Very happy to report another winner at Warwick on Thursday last week, with Wildmoor Boy following up his Stratford win with a decisive success in the 2m5f hurdle race. Making all under an excellent ride by Jack Quinlan, ‘Mouse’ jumped well and saw off all challengers to win by 6 lengths.
As is documented elsewhere on this blog, WB has been a bloody big handful in the preliminaries, and we thought we were heading for more of the same as we arrived at the last possible minute, and a lot of rearing ensued as the saddle was going on! However, progress is being made as his confidence grows, and Megan & Ceris (it takes two!!) had a much easier time in the paddock as he walked round in a very civilised fashion!
Of course that then caused more worry as we then all thought that he was ill!
He has always been good once out on the track and once racing but it was lovely to have him so settled in the paddock – the girls needing less washing down afterwards!! The racecourse staff have been very helpful with accommodating his needs – so thank you to them – less can be said for some other parties who seem to think we are up to no good with him! I think the message to them is – you try handling him!!
All credit to our brilliant team – especially Megan & Ceris who have coped with him so well –great to be getting back the rewards for their bravery & skill – he is certainly not for the feint hearted!! Odd really as he is easy at home!
Delighted for Cliff Beech & Brian Wilkinson & the rest of the Beech team as they have been so patient with him. Tuesday will see what the handicapper makes of the win!
The previous meeting at Warwick the week before saw Garrahalish & Bally Lagan making their seasonal debuts. Gorgeous Gary ran well to be fourth, jumped like a cat and made all until possibly slightly needing the race from the second last. A good run though as he had been off the track for a good while with various niggles.
Bally Lagan finished third – also a very good run – again jumped brilliantly and no excuses. Two lovely horses and shares available in both!
Open Morning on Saturday – first Saturday of the month – a true to form – it P****d down! Also freezing cold! However NH hunt fans made of stern stuff and not put off by the conditions – also encouraged by the thought of Terry & Mandy Poulsons baking, and Julie Venvells’ matilda cake!! Thank you as ever to them for coffee making & cake supplies!
We were pleased to be asked to a dinner on Friday to launch the South West jumps awards at Cheltenham racecourse. A really good concept, we were all made very welcome by Chetenham and treated to an excellent dinner. Not entirely sure their introduction a of Racing club was welcomed at this particular event by any than the three trainers involved!! Possibly rather dubious timing with so many other trainers there!!
Saturday was another night out (getting too old for this!) and we were delighted to attend our gold medal winning neighbours celebration party. And what a party! All the great & good from show jumping , racing , eventing both home and away there and a fantastic spread put on by Nick & Laura. We felt very honoured to be there and not a party to leave very early!!
Sunday a steady sort of day catching up with chores – energy levels flagging somewhat!
Kaddys Girl to Southwell today – first run over fences, so hoping for a nice safe round. Good luck to John & Ann Rogers who were here on Saturday to see KD before her big day. Nice to have some time to spend with them, and a good lunch in eth Kings Head in Aston Cantlow.
Entries later in the week for The Lion Man & Vocaliser at Towcester (lets hope the canteen has improved) Also Thomas Crapper Bally Lagan Garrahalish & Some Finish. Going to be a busy one!
A busy week and the work increasing as the horses get fitter.
First entries of the new season proper on Tuesday at Warwick with Garrahalish & Bally Lagan entered.
Charlie & Chris in as usual and joined this week on various days by Jack Quinlan, Conor Shoemark & Jake Hodgson. Great to have the extra help and for different feedback on the string.
The home team doing sterling work and the new faces settled in well to join the old guard!
Rhona O’Connell here on Sunday to see Vocaliser, John Porter & Bryan Daniels here to see Garrahalish and Get Involved and Jane Nicholls here today to see Myroundorurs & Oneida Tribe. Bert & Angela Thompson here to visit their Pastoral Pusuits yearling who is still at Fran’s but will be joining us next week.
A couple up to Upton Viva for an ‘awayday gallop’ on Thursday and working well under Charlie & Ceris.
Graham Potts back fresh from the Olympics, and giving a couple with injuries the all clear to start work again which is great news. Just need to find the glue after they have been standing in for a good while!
The torrential rain missed us last night & today although it seems as if those who had it, had plenty!
Bit of a long one here!
don't get any ideas Charlie!
a couple of pics for those that have asked how Harriet got on at the w/e!
First CC!3* completed - Mother a nervous wreck - daughter buzzing!!
Thank you all for good wishes etc - always very grateful for the support.
Racing blog coming up shortly!
Monday morning again and a busy weekend with the first of the new season Open Mornings on Saturday. After a promising start the weather did its usual and decided to bucket down! Plenty of hardened NH supporters here though and Terry & Mandy Poulsons’ awesome baking skills much appreciated. (the Coffee & Walnut cupcakes a particular favourite!)
The string are coming together well now and just starting to pick up the pace a little – still a fair way to go but they all look well and will hopefully carry on what the summer boys have started!
Its a big relief to have got 7 winners under our belt so early on, and makes us even more determined to keep up the strike rate as the season proper kicks off.
An exciting new addition to to the flat team in the shape of a Pastoral Pursuits yearling purchased at the recent Goffs Doncaster sale. Albert & Angela Thompson the new owners of 'Pee Wee' who is currently at Charlie & Frans' yard for a couple of weeks quarantine and education. Thanks to The Thompsons for ther support and the best of luck to them with their new venture. Pee Wee will be joining us next week.
No jump racing this week, but a big week for Harriet as we head off to Blenheim International Horse Trials for the CCI 3*. This is her biggest challenge to date, (I always thought Blenheim was a venue for shopping with the girls!) Its competing at the highest level and I am frankly feeling pretty bloody scared! Massive luck to H and Bean – a safe completion please!
Good to see plenty of jockeys in lately – Charlie & Chris (Ward) regulars, but also joined by Will Featherstone, Conor Shoemark, Jack Quinlan of late. Emily has gone back to Uni, thanks to her for being so much help through the last few weeks – come back soon please! Harriet Turner off this week on a well deserved break with her family.
Megan completed her first 5K run yesterday finishing an extremely respectable 15 th overall and 7th best female. Well done Meg great effort.
As we are so busy, we are on the lookout for another experienced member of staff, if you are interested please get in touch.
We are planning a bigger ‘Open Morning’ for October 1st with a deviation from the regular format, and a parade of the horses. Entry free as usual but donations for the Air Ambulance will be much appreciated – watch this space for times & hope to see you on the day – also hope that its not raining!!
A few shares left in some exciting horses for this season – again do get in touch if you would like to join one of our exciting partnerships – they work well and its all the fun at a fraction of the cost.
Great to be able to get the red ink out again so soon!
Anti Cool due to go up 12lbs for his Stratford victory so a quick turn out necessary to stay ahead of the handicapper – a 7lb penalty the lesser of two evils!
Unfortunately the best option was to go all the way to Sedgefield! Not a track that would suit him greatly but the race option was in his favour.
AC not a fan of the small lorry so Brian back in harness to take him the four hour drive with Megan in charge!
Given a super ride by Charlie AC jumped right slightly all of the way but jumped soundly until slightly fluffing his lines at the last when getting in a bit tight. Charlie did have to shake the reins at him but he won cosily to bring up his HAT TRICK!
Can’t remember when we last had a horse do that, and its particularly satisfying after all of the trials and tribulations that AC and his loyal owners have been through.
Plenty of EPDS members on hand to cheer Andy home, although sadly John & Ellie not able to be there. The icing on the cake for them as another of their horses Our Reward brought up a double for them in the last.
Megan won the BTO so it was an all round fantastic day and winner #7 equalled our total for last season!
Well done to the team – owners and the team here alike and of course Anti Cool who has earned himself a few days off!
Two more winners since the last entry here, and a delay in getting anything up thanks to BT and their efficient repair service – over a week with no phones and no broadband in the office – great!
