Its starting to feel quite Autumnal now, a thick fog greeted us on Saturday morning, although it was still very mild.
Happily the sun had got through by the time our visitors arrived for our monthly 'Open Morning'
A great turn out of familiar faces & new ones too.
As always a big Thank you to Terry & Mandy Poulson for amazing cakes & making teas & coffees!
Several of the National Hunt Racing Enthusiasts Club here to see Scorpion Sea, who they have leased from Jo Rose for the season. A full sister to All is Good she is shaping up well, and isn't far off a run now.
All the horses are looking incredibly well and we are starting to contemplate some rain dancing as the forecast does not promise much.
Nice to see Jane Nicholls here last week to see her and Andrew's horses. Nomination Game is coming on well, and Oneida tribe is back from his summer holidays with Chris Henn, and looks a picture.
Also good to see members of Just 4 Fun & The Trotters here on Friday to see Cheers Delboy & Lara Trot over a few drinks & a BBQ.
The farm is looking green again now, its incredible how the grass has recovered after being burnt to a crisp back in June! Mushrooms a plenty too.
The new partnership in Mr Palmtree (see in Horses for Sale) is coming together well now - still a few shares left so do get in touch if you would like to get involved in this lovely young horse. He won't be too long before he runs so don't hesitate for too long!
Very sad news on Saturday with the passing of Cliff Beech, an owner with us for 20 years, yard sponsor for 12 and a great friend.
Cliff was passionate about his horses, had an excellent racing knowledge and followed the yard diligently. He never missed a runner and was always on hand to offer an opinion or advice.
He was an astute business man, and his 93 years had not dulled a sharp & enquiring mind right until the end.
A kinder man would be hard to find, and his horses and stock all were well looked after on his farm until the end of their days.
Our sincerest condolences to sons Colin & Mick and to the rest of Cliff's very close knit family.
The world has been a better place for us, having known Cliff & he will be much missed.
Back into the swing again now, with everyone in from their summer hols. Staff & horses alike!
The horses look very well and are probably a little ahead of schedule as the new hill gallop is proving to be a brilliant asset, a great surface and the incline great for getting fit without a lot of galloping work.
The new yard is also proving to be a massive hit, and SO much easier than running up and down the drive.
The team also looking tip top after their summer breaks, great to have the same crew as last year, with the exception of Megan who, after passing her law OU final exam has gone over to the 'dark side' and is now working for the BHA in Disiplinary!! Hoping not to see her anytime soon!!
We have even manged to get a holiday in this year and have just had a lovely family week in Spain with Chris & Lou & their children. Nice to be away, but nice to be back & thanks to Darren & the team for holding the fort whist we were away.
As always hitting the ground running and plenty to catch up on after being away. A week in the office awaits!
Lovely to see a good turnout of Crappers, Park Laners, Some Finishers & Goodies on Friday for a little get together, and the Point Of Attack crew a couple of weeks before, again for a little pre season drink. Not long now until we see some action.
Lovely to have got three winners on the board already, and hoping to beat last years score this season.
Charlie & Jack & James all in riding out again along with Tabitha when she can.
We were particularly saddened to hear of the passing of Gary Allbutt, who built the new barn & installed the original gallop here. Gary was an all round top man, and many could learn a lot from him. He was always there in times of 'Oh S**t'' we need help, either mending broken things or putting out muck heap fires! Our sympathies to his partner Natalie & sons Lewis, Dan & Chris. He will be much missed.
After generously sponsoring the yard for the last twelve years Cliff Beech has decided that as he is now unable to get to the races in person, it is time for him to take a step back in terms of sponsorship.
We are so grateful to Cliff and his family for their generosity over such a long period and have been very proud to carry the 'Beech' name at the races and beyond.
The familiar burgundy will still be carried by Cliffs' own horses, but a change is afoot for the rest of the team.
We are delighted to announce that as from this week Clay Street Property Consultants will be taking over as yard sponsors.
A change of colours at the races, to grey & blue, with the Clay Street logo which will soon become familiar on the Dickin horses.
We thank Clay Street very much for taking the sponsorship on and will be proud to be associated with such a successful company, and hope it will be a mutually beneficial relationship!
Not many in at the moment as the dry weather has prompted us to get everyone out for their well deserved holidays. It was a long winter for everyone - human & equine alike, and even though some of the equinnes did not get to the track too many times when the ground was so deep its still a long time for them to be in.
One of my favourite times of year is seeing them all out with full tummies and snoozing in the sunshine.
The flies have been late appearing this year (we were hoping they had all drowned!) but they have just started make their presence felt, so very early morning exercise is beckoning, and we will then have the rest in in the day and out at night.
Everyone's favourite jobs currently under way & actually nearly finished. Pressure washing stables and mats is a rotten job, but important to get everywhere cleaned and disinfected before we start again. Strimmers going, rugs getting washed all part of our summer fun!
The team getting some well earned holiday in too, and several tanned faces looking well rested which is great to see.
Great to have got off the mark for the new season with La Fille Francaise, and a fun day at Southwell a couple of weeks ago with The Lion Man & Celestial Chimes both finally getting their act together!
Rarely would Robin not go to the races with a runner, but thinking that both would get balloted out, we had arranged to have supper with Andrew & Jane Nicholls. and Harriet was despatched to the races to saddle the runners! Her first time going solo in such a role!
Watching from home we were relieved to see both runners still travelling well two out, and gobsmacked to see them still at the head of affairs at the last! A great race with our two fighting out the finish with another runner, and much encouragement from the kitchen! The Lion Man came out on top - by a nose - from Celestial Chimes! What a result - suffice to say we were all pretty surprised, but it made for a celebratory evening!
The girls not back till after midnight after a shocking run back - but still up for a glass of fizz! Harriet now keen to saddle more regularly!
Well done to the team for being so professional & to John & Margaret Cooper who have been SO patient with The Lion Man, and to Lilian Barry who was nearly audible from Fermoy shouting Celestial Chimes home!
Ceris had her second ride over hurdles on Under The Phone at Warwick - thank you to The Trixters for giving her the chance to ride him. A bit free early we were worried he wouldn't get home - especially as we were upping his trip a lot! But having been headed turning in, he rallied well and finished a running on fourth. Good effort from horse & rider.
A couple of disappointing runners around Stratford, but races run at breakneck speed, and horses will be fine on a slower track.
The new look Hill Farm is now pretty much done - at last! Both gallops all done & just fencing to do now. Its been a trying 12 months with all the redevelopment, but actually well worth it now that its all done!
Several new faces of the four legged variety - firstly a bay filly by Frozen Fire ex Dancing Daffodil, then a chestnut filly by Native Ruler ex Kaddys Girl, giving a cutness overload. terrible time wasters, but lovely correct winners of the future!
Four youngsters to break in, which are well under way & a new five year old by Robin de Pres from Ascot sales last week.
Mr Palmtree is a lovely athletic five year old who has been placed second & third pointing in Ireland, and we just could not resist him at the sales!
He just needs an owner/owners now - so do call and see him or just ask if you would like more details!
A couple of runners at Stratford this afternoon, and Uttoxeter tomorrow.
I am afraid that I seem to have been very lax on the blog front over the last couple of weeks - started several time s but not got round to finishing it, so apologies for a news blackout!
The weather has probably blighted us having our best season ever with several abandonments when we had horses in with good chances - frustrating, but its the same for everyone. Happily the forecast much better for this week, although I expect that in a minute we will all be complaining that its too firm/hot!
The horses have been running really well, and we added another two winners to our tally since the last blog.
Young Lou has not had a smooth run of things this winter & nor has Tabitha Worsley, so it was brilliant to see them form a great partnership to win convincingly at Warwick, for our long time supporter and yard sponsor Cliff Beech & Brian Wilkinson. Sadly Cliff not able to come racing these days, but was I am sure cheering Lou & Tabs on from home! Tabitha's first winner after breaking her back at Ludlow only three months ago. Tough stuff from her and a delighted team here.
Galactic Power & Oneida Tribe (Andrew & Jane Nicholls) also ran at Warwick. OT tribe making an uncharacteristic error and parting company with Adrian Heskin (both fine after) and little GP (EPDS Twitterati) characteristically running his usual solid race to finish third.
Quickly on to Towcester the next day with Dontminddboys who has been a model of consistency this year, even though the ground has been against him all winter. Th is was his ninth run of the season, and he had not been out of the first three in all of them. He was not about to change that on the day & under a super ride from Jack Quinlan, stayed on dourly up the hill for his third win! Well done to EPDS Racing who were well supported, and cheered their lovely grey home.
Unbelievably there are still shares left in this stunning grey boy - get in touch with us or John Powell at EPDS for information on joining his partnership. Not sure what you could want more in a racehorse than one as consistent as DMDB, and he's beautiful too!
