loved his first match helped by the fact they won 4-3 no doubt! Freddie’s Northleach U14s team won yesterday 4-2 and conveniently played at home so Belinda could drop off and get to Cocklebarrow to watch the pony racing before returning to collect him. Cocklebarrow is the Heythrop’s Point to Point and there were plenty of horses I was keen to watch running and they did a fantastic job with good field sizes and a huge crowd enjoying plenty of entertainment. Great to catch up with faces we’ve not seen for so long either – great to be out!

Our Racing Club colours were in action in the pony racing as Freddie kindly lent to Tilly Hankey (daughter of Hayley and niece of Haydon who we both worked with at The Duke’s and niece of jockey Harry Beswick) not only some mini colours but mini breeches too – and some mini breeches to Matilda Froggatt who fought out the finish with her – a little bit behind some of the faster ones. A great starting point for so many children and lovely to see so many happy faces, win or lose – well done to Cathy Twiston-Davies and her team.

Tilly Hankey edges ahead of Matilda

Gill Martin ‘won’ a morning on the gallops here in an auction at Plumpton the day Freddie won the Plumpton Shetland Pony Derby in October helping raise money for the Bob Champion Cancer Trust. Today was the day and she brought other family members along too and they looked to have a fantastic day watching the horses on the gallops, meeting the team, watching Ben Brain carry out an overground scope, and with it being Monday we also had physio Maggie Turner and farrier Nick Partridge in too so plenty to see. Paul Davis helped Belinda look after them and they won’t have gone home hungry that’s for sure!

Cuddles for Sarasota Star – loving all the attention!

One of the most heartwarming results of the weekend was watching Mark Allen’s homebred filly Realta Royale win well on her racecourse debut in the Mares’ Bumper at Taunton. Out of our tough mare Sky Calling who six times for us – over hurdles, over fences and also a charity race at Cheltenham under Mark Caswell, Realta Royale looks to have inherited her mum’s toughness. Mark has put so much into the sport and hasn’t had much luck with his breeding before now so we are all absolutely thrilled with the result. If only he lived nearer…..he kindly got in touch before she went into training with Toby Lawes who lives just down the road from him, he’s very hands on and the journey here from Reigate regularly was just too far. Well done to them all – hopefully far more success to come too.

At the other end of the racing career spectrum – Mr Mafia is entering what may be his last season (shhh don’t tell him!) and it was fabulous to hear from owner Peter Boggis this morning that he’s loving being back in work with them after a wonderful winter holiday in their 5* retreat! Wife Jane is finding him a handful – he’s thankfully not aware that he’s now a teenager I’m assuming! We can’t wait for the return of the Maf!

Happy Birthday to my Dad Trevor!



If you would like to have a horse trained by Martin Keighley, visit the yard or make an enquiry