Winner #5. Wildmoor Boy has tested the team to the limits, and after an initial excellent run in a championship bumper at Cheltenham, has been very disappointing. Easy as you like at home, he turns into a raving lunatic at the races in the preliminaries – Ok once out on the track. An improved run last time was followed by an even better one last week when he won comfortably. Making all under Charlie, he jumped much better and the race was put to bed going to two out. Well done to Cliff Beech & Brian Wilkinson who have been so patient with him, and a special well done to the team here who have had to cope with his antics at the races – better this time and he did condescend to stand still for pics in the winners enclosure! Thank goodness for Stratford being so near to us as its enabled us to arrive at the last minute and go home quickly afterwards! Just hope Warwick has plenty of suitable races for him in the winter! The handicapper got stuck in with a 9 lb rise for his efforts.
Winner #6. Anti Cool has been another that has tested patience to the limits (although on the opposite end of the spectrum temperament wise!), but he too seems to have turned a big corner, although we were nervous heading off to Southwell that he would get it right twice! No worries though, and although lady luck was on our side at the first (when Charlie nearly got knocked off by one of our old inmates cannoning into the side of him) Charlie gave Andy a great ride and won comfortably. Great to follow up, and another for the EPDS team who have waited for what seems like an age for him to get to all together. He has always shown us plenty at home, so it’s satisfying to see him getting it so right at the track too. Shares available in him (although maybe not for much longer!) so do get involved either through us, or contact EPDS Racing direct.
Both horses A1 after their races which is the best news
Its great to get 6 winners on the board so early in the season, a bit of an improvement on last year!
Lots of visitors lately – rather too many to mention individually after the latest news blackout (thanks again BT!) but always great to see everyone, think everyone’s getting itchy feet for the proper winter jumping to start up again!
Open Saturdays start again from next week, so do come along and meet the team for this season whilst the weather is still supposedly nice!
Winner number 4 for the new season.
Anti Cool has always been a particular favourite of mine, and shown us plenty at home. He transferred that to the track when he was third in both his bumpers, but it has all been downhill from there!
He struggled to complete in his hurdle races due to bursting blood vessels – he then had a break, a wind op and we waited for better ground. He then ran over fences and still struggled to complete – don’t think he was confident enough to see it through after all his previous issues!
BUT he finally got his confidence back last night and under a masterful ride from Jack Quinlan got his nose in front and won tidily!
Coming from off the pace – there was a lot of screaming required from two out by the team who had all gone to support.
Delighted to train another winner for EPDS Racing who do such a great job with their partnerships, and also great for all the members who have ‘kept the faith’ and been so patient.
Shares are available in Anti Cool and also Dontminddboys, so do get in touch if you would like to become part of a winning team.
Nice run from Betterlatethanneva at Worcester under Tabitha Worsley – plenty more to come from ‘Peggy’ when she goes hurdling.
Great to get the season off to such a good start this year – Onwards & Upwards
So, finally back after a news blackout for a few weeks. Summer is supposed to be a quieter time, although it does not feel like it this year! No holidays for us this year, but a weeks slaving at Camphire Horse Trials in Waterford a couple of weeks ago was good fun.
A fair bit of Olympic watching this week with all the equestrian stuff going on - paperwork an excuse to stay in doors in a near vicinity to a TV!!
The team have all been on holiday, and a few changes taking place as well. The main crew are still here but a couple of disappointments with people who have had big chances and then let everyone down in a big way. Everyone knows how hard it is in this game, so when owners have given people a chance and then to get let down is bloody annoying as well as disappointing. Always silly to burn bridges too, you never know what is around the corner!
Charlie and Chris Ward in regularly, also Jack Quinlan in this week, Emily Hoare who is a great friend of Harriet's in too during her uni hols. Welcome to Felicity & Alice who have joined the team.
Well done to Megan who passed her end of year, OU law exams with flying colours!
The horses are all back in now, and have all summered well. The flies have thankfully cleared off for another year so normal routine is resumed, and everyone getting up at a slightly more civilised hour!
Not too many runners recently but Myroundorurs definitely the star of the summer, winning two and then another two excellent runs in 2nd and 3rd, having been put up a massive 22lbs for his wins. Delighted for Andrew & Jane Nicholls, who have been such a big support over the last year or so.
Anti Cool has us scratching our heads a bit, old problems out of the way, but not really sure he is digging very deep. Having said that a bad mistake was the reason for his last PU, so back to the drawing board with him a bit!
Wildmoor Boy has been testing the team to the limit at the races. He is a breeze at home, but turns into a monster at the races! OK once you get the jockey on and out onto the track, but the rest is a trial to put it mildly! However progress now being made, although it's a good job we have Stratford on our doorstep! Everyone very helpful there, and the BHA allowing us to arrive late - although not so helpful when we had to go into the dope box for finishing about 6th. Think he frightened them a lot more than he frightens us!! However getting there now, and he finished 4th last time over a trip that was just bit too far. He has massive talent as long as we can keep his head going in the right direction!
Nice to have some that missed last season back in action and the long slog back for them, lots of roadwork and hills for them on their return to action.
Good to have three winners on the board already and looking forward to adding plenty to that through the season.
The eventers also going well, and Tilt Du Chatelier who did not enjoy the racing too much proving to be a very decent event horse. Great to be able to provide him with an alternative career when Plan A did not work out. Several big competitions this year for Harriet which has been fun - if rather nerve wracking!
Our 'Open Saturday's' will resume in September so put a date in your diary to come and see the team for this season.
We look forward to seeing you.
Nothing too much to report since the last entry here. Flaming June has been a complete washout and it feels more like November here today. The only bonus is that the hated flies have temporarily got washed away – or hopefully drowned for a while!
The team have been starting earlier than normal (hardly worth going to bed!) in an effort to beat the bloody things. The field horses also coming in during the day to get away from the bites. We have also been turning the fit ones out at night and keeping them in through the day. Better for the horses, but although they get a very long lunch break – which involves plenty of sleeping - it does make a long day for the team.
As ever though everyone mucking in and getting on with it.
Great to see that its Stable Staff Week this week, and that the staff are getting the recognition they thoroughly deserve. We are very lucky to have a team who are a pleasure to work with. Also sad to see some of the comments put on social media by some retired staff who have clearly not had a great time elsewhere in the industry.
As someone who also has links to other parts of the equine industry it is reassuring to know that our staff have a proper wage and conditions structure – a far cry from many other types of yard who work totally ridiculous hours for a totally ridiculous wage. Shame HMRC don’t go and visit some of those!
Having said that that there is plenty of room for improvement in our own industry. The ability to charge a higher training fee is a starting point – this of course driven initially by better prize money – would enable trainers to pay above the required minimum. Sensible prize money would enable owners to fund the increased fees – its not rocket science!
The racecourses also need to make a lot more effort. Jockeys are paid to ride and get free food (no gripes about that) so why not the same for the staff?? When you go to tracks and not only have to queue behind racecourse staff to get fed in the first place – but to see that they are getting free food too, adds insult to injury. Nobody is asking for a three course feed, but just a simple and healthy meal should be available to all stable staff. Obviously some of the bigger tracks are already there, but it would not cost a fortune for all to follow. Some of the canteens are a disgrace and that is not acceptable either – Towcester,(Terrible) Worcester(inedible) Taunton Warwick (the only place that can kill a baked potato!) – take note!
Things are so much better now – and rightly so – but improvement still required. Coming from a farming background long hours are the norm, and anyone who is self employed also knows the score. We try to balance out the long winter hours with shorter days and a lot less to do this time of year, but its often hard to remember that when the rain is running down your back in November!
Thank you to all at Team Dickin for their dedication and good humour - they do keep us entertained as well as looking after their horses to a very high standard.
Holidays still being taken Rachel off sunning herself this week, and Harriet T & Ceris in Dublin for a few days last week (they survived!!). Cathal off to teach the French Irish next week, & Megan off to teach the Irish South African the week after!
