Thursday, 14 December 2017 08:02

What a Week!

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. 

 

 

 

Friday, 01 December 2017 12:19

1st December

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!

Tuesday, 28 November 2017 14:40

OPEN MORNING

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! 

Monday, 20 November 2017 17:33

20th November

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.

 

      

Saturday, 04 November 2017 11:30

Saturday 4th November

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!

 

       

 

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 06:53

OPEN MORNING

PLEASE NOTE 

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.

 

 

Friday, 06 October 2017 07:29

October 6th

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!

 

 

 

Thursday, 05 October 2017 11:45

Open Morning

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.

 

Thursday, 28 September 2017 16:03

Sad news

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.

Thursday, 28 September 2017 16:03

Sad news

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.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 15:39

19th September

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.

 

 

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 11:48

12th September

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. 

 

 

Tuesday, 29 August 2017 11:17

Tuesday 29th August

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

 

Friday, 25 August 2017 12:29

Friday 25th August

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!

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