The weather just not knowing what to do with itself at present. Warm one minute, cold the next, but very little in the way of rain. Can't remember when we have had so little & apart from a couple of places there has been no real winter ground yet.
Several of ours really needing the testing conditions & the likes of Dontminddboys really missing Towcester in a bog! Even Chepstow the other day was relatively fast & although the ground was turning over it only really rode on the good side of good to soft. No doubt once it starts it wont stop - probably in June when they are all in the field!
a busy couple of weeks & some nice results - Nomination Game really getting his act together now, and finished second at Leicester - Jamie slightly frustrated at himself as thought he hit the front too soon, and NG was a bit green in front. Hes not an easy ride as he pulls so hard in the early stages & is also very inexperienced, but massive steps forward with him from where he was.
Three Bullet Gate is a lovely young horse, and ran well at Warwick to finish a running on 6th, only beaten 8 lengths - trip a bit short & 21/2 miles for him next time. Still learning about him, and he will be a serious chaser for next season.
Oneida Tribe is a massive horse, who also needs testing conditions so its been a frustrating winter with him, however with the benefit of a first run under his belt he ran a blinder to finish second at Warwick - only collared up the run in by one of next doors progressive types. Given a top class ride by Jack Quinlan, he jumped like a bunny and finished well ahead of the rest of the field.
Lara Trot has given us a bit of a hair pulling time as well, and picked up a nasty injury in her first run over fences, when losing a hind plate, which ripped into her foot and left her very lame for several weeks. She was very badly handicapped as well, being given an opening mark of 104 - ludicrous - and of course it takes several runs for the handicapper to get her down to where she should be. Race planning not helping either and no three mile novice chases anywhere in the calendar, so back to hurdles for her in what we thought would be too short a trip at Leicester. Desperate to get a run into her it was the best option. Tara Well, who won the race last year also entered and again she is crying out for some [proper soft ground - so not really that hopeful for either mare.
We need not have worried though as the two of them set off to make it into a staying race with Charlie Hammond on board Lara & Ceris having only her fourth ride over hurdles on Tara. Coming to the last it was a battle between the two of them - who to shout for?? 'Come on Girls' had to cover it and a better jump at the last sealed it for Lara Trot, who finished half a length up.
Much celebrating all round, and delighted for The Trotters who have kept the faith with Lara. She is big mare, and we have always said that staying chasing will be her job, so to win a hurdle race on the way is a bonus!
Tara Well's journey has been well documented here, and there is much love for my gallant little mare here, and afar. The National Hunt Enthusiasts Racing Club considered her before last season, but understandably as she was coming back from a serious pelvis injury decided to go elsewhere for a leased horse. However Ruth Lancaster was smitten with Tara & we have kept in touch, The NHRE then leased Scorpion Sea this season. She had a couple of promising outings, but then sadly picked up an injury just after Christmas in the form of a hairline fracture to a cannon bone. She will make a full recovery but obviously this left the group with nothing to run from here, so Harriet Turner (co owner of Tara) & I decided to let the group have her as a courtesy car until the end of the season!
This was a first run in their colours and the tough little mare certainly gave them something to shout about! Not sure that the winners enclosure knew what had hit it at Leicester with much support for both horses! Great end to a cold and gloomy day.
Mr Palmtree ran a better race earlier in the day, he is still learning his job, on the track, he is showing us plenty at home, just taking a bit of time to learn his trade. Still a couple of shares available in him with a really nice group of friendly folk. Nomination Games'run just too badly to be true - probably too soon after his last run, and a furious gallop also didn't help him to see the race out. Jack sensibly pulled him up to save him for another day.
A day at Doncaster sales proved very unproductive on Wednesday - a lot of expensive looking pointers, some very uninspiring horses off the flat, and only two that we would like to have brought home that made too much money. Very hard to buy a nice horse these days without a fairly big budget, and many that look hugely overpriced. It would be nice to have the time to follow the ones that we like the look of through to see how they end up. One in particular we have done that with, that Charlie & I bypassed in Ireland as we didn't like it, only to see it win its point, and then make massive money at the sales (& I do mean massive!!) only to have had two absolutely dire runs over here. Nice that we got that one right!
A day across the water coming up, and a hunt for some new inmates, so if you are interested in forming a new partnership or getting involved in a horse do please let us know. The beginning of a journey with a new horse always exciting.