We are looking for another team member for the coming season, do call the office if you would like to come and join us.
Not too many runners although those that have run all running pretty well. Great to see Anti Cool back on the track after all of his problems. He ran creditably to finish fourth just blowing up a bit going to the last and Charlie sensibly looking after him. No sign of the old problem which was a profound relief – delighted for John & Ellie and the EPDS team who have been so patient – just got to do it again now!
Vocaliser ran much better at Newmarket. Another who has been working through some issues - we were delighted to see him run all the way to the line and although last of 6 to finish only beaten about six lengths. All about confidence with him and that would have been a good boost for him.
Wildmoor Boy has been testing everyones patience and skills. He was an amazing third in a listed bumper at Cheltenham on his first run, then had a couple of problems in running, which I think frightened him. He then turned into a deranged idiot at the races. WB is very easy at home but seems to get claustrophobic in a strange stable. He has been here there and everywhere to try & desensitise him, which has worked to a degree! Testing Megan’s handling skills to the nth degree! Lots of help from Charlie & Fran & also Eric at Stratford races saw us actually get him to the races last night. Very late arrival and plenty of skill from the girls saw him get out onto track without too much fuss (relatively!) he ran Ok but Charlie pulled up at the second last – plenty more to come from him and a better experience will have helped his confidence no end.
The Lion Man has been crying out for better ground and having got it at Uttoxeter ran a massively better race. Running on to be fourth not beaten far. Just showing what a hard time the wet winter gave some of the horses. He runs again today and just hoping the pouring weather we are getting at the moment does not manifest itself there.
A recent addition Betterlatethanneva ran a blinder in the bumper on the same day to finish second for Charlie's better half Fran Nimmo. The filly now heads for Ascot sales in July and will be a really decent filly to train on. We would be delighted to retain her to stay in the yard so do call if you would be interested.
Myroundorurs back to Worcester on Saturday to try for a repeat performance of his win a couple of weeks ago.
Up 16lb as a reward for his efforts (thanks for nothing Mr Handicapper!) it was a big ask to follow up with another win, but Myround did not know that and just got on with the job in hand. He is getting much better at coping with all the preliminaries as his confidence grows, and looked picture in the paddock. Megan who does such great work at keeping him calm - robbed of the turnout, but still appreciated by us and also Andrew Nicholls who had managed to get some time out of his busy schedule to get to the races.
Myround does not do waiting around and is not a ride for the faint hearted - Charlie not at all worried by that and gave him a great ride – pretty rapid over the first four he had a healthy lead down the back straight and Charlie managed to get a blow into him going into the turn. Not travelling as well as last time as he turned in we thought the writing was on the wall, but horse and jockey had other ideas, and went on again over the last three. Clear jumping the last the race looked in the bag but a late challenge from the runner up meant a lot of screaming from us and a determined effort from horse & jockey!
Happily we prevailed by a neck – a really good performance after such a big hike in the weights, and delighted for Andrew & Jane .
Very rewarding to win with a horse that has plenty of talent but has caused plenty of blood, sweat & tears to work him out!
Worcester had done a good job with the ground, and happily Myround fine afterwards, and out for a mini break with his mates. He can’t handle soft ground but as he is such a big horse won’t want it too fast either. He will continue to run through the summer, but only on decent safe ground.
Great to have had three winners so early in the season.
Vocaliser ran on the flat at Kempton, and travelled well for a long way – just blowing up a bit in the straight. He has had a fairly life changing operation since his last run and is now a gelding so has an excuse for not quite getting home. He may have one more run on the flat or may head for the field – jury out on that one at present!
Most of the team now out to grass - of which there is an abundance this year – 40 ewe lambs arrived from Turnstone Farming to help get some of it munched off – also great for the pasture to have some sheep following the horses, who are notoriously bad gazers! The woollies caused a lot of snorting and puffing by the holiday makers who eventually decided that they were actually quite boring and not aliens landing!
The team still slogging away with the power hose and getting there slowly.
Supposed to be a quiet time of the year but always plenty to do, especially as the troops are all trying to get some holiday in. Cathal back to Ireland for a week to catch up with his family. Megan looking a little less traumatised after her end of year OU exam done and dusted!
Southwell with Anti Cool tomorrow. Feeling pretty stressed about him, as he is a horse with bags of talent but has had some difficult ‘issues’ which we have thrown everything at over the last few months. Hoping and praying his patient owners are rewarded with a solid run tomorrow.
Off the mark for the new season – and happily a lot sooner than last year!
Myroundorurs has not been easy – either at home or at the races!! He pulls like a train and is very sharp as well. Soft ground is not for him so Andrew & Jane Nicholls have had a long winter waiting for him to have his preferred conditions! Getting him to settle over hurdles has proved impossible so a change of tactics first time over fences. Not a job for the faint hearted up the straight at Worcester with four fences coming up very quickly, but no better man for the job than Charlie, who was wiping the flies off his forehead by the time they went past the post the first time!
Once they turned down the back he settled better and jumped like a stag – no one could get near him – still pulling going to the last he won as he liked by 20 lengths!! A great ride from Charlie and a very good effort from Myround and the team delighted to train a winner for such patient owners in Andrew & Jane. Sadly neither of them could be here but think there was plenty of encouragement from afar – there certainly was from Dickin HQ!!
Having just recovered our voices it was off to Stratford on Saturday evening with Jackfield (Jack Quinlan on board) – the horse has had a few placed efforts, but a downpour prior to the race did nothing to get our hopes up, however we need not have worried as JF was always travelling well and ran out an easy winner.
Great to have two early winners on the board and hopefully these two will follow up!
Many of the string on holiday now and at last the weather warming up for them. Plenty of grass and those trim waistlines expanding by the day! Lovely to see them out and relaxing.
The team now busy with power washing and general spring cleaning – no-ones favourite job, but it has to be done!!
Delighted to announce the arrival of Dancing Daffodils first born!
A bay colt by Native Ruler who stands at Batsford Stud, and who is himself a son of Cape Cross.
Daffodil won 5 races for us and is a homebred herself so pleased to welcome ‘ Sweet William’ (who is very opinionated for one so young!!)
The other new arrival is a beautiful daughter for Chris & Louise Dickin who was born on April 22nd. Careena Elizabeth Shirley.
Huge congratulations to Chris & Lou - and a little sister for Luca.
Well another season comes to an end and I can’t say that we will be too sad to see the back of it either!! The early part of the season proved to be at the very least – trying – for the whole team.
Horses running well but not well enough and winners proving very elusive. A lot of places and no indicators as to why the number one spot eluding us.
The weather not helping at all and incessant rain giving us heavy ground for most of the winter. Plenty of ours not wanting the ground deep and spending a lot of time at home!
With no changes to our daily routine or feeding regime the tide suddenly turned and Timons Tara breaking the duck to a collective sigh of relief from Team Dickin. Then as often happens the tide turned and everyone running much better.
Delighted to train a winner at last for Mark James – after a really annoying amount of places!
Get Involved was bought as a replacement for the ill fated Point of Attack, and is a lovely horse but cannot handle soft ground so his loyal supporters have had to be very patient this winter, especially as Some Finish who was bought on the same day managed to bang in two consecutive wins, whilst their horse stood in his stable looking at the mud!!
They were repaid however with a class performance at Newbury followed up with a really great effort to be second at Cheltenham first time over fences. A horse with an exciting future.
As mentioned Some Finish notched up back to back wins at Leicester – he is still a big baby and will benefit from a good break this summer and be back bigger and stronger next season.
Young Lou adding another to Cliff Beechs list of winners and a first winner for our new conditional Cathal Courtney. A day he won’t forget! Great to have another winner for Cliff especially as the filly is a homebred.
Under The Phone has proved to be a real little warrior for The Tricksters and rarely runs a bad race – he lost his maiden over fences tag at Market Rasen and is sure to win again through the summer – another that does not relish the heavy ground.
