Martin’s Blog 24th November

A week of change for us here with Jasmin Richards moving on after four years here to do a course in Veterinary Nursing which we wish her lots of luck and thank her for all her hard work and dedication since she joined. Jasmin will still be around though as she plans to ride out once a week.

This morning we welcomed back Matthew ‘Foxy’ Carter who is returning as my Assistant after a few years out of the Industry. We are thrilled to have him back although we’ve kept in touch as he’s been riding out on Saturdays for quite some time. He’s a huge asset to the team and I know he’s missed the horses enormously so it’s brilliant he’s returned.

Three runners today – two at Lingfield where Paddy Berkins is in charge and one at Taunton where I am heading. At Lingfield we run Rolling Clouds (14.05pm) for Foxtrot Racing under Sam Twiston-Davies in the 2m Novices’ Hurdle. He ran well for a long way on his debut but understandably needed the run so will hopefully strip fitter today although it is competitive. However, we are hopeful he’ll outrun his long odds (currently 40-1). Lady Sutton’s Bella Ciao is a 125-1 shot for the Mares’ Maiden Hurdle and needs to improve on her hurdling debut to be competitive today. She was a good third in one of her bumpers, with today’s jockey Sean Bowen on board, so a reproduction of that form would see her also outrun those odds.

A Taunton, Julie Kinsey’s mare Midladygrace runs in her second race over fences and deserves to have compensation for being so unlucky when she slipped on her yard debut last time on the home bend and unseated her jockey. She seems none the worse for that and will hopefully go close today. Adam Wedge rides.

Yesterday’s two horses are fine after their runs where neither quite went to plan. I went North to Wetherby where Breizh Alko was never travelling as easy as he usually does and Brian Hughes sensibly pulled him up. Very disappointing as we’ve been happy with him at home so we’ll get him fully checked out and see if anything is amiss.

Obviously before every race we ensure that the work riders and those who look after the horses are happy with them and often one of our physios give them a check over too and the Farrier checks their shoes as well but often things that show up in races are beyond our control – not enjoying the ground, not jumping as well as they do at home under the pressure of a race etc. so they are things that you can’t foresee. A punter was very upset with us last week after a horse got beaten and said we should know beforehand if they are going to disappoint but it’s obviously not an exact science!

At Hereford Roger & Yvonne Allsop’s Samtara was running a solid race until he walked through the 12th fence and fell. Thankfully both him and James Best walked away relatively unscathed. He’ll be schooled over fences at home in the next few days as long as he continues to seem fine which will regain any confidence that he may have knocked. He’s one horse that really deserves a change of luck.



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