A blank week after Towcester as the world seemed to be waterlogged, with the weather certainly not helping the new gallop construction - its been a bit of a slog at home too!
The team as ever just getting on with it - brilliant stuff from all of them.
Finally got out and about again to Kempton with Under The Phone, who has been twiddling his thumbs for most of the winter waiting for some better ground! As the word good appeared on the going report he had to take his chance - only to be greeted with more rain and no G word by the time his race came around! He ran a blinder though to finish third for The Trixters who have been patiently waiting for him to be out again! Great run under Charlie and very pleased with him.
Two at Ludlow the same day. and Lara Trot & Belles Spirit both running well under Jack. Both fillies for the future - remember the names!
In amongst everything going on at home we managed to fit in a quick Irish trip -and the result of that trip arrived on Saturday. A serious grey Milan five year old who has been placed pointing and who is now looking for an owner or owners. Come & see him - he is likely to be our next partnership horse unless he is snapped up first!
Big news is that the new gallop is now finished. lots of clearing up to do around it, but that will have to wait for some drier ground, but the surface is on and we are riding on it! Feels brilliant and a good hard pull up the hill is certainly a bonus to our existing facilities. Big thanks to our landlord Nic Allen who is always striving to improve our facilities here. A little way to go yet with all the improvements since the 'big move', but nearly there and we love it!
Aintree over for another year and some great racing, but the biggest cheer from this corner of Warwickshire was reserved for the last race - a very hungry James Nixon (9st 11lbs!) rode a super race to win for trainer Tony Carroll. Brilliant result for James - well done!
The days are getting longer & the grass is at last starting to come through - no rain forecast this week and temperatures due to rise, so it appears that Spring is at last putting in a very belated appearance!
Cheltenham over for another year - hard to believe its come and gone again.
A great week, marred by events on the last day. A sad end to what had been some amazing racing, and personally I think that the new layout of the track works well & does make it feel less crowded outside (looked pretty standard crush inside!) Great to catch up with lots of friends and some that we hadn't seen since last year!
No runners for us sadly. Thomas Crapper was entered but balloted out - which actually was a good thing as the ground was far too soft for him.
Kaddys Dream (Shaw Racing) and Belles Spirit (The Happy Horse partners) both headed off to Huntingdon on Wednesday, Bellles Spirit for another quiet run, and ran OK. Kaddys Dream came there looking all over the winner turning in, but then didn't really see it out. Jack thought he may have just got there too soon, but she may just want better ground. Chasing is the long term aim for her but no point in risking her novice status at this time of year.
One whose novice status has happily long gone this season is Vocaliser, who has been a model of consistency this year. He headed to Kempton on Saturday for a big step up in class, but answered every question asked of him to win tidily for The Songsters. He travelled and jumped really well and quickened up well turning in to win by a couple of lengths going away. Great ride from Charlie, and very good performance from Vocaliser for a very enthusiastic group of owners.
Ten minutes before Vocalisers race, Tara Well gave it her best shot to give us an across the card double on ITV, when running a brave race to be second under James at Uttoxeter. Ridden patiently she came there travelling well into the straight but just came up against one on the day! She beat the third horse by 16 lengths so hard not to be anything but pleased with her on a really filthy freezing cold day. They went to post in a blizzard and she had to have snow drifts brushed out of her cheek pieces at the start! Nice to see her number one fan (after her owners!) Ruth Lancaster there to cheer her on, and interesting to see some of the outfits on show on Paddys day! All I can say is that they must have been very cold!
Thomas Crapper was next up and travelled Ok for a good way, but he has always loathed the snow (won't go out of the yard in it at home) and was not at all happy in it during the race - he didn't really get home and we will be having another look at his wind, as well as waiting for some better ground before hes out again. (as well as a non blizzard day!)
All the runners home safely and sound - always the best relief however they have run.
More of the white stuff over the weekend - and we woke up to drifts and a hurricane blowing on Sunday. Happily everyone back safely from racing as it would have been a bit of a mission coming up the drive had they been 12 hours later!
Yesterday not much better, the wind was literally roaring around the yard. Better today though a the sun out and drifts thawing - please go away winter!
Just a couple of entries at Ludlow on Wednesday,this week, hopefully everything drying up a bit for a while.
The most important news was winner #12 last week - with little Galactic Power winning his sixth race at Ludlow.
Under a masterful ride by Jack Quinlan Little GP came from last to first, although we looked beat at the last hurdle, and indeed most of the way up the run in, but the pairs never say never attitude saw them wear down the long time leader and get in front where it mattered on the line! They nearly gave us all heart failure in the process, and Ludlow certainly knew Team Dickin were in town!
Galactic Power came as part of a BOGOF deal - although actually it was a 'Buy Three' GOF deal! He is such a popular chap both with the home team & of course the EPDS Titteratti, who own him! A more honest a likeable little horse you could not find, and he thoroughly deserved the win! (Up 4lbs for his trouble!)
He was our last runner of a busy day - Belles Spirit(The Happy Horse Partnership) Lara Trot(The Trotters) both putting in much better performances when not stopped by the mud , as they were at Towcester. Both really nice fillies.
Wildmoor Boy - back from a long layoff, unfortunately burst a blood vessel and pulled up. There will be other days for him.
Vocaliser, ran another solid race but was possible not really suited by the racecourse, and finished third but only beaten 2 1/2 lengths. He has hiked up the weights this term, he will be better suited by a bigger more galloping track. Form figures of 12113 this season not too shabby!
Strong effort from the team, both at the races & those holding the fort at home. Another BTO for Harriet T.
The other unsurprising news of the week is that we are all thoroughly 'over' winter.
The beast from the east hit us yesterday - so windy that you could hardly either breath or stand up! Not be daunted the team girded their loins and got everything ridden. It was truly vile! We face east and it was so cold it hurt!
We woke up to massive snow drifts this morning, and the wind still doing its thing! we had to dig our way into the new barn, and some indoor drifts to contend with in the old one! Horses all snug though and I think every rug we own is now in use!
Just not safe to ride them today and too windy for the walker, so everything was hand walked to get them moving.
The drive impassable, and five foot drifts just no fun, but the team here and still smiling (could just be gritted teeth!!) large amounts of cooked breakfast consumed inbetween the battle with the elements.
A massive thank you to Darren, Megan, Harriet T, Ceris, Alice, Poppy Lauren & Frankie, also Charlie, Jack & James who have also been in riding out.
Hoping for a rapid rise in temperature, although watching heavy snow falling again now, so not feeling hopeful.
No Open Morning tomorrow for obvious reasons!!
Winner #11 for the team yesterday!
Oneida Tribe was technically winning his second race of the season although on paper it shows up as the first.
The debacle that was Bangor a few weeks ago is something the Bangor stewards should be ashamed of.
Photo called a dead heat - (later revised to a winner for OT), only to be then disqualified for some imaginary interference.
An inquiry into the inquiry, then conducted at a flat meeting with none of the trainers or jockeys involved present!
Class! But there are times when you just know the establishment is going to stick together and however much time, effort & money is spent on an appeal they were not going to back down twice!
A morale victory only, and back to the fray yesterday for 'Big Ian'. Blinkers on for the first time saw him a bit keen early on, but given a great ride by Adrian Heskin, and jumping very well. Andrew & Jane Nicholls' giant bay powered clear up the infamous Towcester hill.
Sadly Andrew & Jane not able to be at Towcester, but enjoying the win from afar.
Some Finish (BTO for Lauren) not enjoying the awful conditions yesterday, and his jumping rather falling apart in the desperate ground. Oneida Tribe had gone very wide to fine the best of the ground, but as SF has a tendency to jump right the same tactics could not be applied and Jack reported that his mistakes were purely from landing knee deep in a bog. Jack quite rightly pulled him up after three out - there will be another day on better ground.
Both horses fine this morning, and the team heading off to Leicester with Timons Tara & Bally Lagan. A grey day out, but a strange yellow ball has just appeared in the sky so hopefully no more rain for a while.
I think it fair to say that we are all completely over winter now!
Enough rain, wind and mud this year to last a good while & really longing for a few dry & sunny days.
Not to be this morning though as the wind is howling and rain battering onto the window as I type this!
Typing in our new office which is finally complete! Its great to on the yard with a view to the gallop one way & into the yard the other - concentration may be tricky!
Just got to sort out the organised chaos after two office moves in as many months! Getting there now, and only a few tescos' crates to sort out!
We have a a great run with the horses lately, but the nature of the beast always makes you think it can't last! I must be more optimistic!
Timons Tara made the long journey up to Catterick with a great chance in a tight little race - she finished third in a cat & mouse sort of race. Perhaps the race coming a bit soon for her. She was due to head off to Goffs sales but happily a change of plan sees her staying till the end of the season.