Thomas Crapper had a frustrating start to the year with a couple of under par performances – his blood eventually showed up a problem and took some time to correct – he hates heavy ground so more patient owners required! Again repaid with a great performance at Newbury to win a valuable prize.
Great to have him back on form and then following up with a good run at Sandown on the last day of the season.
Plenty of others in the team running well without getting their noses in front and plenty to look forward for the coming season.
As well as the winners, we ended up with 15 seconds, 19 thirds and 15 fourths!
A huge ‘Thank you’ to all of our loyal owners who have stuck with us through the choppy waters as well as when things are going well .
Thank you to the team at home who have worked so hard all season and again have kept grafting away even when things were not going great!
We could not do it all without such great support from all quarters.
Masses to look forward to in the coming months with several that missed this season back in action, babies now growing up and a few with ‘issues’ now sorted!
Plenty to run through the summer who have missed so much through the wet weather.
Onwards and upwards ............watch this space!
Weather still pretty inclement, and the grass not making much attempt to grow! Although there was a glimpse of sun on a couple of occasions!
Grand National weekend and some great racing, unfortunately a chance for the ‘Great Uninformed ‘ to pop out of the woodwork and try and sound as if they know what they are talking about – and as usual failing miserably! Back to hugging their trees again now no doubt!
As always a story behind the winner – well done to Mouse Morris & Rule the World, an emotional day for them.
The action for us on the other side of the country at Market Rasen on Sunday and the very likeable Under The Phone making the trek up there well worth while when winning tidily under Conor Shoemark. ‘John’ as he is called by Hollie who looks after him – ‘Walt’ as he is know by his owners – made virtually all and had the race put to bed as they turned in. An amazing leap three out caused a collective intake of breath by his loyal supporters and he won by a cosy 6 lengths, putting a disappointing run last time out, behind him.
Great to get another winner on the board, and to get our season looking a bit more healthy! It was a very trying time up until the new year with no obvious explanation either, which makes life pretty tough. Recently though the horses have been running very well, (with a couple previously documented low points) which does make it easier to get out of bed in the mornings!!
Well done to The Tricksters yesterday, and well done to the team at home.
Entries this week at Cheltenham and Ayr,
What a weekend.
A really busy Saturday with our monthly Open morning, four runners at Newbury and Harriet & I away in Norfolk for her first 3* competition! It was also Robins birthday so I think it fair to say I was not the most popular person around for not being here!
Open morning busy this month – but as has become standard for the first Saturday of the month it was raining!! A great turnout though – NH fans never put off by a bit of rain! Thanks as ever to Terry & Mandy Poulson who braved the elements again and warmed everyone up with coffee & excellent cakes made by Terry! The air ambulance tin is feeling heavy so thanks to everyone that donated towards this essential service.
Hopefully these open mornings have given interested parties the chance to see what goes on in a racing yard (& Terrys kitchen!!) and to get involved in our fantastic sport.
The team off to Newbury with Brian back at the wheel and he clearly has not lost his touch. Vocaliser not really seeing his race out and investigations on going there, Thomas Crapper out again after an encouraging run at Exeter a couple of weeks ago and looking fantastic in the preliminaries (BTO for Harriet T). Happily he had read the script and jumped for fun all the way, storming home to win by a couple of lengths. Great to see him finally break his duck over fences after some great runs in defeat.
Given a super ride by Charlie he was screamed home by his enthusiastic, and very patient owners who have never lost their faith in him, and waited for both blood and ground to come right this season. Harriet & I managed to get the TV working in the lorry in Norfolk and with help from the dogs who thought it great fun to join in, were in danger of being evicted from the event for rowdy behaviour!! SO delighted to have TC back on track – and for a good prize too.
Timons Tara next up in the mare final and ran a blinder to finish fifth in a red hot race – very good effort from TT and Jack Quinlan.
Black Country Boy then in the bumper and sadly picking up a nasty injury, which took the shine off the day for everyone. He is home though and will mend in time. Devastating to pick up an injury in a bumper, and very unexpected.
Nerves in shreds over in Norfolk with the fences all looking mighty big! Great effort from Harriet & Bean with a decent test, one pole in the show jumping and one green error cross country but completing in their first effort was a great achievement.
No runners until the weekend now and hoping that things will warm up a bit so that the grass will get going.
This sport of ours has many us and downs which we all accept, but days like yesterday - which thankfully are few and far between - are the toughest to deal with.
Four runners at Warwick, Under THe Phone ran disappointingly, Tara Well came back very sore in her back, and then we lost poor Badgers Cove when he fractured a hind leg in the long distance chase.
Badger - owned by Mr Beech & Brian Wilkinson has been with us since he was five and was a huge talent - with fragile legs. He was the kindest horse, with a huge character and a great love of polos!! He could sniff them out from 100 yards away.
Everyone loved Badger.
Having had a year out and been home to live with Cliff he was delighted to be back in work again (although had had great fun racing Cliffs donkeys around the field) and looked fabulous yesterday - winning the best turned out.
He was skipping along and jumping fantastiaclly when disaster struck.
A runner in the next race meant the show had to go on and the team were fantasically professional and Jump and Jump ran a really nice race in a very hot bumper. Blackcountry Boy was also in attendance for an outing after his first run.
I was so proud of our young team - whose hearts were breaking - but who held it all together looking after the other horses and were so professional both at the races and at home.
Our utmost sympathies go out to Cliff & Brian and the rest of the Beech family. The Beech horses are much cherished.
Thank you to everyone who has sent messages etc it means a lot.
The week before Cheltenham always carries a feeling of anticipation and excitement, and for us nerves as to whether Thomas Crapper would beat the ballot – frustratingly he did not, so a feeling of deflation also in the camp.
However the week also gave us another winner in Young Lou who finally lost her maiden tag! Lou has been placed so many times, but despite the knocking from the pessimists on RUK showed great tenacity to win well, under a good ride from out new conditional Cathal Courtney. This was only Cathals’ fourth ride under rules and he followed plan A to the letter winning tidily for a 28th winner for our legendary owner Cliff Beech and co owner Brian Wilkinson.
Delighted to train another winner for Cliff who is SO patient with his horses, although waiting for all the babies to be old enough to run must have been frustrating even for Cliff! Young Lou is a homebred out of the decent Wanna Shout who won several for us, and by Kadastrof – the legend lives on!
The previous day Cathal had ridden Tara Well to be third in a decent mares race at Sandown. Tara Well (by Kayf Tara) is a really likeable filly – tough as you like and was only beaten four lengths, having already run once earlier in the week in ground she hated to be 4th at Lingfield. TW is for sale and will give someone a lot of fun. Debating whether to set up a new partnership in her, so if you are interested to give a call for details.
Some Finish a bit disappointing at Leicester to finish third. The ground again was horrendous, but I think three quick runs in tying to beat the handicapper caught up with him. Up 7lbs for first win then another 12 for the second – bloody hard on him, and surprise, surprise no drop for a sound beating.
Another Kayf Tara (the progeny are having a wonderful Cheltenham) there are still a few shares left in the Some Finish partnership – a dual winner – what more could you ask from a horse to get involved with!
Todays racing as expected will be top class, as it has been all week. Ruby showing what a magician he is, and many wonderful performances across the card. Vautour and Thistlecrack both very impressive yesterday, but Sprinter Sacre was the stuff of dreams in the Champion chase – well done to all connections – it was a fabulous performance and brought a tear to many eyes – including mine!
The VP debate rumbles on, and whilst acknowledging that she has done amazing things to even get to the races at all – never mind today – the press frenzy is now getting really tedious and I hope it does not encroach on what will be a great days racing.
Have a great day -
Come on Cue Card!!
Delighted to be able to report another WINNER last Friday at Newbury. Get Involved showed a lot of promise on his first run for us but has had some wind issues since and we have been waiting for some better ground for him – a process that has taken some considerable time this winter!
