Tuesday, 23 May 2017 11:54

23rd May

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.

 

Wednesday, 03 May 2017 11:23

The End of another 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!

 

 

 

 

Friday, 28 April 2017 11:03

Marathon!

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! 

Friday, 14 April 2017 11:02

Winner # 17

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!

Friday, 07 April 2017 12:20

Winner # 16

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!

 

 

Tuesday, 04 April 2017 12:15

Winner ~15 & a New Milestone Passed

Always busy here but seem to have been taking that to a whole new level lately!

Quite a few runners since the last entry here, and another winner!

We have been waiting on some better ground for the pocket rocket that is Galactic Power and so the EPDS Twitterati group have had to have their patient pants on. Finally good ground arrived and the lorry set off to Exeter, with GP and La Fille Francaise, who was in exactly the same position.

All well until they unloaded at the track and then the heavens opened! Having got all the way there it was decided to run, but hopes were not high for a repeat of his last win as GP rapidly changed from chestnut to mud coloured, and was virtually invisible by the time they turned for home. After being held up in the early stages, Jack produced GP with perfect timing coming to join the leader at the  last and going on to win by a couple of lengths. 

This brought up winner  number 15 for the season and took us past our best ever prize money total. Delighted for the EPDS team who had been so patient with him and even more pleased for little GP who is an all round thoroughly nice person.

La Fille Francaise, who is a lovely filly by Kapgarde that we bought at Doncaster last May, and is still a very raw article, with plenty of strengthening up to do. She ran an absolute blinder to finish 4th in the bumper, and Louise Merry & Julie Venvell have an exciting prospect on their hands.

The opposite end of the country for The Lion Man, and the ground on the softer side than needed for him. Given a positive ride by Connor Shoemark, he was happy enough until the chips were down, and then Connor worked a lot harder, and came in a lot hotter, than TLM!

TLM is bloody frustrating as he has bags of ability but not the resilience of the likes of Galactic  Power when under pressure. He will be better on better ground, and hopefully will show himself in a better light through the summer.

The ground at Warwick was worse than atrocious, personally I do not find it a very edifying site to see horses finishing so tired that its literally the last man standing.

Timons Tara & Young Lou both finished second - strong effort from Young Lou. Charlie pulled Dontmindboys up two out - he would have been third (only two finished) but Charlie said he would have done the same even if he had been in front, as the horses were walking home.

The great thing about having a stable jockey, and jockeys that ride regularly for you is that they have their eye on the bigger picture, and its not all about one race. Rather than risk a tired fall Charlie brought us a horse home in one Rpiece for another day.

All Is Good was another horse that was a result of one of mine & Charlies shopping trips to Ireland, and arrived here at the end of last year. A good looking Scorpion gelding he had had one run in a point to point and would have gone very close but for tipping up at the last fence. He was quickly snapped up by The Tricksters as a stand in for their lovely horse Under The Phone who is having an enforced break this season, and a new partnership called The Goodies, which is made up of some existing, and some new owners.

A horrible foot abscess held us up for a while, but a nice opportunity at Market Rasen saw a lovely debut run for 'Rolo'. He was very whizzy when he came, but he has calmed down a lot a popping out in front and the addition of a hood saw him travel & jump like a seasoned campaigner, only to be out done up the run in by a hot favourite, with a lot more experience. A super first run, and much to look forward to.

Some Finish did not try a yard, and pulled up down the back. Work to be done.

Afterthisone made his racecourse debut, at Doncaster and had a difficult time in the early stages of the race, having dwelt a bit in te stalls he then got cannoned into by another rather wayward runner and his chance was gone. Its hard to make up 10 lengths over a 5 furlong dash.

Everyone home safely though, and will be out to fight another day which is the most important result of all.

In amongst all the runners we had organised a fund raising quiz for Megan who is running the London marathon in aid of Racing Welfare. About sixty people supported the quiz in the village hall on Friday, and a fun evening was had by all.