Taunton beckoned again for the in form Vocaliser, hard to believe he would manage to pull it off again even though the race looked his for the taking. Top effort from Matt & Jenny FitzGerald who flew back from Ireland especially for the race, and great to have Chris Dickin and daughter Nina on hand as well. Despite nearly fluffing his lines as the second down the back Vocaliser took it up two out and cruised into the lead. The long time leader fell at the last but Charlie sure he had him beaten anyway. Once in front Vocaliser rather sauntered up to the line - just doing enough to see off a late challenge, and won by 1/2 length! Very pleased to see the faller get up having been down for a good while.
Big celebrations from all Vocalisers' supporters and a BTO for Harriet T.
Winner number 10 for the season so far.
Southwell on Monday. Myroundorurs is a good ground horse, who had been keeping the vets in luxury for a good while last year. All dressed up and nowhere to go with a bog everywhere, so it was decided that he would have to take his chance in the mud. He has not been an easy horse - two gears - zero & flat out! However he has been a reformed character lately, and despite setting off in his customary lead, he was settled in front, jumped well and dug deep when joined two out. He finished third, which after 580 days off the track was a solid effort. Delighted for Andrew & Jane Nicholls who have been so patient with him.
Tara Well, back quite quickly after her lovely victory at Leicester did not quite see the trip out on the very soft going, but finished fourth, hard to be disappointed with her!
However apparently others - or another was very disappointed at losing his money & thought it OK to send James a horrible text. I was pretty mad about this & you may have seen a comment on our facebook page. Seems that plenty of others were disgusted with the lesser form of life who saw fit to send the text. Over 600 reactions and countless messages of support for James did rather restore our faith in human nature!
Kaddys Dream ran another super race back at Huntingdon to finish third - delighted with her and she is definatly one to keep an eye on - especially when fences come her way. Shaw racing have unexpectedly had a couple of spaces in her partnership - contact us or Shaw Racing if you are interested.
The bubble rather burst then with a couple of babies puling up at Towcester. Ground disgusting and in hindsight wished we had stayed at home with them. Both lovely fillies but both finding the combination of the Towcester hill and glue pot ground a bit too much. Both Belles Spirit (BTO for Frankie) & Lara Trot both jumped & travelled well till three out & there will be other days for them.
Mr Consistent - Dontminddboys (BTO for Poppy) also hated the ground but had his brave pants on and fought his way through it to finish a gallant second. 14 runs without being out of the first four. What a boy! He has it all - charm, good looks & consistency. Can't believe it but EPDS still have a few shares left in him - if you haven't already got one - get one! He is a solid fun horse owned by a lovely bunch of enthusiastic owners.
Getting groups together to celebrate a win is always a logistical nightmare, and as most of Vocalisers' owners are London based it made sense to get together there - that was before we were at two meetings and Harriet was away competing as well! However the impossible was achieved and after racing, we, along with Charlie, Fran and the two Harriets all managed to get onto the same train and arrive in London in time to meet up with The Songsters for a very enjoyable celebratory supper. we even managed not to miss the train home! Thank you Songsters it was a fun evening!
Big day on Saturday with Thomas Crapper back after a bad injury to his knee last April. Surgery, box rest, rehab, walking, more walking, plenty of clinging on when he was VERY fresh, saw him ready to run, but like Myroundorurs - no ground. We are hoping to go back to Newbury with him, and really wanted to get him to the track. As predicted he hated the ground, was a bit rusty over the first couple then jumped well, Charlie pulled up two out as he felt the job was done and no point in risking a fall to finish fifth or sixth. Another BTO for Harriet T, and happily Crappy fine after.
All runners fine after their runs - always a relief!
Also a big well done to Jack Quinlan for his super victory at Newbury on Saturday - well deserved.
After three winners from three runners the pressure was on for a girls trip to Huntingdon on Friday!
La Fille Francaise (Mrs Juie Venvell & Mrs Louise Merry)& Kaddys Dream, (Shaw Racing Partnership) two very different characters, but both ran blinders! LFF old head on young shoulders, KD very buzzy and back after a bad injury last year. We thought a one two was on the cards turning in , but it turned out to be a three, four!
LFF finished third under James Nixon, and KD & Jack Quinlan fourth. The first four finished a good way in front of the rest, and this was a very good performance from both of our fillies - exciting for the future.
Timons Tara (Jack up) (Mr Mark James) off to Uttoxeter on Saturday - more rain - and the ground pretty wet, which suits TT. She seems to love the track and ran a stormer, only to very frustratingly, get collared close home to go down by half a length! A good run though & the horses all in good heart.
All is Good (The Tricksters & The Goodies) next up at Hereford on Monday (BTO for Ceris). We had not had a trouble free run with AIG between his last two runs & he blew up a bit going to the last at Warwick in his previous race, however he had not missed a day since, so we were pretty confident he would run well, and he did not disappoint. Making pretty much all, Charlie kicked for home after two out and put the race to bed. AIG scampered clear and won with a bit in hand. Good performance. We think a lot of this son of Scorpion - can't wait for fences next season, but he will stay over hurdles for now.
Plenty of Goodies on hand to greet the winning pair, Mr & Mrs Ludlow representing The Tricksters, but a good presence in several bookies around the country & plenty of celebrating afterwards!
The return journey not without incident as black smoke & no power in the little lorry caused a enforced stop at Newtown crossroads garage! A million thanks to John Gallagher, who (having gone the wrong way home) stopped and picked up AIG & Ceris and delivered them home safely. The RAC man turned up to rescue Robin - we were quaking at the thought of the bill looming over the horizon!
Having dismantled the air filter (which looked rather ropey inside) he then pulled on what he thought was a bit of string(??) hanging out of the air intake pipe! Out popped a dead mouse! Poor mousey had taken up residence in the filter (chewed!) and then tried to exit down the pipe, only to get stuck & block the air intake!! Back on the road minus a filter, a home safely! Lorry gone for a new filter and some mouse traps this morning!
Winner number 9 for the season, and just great to have the team in such good heart.
Thank for all the well done messages, texts etc and as always thanks to our great team for all their hard work.
Just got to keep those winners rolling in now!
Time for an update!
Apologies for the news blackout from Dickin HQ - just not been enough hours in the day lately!
Despite being thoroughly hacked off with the weather ( we are SO over winter now), the team here are buzzing after a great few days.
Everything has been running well, but we have been hitting the cross bar a fair bit, which is frustrating .
None more frustrating than the Bangor Fiasco!
Oneida Tribes' race has been well documented so I won't go on about it for too long here, suffice to say that a botched call from the photo finish, and a very dubious stewards enquiry has been the subject of much discussion and legal advice.
An appeal was very much on the cards, but having had to eat humble pie over the photo, it was pretty unlikley that we were going to make the powers that be eat another slice! A moral victory for the horse & owners Andrew & Jane Nicholls, but safe to say we are all still left with a pretty nasty taste about it all.
The whole thing did not do our sport any favours, and the general inefficiency of how it was dealt with from above has not instilled any confidence in the system that runs racing.
However we have had to move on and put that one down to experience!
The last three runners have put a smile on a lot of faces!
Vocaliser headed off to Taunton last Saturday on ground that would not be ideal, but a valuable race & only four runners could not be missed. Sadly The Songsters were very thin on the ground at the track - but I am confident there was much cheering going on around the country as Vocaliser (BTO for HarrietT) jumped for fun under Charlie, and got the job done in a very business like fashion! We have always thought a lot of this horse, but its not been a straightforward journey with him, so its great that his very patient band of owners are now reaping the rewards of that patience. 2121 over fences is not to be sneezed at. Up 4lbs for the win, he bounced out of the race and hopefully will back in that #1 spot again!
Dontminddboys was our next runner at Leicester yesterday. He came in from the field with a big bruise on a hind leg the evening before, and Poppy & Darren were up for much of the night with ice packs to get rid of the swelling.
Their dedication paid off, as all fine by the morning, and the handsome grey was able to head off with his next door neighbour Tara Well.
EPDS supporters out in force and happily able to cheer 'Caspar' up the run in for a hard fought victory. Given a great ride by Jack Quinlan, he is another that will appreciate some better ground, but showed great courage to fight off a late charge from the placed horses. He is the model of consistency & great for him to follow up his previous Leicester victory.
Tara Well is another who has been running very well in defeat, with form figures of 4223. Not in the slightest worried about the ground for her (wetter the better!), but thought we were beaten going to the last. Tara, however had other ideas and battled on to get her head in front and win by a couple of lengths going away! Well done to our conditional James Nixon who was riding his first winner for us - first of many we hope!
A gamer little character would not be found & Tara certainly deserved this victory. Particularly well done to her dedicated lass Harriet T, who nursed her through 6 months of cross-tie after her pelvis fracture and who was as emotional as her owner after the race!
Both horses fine today.
No BTOs at Leicester - still to mean to do any!
Our last three runners - three winners! Not too shabby!