Having side stepped Ludlow last week we declared at Newbury but the ground then softened up again – very frustrating and caused not a little debate! Eventually we decided to run and the rest is history! Charlie gave GI a great ride and nursed him around until creeping into contention as they turned for home. He slightly fluffed his lines at the second last and was second after jumping the last, but I think the collective screaming from his supporters galvanised him and GI won tidily going away from a very game favourite in second.
Very pleased to win for the Point Of Attack partners who have had a bumpy ride after losing their lovely horse who the partnership is named after, in a freak accident in his box. We bought GI with lots of involvement from the group which was fun, but the mud has tested everyone’s’ patience again!! Well done to all of them and thank you for keeping the faith – this will be an even better horse over fences!
Ironic actually as Some Finish & GI arrived on the same day so great win with them in the same week!
Other runners at Newbury also ran well – Vocaliser back after a long break ran well to be fourth in a hottish juvenile race – jumped very well – needs better ground, and possibly just needed the race. Badgers Cove who is a great favourite in the yard had been off the track for almost two years with an injury, ran an absolute blinder to be fifth running on. So pleased to see him back.
All OK after the races – always a relief!
First day of eventing yesterday and a trip to Norfolk. The day started really well with both horses doing good tests and show jumping rounds – unfortunately it was all down hill from there when Tilt Du Chatelier & Harriet took a tumble at the water and Harriet’s day ended in Warwick A&E (battered but happily not broken!) They live to fight another day! It was a long way home!
Tara Well off to Lingfield today for a first run over hurdles – Charlie rides and we hope the ground is awful!!
More seconds!! AND a WINNER!!
Young Lou ran a super race at Warwick giving our new conditional Cathal Courtney his first ride under rules. She travelled really well all through the race and looked to be the winner three out when one fell in front of her and brought her to a complete standstill. Cathal did well to keep the partnership together, but you would have to think that it cost them the race and they finished a good second – the rest nowhere! Good effort from a young jockey who could just be a future star, and poor Lou So deserves to get her head in front.
One of our biggest supporters and possibly the most patient man on the planet with his horses Mr Beech owns Young Lou who he bred, and also bred Blackcountry Boy out of Simple Glory who also won for us. BCB has taken some time to grow into his considerable frame, and he made his debut on Sunday at Southwell. He made a super start to his career by finishing a flying second, and looks to be a very exciting prospect.
Hoping to add to Mr Beech’s winners tally very soon!
Some Finish put a stop to the seconds yesterday at Leicester when following up his previous course & distance win with an emphatic victory under a great ride from Charlie. He made all, jumped and travelled well and galloped he rest of the runners into submission! Delighted with him and delighted for his supporters who were out in force yesterday!
Unbelievably I still have shares in Some Finish for sale – he is a half brother to State of Play – so why not take the plunge and get involved in a fun horse who is now a dual winner?? Give us a call to find out about our very affordable partnerships.
Open Morning this Saturday so the perfect opportunity to come and see Some Finish and his mates. Do come along and see what we get up to on a busy Saturday morning and meet the horses and team. No entry fee – just turn up!
Very frustrating day at Towcester on Wednesday with two excellent runs from two very gusty and brave fillies But with TWO seconds!!
We all hate second (which is better than third but more frustrating!!) but also feel that we should also be pretty damn chuffed with both Young Lou & Timons Tara yesterday who both ran really good races to be second.
Both jumped exceptionally well and were just unlucky to come up against ‘one’ on the day!
Both horses also won the BTO for Megan & Hollie – although you could not tell one end from the other when they came back in the conditions were so bad!
Towcester excelling itself in the canteen dept again – the girls reporting that the service still dire and the food worse. Topped off with the manager refusing to speak to me although then eventually saw sense! Great PR!
Come on Towcester do something about it.
On to Leicester yesterday with Some Finish, who we bought after one of the Cheltenham sales last year. SF is by the prolific Kayf Tara and its taken a little while for the penny to drop with him. He actually ran a really good race last time in horrific ground at Uttoxeter and we were quietly confident that the slightly shortened trip would help him. He jumped much better (has had a tendency to jump right) but looked booked for third at the last, which we would all have been chuffed with – however about eight strides after he landed and was still running on – the win suddenly looked attainable! Produced down the rail under a strong drive from Charlie, SF got his head in front and then ran away from the others to WIN by an easy six lengths. I think the collective screaming from supporters at the track and from various other locations around the country must have been what got him home!
Still a few shares left in Some Finish who has now proved himself and will be better again over a full three miles – has to be good value so why not get involved with a friendly partnership and a really nice horse?
Brilliant for the partnership and great for the team here after three seconds in a row!
Its such a relief to get a couple of winners in as its been such a frustrating season for the team. The horses on the whole not running too badly but its no fun being in the placed position when all we want is winners! You certainly find out who your friends are at times like this and a huge thanks to all our owners & supporters who have ‘kept the faith’ – hopefully plenty of reward to come their way from now on.
No runners till next week now – off to stimulate the brain at a ‘Backs, Balance & Biomechanics’ conference tomorrow which should be interesting as long as I can stay awake!
After a long drought it was great to get back in the winners enclosure at Ludlow on Wednesday.
The horses have on the whole been running well, with plenty of placed efforts but with the win being very elusive!
Happily Timons Tara, who was third on her previous outing, put in a solid effort to win under Jack Quinlan for owner Mark James in the 2m5f mare’s hurdle. Annoyingly we had a protracted battle against an EPDS horse, and whilst we always want to win it never feels very PC to beat your other owners – even if the horse was trained elsewhere! Sorry John!
TT was game as a pebble and fought hard whilst giving the second horse over a stone in weight – once in command after the last she stayed on really well and a step up to three miles won’t inconvenience her! Ground was terrible – it’s worse now that it’s drying out as its gone sticky rather than sloppy and its very hard work for everyone!
TT came out of the race fine, as did Some Finish last w/e after a much improved performance. Perhaps rather an odd comment after he pulled up but with the ground virtually unraceable SF travelled and jumped really well until just getting tired three out – Charlie had gone a right gallop on him whilst making all and as only one finished which really explains the race/ground! SF had looked very disinterested at Taunton the previous week, and the visor certainly sharpened him up! (Harriet D won the BTO)
Kaddys Dream & Must Meet MrsGrath both ran in the bumper at Doncaster, and whilst the ground there the previous day was OK for Under The Phone who ran his usual solid race to be fifth (needs further now) and mixture of rain & snow meant the ground was pretty atrocious by the end of the day and both fillies struggled to get home in the conditions – both will be better on good ground.
A few changes at Dickin HQ as Kelly has gone off to work in an office! She has been doing an accounts course for a while now and whilst it was not a great time to change direction we wish her well in her new job, and look forward to seeing her dressed up in her smart office gear!
Holly has taken over Kelly’s position at Hill Farm, and Harriet Turner is now in charge of all of the racing tack.
We have a great team here, and they have been brilliant even though the winners have been eluding us, it’s a great testament to them that they are all working away even when the going is tough. So a big thanks to them all.
A blast from the past here last night in the shape of Darren, who is leaving Banbury to head back to London, it was his birthday too so' Happy Birthday Darren - 38??'
A lovely Sunday lunch last w/e with Andrew & Jane Nicholls, a thoroughly enjoyable day and nice to catch up with some old friends and meet some new faces, as well as enjoy a delicious lunch!
Open Morning tomorrow – do come along and meet the team, but bring waterproofs as the forecast does not look very promising!
Not a great deal to report this week – its still bloody raining – although we did have a bit of a change in type of precipitation this morning with some of the white stuff falling at six am! Yuck. Very slippery on the drive so the scenic route to the gallop today. Its gone now but relatively very cold compared to what we have had recently!
