Martin’s Blog 2nd October

Two runners at Market Rasen on Saturday. Ask Alice jumped well on her hurdling debut and settled better than we had hoped, almost too much and was a little outpaced mid race but ran on well at the end and will have learnt a lot.

Lord Condi took all the preliminaries in his stride but was then buzzed up by the delayed start and keen early on. He was a lot greener than we’d expected and, unusually for a horse from here where they are used to our circular loop and the different terrain and turns of our grass gallop, he seemed to struggle on the bends. It was a pleasing debut though as although initially disappointed with his 8th place, on watching it again he was actually only beaten 16 lengths in what I think will turn out to be a decent bumper and he was doing all his best work at the end. Spice Girl was similarly 8th in her first bumper and went on to win her next three so whilst I’m not sure whether he’ll go on and do that, Andrew was more than happy when he got off him and gave us some very positive feedback.

Mondays are always busy here. Farrier, Physio and Vet all helping us keep the horses as well as possible. Owners Rob Davies and Karen in too on their way to shout on another of their horses at Stratford but watching My Lad Percy on our gallops. Richard East in to watch Solstice Star school over fences. Andrew Tinkler & Conor Shoemark in to help with schooling.

Freddie and his Temple Guiting School classmates are off to Stratford today to spend time with Ollie McPhail, who won a McCoy at the Awards Dinner at Cheltenham Racecourse on Friday evening for his outstanding contribution to the sport as he now works for Racing To School who help children learn through racing. Ollie was with us at Jackdaws Castle in the early days and rode quite a few winners. I’m not sure he’ll have had a class full of so many racing children though with children related to the yards of Jonjo O’Neill, Nigel Twiston-Davies, Fergal O’Brien and children/grand children of Valets and ex-jockeys too. I hope they all behave!

We are there later with The Kvilleken (Andrew Tinkler) and Thady Quil (Ashleigh Hark) and hope they both run well in the rain softened ground.