Well the festivities have come & gone for another year and we were hoping to get back to a proper routine today. However the weather interfered with that after a blizzard overnight accompanied by a howling gale!
Horrible slush first thing & a water taxi service for Megan & Lauren who could not get their cars through floods to get to work. Always a bit nerve wracking driving in flood water, but in the dark with snow as well was not a pleasant experience! At least we did not have to resort to the tractor,and most of it gone by afternoon. The river had burst its banks by this point though so different routes out required!
We had a busy few days leading up to Christmas with 2 runners at Southwell on Sunday, 5 at Towcester on Thursday (morning after the Christmas party!) & two at Uttoxeter on Friday, interspersed with gallopers, vet visits and goodness know what else - the shopping was a very last minute affair (as usual!!)
A girls day out at Southwell, La Fille Francaise was fourth- awful ground, and a decent enough race so pleased with her - she is shaping up into a lovely horse. Kaddys Dream back after a very long break after picking up an injury, ran really creditably before getting tired from two out. She will strip much fitter next time and is a really nice filly. No BTOs - Southwell right up there with Leicester in the mean stakes!
Some Finish has been much improved this time but could not repeat his win from the previous meeting at Towcester. Up 6 lbs, and a fast run race he was just a bit out of his comfort zone all the way, but ran OK - no jumping right which is a huge step forward!
Young Lou - first run of the season, ran well for a long way, but had stripped a bit tubby and will improve for the run. The Lion Man (BTO for Alice), back from his horrible fall at Ludlow ran Ok in ground he did not relish, but jumped well and a clear round was the order of the day which he did well.
Oneida Tribe (BTO for Frankie)another back after a long lay off ran really well, and will not be far away next time. He jumped for fun and looked the winner at the bottom of the hill, before just going for his girths two out. He ran on well despite being tired and more rain & a longer trip will suit.
Belles Spirit making her racecourse debut, and a first runner for us for new owners The Happy Horse Partnership. We welcome Andy & Anne Sumner to Team Dickin, and wish them every success with Belle's Spirit. only a 4 year old, she is still very green,. but will have learnt masses from the run, and with relatives in Arctic Spirit, Bill Brown & Autumm Spirit is very much one for the future.
First lorry out of the yard at 6 am on Friday with Dans Quest & Under The Phone off to Towcester for a racecourse gallop. Ground not great but both will have benefited from the outing. Second lorry off to Uttoxeter with Timons Tara & Tara Well. Both fillies by the prolific Kayf Tara and both ladies with attitude! TT especially likes to have things going her way - immense talent, but hated her last run at Exeter. Much better effort until routing the fourth last, which horse & jockey did well to survive! Finished 4th, which considering the error was an OK effort.
Tara Well - up a pound for her previous run, and without James' claim (banned for 7 days for one slap in the wrong position - ridiculous!), so effectively up 8lbs, ran another solid race to be b****y second again. Frustrating not to win, but at the same time feeling very proud of this game filly. (shares available if you fancy some fun!)
All runners home safely & in good order after their runs, which is great. All well able to win races and their days will come.
We pushed the weekend on a day to deal with the Christmas holiday - half on half off for each bank holiday. Luckily several having a few days off after their runs so not too much pressure with riding out, although quite a bit of pressure with mud removal for the day off ones that had been in the field!
In amongst the racing we did manage to have our Christmas party on Wednesday at The Stag at Redhill. We had a good evening although with some very dodgy secret santa presents, photos cannot be published!!
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the drinks fund - much appreciated and put to good use!!
Its been lovely to see so many of you over the Christmas period - thank you for cards, gifts, choccys & especially for the cake! not much left but has kept everyone well fuelled!
We pushed the weekend on a day to deal with the Christmas holiday - half on half off for each bank holiday. Luckily several having a few days off after their runs so not too much pressure with ridding out, although quite a bit of pressure with mus removal for the day off ones that had been in the field!
What a week!
After two winners last week, it was so nearly three at Bangor on Saturday. Tara Well - who by rights should not be with us after fracturing a pelvis badly a while ago, had run well to be fourth at Uttoxeter, but was still a little 'ring rusty', and we thought that she would improve for the run. Turning in at Bangor we thought for a second that she had improved a lot, but annoyingly got collared by one up the straight. Given a positive ride by James Nixon she did everything but win, and finished a gallant second. Nearly as good as a winner for us, after her months & months of box rest and a very long rehab.
I had not been to Bangor for a good while & was very pleasantly surprised at how they are looking after owners now. We were joined by Dave Jones (Some Finish - but absent for the win!), and Ruth Lancaster who runs a Facebook page for NH enthusiasts. Shame to waste the badges and very happy that they both had a good day out. Well done Bangor - we might suggest that a few other tracks take a leaf out of your book!
Happily Tara bounced out the next morning and should be out again over the Christmas period.
Vocaliser has been a frustrating horse for trainer & owners, The Songsters alike. an expensive purchase from Jim Bolger, and a winner on the flat, we had high hopes for him, but his form was very inconsistent, and although he had finished second over hurdles & fences he was not really seeing his races out. Back to the drawing board over the summer, a long break & a wind op & everything crossed at Leicester on Thursday. His patient owners had put up with a few false starts when projected races looked too hot/ground wrong etc etc. but were out in force at Leicester. The whole team feeling pretty nervous - not helped by the fact that the race set off at breakneck speed, which had Vocaliser being a bit guessy early on. He soon settled into it though and given a perfect ride by Charlie went to the front and won going away from his nearest rival. (especially satisfying to see those particular colours behind us!) Some very excited Songsters nearly carried horse & jockey into the winners enclosure, amid much cheering. A plan carried out!
Having one winner in a day is always great but two is a rare thing! Dontminddboys has been the 'nearly' horse and run so well in virtually all of his chase starts without managing to get his nose in front. Three out we were not feeling confident but a perfectly timed run by Jack Quinlan saw 'Caspar' break his duck and win tidily! Great for EPDS Racing for whom we have now won with all three of the horses that they have with us. Great for Caspar - can't think of a horse that deserved it more.
No BTOs as Leicester too mean to do them, which is a disgrace.
Great for the team at home who headed for The Huff Cap to celebrate a memorable double & thank you to both sets of owners who have stuck by their boys, believing they would get it right in the end!
Both horses fine the next day - Vocaliser have a squeal trotting up & Dontinddboys now thinking he is the kiddy, and very pleased with himself!
Cheers Delboy has pleased us immensely having arrived from Ireland in the summer, he headed to Sandown on Friday off a new mark of 113. He ran a very creditable race to finish 5th in good company. Only a four year old, he has a bright future. Terrible run back for the lorry & anyone heading back down the M40 - long queues, and Robin & Harriet T very pleased to finally come up the drive.
No runners over the weekend, but the arrival on Sunday, of the best part of a foot of snow. Made worse by strong winds which turned the dump of snow into some pretty impressive drifts! The horses has a rare duvet day & for the first time in forever, did not set foot outside the barns. It was a blizzard all day and most of the night so Monday morning was not met with a huge amount of enthusiasm! First job was to dig a way into the barns - second was to dig the lorry out and get Afterthisone off to Southwell. This achieved, and the gallop under three feet of drifts it was then a case of finding a safe place that we could get to and exercise in. Happily the snow was deep enough in the fields to canter on and it was cold enough that there was no balling in their feet, so everyone got out on both Monday & Tuesday. Wednesday trickier as the melt had started and it mad life very difficult with huge snow balls building up in feet.
The drive was safe though and plenty of work done trotting up the drive.
Afterthisone has not been the easiest character to deal with at the races & has disgraced himself on more than one occasion. However he has decided that he would behave better on both of his last two runs, and is now improving all the time. He didn't put a foot out of place at Southwell & ran a much improved race. Now he is giving himself a chance he will keep improving and will be better once he can go further too.
The snow is now nearly gone - just the drifts remaining and some fairly impressive ice sheets, which are very treacherous! A massive thank you to all of the team who have kept the show on the road with good humour, having had to clear walkers, drifts and ways out of the yard. They have ridden out in the freezing cold. and have still been smiling (it may have been a grimace??).
Happy Birthday to Harriet T for yesterday!
Not such good service from our feed suppliers yesterday who thought it was OK to send less than half an order as they had run out of one type of feed - 20 bags arriving instead of 45?? No phone call, no communication until we questioned the quality of their service. Very impressive Dodson & Horrell - what were we going to feed them - fresh air??? Luckily an alternative supplier was happy to deliver a much better service so no one will be going hungry!
Really not good enough from a company who we spend thousands with - now reviewing our feeding policy!
Warwick off today (could never see it being on), so may be a day to start some Christmas shopping!
Charlie & Tom O'Brian in to ride out - just hope the remaining white stuff clears off quickly now & does not hang around waiting for some more to join it.
Just like the proverbial bus - you wait ages for a winner and then two come along together!
