Martin’s Blog 27th December

Chepstow for their biggest race day of the year today – The Welsh National. We are there with two runners… Buckle Street and Big Nasty.

Buckle Street has blotted his copybook somewhat by not starting/trying not to start recently and we were so disappointed when he did it again at Cheltenham on his latest ‘start’. He’s been fully checked out and the vets and physios are sure that he’s not hurting anywhere – annoyingly we feel he may think he can just get away with it. He loves his schooling over obstacles and gallop work at home so we just cannot understand why he refuses to start. In fact physio Maggie Turner said she’s never felt him better.

So….we decided everything needed to change. He’s back in the stable he was in when we feel he was at his happiest last season and he seems happier – he’d been promoted to a stable with an outside pen but seemed grumpier in there. He doesn’t really like men we have decided – therefore he’s now only looked after by girls in the yard and Alice rides him out every day too. Also, we’ve secured the services of a female jockey – Bryony Frost and we hope that Bryony’s enthusiasm and excitement for racing encourages him to run. He seems in top form and looks fantastic in his coat so we will all be praying that he decides to start at 2.10pm this afternoon – especially for Fi, Hilz and Sheila whose colours he ‘runs’ in this season. Come on Bryony & Buckle!

Later in the card we run Big Nasty in the bumper for the Peel Racing Club. He ran a blinder on his debut last time at Haydock to finish 3rd three weeks ago and I think the track and ground will again suit. Aidan Coleman rides him and we are hoping for another big run.

At Huntingdon yesterday I was relieved when Harry Stock returned on Miss Antipova advising she’d made a noise – she settled so much better yesterday and I was therefore very concerned when she stopped so quickly as she managed to gallop to the line at Ascot the day she pulled much too hard. We’ll take her to top wind surgeon Ben Brain and see what he advises.