No point in running many of the horses on this ground as it simply wastes a run – if they don’t handle it they just have a hard time for nothing and of course recovery takes longer if they are ‘bottomed’ in it. On the plus side we will be very busy once we get some decent ground back and those that have been coping with the ground have been running well.
Anti Cool had some form on heavy from his pointing days so running him not a silly option – unfortunately he burst a blood vessel – the ground probably a contributing factor – so another that will have to sit tight for some better conditions. Happily he was fine after the race and will be ready to go as soon as the word good appears somewhere in the going report!
The Kayf Taras seem to love the wet going so at least we will have some runners in the next week or so!
Nice to see Jane Nicholls here last week who came to see Myroundorurs along with Martin Lynch who was over from Ireland for a couple of days. Another Irishman here to ride out in the form of Connor Smith who is conditional for Philip Hobbs. Jack Quinlan also here to ride out last week along with Charlie, Chris Ward & James Martin.
Good to see James ride a winner at Towcester for his Dad Andy – well done James.
Well done also to Harriet who passed her HGV test this week at the first attempt! She can now drive anything except an articulated lorry – scarey stuff!!
Firstly, Thank you for all of your Christmas greetings, cards and donations to the lads & girls Christmas fund – they drank a good deal of it in the Huff Cap just before Christmas and there were a few headaches evident the day after! The tree is down, the needles hoovered up, and the New Year has come in with a glug!
They say it never rains but it pours – and currently we seem to be under a continuous deluge!
Ground conditions horrendous everywhere, and the horses not really loving any of it. We have even stopped turning out for a few days as the whole place is like a bog, and after a quick wallow the horses are standing at the gate waiting to get back in!
Plenty of runners over the Christmas period and some good results – plenty of places, but frustratingly no winner.
Tara Well ran a blinder in the bumper (BTO for Harriet Turner) at Uttoxeter, to be second behind a hot pot of Hobbs’ – the race run in a monsoon like storm – she beat the third horse 17 lengths and skipped through the mud very easily. She will be a real fun horse for someone, and is schooled and ready to run over hurdles – and is FOR SALE to stay in the yard and if sold before she runs next will incur no training fees until she wins! What an offer – do call for further details.
Timons Tara also ran very well the same day to be third – jumped and travelled really well – just could not quicken in the ground but only beaten a few lengths. Holly and Harriet T doing sterling work in horrendous conditions.
Three at Warwick the same day – Young Lou running very well after a long lay off to be third – she fluffed her lines a bit at both of the last two hurdles or would have given the winner a run for his money! Myroundorurs and Kaddys Girl both hated the ground and will do well once we get something less like a swamp to run on.
Thomas Crapper ran much better at Cheltenham in a very hot race – again on very unsuitable ground for him, Wildmore Boy behaved himself well which was a huge step forward after the end of last season when he was losing he plot at the races badly! He is another who will appreciate better ground.
Garrahalish went to Sandown on Saturday expecting soft, good to soft in places and was greeted with heavy soft in places! The day was a wash out and Gary ran well to be fourth – not sure there can be much track left as most of it was stuck to the horses and jockeys as they came in! Three and a half hours to get home in more rain made for a very long day!
Some Finish ran well at Leicester and should have a rating tomorrow –
Not too much action this week unless the ground has a quick turn around. Anti Cool has entries at Huntingdon & Doncaster.
Happy New Year from all of us here
A very belated entry to the blog - entirely due to the pressures of a last minute Christmas! We only have 364 days to get ready for it each year, but every year its a last minute rush! The cards that were written are still sitting on my desk - early for next year??
Apologies for lack of Christmas greetings but we hope that you all had an amazing Christmas and Santa brought everything you wanted.
I am just hoping he brings some winners and soon!
I will get in quick with wishing everyone a Happy, and most importantly a Healthy New Year!
A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us this year - when the going gets tough you certainly find out who your friends are.
Thank you most especially to all of our fabulous owners who trust us with their precious horses - and to our team at home who have worked away all through the Christmas period looking after the four legged team, all with a smile (and the occasional headache!)
An attack of placeditis upon us at the moment – an improvement on unplaceditis but mighty frustrating!
The horses at last seem to be finding their form and pleased to see Garrahalish run a big race at Ascot – annoying to come up against a well handicapped one of Venetia’s but glad to put a poor run at Chepstow behind him. He jumped really well and made most until turning in, got outpaced but then fought back really well to finish second.
Bally Lagan has just returned from a long lay off due to an injury so really pleased to see him running so well. First run back at Leicester saw him only beaten four lengths by the winner, he then followed that run up with a frustrating, but good second two weeks later at the same track.
Myroundorurs ran a really good race to be fifth at Warwick – he still need to learn to settle in the early part of a race – Charlie’s arms definitely looking longer when he got back – but huge improvement all the same. Another who has improved a lot is Jackfield who has finished third on his last two runs. Timons Tara is learning how to behave in the preliminaries now which is helping her cause no end!
Some Finish has run twice and needs one more for his handicap mark. He is a lovely chaser in the making and still a few shares available.
Get Involved finally back to the track after a slightly rock preparation and running really well until getting a bit tired up the straight. The Lion Man hated the ground at Ludlow and will wait for something better now.
A new filly arrived from Ireland a couple of weeks ago and has settled in well – Mustmeet MrsGrath will run for the EPDS partnership – she is only small but jumps really well, and hopefully will be some fun.
Under The Phone ran his usual good race to finish fourth at Leicester – Charlie and he did well to keep the partnership together after making an absolute hash of a fence down the back straight which cost many lengths and he certainly would have finished a whole lot closer without the error.
One who would certainly have finished very close without getting mugged was Garrahalish (BTO for Harriet Turner) who was running a blinder at Cheltenham when getting virtually brought down by a faller at the top of the hill. A faller either side of Gary - who had not put a foot wrong anywhere – caused some nifty foot work by Gary to avoid the fallers which resulted in Charlie Deutsch falling off, and an outbreak of appalling language from Gary’s camp!
Gary has run at Cheltenham four times and on three occasions has been so badly hampered that he has lost his jockey – he himself has never made an error – Not sure what he/we have done to upset the Cheltenham gods but they certainly are not on our side as far as he is concerned! Thank goodness he was fine and jumped the remaining fences and quickened up up the run in nicely to finish fourth with his ears pricked! He really does deserve a change of luck.
Kaddys Girl (BTO for Kelly) ran a nice race at Ludlow on her second run over hurdles, and Kaddys Dream made a nice debut in the bumper on the same card.
Another open day came and went at the beginning of the month a saw some more hardened NH fans turn out in a howling gale to see the horses – lovely to meet some new faces, and hope they enjoyed the morning despite the windy conditions. Thanks again to Terry & Many Poulson and the Venvell team for all their help and cooking skills – also to Holly’s Nan for mince pies and lemon drizzle!!
Next open morning is Jan 2nd which may or may not be a good plan after the NY celebrations – a good opportunity to blow the hangover cobwebs away! Do come and join us – or email for an alternative day if you can’t make that one.
A few having a midseason break as the ground is so soft at present. Kitegen & Spurned Girl both hate the heavy so will have a short break now, Kayf Tiger has gone home for some pampering from Nat Jameson, as has Storming Harry to get the same from Nigel & Jenny Thick.
Next week not busy with runners and so really must get some Christmas shopping done before the big day arrives!
Plenty of runners over the last few days, and another Open Morning.
Runners first, and plenty of positivity from what we have run – several places but the number one spot proving elusive at present which is frustrating!
Warwick saw Vocaliser make his hurdles debut – he pulled like an idiot for the first mile – but jumped beautifully – cruised to the leaders but blew up two out as a result of his early tanking. He is a stunning horse and showed enough to get us all excited. I believe there are a few shares left so do get involved.
Tara Well ran in the bumper and ran a blinder to finish sixth only beaten ten lengths by the winner. She is a tenacious little character, and tough as you like. Schools really well and will now go hurdling. She will be lots of fun, and if you are looking for a fun horse you could do a lot worse than her! She is for sale.