A million thanks to Terry & Mandy Poulson,who had devised the questions and acted as quiz master & scorer. It was a really good evening, even if the questions made the brain ache at times! Great to see owners, friends & locals all enjoying it and along with donations from those who could not be there, raise an amazing £900 for the charity. Fantastic!

Megan has now raised £1800 and hoping to get to the £2K mark before the race.

 

 

Monday, 20 March 2017 11:11

quiz

FRIDAY NIGHT IS QUIZ NIGHT!

 

This Friday we are holding a General Knowledge Quiz in Great Alne Village Hall.

 

Megan - our head girl is raising funds for Racing Welfare by running the London Marathon at the end of April, and the quiz is to help her raise her goal of £1500 for the cause.

 

Teams Of 4 - £20/team

Hot Dogs available, please bring your own drink (glasses provided!)

Please come & support Megan, and enjoy a fun evening.

Contact us on 07979518594 (Claire) or 07557539879 (Megan) for more info

or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

 

Monday, 20 March 2017 09:54

Cheltenham Week!

Just about finding the energy to type today after an absolutely manic week!

Warwick on Monday to start the week off - Timons Tara finishing 4th. Perhaps a shade disappointing, BTO for Ceris. 

Cheltenham its usual incredible spectacle, which we were expecting to be spectators only this year! Thomas Crapper our only entry & needing in excess of 50 to come out for him to get a run! A casual look at the declaration list and about a dozen counts to 24, confirmed we were in! Charlie straight into the bath to do 10st 1lb!!

Cheltenham very accommodating re badges, and could not have been more helpful in getting everyone in. A good turnout of Crappers - which was great considering it was such short notice!!

Crappy always a fan of the big occasion, and did not let us down again. Given a super ride by Charlie, he was foot perfect and came there with every chance, just getting done for toe up the run in to finish a very, very respectable fourth.

The winner probably a very well handicapped horse, and we could not be prouder of TC. He was completely convinced that all the applause in the winners enclosure was solely for him!

Three festival runs, and three placed efforts - well done Crappy

Happy to say he's fine after and is entitled to have a few days out to play.

Thank you for all the messages & good wishes both before & after the race - he certainly has a fan club!

Several owners here through the week before racing, including John Porter back from his travels, Kevin Bacon (Donntminddboys), Mel Waller & Mark Mathews, (Get Involved & Some Finish) and also Jane Nicholls, who came to see Myroundorurs & Oneida Tribe. 

The B & B full up with race goers, so plenty of breakfasts to cook this week!

No time to pause for breath after the festival & off to Kempton on Saturday with Get Involved. GI has been a cause for concern all winter, for a variety of reasons. He was not himself at all, and ran accordingly. Parting company with Charlie twice when not jumping well, then pulling up. However a few days hunting and a change of routine seems to have done the trick, and a much improved run at Newbury last time was followed up by a very much improved run on Saturday to finish third. Jumping for fun with ears pricked, he looked to be loving it. He finished third which we were all thrilled with! Safe to say the horse we thought we had, is back!

Delighted for The Point of Attack Partnership, who have been SO patient with him, and allowed us the time to get him right.

No runners yesterday but a 4am start to go eventing - back at 9pm, and no pause for breath through the day!! We think racing is a mad world - at least we rarely get days that long! 

Southwell today with Vocaliser and hoping to put his Newbury run behind him.

The rest of the week looks equally busy - Wetherby & Exeter tomorrow, Warwick Wednesday.

 

 

Monday, 06 March 2017 16:32

Winners # 13 & 14

Winners 13 & !4!

Delighted to report two more winners this week. 

Bally Lagan up 9 lbs for his Leicester success set off for Taunton in need of good ground. Slightly concerned the track too tight for him but no other ground options anywhere in the country!

Not the greatest contest ever seen, but decent prize money. Bally going comfortably when making his only error two out. Not awful, but enough to give his nearest rival hope, and for us to think oh B****r another second!

