Martin’s Blog 27th October

Windy, blustery and a bit of rain here today but a few visitors so a fun morning. Sponsor Neil Lloyd brought son Jack in with him, friend John and his daughter Olivia too. Neil Clifton was here too and today’s his birthday so Happy Birthday Neil! No better way to start the day! He did query though why the videos I’m often sharing, many with the help of his drone kindly leant to us, are always of us basking in sunshine and yet the few days he’s come up it’s rained!!

Chris Ford and his wife Anne were here 2nd lot for their first visit. They were in the locality staying at The Queen’s in Cheltenham and thought they’d come and catch up with us. Chris was selected to race at York for Macmillan in 2017 but was unfortunately injured before the race day itself so sadly couldn’t ride in it. It’s great that so many of the ‘Race of 2017’ keep in touch and we were also thrilled to hear that York’s Clerk, Anthea Morshead, married Chris Leigh recently and wish them all the best for the future.

Warren Marston and James Best were in and we worked plenty of horses up the grass including Witness Protection, Black Panther, Cut and Run, Debden Bank, Cul De Poule, Samtara and Big Nasty. The rest either cantered up the steep bank on the grass or up the carpet gallop. James schooled new recruit Dariya over fences and she was very good even without a lead. Freddie was back in action for the first time since he’s gone back to school riding Back on the Lash around the Loop before usual rider Beth Whittle swapped onto him to canter him up the grass gallop (now they are fit and well they are a bit too much for 5 stone Freddie on the long gallops!).

Third Lot we brought our Sageburg 3 year old, “Hogan”, back into training after a short holiday in the field here with our other youngsters. He’s been backed at Martin Jones’ Redmarley base and after James Best got on him this morning he commented what a great job MJ has done with him. He was very well behaved and had a superb lead horse teaching him the ropes – Champion Court! There are 125 shares available in him at an all inclusive price of £395 until December 2021. Do get in touch if you’d like to find out more about him. He’s a very likeable individual.

Reve yesterday jumped for fun over fences on his chasing debut at Aintree. A red hot race and the ground eventually found his breathing out and Sam Twiston-Davies looked after him and pulled him up. There are plenty of options opened up to him now he has had his first run over fences and surely races to be won if he continues to jump as well as he did yesterday. He looks every inch a chaser too.

Three years ago today we were the only yard to have a Cheltenham Double and they were pretty special winners too. Brillare Momento won the first race of the day over hurdles for Ollie & Irene Ryan under Aidan Coleman at very short odds and then the final race of the day we won too – at £33-1! That winner was Bobble Emerald for wonderful owners David Bishop, Colin Bowkley and Michael Parker and the man on board, Harry Stock, was riding his first ever Cheltenham winner. With all the Stock family present too it was an emotional winner we’ll all never forget and an unforgettable day.

Whilst on the subject of this being a lucky day – Johnny Og also won for us but four years ago today for Tyrone Hanlon, sister Shannon, Mark Boothright and Nigel Martin over fences at Stratford under Andrew Tinkler. A brilliant evening followed at The Milton Hare!