Martin’s Blog 7th April

The rain continues to thwart our plans with both Wetherby (Wide To West) and Fontwell (Breizh Alko) on Friday falling foul to the weather gods and having to abandon due to waterlogging. Very frustrating for both as Wide To West’s race looked winnable and Breizh Alko was giving Louise Chance a spin over hurdles and it would have been a good experience for them both. It was meant to be dry today but it hasn’t been … frustrating.

We had a fun day out at Southwell on Thursday where before racing we galloped both Continuance (Freddie) and Postponed Legacy (Harry Atkins) and we also ran Hot Goddess & Bobbi’s Beauty. What we didn’t realise was that it was Jane Berry’s birthday – part owner of Hot Goddess with her sister Rosemary. What a birthday she had with her 4 year old 66-1 outsider of the field in the National Hunt Flat Race running a blinder to finish 3rd to the surprise and delight of us all. This was made all the more satisfying as they had generously allowed Freddie to have his first ride on a Racecourse as an Amateur on her.

Following the race we returned to the Owners & Trainers where we shared a bottle of champagne and we had just polished it off when Mark Clayton, Executive Director, popped in and, when realising it was Jane’s Birthday, offered her a drink on the house. Her cheeky request? A bottle of champagne! Well, if you don’t ask you don’t get! Fair play to Mark, her wish was his command and he did joke that the cost of galloping those two horses had just doubled! What a good sport he was and we are sure Jane, Rosemary and Hot Goddess will be returning to Southwell again at some stage!

Bobbi’s Beauty ran a bit too keen all the way and, although still looking in with a huge chance of winning, under Harry Atkins, turning for home, she faded to finish 4th. We’ll see how she is in the next week or so as it may be time for her ‘summer’ holiday but she’ll tell us that. Of course, we also need these paddocks to start drying out to enable us to turn the holiday horses out.

With no racing today it did give me the chance to go and watch Harry play his last League game of the season for Studley U14s. Thankfully we are used to travelling as they played Sutton Coldfield away and thankfully it was a 2pm kick off so we could get the horses etc. sorted beforehand. He played a good game to help his team win 4-0 although he was a little unlucky not scoring, it thankfully didn’t matter. They now have to sit and watch the last few teams play their last games to see where they finish in the League. Currently top, one or two teams could potentially beat them if they win their last 2/3 games so it’s a waiting game!

Sorry to hear this morning that Aidan Coleman has had to retire due to the knee injury he sustained last June at Worcester. Sadly not surprised as I bumped into him at The Festival and he explained he was struggling to get back. If any of you have followed his social media updates over the last few months you will see how hard he’s tried to get back to full fitness. Aidan is currently the jockey who has won most Cheltenham races for our team with Any Currency over the cross-country fences and regulation fences and Brillare Momento twice over hurdles. There was also that very special (ill-fated) day at The Festival too when Any Currency gave us a day we’ll never ever forget. Good luck Aidan in whatever you do next and thank you for all the amazing memories.

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