However after pinging the last, BL really got his head down and fought it out (not something we could ever accuse him of before!) prevailing to win by 21/2 lengths going away! Super victory for The Park Lane Partnership, who had sadly lost one of their number recently. 

Cyril & Mary Payne have been owners with us for many years, with Macy, Aside The Sea & Dr Rocket amongst others, and have been in Bally Lagan since he arrived from the sales. Sadly Cyril passed away at the beginning of February. A great character and responsible for a few excellent winners parties over the years, he will be sadly missed but remembered fondly. Our condolences to Mary & the family.

Sandra & Tim Bickerton, along with David Agar on hand to greet Bally

Newbury on Friday & Saturday. Bettalatethanneva having her third run over hurdles for Tabitha Worsley. hated the ground but ran OK to be 5th. Get Involved fresh from the hunting field travelled and jumped much better - just got tired from two out, which, as it was effectively his first run of the season, he was entitled to do. Much improved though and hopefully his confidence building again now.

Back to Newbury on Saturday, and after much heated debate about the ground,  in the Dickin household, Thomas Crapper got the green light to run in the Greatwood Gold Cup. Chartering a wide course for better ground Charlie & TC always happy, jumping for fun and after passing three in the air at the cross fence took it up turning for home. Mild panic in the ranks, but no need to worry as TC just galloped away from the field to win by an astonishing 20 lengths!

TC loves the big occasion, and had naturally assumed everyone at Newbury was there to see him - he lapped up the considerable applause that he received, and was a lot calmer that the rest of us who were pretty overwhelmed by his victory. He also stuck two fingers up to a certain local trainer, who was  heard to say, that with TC in the race, at least they were guaranteed to beat one! 

A great ride by Charlie, and a well deserved big one for TC who has run many gallant races to finish second to some really decent horses - including Don Poli!

Delighted for the partnership who own him - Apis.uk.co - affectionately known as The Crappers! Sadly they were a bit thin on the ground on the day, but wild cheering heard from many corners of the country!

High hopes for Vocaliser in the next race, who had most of his team there to support him. After a great run last time we were hopeful of a double, but sadly the very soft ground stopped Vocaliser in his tracks. He finished 4th, but the writing was on the wall from early on, and Charlie reported that he just could not get through the mud on the hurdle track, which was a lot softer than the chase track.

Happy to report that all of last weeks runners home fine, and have had a few days out playing in the mud! 

TC's victory took us to 14 for the season and over the £100k mark in prize money. Delighted for the team and our loyal owners.

Onwards - but no runners this week, until entries next w/e, and then the small meeting at Cheltenham next week. TC our only entry this year, but he is unlikely to get in.

If you are down for the festival and fancy a morning on the gallops - do get in touch, its a great way to start the day off!

 

 

 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017 07:21

Tuesday 21st February.

Not quite such a hectic week this week, with only a couple of runners.

Some Finish had a spin over hurdles, which although should help his jumping right, was not really for him and Charlie pulled him up two out. Tests to be done on SF as he is not really firing at present.

Better from Timons Tara at Leicester where she finished third to a decent looking individual.

A busy morning with Graham on Thursday with some repeat scans, post treatment of a couple of injuries. We have been using PRP (Platelet Reinforced Plasma)  on tendon injuries for a while now and are getting some really good results. Both the scans that we did this week are looking better than expected at this stage of their rehab, and an increase in their exercise program now starting. The damaged fibres mending well, just a case of getting them strong now. Nice to give their owners some good news!

Get Involved went off for another days hunting on Saturday, this time with the North Cotswold Hunt, they had a busy day, he behaved impeccably again, and also jumped quite a few different obstacles which he handled brilliantly. Harriet was also delighted to report that he really didn't want to get passed when galloping across a few fields, picking up the bit and quickening up nicely when anyone tried to go past him - hopefully his competitive spirit being restored!