Towcester last Thursday and a typical Towcester wet one!
Myroundorurs back from a break and a wind op – very strong for a circuit, but jumped well and made up ground strongly to the third last – then his long break just caught up with him up the steep Towcester hill. Delighted with the run though – he is schooling well over fences as well so lots to look forward to.
Kayf Tiger jumped much better and the penny stating to drop. The Lion Man jumped two – slipped really badly on the turn away from the stands – nearly fell on the flat and that was game over, Charlie jumped a few more fences to get his confidence then pulled up. Kaddys Girl hated the ground, but travelled well for a long way until hitting the hill. She will be fine another day on better ground.
The girls excelling themselves with BTOs – they won four with runners in only three races! The judges could not split the two of that ran in the same race so gave it to them both! Well done Holly Kelly & Cerys!
The Towcester canteen still dire – slow service, cold food – watch this space for improvements!
Ludlow with Under the Phone who ran a good race to be fourth, jumped really well. Timons Tara behaved much better and ran Ok; Jackfield ran a hugely improved race to be third under a good ride from Hannah Watson. Very wet at Ludlow and a BTO for Holly with UTP.
Open morning dawned in a monsoon! Having said to the team not to worry as no one would turn up in a torrent we were amazed that about 25 hardy souls braved the weather to come and see the action! Terry & Mandy Poulson here again to help make drinks and Terry also supplying some very professional looking cakes! Thank also to Holly’s Nan as she also provided some equally yummy cakes as did Julie Vennvell.
Do hope everyone enjoyed their morning despite the downpour! Thanks for coming! We have raised £100 for the Air Ambulance from the two mornings so far – a great cause.
The next one is on December 5th – do tell your friends and come along and see us. What better Christmas present than a share in a racehorse!
Our next OPEN MORNING is this Saturday coming, so do tell your friends and come along and meet the team here at Alne Park.
The gates are open from 9 – 11. Entrance is free – we are hoping to raise some money for the air ambulance from donations if possible.
The horses will be exercising at 9.30 and tea, coffee and a few fattening goodies will be available! Just hope it’s not as foggy as today!
Not much to be seen up here today, in fact I think the team are having trouble seeing their horses’ ears the fog is so thick!
A busy time since the last blog, but not too many runners.
Thomas Crapper ran rather under par at Cheltenham, but a combination of being hampered by a faller, no real gallop, top weight and a post race blood that could be a lot better explains a lot!
Desroaches ran poorly at Stratford, but came back with a horrible over reach, which was bad enough to have stopped her and Spurned Girl ran a solid race at Uttoxeter to be sixth – she jumped really well and is coping much better with all the preliminaries now, although Kelly still looked pretty warm when she let her go to post!
A couple of the new partnership The Songsters called in to meet their boy before Cheltenham. Jenny Fitzgerald and Rhona O’Connell hopefully enjoyed their visit – I was sad to miss them as I was in Somerset with Harriet at the last event of the season.
Tilt Du Chatelier who was very moderate as a racehorse, had a change of career when Harriet took him over to find him an alternative career. The pair have had an amazing season going from BE90 to CIC1* in twelve months. His first international was a credit to them both finishing 12th out of 100 starters – a fun weekend, and proud of them both. Great for a horse that was so difficult in training to take to another discipline so well. A great advert for the retraining of racehorses.
More visitors from C&D Tours last week, with Stephen Toms here on Friday and three members of Marshall family here on Saturday – hope they all enjoyed their visits! Stephen having a less good weather morning on Friday when along with Terry & Mandy Poulson chose the wettest day of the week to come over!
Annoyingly The Lion Man was balloted out of Ascot on Saturday, a race which we had had in mind for a long while! Entries at Warwick and Towcester this week.
We held our first open morning at the beginning of the month – and it seemed to go well. Rather remiss on my part as I found myself double booked and so Mandy & Terry Poulson and Julie Venvell kindly came to hold the fort! We had a nice turnout and hopefully everyone enjoyed the morning.
The open mornings are set up so that anyone who is interested can come and see the horses work and see what goes on at Alne Park! Although we have a very open house visitors policy, not everyone likes to ask about coming, so we thought it was a way of overcoming that. We raised some funds for the air ambulance which is such a great cause, and will be holding our next one on the first Saturday in November.
There is no entry fee so if you would like to come along do feel free, email or call if you would like more information.
My double booking was with Harriet at Osberton horse trials where she and her horse Dargle Looks, aka Bean did the CCI2* - big and scary, they both made light work of it to finish 26th out of 120 starters which included plenty of our top riders. Getting near the end of eventing for the year now and it will be nice to have a few Sundays at home.
The horses on the whole running well without getting into that number one spot. Kitegen was fourth at Fontwell, he made an uncharacteristic howler at the second last otherwise would have been a lot closer – but a good run and not beaten far. Twycross Warrior made his racecourse debut and did not really get his breathing right - tried to do it all in one breath and then unsurprisingly did not get home!
A busy day at Towcester – nice to be back there, but oh dear they do need to get their act together re looking after our staff. The canteen food is dire and usually freezing cold – and no offence but I don’t think the staff in there have a clue!
The track has been ruined by the addition of the dog track, but the plus was that they had made great efforts with the ground which looked lush and green and rode well. It seems that the management have lost some direction, although the Robert Bellamy and the raceday team (canteen excepted) are doing a great job.
The horses ran OK, Jackfield running a big race till two out then got tired and needed the run, as did Spurned Girl. Tara Well ran well in the bumper, but needs the ground softer and also wants further – she will be a fun horse and Charlie was very pleased with her.
Thomas Crapper surrounded by a lot of hype from the press was never a foregone conclusion in a hot novice chase and finished third. He ran well, jumped soundly but was just done for toe by two very decent rivals. Saddened by an abusive phone call from someone who had clearly lost their cash – apparently many trainers get this treatment when they have a beaten favourite – pathetic really when someone can call a trainer foul names but is too scared to say who they are. ‘Get a life’ is the phrase that springs to mind!
Holly was robbed of the turnout with TC, think the judge was looking at the wrong horse, but Kelly and Harriet T both won it with Spurned Girl & Tara Well.
Garrahalish ran a terrible race at Chepstow, but came back with a dirty scope, Kayf Tiger ran well to finish fifth. He is still learning his trade and needs to relax more so that he can get himself into a better rhythm. Sorry not to see Vicky Jameson at the races – she is on box rest at the moment so best wishes to her for a speedy recovery.
The Lion Man ran a super race to finish third at Uttoxeter (BTO for Holly) – good to see the Coopers there who along with Mark their friendly driver had a nice day.
Spurned Girl ran OK at Stratford and Under The Phone made a solid chasing debut at Kempton in a furiously run race – Charlie said that he had never been so fast over fences! UTP jumped soundly and was unlucky that there was no grief in front of him as the first two home looked extremely hairy - I know which one I would rather have been on!
Lots of visitors recently including Mr & Mrs Essex who came on Saturday morning and were our first visitors courtesy of C& D Stable tours. They did come into something of a manic morning so hope they enjoyed it!
Charlie, James Martin, Chris Ward, Connor Smith & Tom O’Brian all in to ride out this week – always a help to have some jockeys in.
New venture at Alne Park
Many of you will know that the Dickin family have moved house – only a short distance up the drive, but it was still a mission!
As we are now in Alne Park house we are able to offer B & B in the form of two beautiful en suite rooms.
This is obviously a new venture for us, but it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss to be able to offer this facility in such amazing surroundings.
Hopefully this will suit owners who live further afield, and also anyone who is wanting to stay near all that central Warwickshire has to offer – including a morning on the gallops to see the team in action.
Nice to get back to the races at last, with two runners at Warwick last Tuesday.
