Martin’s Blog 8th July

A fantastic end to Racing Staff Week with Jasmin Richards having a wonderful ride on Primogeniture at Newton Abbot in the Betfair Racing Staff Week race to finish 3rd, just losing out in a photo for 2nd. He was actually in front after the line but having set herself the target of 6th she was understandably thrilled with 3rd and well done to her.

Jasmin looked tidy and rode exactly to orders (I occasionally can’t say that about the professionals!) getting a good start and sitting 5th on the rail. He was a bit outpaced mid race but she didn’t panic and turning for home pushed him all the way to the line making up a lot of lengths and giving us and all her supporters a thrill as we all shouted her on. She felt shattered but elated and was thrilled to receive her prize from Bryony Frost who told her what a great ride she gave him and joked how much better he went for Jasmin than herself (8th at Hereford!).

Everything about the day justified why we are so behind these initiatives to give the team a chance if they work hard and want to do it. I can’t deny that occasionally it is hard to find a suitable mount, an owner that is prepared to risk their horse in such a race with an inexperienced jockey and no chance of prize money – it does cost a bit to get the horse to the races and a member of staff for the day too plus the yard at home are left without the member of staff that is riding….. however, we will continue to do all we can to support these race as they are so important and the team love them. We’ve certainly never had anyone as grateful as Jasmin for the chance to ride in such a race – she is buzzing and rightly so.

Apart from Jasmin we’ve not had any runners for a few days but will start getting busy again now. More horses coming back in from their holidays and a real buzz in the yard as we get even busier.

I spent yesterday at Barbury Horse Trials, Alan King’s back garden, in glorious sunshine watching Freddie compete in the Shetland Pony Grand National on his pony Brewards Kerwen (Blackie). Paul Davis and Pip Frankish were our support crew and great to see them both. Freddie & Blackie had a bit of traffic problems in the morning so didn’t qualify for the final but a fitting of cheekpieces for the afternoon session coupled with the course being longer as the show jumps had gone by then resulted in a much better performance and a 2nd place in the heat qualifying him for the final. Nearly 30 children and ponies competed in three heats with the top three going through to the final so a hot race in prospect. Paul Davis remarked that they ‘punched above their weight’ against much more experienced ponies to finish 5th with a beaming smile from ear to ear.

Neil Lloyd here last Friday to meet with Belinda and also to see our Califet yearling who he has a share in. Visits from Alan Varey from Batsford Stud to see Miss Antipova and also Dave Jones, who has a share in Pirate Look, with a friend too. We enjoy owners calling in on the off-chance. We are usually here and, if not, someone is who can show them their horse.

Jo Stainer and Zoe Stock both in this morning to see their horses and have a catch up.

Happy Birthday today to fellow trainer Owen Burrows who has caught me up again!