The pair came back looking pretty muddy and not sure who enjoyed it most!

Nice to have Emily Bliss to ride out on Saturday morning. Emily, who is an old Pony Club friend of Harriet's is riding in the Property Race Day charity race later in the year. She has always ridden but wants to hone her race riding skills, so will be riding out regularly before the race. Chris Dickin, who rode in the race a couple of years ago is now organiser, so no pressure on Emily to win it for the home team! Just got to find her a speedy horse to do it on!

Another fund raising at present is head girl Megan who is running the London Marathon in aid of Racing Welfare. Bonkers! We are hoping to hold a fund raising quiz at the end of March - details to follow shortly - so please bear it in mind, and get a team together ready for action! We  hope that many will be able to come and enjoy a fun evening and help Megan raise money for a worthy cause.

Only entries at Huntingdon this week, but next week looking a lot more interesting on the runners front!

 

Monday, 13 February 2017 07:22

Monday 13th February

Last week rather ran away from me, and apologies for no blog!

A real busy week, starting off with a pick up from Birmingham airport first thing on Monday, with Suzanne Lynch flying in to see Onieda Tribe. Back out again on the lunchtime flight, so a real flying visit.

A visit on the same morning from Tim & Sandra Bickerton & Dave & Linda Hern who came to see All Is Good. Great that they loved him as much as we do and a new partnership now set up in him between The Tricksters & The Goodies. 

The Tricksters own Under The Phone who has picked up an injury and is missing this season (well on the mend now), so great for them to have an interest in another horse, and The Goodies are made up of some existing, and some new owners in a new partnership. Looking forward to AIG running shortly.

Great news for the Just 4 Fun partnership, with Garrahlish getting the all clear to resume training. He has been on light duties due to a niggly injury, but heading back to action now.

The team having to sit tight on a few others who have been on a break. Tara Well, Jackfield, Myroundorurs and Anti Cool all very fresh and pleased to be back in work.

Young Lou at Southwell, and finishing a slogging on 4th under Tabitha Worsley. The race turned into a war of attrition, in terrible ground it was a good run from her.

The first Saturday of the month meant Open Morning, and great to see so many faces - some familiar, some new, here to see the horses on a beautiful morning. thanks as always to Terry & Mandy Poulson for coffee & cake duties.

A busy day on Wednesday with Timons Tara & Bettalatethanneva both at Ludlow & Get Involved & Some Finish out for a day with the Worcestershire Hunt.

TT not able to follow her Uttoxeter win up with another and a very fast pace over hurdles probably catching her out, fine after & she will be back to form. Bettalatethanneva running a nice race. 

The hunting boys had a fun day out, GI impeccably behaved SF enjoying the sport, and getting quite lit up about it all! Hopefully given them both something else to think about. A change of scenery and a break in the normal routine often great for horses in training. Thanks to Andy Shaw & the Worcestershire Hunt for letting them out for the day.

Dontminddboys has been a model of consistency this season, albeit with placed runs, but an extended three miles in very tacky ground round Bangor on Friday not to his liking, and although he would most likely have kept galloping, Charlie wisely pulled up up once his chance of a place was gone. A stiffer more galloping track much more in his favour.

Shame not to have been able to greet the EPDS family with another winner on Saturday morning, when they came for a yard visit. Possibly the coldest morning of the year, but at least the snow abated and it was dry for them to watch  the horses, and see their recent Catterick winner Galactic Power. Anti Cool viewed from the kitchen window as the aga proved invaluable for defrosting everyone! Great to see such a good turnout, and hope they all enjoyed the morning despite the cold.

From EPDS visit to Warwick in the afternoon. A complicated sort of day as Harriet out with her team who are nearing the start of their season, and out for a competition, Young Lou the easiest horse to do & also Wildmoor Boy - who as we all know is not! Quite a bit of running around in different directions, and many thanks to Louise Sherlock for the loan of her lorry which made the battle plan much easier!

