Mr Mafia wins his 14th race!

Words can’t describe what Mr Mafia means to us – he’s a very special horse and those questioning our decision to keep him in training as a 14 year old saw for themselves yesterday at Newton Abbot how much he loves being a racehorse when he carried top weight and beat his rivals who were all between four and 7 years younger than him! In fact his nearest pursuer was carrying nearly 2 stone less than him too.

Sadly owner Peter Boggis couldn’t be there but he had a good excuse – his mother in law’s 100th Birthday Party. They had even more to celebrate as it was revealed that daughter Kitty King has been selected to represent GB once again, this time in the FEI Eventing European Championships. No-one works harder than Kitty and it is much deserved.

Back to Mr Mafia though and he usually needs his first run of the season so if I’d got around to writing a blog yesterday I’d not have encouraged you to back him! Traditionally Belinda hasn’t allowed anyone else to ride him however she’s shared a bit of the riding with Freddie this time and allowed him to do a bit of his fast work – he’s done all of his schooling over fences so it was a real family affair.

He went to Uttoxeter a few weeks ago but didn’t run because they’d watered too much for him and he enjoys genuine good ground and so that has given him a couple more weeks. In fact just this last week Belinda’s been happier with him than ever and if we’d put the fact he is 14 out of our minds, he’d dropped to a very good mark then we probably should have told everyone to back him! BUT he IS 14, he was disappointing in his final run of last season, he’d been off for 241 days so all we really wanted was for him to enjoy himself and run a promising race.

The rest, as they say, is history. Despite not getting his favoured lead, Sean ensured he had plenty of room and rode him with patience but his jumping continued to improve and he disappointed both horses that tried to lead and when he went out on the final circuit we were thinking “he can’t do it, can he?!”. He wasn’t for passing – he jumped for fun under Sean who knows him so well and, despite his nearest pursuer closing him down on the run in, Mafia, with ears fully pricked as usual, was always doing just enough.

What a dude!

Tears of joy from us both – I’m not ashamed to say! From the messages we’ve had he reduced plenty more of you to tears too! What a horse, what a ride, what a partnership and what a win. He really is a legend of a horse who is so kind at home that we take him visiting Care Homes and he loves the attention. He’s A1 this morning and will be given plenty of time before his next race and we’ll obviously continue to monitor him and only do what’s best for him. Sean got off him yesterday and said “Freddie MUST ride him before he retires” and the long term aim, if Mafia is ok with it, is that Freddie qualifies him for Hunter Chasing and rides him at Cheltenham at the end of the season. A long time away but what a plan to have.

Big smiles!

Thank you all for so many messages – we have been overwhelmed and they’ve all been read even if we’ve not managed to reply to every one. There is so much love for this gorgeous horse!



If you would like to have a horse trained by Martin Keighley, visit the yard or make an enquiry