Martin’s Blog 7th December

We had a good day at Wetherby on Saturday even though we missed out on a winner by a head which is always frustrating. Two days later I’m more relaxed although I must admit to being disappointed immediately after Witness Protection was beaten. Sean Quinlan gave him a lovely ride and, although Witness had pulled quite hard early on, he still arrived into the straight going better than anything. Winning looked a forgone conclusion all the way up the straight and even when Sean allowed him to move upsides at the last. However, Fern Hill continued to rally and Witness just looked to have been outstayed at the line.

I’m cross with myself for stepping him up in trip as Saturday’s race was 3 furlongs further than his win at Stratford however in my defence he has won a 3 mile point to point. We’ll drop him back in trip now though and we know we have a nice horse with a lovely attitude. He was A1 yesterday which is often a crucial day for a horse with a previous leg injury so fingers crossed they stay that way.

Our next runner was Big Nasty who’d been off the track since February where he was disappointing and was found to have bled. I was confident (hopeful!) that he was wrong that day which can often be the cause of a horse bleeding but was anxious to get a good run into him without it happening again. He’s massive but I was so impressed that he not only jumped well when long or on a perfect stride, but he was neat when in close too. Despite being outpaced 4 out and looking as if he would possibly drop away, he stayed on again to finish 3rd only beaten 11 1/4 lengths. That was some run especially as he was giving the winner 35lbs and the second 19lbs – all the horses carrying 6lbs more due to the jockeys not being able to use the saunas at the moment. He can carry weight no problem – he had 12st 7lbs – but giving all that weight away was a good performance and his owners were understandably thrilled, as was Anna who rides him & looks after him.

No runners today but Miss Antipova has returned from a short break with her owners, Anna & Alan Varey at nearby Batsford Stud. Will be great to crack on with her again.

A busy week ahead with runners however ground will be the deciding factor on a few of the horses this week so I’ll be watching the weather even more closely than normal!



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