Although all of the horses have been running well, an outbreak of 'placeditis' is always frustrating, although many of those places had been personal bests for certain individuals, and good runs after injuries, so have actually been very rewarding for owners & the team alike.
However, there is nothing like a winner and Galactic Power who runs in the EPDS Twitterati colours, provided a welcome and brave win at Ludlow on Wednesday. Ably partnered by Tom O'Brian who was having his first ride for us, little GP came with his usual late run, and stuck his neck out up the run in to collar the favourite almost on the line! Massive amounts of vocal encouragement from supporters all around the country as well as at the track must have helped enormously!
GP has been a model of consistency, after coming as part of a BOGOF deal that we did a couple of years ago, and that was his fourth win over hurdles. He is a very popular character & no one more pleased than his lass Poppy Butler.
Some Finish rather lost his way last season until being gifted a race at Towcester right at the back-end of the season, but ran well on his return before getting beaten by the track at Ludlow. He returned to Towcester yesterday, and went off favourite - not sure how because it wasn't our money! However, he seems to have got back to his old self, didn't jump right too badly (apart from at the second fence!) and won tidily under a super ride from Jack Quinlan. More loud encouragement from his delighted owners, and 'Sam' now off the naughty step!
Big day for Lauren Marcus who has been with us since the summer, and having only her second lead up, and winning the BTO as well.
Both horses fine after their runs, and plenty of smiles in the yard.
Tara Well ran a big race to be fourth at Uttoxeter - she will come on again for the run after her long absence and heads to Bangor on Saturday.
Good runs also last week from La Fille Francaise who ran a mighty race at Warwick to finish 4th under Jack Quinlan, just beating Cheers Delboy (5th) & Charlie up the run in. Del also ran a very good race and the winners enclosure must beckon for him shortly!
Dontminddboys must be the most qualified maiden in the country & we were hoping to relieve him of that accolade later the same day at Warwick. He looked to be cruising until fluffing his lines at both four & three out and breaking his rhythmn. Second again! the third horse was miles behind him & he just came up against a very well handicapped horse on the day. His day will come!
Blazing Gold, (daughter of Playing With Fire) made her racecourse debut at Huntingdon and ran very creditably to be fifth under James Nixon. She was very green and will have learnt a lot from the run.
A very early call on Sunday morning, as a lorry arrived from Ireland at 4.30 am, with our latest new face in the form of Lara Trot. A filly by Scorpion who has been placed pointing. A lovely big filly she just needs an owner now! We may possibly start a new partnership in her, so please let us know if you are interested in getting involved.
A visit to see Tabitha on Monday found her in good spirits, although hardly able to watch the racing yet for fear of extreme frustration. Still pretty sore & with a pretty impressive looking incision down her back, but at least now upright & rightly very pleased to be home. She will bounce back, but has a long stretch of mending to do first.
A busy few days coming up with Bangor & Leicester over the weekend and entries all next week as well.
Open Morning tomorrow so come and see the new yard, and the new horses, and meet the team. Terry's awesome cakes will be here so don't miss out!
Well November has flown by! which means only one thing as its the first weekend of December this Saturday the 2nd, it will be the last open morning of 2017, as usual gates open at 9am with coffee and cake!
Please do come and see us operating from the new yard!
An extremely hectic week with the last of the building work going on, and all the finishing touches getting into place.
The last of the stables are now in and the sparkies are finishing off their bit. The yard has been resurfaced, the new walker is in and going, and the general muddles are fast receding, either to the bonfire or skip!
All good, but the stresses (& there have been many) paled into insignificance on Thursday, when The Lion Man, who was running a blinder under Tabitha Worsely, found no distance at the last hurdle and took a crashing fall. He was straight up but Tabitha, who rides very ably for us as an amateur, stayed on the grass with pain in her back.
She was taken to Hereford hospital, where after much waiting she was eventually scanned and found to have fractured her 12th Thoracic vertebrae. Happily everything was moving and feeling as it should, but it was a very worrying time.
Tabitha was eventually taken to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where the care improved significantly, and she was then operated on to stabilise the fractured bone.
The great news is that the op went perfectly and she is expected to make a full recovery, but it will be several months of rest & rehab, and she will have to behave herself in the meantime!
Absolutely gutted for Tabitha as the pointing season just getting under way, but she will bounce back, and we all wish her the speediest of recoveries.
We all accept the risk when you get into the saddle but it does just remind you of the risks the jockeys take every time they go out onto the track.
The Lion Man none the worse for wear, although I can't help thinking he had a lucky escape too.
Tara Well is another who got lucky. She fractured her pelvis in a race at Warwick 18 months ago. It was a bad one & by rights she should be dead now. No thanks to the veterinary care she received at the races that day, which I won't elaborate on here, but all thanks to our own vet Graham Potts and the massive care from her devoted lass Harriet Turner saw her survive nearly 6 months cross tied and unable to lie down - she was an excellent patient.
Her first run at Plumpton a couple of weeks ago saw her right in contention three out, but she then blew up a bit before running on. Off to Uttoxeter on Saturday and plenty of rain here was only a good thing as she loves the really deep ground. Sadly none at Uttoxeter, but a much improved run to finish fourth. She will come on again after having a good blow & if the rains come won't be too far away next time. Delighted with the run and lovely to have her back looking so well after such a horrible injury.
Dontmindboys ran at Plumpton the same day & finished a good third under James Nixon. He must be the most qualified maiden around, having been placed in 6 of his eight starts over fences. There are share available in this beautiful grey horse - whats not to love about him? Give us a call if you would like more details.
Only a couple of shares left in the new boy Three Bullet Gate - he is pleasing the team at home - a couple of 1/20th shares left - again do call or email for more details.
Very happy to show off the new yard if you are interested to come and see us. Just give us a call or email, and don't forget another Open Morning on the first Saturday in December.
The big move is nearly complete! They say that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger - well if that is true I will be entering some weight lifting competitions in the near future!
Moving would have been a test to do in the summer, with only a handful of horses in, but with a nearly full yard and everything in full work, its been a logistical nightmare!
Its been a real trial for everyone over the last three weeks & reall, moving the horses is the easy bit! House moves are always horrendous and we all forget how much 'stuff' we have! But you just don't realise how much kit there is and not all of it has a home yet! The stables are complete, with just the lean-to part to complete - the roof is going on as we speak! All of the horses are now at Hill Farm - great to have everyone in one place at last. They all moved without batting an eyelid, and seem very settled and happy in their new quarters.
We are still short of some storage and office space which is currently still as it was! There is still a big pile of rugs & general 'stuff' waiting for a home, but the team have been incredible in getting everything moved & still managing to smile! We are so nearly done and really just the finishing touches to put to the yard as well. New walker arrives this week & the yard to be surfaced along with a few more stables to move & I think a long lie down in a darkened room will then be required!
The girls are now living in the cottage which they love & we are in the barn ( which we love too!) and as long as it does not finish us all off first the move will only be a good thing. Improved facilities and much easier to have everyone together a last - no more computing up & down the drive, and you will know where to find us when visiting!
Can't wait to show it all off, but relieved that we put our monthly Open Morning back a week- not least because it was bucketing down this morning. we look forward to seeing everyone next w/e - will still be a work in progress but come & see!
In amongst all the upheaval we have been trying to have runners! Having rained all summer typically its been very dry & plenty of ground with the F word in the going reports has scuppered a few plans.
A bout of seconditis always frustrating, but a great run from Timons Tara yesterday at Uttoxeter, saw her put to bed some bad runs at the end of last season. Some Finish & Bally Lagan unsuited by a furious gallop around Ludlow, and a solid first run for Future Boy.
Cheers Dell Boy made his track debut at Chepstow, after an abortive outing to Worcester when very firm ground forced us to take him out. Probably the hottest hurdle race to date this season and a very creditable 8th, was then backed up with another solid run at Cheltenham to finish 5th ( again in red hot company.)
Cheers Dell Boy is another of our Irish purchases, and is a replacement for poor Garrahalish who we lost in the summer. He looks to have an exciting future & is a lovely stamp.
I have had a couple of trips over the pond lately trying to buy a horse for the Point Of Attack partnership, the most recent last Wednesday when Charlie & I flew out of Bristol, as we annoyingly could not get a flight from Birmingham. A 4.30 leave was never going to be something to savour - even less so when Charlie announced, half way to Evesham, that he had forgotten his passport!! A panicy phone call to poor Fran saw a quick divert around the Cotswolds to retrieve the offending document! Followed by a very quick sprint down the M5!
The trip has resulted in the purchase of Three Bullet Gate, a lovely 4 year old by Touch of Land. Unraced to date he will be over next week, and is nearly ready to run, always exciting to be starting out with a promising young horse. The Point of Attack team deserve a big lump of luck & we can't wait to introduce them to TBG!
This months open morning has been pushed back to the second Saturday of the month which is the 11th.
