Martin’s Blog 2nd April

We’d not be at Aintree today even if we were able to race as it is sadly the funeral of Harley Cornock and we’d be helping ensure he had the send off he deserved. We send his family so much love as they are forced to go ahead without the hundreds of people who would have been there to say their individual goodbyes, hundreds of people who Harley touched in his short life – so many that will miss him but will have wonderful memories and be grateful that he was in their lives. We plan a celebration of his life, when allowed, here at the yard, where he spent 6 years that we will never forget. Fly high Harley and thanks to all that have messaged us.

Our thoughts are with Geraldine Townend too after losing husband Paul last weekend to this wicked virus. Great to speak to her earlier and offer her some sort of comfort – pretty rubbish that it has to be over the telephone – hugs await and she’s also assured us of plans of a huge party to celebrate Paul’s life when we are allowed. Tough times but as Geraldine said, we are so fortunate to share a mutual love of horse racing and during tough times we realise what a wonderful extended family we are lucky to be part of.

Our three 2 year old geldings returned yesterday from Martin Jones’ Pre-Training Yard having gone there to be educated, backed and ridden away. We have enjoyed daily videos from Martin showing them learning the ropes and eventually footage of them cantering around his loop gallop. After over a year of looking after them daily myself and them living in the field opposite our house, I freely admit that I’ve really missed them! Some of the owners joined us to watch them at Martin’s a few weeks ago which was great fun. I’m thrilled to have them back and they loved exploring their new field a bit further away from the house but still in sight! They looked very grown up when coming off Chris & Maggie Jones’ lorry! As, part owner David Parry commented, they galloped around their new field as if “schools out for summer”!!

Although we aren’t at Aintree this weekend, I still have three runners in the Grand National, however I have three runners in The Unibet Go Racing Green Grand National! They are as follows: “Old Bill Haddow” for owner Zoe Brant and he will be ridden by Richard Cook. “Back Of The Telly” owned by Richard Driver and he’ll be partnered by Freddie Keighley (watch out for footage of him having his final school today or tomorrow on social media!) and finally, one I think is really well handicapped “SwallowsAndAmazons” owned by David Miller and he’ll be partnered by Harry Atkins. All three jockeys have huge experience in Pony Racing and also Shetland Pony Grand National racing so between them I think we have a great chance! 5.30pm on Saturday!

Those of you on Twitter may have seen that we are getting chickens tomorrow and thank you to everyone who has helped me choose what to name the one that the boys are allowing me to name! Wow! What a response…the winner gets to visit us with his/her family when all this is over so watch this space. A hard choice as some wonderful names – even if not those we’ll choose, some were very funny – Back on the Hatch, Hen-rietta and even simpy ‘Henrietta’ with the suggestion that I could shout ‘Henrietta’ – ‘night’ when I put them away last thing! Reading through them all kept us very amused – Isochick, Champion Chick, Heny Currency, Cluckle Street, Foxy, Any Cluckency, Annaclucky, Eggy Currency, Yolkstice Star, IsoLAYtion …. loads more brilliant ones, thank you all. Winner/s to be announced soon! More still coming in!

Stay safe everyone, take care.