Martin’s Blog 30th June

24 hours to go and Jump Racing returns! We have three runners (Capital Force, Ten Past Midnight and Mr Mafia) with four of our seven declarations getting balloted out (Gold Mountain, Black Prince, Cotswold Prince and Lord Condi) but we expected that as there was such a big entry. They’ll have their chances soon. Racing is behind closed doors but at least we are racing. Disappointing that because there are so many restrictions on owners attending (restrictions on where they can go, how long they can be there for etc.) it’s lead to none of my owners attending but hopefully restrictions on the owners will be relaxed as soon as possible as we risk losing our most important people. Without owners we have no racing.

Alan Stickley was in 2nd lot today – with the majority of our horses out in the field our 2nd lot (7.15am) is actually earlier than our usual 1st lot in the winter (7.30am) so a good effort from Alan especially as he came from London. He would have been nearly on the road when James Best, Freddie & Belinda were out doing an early lot at just gone 5am as James needed to be finished earlier than usual and Belinda & Freddie always think an early lot seems a good idea the day before…..! Our Cockeral, Adam, helps them out of bed not long after 4am when he is in great voice, possibly woken up by me as I feed an hour before the horses go out.

I had a tooth removed at the Dentist yesterday – an abscess brewed just as we went into lockdown and although an emergency visit for antibiotics knocked it on the head for a bit, they stopped working. So another emergency visit yesterday with even more paperwork involved than having a runner and they planned to take two out – but the first one was stubborn and they struggled to get it out…..not much sleep for me last night so at least I was awake before the cockeral! Belinda didn’t fancy saddling all three horses tomorrow when she’s not saddled for quite a while so I’ll be there come what may!

We worked some today: Cotswold Prince (Warren Marston), Gold Mountain (James Best), Raving Bonkers (Deb), Lord Condi (Beth) whilst the rest 1st lot did swinging canters slowly upping their work. All the rest cantered.

So an exciting day ahead – lorries checked, kit checked, horses shampoo’d .. etc. Cannot wait to get back racing. Thank you to my team for their hard work and to my owners for their patience and support.