This is due to the on going building works and moving the rest of the horses and all the rest of the equipment from the top.
Racing does test you out and as we all know is full of highs & lows, but losing a horse is always the absolute pits for everyone.
Get Involved has tested everyone's patience and has not been the easiest horse to fathom out, but his lovely owners have been so patient, and have been rewarded with winners at Newbury & Worcester as well as a fabulous second at Cheltenham. After winning at Worcester we gave him a nice break as to not risk him on fast ground and came back to Warwick with plenty of confidence for a good season ahead of him. he looked amazing (well done Ceris) and after Bally Lagans great run in an earlier race to finish second (they have been working together) we were really hopeful.
Sadly it was not to be as a fall two out was the end for poor GI. Luckily Jack none the worse for a horrible fall. A post mortem did show us that he had suffered an internal bleed that caused the fall but the result was the same.
Many condolences to the ever patient and supportive Point Of Attack partnership, who are understandably devastated, as are the team at home.
Nothing to do except pick ourselves up and keep going forward, but its mighty hard in a small yard when the horses mean so much to everyone.
Bally Lagans super run on the day must not be forgotten, he ran a blinder to be in front everywhere except on the line! Nothing lost in defeat by a horse carrying a stone less than him - Well done Bally!
The rest of the team revving up for their seasonal debuts and great that we have had a decent amount of rain so early so we can make some proper plans.
Some lovely new faces in the string this time and also some familiar ones who are coming back after injuries.
Building work going apace here now, with the barn now up and stables going in next week! The big move now imminent and this Saturday will be our last Open Morning from Labrador Farm, as by November it will all be about Hill Farm!
Do come and have a look at the progress - usual tea coffee & amazing cakes available!
Don't forget this Saturday is our monthly open morning gates open at 9am!! It will also be our last open morning up here at Alne park before we are all moved down the other end to hill farm!
Please do come and see the progress being made it's all very exciting!
As usual great cakes, tea and coffee available.
The whole team feeling shattered after Warwick losing the gentle Get Involved on Tuesday Condolences to the Point of Attack Partnership who have been so patient with him, and were rewarded with a super win at Worcester earlier in the year. It's so hard to lose them, especially for the team who care for them everyday. Ceris Biddle looked after this lovely boy so well and he looked a picture.
All systems go this week regarding the new stables, with roof, concrete and steel for the new barn arriving! The move looming ever closer and really looking forward to move now!
Celestial Chimes ran a nice race last week, and now has a handicap mark so will find life easier now she can run a handicap and not against 125 horses on level weights! The Lion Man ran a much better race for a staying on 4th, bit further and back over fences for him next time.
Afterthisone was very well behaved at Chepstow and jumped out upsides in front and ran really well for the first 4 furlongs, great to see him behaving as we have had a few problems stall wise with him.
All the horses in full work now and getting closer to running, all exciting stuff and looking forward to a great season. Just need some rain and proper NH weather!!
Great to see Thomas Crapper back into work and in long road work now.
Young Lou arrived back today and looking well.
Another Open Morning gone by, and nice to see some familiar, and some new faces up here for our regular first Saturday of the month 'gates open'. Great cakes from Terry Poulson as ever! Its worth coming up just for the cake which is always outstanding!
Open Mornings aim to be a very informal way for friends, neighbours & any other interested parties to see what we get up to here, and also to raise a few pounds for the Air Ambulance. There is no entrance fee and its a (hopefully ) nice way to come & see the Team at work.
The long slog back to full fitness continues for most of the string, with the main bunch now starting to step up to full work, and are not far off a run.
Nice to have a runner last week after not much action on the racing front recently. Afterthisone behaved much better and consequently ran a better race. He has been getting very upset in all of the preliminaries, but the addition of a hood helped enormously. He will want further in time to be seen to best effect.
Storming Harry posted an under par blood result so missed his run this time.
Another of the Team now mobile with Alice Coleman passing her driving test last week! Well done Alice - drive carefully!
The building work has ground to a bit of a halt as we wait for steel for the new barn. Really frustrating, as everything ready to go, and it would be nice to get everything back to normal and tidied up, but nothing to do but sit it out and hope it isn't too long before it gets here!
Two runners at Worcester today. Celestial Chimes having her third run for a mark, and The Lion Man hoping to improve on his recent 5th at Stratford. Trip & track should suit him, but he just does need things to fall his way.
Cooler this morning after a real scorcher yesterday, a few pink looking bodies around after a bout of sunbathing yesterday!
Nice to be able to let the troops have a quieter day as it was a bank holiday, and the last chance to be able to have an easy day before the season kicks off properly.
The weather is so confusing at the moment with massive temperature changes from day to day, its hard to know what rugs are on or off!
Quite a few visitors over the last few days, good to welcome John Murphy on Saturday who is a new member of the Just 4 Fun partnership, who have just purchased the exciting Cheers Delboy. Still three shares available in him so do get in touch if you'd like to get involved.
Jan Hurst also here to see Thomas Crapper - exciting news of him as he has had a saddle on for the first time since his injury! Graham has been very pleased with his progress, and he has started a rehab program which will involve a lot of walking (& sitting tight!) until the end of September - if that all goes well he will be back in training proper in October. As you can imagine Crappy is delighted to be out and about after a long period of box rest. He has been a model patient (with a couple of days exceptions, when it all got too much!) and we are keeping everything crossed that he will be back to full fitness before too long.
John & Pat Porter here to see Cheers Delboy & Get Involved today.
Don't forget its our monthly Open Morning this coming Saturday - do come along and meet the team. Gates open from 9am
A nice run from The Lion Man at Stratford yesterday. He has been having some problems so its all about building his confidence back up, and Tabitha Worsley took a large step in the right direction with him.
He jumped and travelled well, and although the trip on the short side for him, and the first mile run at a bit of a crawl, he stayed on well and most importantly ran all the way to the line - a part that has been badly missing in his last few runs.
Fine today, although with a near miss after someone galloped into the back of him and skinned his hind leg! Onwards & upwards for 'Rory' from here. He will probably need to get back to fences to win, but he has grown & matured this summer so hopes are high going forwards.
BTO for Ceris - he looked fabulous in the paddock.
No visitors today, and the sun putting in a rare appearance which always makes the morning go easier!
Sorry to hear that Gary Allbutt is back in hospital - we send him, Nat & the boys our best wishes, and hope to hear some better news soon.
A bit of a lull on the building front, as we are waiting on the steel for the new barn. Frustrating, as now we have started just want to get it finished!
A pretty hectic morning today, with Brett Cahill, Amy & Cooper here with Brett's Mum & Dad who are visiting from Mexico. They stayed in the B & B and we had a jolly evening in The Huff Cap last night.
Brett is a big supporter of the yard and has shares in no less than five of our partnership horses! Great to catch up with him and make a few plans for the coming season.
Terry & Mandy Poulson who do so much to help us with our monthly Open Mornings also here, to see their boys & girl!
Lovely to have a big chatty breakfast with them all, and for them to see their horses all looking so well.
First runner jumping for a good while today, with The Lion Man off to Stratford. Tabitha Worsley rides him and on his best form he would have a chance but has to put a few problems behind him first!
Fingers crossed for a good run to boost his confidence.
Everything is moving quickly on the building front, just waiting for the steel to arrive for the new barn, stables and horse walker on order! All exciting stuff and really looking forward to getting all finished and moved!
Storming Harry and Afterthisone ran at Kempton on Wednesday evening, Harry running a lot better race finishing running on, step back up in trip for him next time.
Afterthisone is still learning, poor boy had to stand in the stalls for over 10 minutes and got upset having to wait so long, he came out of the stalls in a panic and never got into his stride. More stalls practice and more race experience needed for him.
Visitors this week included Jane Nichols who came to see Myroundoryours and Oneida Tribe. Brian Wilson to see the Kutub Filly who is for sale still please ask for details.... Saturday, Ian Brain to give Thomas Crapper polos!, and Anna and Julie Venvell into to see La Fille Francaise,
August pretty wet so far which meant we could have a canter on the grass! BBQ season looks to be over!!
Please see below some pictures of the string on Saturday morning.
Things moving along nicely!
We promised some upcoming big news on the last blog, and are now able to let you know whats going on up here at Alne Park.
Those of you that have been to visit us here will know that the yard is split into two parts, Alne Park & Hill Farm. This arrangement has its advantages & challenges. Logistically its been a challenge having the team at two ends of the farm, and has involved a lot of whizzing up and down the drive, and making sure visitors don't end up in the wrong yard to see their horses!
Partly from necessity, and partly by design, its been decided that Hill Farm will be developed and we will move everyone to that end of the farm.
Its an exciting project that is already underway, and will mean much easier working conditions for the team, with equally good - if not better - facilities for the horses.
