National Racehorse Week & Fontwell Runners

We had a wonderful day on Sunday celebrating the start of the inaugural National Racehorse Week – a wonderful initiative, the brain child of fellow Cotswold Trainer Richard Phillips, and one that can only be good for our Industry. We really do need to shout from the rooftops how much the horses in our care are loved and share the care and attention that goes into ensuring they want for nothing.

We really didn’t know what to expect on Sunday and over 250 people had registered to come, most of whom we didn’t know, so we hoped for good weather! That we were blessed with and I’m sure the hard work and long hours the team put in during the weeks running up to Sunday and, especially the last few days, paid off as everyone seemed to have a thoroughly enjoyable morning. We rode out nearly 20 of the horses with the help of the whole team and also James Best Warren Marston, Lily Pinchin, Harry Greasby, Miranda Theobald and Ollie Garner and Anna McDonagh, who both used to work here and offered to come back and ride out. Ollie, of course, supplies us with our forage and shavings so is still a big member of the team. So grateful to them all and possibly the most excited person allowed to ride out was young Freddie who hasn’t ridden a racehorse in front of such a crowd before. Herecomeshogan, his ride, was buzzy but they stayed together!

After the horses galloped everyone returned to the yard for guided tours and a wonderful demonstration from Hannah Steedman, one of our physios, with her fabulous Indiba machine – Mr Mafia was the perfect choice for Hannah to work on and explain to everyone what she was doing. He literally didn’t move a muscle and loved the attention! He was also on duty again a bit later for a photo shoot with one of two very smart Morgan cars that we were lucky to have on display too. Everyone was well fed and watered and hopefully we have encouraged plenty of new racegoers to our wonderful sport.

Yesterday HRH The Princess Royal’s Cloud Formation ran a blinder at Worcester under Patrick Cowley to finish a good 3rd over fences at 40-1. He mostly jumped really well and it was a very encouraging run pleasing both his owner and all of us too.

Off to Fontwell today hoping that the rain holds off as much as possible. Capricia won’t want much rain and reverts to hurdles after not enjoying fences last time. She is a mare that is frustrating me as she looks every inch a chaser, is a lovely looking mare with a great attitude but things just haven’t seem to have gone her way. Her patient owners deserve a change of luck. Sean Bowen rides.

Mr Mafia is our other runner. It’s now a two horse race but he’s up against a very short priced favourite but he’s in good form and, as long as the ground doesn’t go too soft he should run another blinder.



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