Young Lou struggling with her breathing down the back, then getting it sorted to run on to be 5th, Wildmoor Boy so consistent and running a great race to be third. He is getting better in the preliminaries and even spent about ten minutes in a stable before & after the race, and also giving the girls a much easier time in the paddock.

Cold it has been in our house over the w/e with the boiler on the blink - happily a day away yesterday (Chiltern trains much warmer than the house!) for a family day out in London to see 'The Comedy about a Bank Robbery' at the Criterion theatre. My sister in laws' godson, Jeremy Lloyd playing one of the lead roles, and a very funny play - thoroughly recommended if you are in town!

Its always hard to get away anywhere at this time of year, but once we have made the effort well worth it! There is always a reason not to go, but great to have a day with the family away from everyone's demanding work schedule!

Nice to get to London occasionally but couldn't cope with it on a daily basis! 

Today is my amazing Mum's birthday. I won't put how old she is or I will be in serious trouble, but 'Happy Birthday' Cathleen Weaver - hope you have a great day!

 

 

 

 

Monday, 30 January 2017 19:39

WINNERS #11 & 12!

A Great week on the whole – especially as winners 11 & 12 came up!

 Galactic Power has been a super sub for EPDS Racing and taking over in their Twitterati Partnership this season. A very popular character who rarely runs a bad race – he was a good third at Taunton, before making the long trek up to Catterick last week. His preparation not without hitch – a foot abscess keeping the team busy and testing my farriery skills, along with the more skilled ones of our farrier Charlie Sands.

 Many buckets of hot water and patient sitting in the cold by Harriet T, and we made it to the track. Chris Ward up & taking a valuable 5lbs off. Little GP looked beaten all the way until growing a pair of wings after the last and flying up the run in to win by a tidy 3 lengths! Delighted for the EPDS team some of whom were there to cheer him home, and encouraged I am sure, by much encouragement from many others around the country! Including the home team – some of whom were in the lorry on the return trip from Ludlow! Happily no police in sight at the time, or they may well have wondered what on earth was going on in the cab of the big lorry! BTO for Megan.

 An less than smooth  journey home for GP when the alternator in the little lorry  resigned about 5 miles from home, which resulted in a rescue mission from Chris’s better half in Tom Gretton’s lorry (thanks Tom & Badger!) and GP having a short walk down Henley High St! (no better man for that task than GP, who is very unflappable!)

 Less polite words can be used about Timons Tara who has her own very strong views on life! Full of ability she is a tricky customer, who Is looked after very ably by Ceris. She certainly had her hands full in the paddock at Uttoxeter on Saturday – BTO for Ceris -but once Jack on board and she was off down the track all was well. Really unlucky not to win the week before when tipping up after a novicey mistake when looking to have the race won, Jack & ‘Billy the Filly’ were not up for any mistakes this time. She jumped straight & true and put all of her rivals to the sword a long way out. Winning in a canter with ears pricked! Great result for Mark James who sadly was not on hand to see the race but was represented by friend John Martin who kept the rest of us entertained after the race!

 An easy drive back for Ceris & I and plenty of horn tooting up Park Lane!

 Taunton & Doncaster rather less successful missions, Routine Procedure stopping rather tamely but lame the next morning, so something clearly amiss. Kitegen not enjoying Taunton, The Lion Man looking very one paced in the race but running on well at the end.

 In many ways glad not to be at Cheltenham, sad of course not to be able to be in two places at once for our runners, who have both come back fine after their races. Thomas Crapper his usual brave self, Get Involved disappointing but confidence having a big wobble at present and a run back over hurdles on the cards for him.

 However seeing the screens up after watching Many Clouds beat Thistlecrack gave a sinking feeling of dread. Sadly Harriet rang to tell us the news – everyone as stunned as the crowd at Cheltenham.