A new barn is going up, the old dutch barn has come down (and is going up again!), the base for an additional walker is going in, and eventually all of the team will be living onsite at Hill Farm.
Most excitingly we will also be putting in a new hill gallop to the left of the drive which will be an enormous improvement to our already excellent facilities.
The top of the farm is changing hands (hence the necessity) but by design the changes will be a great step forward for Team Dickin.
Happily no more up and down the drive, and you will all know where to find us when you get here!
We will keep you updated with the progress, but we are hoping to have everything in the yard up and running in the autumn.
Don't forget its Open Morning again this Saturday, so come along and see the 'building site' and hear about all of the new developments.
Apologies for such a long gap since the last blog. Its been a bit of a roller coaster of a month, and computer hours have been few.
This promises to be a long one to catch up!
Probably best to get the bad bit out of the way to start with.
Racing - as life, has its ups and downs, but it does seem in this game that the contrasts are extreme! Last blog was all of excitement of a winner, this one is the horrible trauma of losing a much loved member of the team.
Garrahalish was the first horse that Charlie & I bought on our first shopping trip to Ireland, and has been a super horse to train for The Just 4 Fun partnership. A thoroughly all round nice guy - known at home as 'The Gorgeous One'!
He won 4 races and was rated as high as 135, before have a few niggly issues that have held up his progress. Those 'issues' behind him he was in great form heading up to Hexham, and we were confident of a big run. Sadly that was not to be, he uncharacteristically fell early in the race. The fall did not look too bad, but proved fatal for poor Gary when he fractured his neck.
Luckily Charlie Ok, but like the rest of the team devastated at the loss of this lovely horse. A long way home for Robin & Harriet T, his devoted lass, who deserves a medal for bravery.
Many commiserations to the Just 4 Fun group.
Trying to find another Gary always going to be a hard call, but a job that needed starting sooner rather than later. To that end Robin & I jumped on a plane for a quick day trip to view some likely candidates. The usual tear around Co Wexford at high speed resulted in one outstanding individual, and after a few days of 'discussion' the deal was done.
Cheers Delboy is a beautiful 4 year old by Golan, who has been second in a point to point, only beaten a neck.
The next debate was how to get him home, along with Dancing Daffodil who has been at stud in Fermoy and is now in foal to Frozen Fire. Before we could get it sorted another likely candidate reared its rather handsome head, and there was another space on the lorry to fill.
Future Boy is a 5 year old by Beneficial who has also been second in a point to point, beaten three lengths by a horse that has now won three points. A very good effort, and a valid explanation for a disappointing run after. a horse with a super frame but quite a bit of filling in to do. Not worried about that - just a few square meals and some TLC required.
With three to collect it was decided that Harriet & I would go & collect them. Had not quite factored in the fact that there was only one day that it could be done so a very quick turn around on our return from an event at 7pm, saw us back on the road by 8.30 and on the 3.45 am ferry to Dublin! A Sunday tour around Ireland followed and saw us back at Rosslare for the 9pm boat, and back up the drive at home at 5.30 on Monday morning!
Dancing Daffodil looking well, and very happy with the new additions.
Just 4 Fun here on Saturday to see their new boy, and delighted that they are very happy with him. A glass or two of bubbles raised to Gary, and a rather emotional get together, but good to see everyone and remember some great days and also look forward to the future with 'Del'
There are a couple of shares available in him so do get in touch if you would like to get involved in this really exciting youngster.
Future Boy is also for sale, and is great value, a real athletic sort and looks to have an exciting future.
Sunday saw more cooking at Dickin HQ - especially from chief BBQ chef Darren and lovely to see friends/owners here for a bit of a gathering, a celebration of last season, and plans to be made for the coming.
Some big news coming shortly so watch this space!
On the home front everyone back in work, which is great to see. They have all summered really well, a few looking tubbier than others, but all happy and relaxed after a good summer break.
The team still finishing off their holidays but some healthy looking tans around, after some well earned beach time!
Not many runners, Bettalatethanneva put in a much improved performance at Worcester to be third under Tabitha Worsley, (Off for a short break now) and lovely to see Storming Harry back out at Kempton to run very creditably on his first run for two years.
Blog updates will now - hopefully return to normal on a weekly basis!
Well summer has landed with full force this week!
When it is this hot we turn the horses out at night when its cooler and keep them in during the day out of the full heat and away from the dreaded horse fly!!
Last week saw the great win by Get involved! Patient ride by jack, and jumping superb, and great to see GI really sticking his neck out to line! Also really well done to the Point of Attack partnership who have had a frustrating season with GI, but stuck by him and have reaped the rewards!
Whispering Nick at Worcester too, ran a good race until being outpaced over the last 3 hurdles, fences and soft ground beckon for him.
Fontwell on Thursday with new recruit Young Cheddar and Kitegen.
YC running a great race to finish 4th, more pace in the race and softer ground will suit her, well behaved in the preliminaries which was good to see as she can be a handful.
On a sad note Kitegen has ran his last race and has been retired. On the flip side he has retired sound and will enjoy his retirement. He has been a great servant over the years running 34 times with 3 wins, 5 seconds, and 5 thirds , with the total earnings of £40 thousand.
Well done to Clare and Paul who own him for giving him every chance to find his form again, but just seems to have lost his old zip. Happy Retirement KITE.
Only Betterlatethaneva and Garrahalish have entries this week and will need some rain before they run! not looking to likely at the moment.
Some horses starting to come back into work, this week saw Afterthisone, Myroundoryours and Anticool starting off again.
Yesterday's winner GET INVOLVED looking fine and dandy this morning after his Worcester victory.Delighted for the Point of Attack Partnership who have stuck by him through a difficult season, and thoroughly deserved the win!
SHARES AVAILABLE PLEASE CONTACT FOR MORE INFO
Its supposed to be a quieter time at the moment but still seems to be masses to do. Most of the horses are out enjoying some down time, although not loving the heavy rain last week!
The grass is great after the much needed rain and there are plenty whose figures are going to take a bit of getting back once they are back in at the end of the month!
Its been a nerve wracking few days getting a few that have been on box rest out, however much preparation you do with the walker, small paddocks and sleepy dust, the day still comes when an injured one that has been on box rest has to head to the field for a time out with 'Dr Green'! You just hope that all the patience and walking are not all undone in a bout of over enthusiastic galloping! the few we got out however where just delighted to get their heads down for a good munch and a good roll! Lovely to see them out again.
Poor Thomas Crapper not allowed that luxury yet and still confined to barracks, and will be for a good while yet. The girls are picking him grass every day and he is being a very good patient (mostly!). Its a waiting game with him now to let the fracture heal before we start some physio with him.
The team getting some down time in too. Megan breathing a huge sigh of relief after her OU law end of year exams over, and a few days in Cornwall for her. The others coming and going and fitting time off around the dozen or so horses that are still in work.
Great to have Storming Harry back in training after missing a long while after picking up a tendon strain when winning at Lingfield - Jenny & Nigel Thick have given him plenty of time and he runs at Chepstow on Friday.
Another new arrival is Young Cheddar for Georgie Howell & Tabitha Worsley, and also Letsfacethemusic for Louise Merry. Looking forward to both of them running shortly.
The last of the power washing nearly finished - no ones favourite job, but an annual necessity.
Runners at Worcester tomorrow, and possibly Uttoxeter on Thursday, then Chepstow on Friday.
What a lovely start to June! But the rain needed so the ground can stay safe for summer racing.
Long journeys the order of last week with Garrahalish to Newton Abbot, jumping superb and finishing a close 4th only beaten 4 lengths. Gary in great form and will surely pick up a race soon!
Kitegen making his way to ffos las, with cheek pieces and a tongue tie fitted for the first time, the plan seemed to be working and was running a great race until a horrible fall 3 out, such a shame for him as it was great to see him back racing like the kitegen we all know. He was absolutely fine the next day.
The horses on their summer holidays all looking well, some of them taking full advantage of the nice grass and have let them selves down very well!
Quiet on the runner front this week, but the runners board looking busier next week, all go still in the yard with power hosing and general tidying up and cleaning being done.
Bally Lagan taking in the morning view! or is he telling me its too early for a picture!
Unnamed 2013 Filly
Sire: KUTUB Dam: Dickies Girl
Half sister to multiple winners including:
Arctic Spirit Winner of 7 races
Arctic Shadow Winner of 5 races
Autumm Spirit Winner of 3 races
Midnight Charmer Winner of 6 races
KUTUB Sire of winners including:
Katachenko, Donald McCain, 4 wins 80k
Miss Dinamic 8 year old, Gordon Elliot 6 wins 60k
Notus De La Tour, I think French, 4 wins 100k
Please contact Claire 07979518594 Darren 07872688701
Very quiet on the runners front here as most of the team are stretched out in the field either sunbathing or munching grass, and enjoying their holidays.
Having said that we had four runners at Towcester yesterday, (should have been 5 but for an unsatisfactory blood result) so a busy day.
