Martin’s Blog 30th June

Summer has arrived for the start of Racing Staff Week yesterday where we celebrate our teams that help keep the show on the road. It was so hot even by mid morning yesterday that I treated the team to ice creams although Jasmin, who makes her race riding debut in the Racing Staff Week Charity Race at Newton Abbot on Friday, chose an apple as she is in full training and very excited for her race. Willpower & dedication!

Mark Caswell was in to ride work and we also had visitors – Leo and Joby Standing and friend Madeline who are staying in the holiday cottages in Luckley for the weekend. Leo is a great friend of Richard Johnson’s wife Fi and Fi got in touch to ask if she could join us on the gallops. We are always delighted for visitors to come up on the gallops and we received a lovely message from Leo who ‘loved watching the horses and it was wonderful to meet us and enjoy our little slice of heaven’. It really was heavenly yesterday morning in the sunshine. Jo Stainer was here too watching Lord Condi and was in great form too.

Our last three runners have been mares. Brillare Momento bounced back to form under Aidan Coleman at Ffos Las on Wednesday to finish a good 3rd and please us all. She jumped for fun and looked to really enjoy herself. Finnick Glory got very lit up before her race and then raced much too freely in the race and was always going to struggle to get home. She is much better than that run. Finally Be Thankful ran on the flat on Thursday night – we stepped her up to a mile and a half and she clearly didn’t stay, especially on that tougher track, so we’ll drop her back in trip. All are fine and have had a weekend out in the field.

Uttoxeter today with Raving Bonkers who has had to endure a torrential downpour minutes before his race at Ludlow last time which got into the ground more than we’d ever imagine and then we took him to Southwell which had been over watered for him so he didn’t run. We are hopeful that today’s ground will be genuinely good ground – his owners deserve a good run. He seems in good form and although the favourite looks as if it could be thrown in, with suitable ground we are hopeful he’ll run into a place. Harry Stock rides.

Yesterday afternoon I called into the boys’ primary school’s Fete which a lot of people had put plenty of effort into and it was a lovely afternoon. Some of the team came too and Jasmin’s dog ‘Rocco’ won the Most Handsome Dog competition! Thanks to all of you who supported the raffle – I know Belinda has been collaring lots of you recently, especially at Royal Ascot! People have been very generous providing her with prizes – from race tickets to Giffords Circus to meals out with a very generous first prize of a mini quad bike. I assure you it was no fix but a friend of ours won the prize and kindly gifted it to the boys so they are thrilled! The rest of you who won a prize she has already contacted but thanks again for all your support – the raffle alone raised £1250 for the school – wonderful.

Happy Birthday to Miranda Theobald. Miranda was an integral part of David Nicholson’s team and now has our multiple winning horse, Always Bold, who she has retrained brilliantly – she is a perfectionist in all she does. Yesterday they won both their dressage classes at West Wilts Equestrian Centre – including a Dressage to Music class. Well done to them both and good luck to them for their ROR Championships at Aintree next month.