 A day we all dread with our gallant warriors, and it was easy to see how much Many Clouds has meant to the Sherwood team over the last few seasons. How on earth Oliver did that interview on ITV I will never know – personally in tears just watching it. Brave man who did our sport proud.

Our condolences to Mr Hemmings and all the Sherwood team, but what some memories they have – and no one can take them away.

 It just reminds you how important it is to enjoy the moments when horses win, and indeed just run well. The keyboard warriors who have penned some pretty terrible lines over the last few days will never understand the love & care these horses get from those who own and look after them, and also from the NH fans who follow their careers and care for them from afar nearly as much as those closer to them.

Monday, 23 January 2017 08:54

Monday 23rd Jan

A frustrating few days! With good bits!

Exeter on Tuesday with Dontminddboys, who is turning into a model of consistency - Charlie able to ride him much handier and he jumped impeccably and travelled much easier through the race - to finish a very respectable third. I don't think this horse would mind how far you ran him he would still be staying on!

Get Involved much happier at home and hoping for a good run from him at Newbury - however a difference in opinion in where to take off resulted in a parting of the ways at fence two! Not plan A!! Both Charlie & GI fine after!

Timons Tara also in a good place at present - she is not the easiest person to deal with and takes time to come to hand but apart from jumping markedly left she was running a blinder at Ludlow on Wednesday and appeared to have her rivals beaten when making a novicey mistake at the first in the straight, clipping the top of the fence and it was game over! Our first faller for a good long while, and hopefully the last for an equal amount of time! Both 'Billy the Filly' and Jack fine after. Swear box rather full!

Vocaliser is another that has taken a long time to get his act together - a good run at Sandown on his penultimate run to be third,  but he was then given no chance at Ludlow last time. Really needed a good run at Haydock - and that we got! Settled handy he has a last stopped ripping and tearing and gave himself every chance! The plan always to give him every chance to finish his race off, and he stormed home to just fail by a neck! Delighted with the run - obviously frustrated at second but pleased at the same time! 

Delighted for The Songsters who have been so patient with him and given us the time to get him right.

Lots of visitors this week including Paul & Marian Davis who came on a very cold Saturday morning via C & D Stable Tours. Great to meet them, and I think they were very glad of a nice warm kitchen once we got in for breakfast!

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, 16 January 2017 08:43

Monday 16th Jan

Damp & very gloomy here today - still pretty dark when first lot pulled out.

The horses having a rare day in yesterday as it was much the same, and they really don't enjoy standing around in the rain! We turn out everyday except if its frozen or pouring down, but this time of the year a quick scoot around, and  a roll in a muddy bit seems to be enough for most of the horses - they are  then waiting to come in!

Warwick on Saturday with Wildmoor Boy - a deep intake of breath as we set off at the last possible minute, to be at the course for as little time as possible!

An uneventful journey and an only quite warm horse as we arrived (as opposed to a dripping one!) and 'Mouse' also agreeing to stand in a stable for about 10 minutes - progress!! Getting the saddle on was as difficult as ever, but he was then relatively well behaved in the paddock. Megan & Ceris dong their usual sterling work in hanging onto him, and as always once out on the track he was a good boy. 

We are so limited as to where we can go with him it was not really ideal for him to be lumping round a huge weight, but it was either that or stay at home. Given a super ride by Charlie he jumped and travelled really well in ground that we were nervous about for him. Made all until just getting collared at the last - stayed on really gamely although tired up the run in. Really delighted with the run - brave little horse - and also that he seems to be starting to cope better with the preliminaries. Long way to go but at least improving!

Great to see most of the Park Lane Partnership here yesterday to have a small celebration of Bally Lagans win at Leicester last week - a really nice group who have had to wait a fair while for his win! Shares available in Bally Lagan - do call if you would like to get involved with this friendly bunch!! 

 

Exeter tomorrow with Dontminddboys, possibly Newbury Wednesday and Ludlow Thursday this week. 

 

 

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