Bally Lagan has been a reformed character this season and has clocked up three wins in a row, unfortunately had gone up another 11lbs for his last one! It was always going to be tough for him but he ran a good race to be 5th - not helped by slightly missing the fourth last just as he was making good progress.
Celestial Chimes had an absolute farce of a run, she ducked from another horse at the start and was then facing the wrong way when the tape went up and was 20 lengths adrift by the first hurdle, she then followed them round on her own, but then made a mistake at the second last and tipped up. felt really sorry for her as she is so game an was given no chance at all.
EPDS members having a busy night with two runners, Galactic Power is a popular little horse ran his usual good race to be third. He is such a trier, and altogether nice person so good to see him run another nice race.
The second EPDS runner was Dontminddboys who has been waiting and waiting for some decent ground (first too heavy then too soft!) - he ran a good race to be second. Frustrating to be the bridesmaid again but another good run to his name and still a novice for next season which may be a bonus!
BTO for Poppy with DMDB, and a great effort from the girls looking after the horses on a very hot day. Lots of washing and scraping to get them cooled down quickly.
Everyone OK today although little Celestial is a bit sore and bruised. Frustrating not to have a winner but pleasing that they all ran well.
The other big news recently is that we have Darren Swanton back as part of out team. Anyone who has been involved with the yard over the last few years will know Darren, who has been a lad, head lad & Assistant trainer at different times. He has been off doing other things but has decided that the racing drug is still firmly in his system. He is here mostly in an admin role to run the partnerships and generally turn his hand to anything that needs doing. Great to have him back and be able to just slot back into the routine here.
The rest of the team starting to have their holidays and get the batteries charged up for the coming season.
The end of another season - our 30th as trainers!
Every season is tough in this game, but last year was particularly trying, with winners proving elusive until the latter end of the season, but once we found our form it continued into the summer months, and we had a good early start to the 16/17 campaign, with a double for Myroundorurs for Andrew & Jayne Nichols, and the a hat trick for Anti Cool & EPDS Racing saw us going into the Autumn with five winners already on the board!
Wildmore Boy has tested everyone's skill and patience, but with some help from some understanding officials (less from others), he too managed a hat trick of wins at Stratford, Cheltenham & Warwick. Cliff Beech & Brian Wilkinson thoroughly deserving these super performances after giving 'Mouse' so much time and understanding.
Jackfield (a winner for the wife!) won at Stratford in the Summer, Timons Tara was a convincing winner at Uttoxeter for Mark James. Bally Lagan finally got into winning ways, after many placed efforts and repaid the ever patient Park Lane Partners with a lovely three timer.
The very popular Galactic Power won two for the EPDS Twitterati Partnership, Some Finish was a very fortuitous winner at Towcester for The Some Finish Partners (a winners a winner - don't care how they come!) and of course the legend that is Thomas Crapper absolutely hosed up in the Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury for Apis.uk.co (more affectionately known as the Crappers!)
As well as the winners, we recorded 16 seconds (bloody second!) 17 thirds & 23 fourths from 156 runners. an 11% winning strike rate and just under 50% of all runners in the first four!
A few frustrations along the way, with horses such as Young Lou, and Dontminddboys who rarely run a bad race, but are so often the bridesmaid, Vocaliser just getting beaten by the smallest of margins at Haydock, and Oneida Tribe getting mugged at Towcester, when he surely would have won! A few who have struggled for various reasons but who will be back on form in the new season.
Injuries are always the worst to cope with, a few guaranteed winners who have missed the winter, but who also will be back for next time.
Most excitingly a nice bunch of youngsters waiting in the wings, who have shown us plenty to be excited about for next year. La Fille Francaise & All Is Good are particular winners waiting to happen!
Not possible to mention all of the horses here, but a huge 'Thank you' to all of our owners who have supported us through the good & bad times.
Of course a particular thank you must go to the team at home. For the first time ever an all girls crew, of Head Girl Megan, ably supported by Harriet T, Ceris, Alice, Poppy & Ashleigh. Sad to lose Rachel Brookes at the end of this season, she has been with us for many years and will be missed! Kay Williams also in every week come rain or shine - thanks to her.
The girls have won many turn outs - we lost count early on which is bad and we will do better at keeping a tally this season!
The home team have been supported by Charlie Poste, Jack Quinlan, Tabitha Worsley, James Nixon and earlier in the season by Chris Ward. Kelly Sullivan has been in helping out on a Saturday morning.
Whilst on the subject of thank yous, Three Counties Veterinary are a big part of our operation - Graham Potts, in particular, who is our regular vet, are an essential part of keeping the show on the road, as is our farrier Charlie Sands & his team.
Its a massive team effort from everyone and the results this season underline what a great team we have.
Its onward & upwards for the new season now, and we started off with two good seconds on Monday at Warwick - everyone hates to be second, but both Garrahalish & Vocaliser ran well, and both jumped exceptionally.
Great to have Gary back on track after missing most of the winter, and you will rarely see a better first time run over fences than Vocaliser whose jumping was impeccable. Celestial Chimes was our other runner and the penny is starting to drop for her, further in time will suit!
Some non horse news in this entry & a very well done to our head girl Megan, who completed the London Marathon last weekend.
After being registered completely insane, Meg decided that this was her quest for the year and has been training hard.
She ran in the Racing Welfare team, and thanks to so many people for the support she has received in reaching and exceeding her target of £1500 - her total is up to £2k and still rising.
WELL DONE Meg - total hats off for a massive achievement.
Thanks especially to Terry & Mandy Poulson who organised the quiz evening, which raised £900 towards Megs target.
A well earned couple of days off at the beginning of the week, and Meg is trotting up sound again now!
We all need a bit of luck in this life, and for once a bit came our way yesterday at Towcester!
We have had our fair share of frustrations at the track, but plotting a path down the inner on Some Finish yesterday proved fortuitous for Charlie.
Some Finish has been a bit of a mystery this season, with some very uninspiring runs, so a complete change of plan was on the cards, with the head gear off and hold up tactics!
Only three runners so what happened at the second fence was somewhat surprising - the leader tried to stop, lay all over the fence, then fell over it and brought the only other runner down!! (actually a horrible pile up, and glad to see all concerned walk away) This left Sam & Charlie in stately isolation, but with nearly three miles and fifteen fences to jump all alone! A daunting prospect for them both, although Sam did not seem at all bothered and had a nice canter round with a schooling session thrown in! Well done Charlie on completion of a tricky task!
They got an enormous cheer as they jumped the last, and Sam was happy to record his third victory!
Winner number 17 for us - don't care how they come, a winners a winner!
Garrahalish had run earlier and ran a nice race to be 2nd after six months off the track, slightly out paced three out, he got his second wind and ran on to be second.
The ground was quick yesterday and we did have dilemmas about running at all, however the chase track was better than the hurdles, which was frankly awful, and Robin took Celestial Chimes out to save her for another day.
Great to hear the horn tooting as the team got back last night - thanks to Brian Wilson for taking them as our big lorry was off eventing training!
Clean sweep for Harriet T & Ceris on the BTO front, with both horses looking immaculate, and some nice comments from Matt Chapman about how well out team turn out every runner.
flat racing tomorrow and then lots of entries for next week, could do with some rain, everywhere getting very firm, very quickly.
VERY cold up on top of the hill here today for the annual Easter Egg Hunt! (yes you did read that correctly) Tougher this yea, as costume effort required prior to said hunt! Easter Bunnys & Chicks all riding out today!
Pictorial evidence to follow!
Happy Easter to everyone - hope you enjoy the holiday weekend!
An added extra entry to the blog this week, with WINNER number 16 of the season yesterday.
I think it fair to say that The Park Lane Partnership have had their patience tested by Bally Lagan, who has always seems to manage to be the bridesmaid and not the bride!
Lots of placed efforts, but only one number one in front of his name until this season, but a tweak to his wind has made a huge difference and we suddenly have the horse we always thought was there, but that could never quite see out his races.
Not feeling over confident yesterday after a 6 lb hike in the weights - just hope the handicapper was not watching too closely yesterday!
Jack has certainly struck up a great partnership with Bally and always looked supremely confident. He travelled well and gave a display of jumping, and after being sent to the front three out won tidily by 10 lengths.
A noisy bunch of Park Laners were there to cherish the moment of a third win in a row, and Anna Lisa gave a great interview to Bob Chapman!
Plenty of noise also being made at various other venues around the country, including bookies in London & bars at Aintree where other Park Laners made spectacles of themselves cheering him home! Brilliant, just wish we had film of everyone watching the race, although glad that there is no film from here!!
Bally well pleased with himself today, shouting for his breakfast at 5.30 this morning and out for a brag with a mate, telling him just how clever he is!
BTO for Ceris too, so a clean sweep for the team!
16...... and counting!