Garrahalish back to his old self and running a really solid race to finish third giving weight to both of the first two. He jumped soundly and finished running on. Charlie thought the track was definitely not for him as he found it too sharp but that he felt back to his old self. After two muggings at the end of last season it was a relief to see him enjoying his race and he remains in high regard. No doubt about the trip now - we always thought he would stay for ever but having been brought down at the festival and then sick after his last run we did not have confirmation of that until this run!
Be My Witness jumped well but always looked a bit out paced around this track and finished fifth. Not a bad run but she needs to be able to travel better to back up her good jumping.
The string looking well and are all not far off a run – the weather may interfere this week though as it set to be warm and dry so no doubt we will all be moaning that the ground is too firm!
The new members of the family are thriving – five puppies is a lot to handle for Milly but she is doing them, really well.
A couple of new members of staff have joined us this week and we welcome Daniel and Gosha who have come from the Northern Racing College, but hail from Poland.
Nice to see Graham & Lyn Knight here last week to see Twycross Warrior who will be making his racecourse debut shortly.
Party night here on Saturday when a fund raising ball was held on the lawn to raise funds for the Stratford Cancer & Eye hospital – a great night when around £50k was raised for a great local cause. Judging by the cars left the next morning I would imagine there were a few sore heads the next day – happily a short trip home for us!
Our first ‘Open Morning’ this Saturday so do come along if you would like to come and see the action – gates open at 9am, no entry charge – come and enjoy seeing the team in action.
A hectic weekend with our Owners Lunch on Sunday. We changed the format slightly this year and instead of having a full on Open Day just had Owners and Friends for lunch and a chat about the horses. Lovely to see so many – about 200 so was pretty cosy, but hope everyone enjoyed the day and the delicious pork cooked by Brian Kerby, and a particular thanks to Julie Venvell who conjured up some amazing puddings for everyone. Not a scrap of them left, so think they were enjoyed!
Thanks to the team for all the help and to Stratford Racecourse for the loan of tables and chairs!
We are not abandoning the Open Day but changing it slightly in that we are having an Open Morning on the first Saturday of each month. Locals will have heard our advert on Touch FM, so hope anyone that is interested will join us to have a look around the yard and to see the horses working and meet the team. The gates will be open from 9am, there is no entry fee but we will be hoping to raise funds for the Air Ambulance. Do call if you would like further information or drop us an email. We look forward to seeing you.
Harriet and Annalisa spent an interesting day at the Stratford Business show last week, I booked a table at the event as I thought it would be a good opportunity to meet up with local businesses, and then realised I was supposed to be on a First Aid refresher course that had already changed five times, so the girls stepped into the breach! I think they had an interesting day and hopefully we can work with some other local businesses to mutual benefit!
Kitegen ran a nice race at Newton Abbot last Friday to finish fourth. Slightly frustrating as last time he appeared not to really need 21/2 miles but this time looked as if he needed further than two! His trip is possibly very ground dependent! He has bounced out of the race well and should be out again soon.
Two runners today at Warwick. Be My Witness back after a break and back over fences, Garrahlish back from an even longer break, and also into the unknown trip wise. Both seem well at home but the first runners of the season always a bit of a worry until you know just how fit the string are! Fingers crossed for a good day.
The other big news this week is the arrivals of Millys’ puppies! Two sleepless nights for her and me resulted in five gorgeous little people, (with sadly one who did not make it). She is being an excellent mummy to four boys & one girl.
A very early start yesterday morning with a lorry arriving from Ireland at 4.30am! The newest addition to the team in the shape of a very exciting three year old colt called Vocaliser. A winner for Jim Bolger on the flat as a two and three year old he is for a new partnership called The Songsters. The group is fronted by some existing owners of The Tricksters partnership and there are some shares still available – do give a call if you would like to get involved. Vocaliser will be aimed at juvenile hurdles this time, with the possibility of taking in some flat runs along the way.
Another new addition is a super filly – as yet unnamed - by Kadastrof out of Symbiosis who is the dam of a good horse called Kingfisher Creek who is rated 131. The filly is going really well and her owner/breeder is looking to put together a small group to enjoy her racing career. Again do call the office for further details.
The gallop refurb finally finished, and some new drains in to help with getting the water away during deluges! A lot of work involved in getting it just right but so vital to keep the facilities in A1 condition, and pleased with the results now.
Charlie is as usual and joined by David England, Ben Poste, Chris Ward and James Martin - great to have the extra help – especially at this time of year when the horses are in maximum work.
The Venvell family here last weekend to see their horses, and a lovely evening with Nigel and Jenny Thick last Friday to celebrate Storming Harrys’ super win. The Bridge at Bidford becoming a favourite place to eat, and to be recommended!
Very happy to report a winner last week – and on the flat too!! Storming Harry has tested the patience of his lovely owners Nigel & Jenny Thick, to the limit! He has been very difficult to train but improved immensely on his previous run to finish a close up 5th at Nottingham. This time it was off to LIngfield – not a pleasant journey from here, and the M25 its usual chaos! SH was held up through the race, and travelled well but then was in all sorts of bother off the last bend, and it looked as though his chance was gone, however once he got some daylight he stayed on gallantly and got up to win by half a length! I think the collective screaming by the team at the races and also the home team must have done the trick! Delighted for Nigel & Jenny who bred SH out of a super mare that we used to train called Miss Pebbles. Always special to do it with a home bred, so huge congratulations to them and also to Rachel who looks after SH and has nursed him through thick and thin!
We have had a long spell without a winner so a relief to get off the cold list. It’s great to have the team all in again now, and what a lovely bunch of horses we have for the season. Very happy to have Kitegen back after a brief spell away, and a big welcome to his owners Paul & Clare, who have shares in other horses too, but having their first venture into joint ownership. We wish them all the very best of luck.
The gallop is all but finished now – just waiting on one load to finish it off. The surface riding really well after the top up, although it was nearly a case of dodge the Eddie Stobart lorry after one of the drivers managed to sink a wheel on the side of the gallop! All rather tense for a while as it had a big lean on – thanks to Granville Stevens for the loan of a big tractor to help ours pull it out!
Good to see Ben Poste, Chris Ward and James Martin all in to ride last week – a big help as Charlie off on his hols for a while. Harriet also back in harness and a big welcome to Zach Sparrow who joins us as a full time team member.
A big young farmer’s party down the road on Friday night and in the aftermath of Storming Harrys’ win the day before a few sore heads in evidence on Saturday morning!
Robin & I went to Tattersalls sales last week to look at a horse, which we liked but not really enough to buy it! The search continues for the next star! We were also under bidders on a couple of stores which was mighty frustrating; the trade was pretty solid with as always the nice horses making good money. A busy trip, but well looked after by Tatts who provide an excellent service getting everyone to and from the airport, booking hotels etc! Happily Aer Lingus flights cheaper than the mighty Ryan Air last week – only a short trip but you can certainly tell the difference!
Resurfacing the gallop began last week with just over 166 tonnes of new woodchip being laid down on top of the older chips. The job is almost done and with new drainage also being installed the gallop will be in brilliant condition all winter. The arena is also having a refurb, so our already great facilities will be in tip top order!
On Friday the 24th Kayf Tiger ran at Uttoxeter in a National Hunt Flat race, he travelled well for much of the race but just got a bit tired in the last couple of furlongs, he will come on for the run. Ideally he ran a fortnight too soon, but without travelling as far as Perth, options were very limited and we were pleased with his performance, particularly as the first 3 home look like being very high class horses. Also well done to Megan for winning yet another best turned out!
On the 30th Storming Harry headed to Nottingham to run in a 2 mile flat race, his first time over a longer trip and were pleased with a vastly improved performance. He finished 5th only beaten a short distance. He had some problems after his last run which explained the poor run, acupuncture from Fiona Georgetti has helped him enormously, so thanks to her for all her help.
This week we also had Harriet Turner start as a full time member of the team; Harriet has been with us part- time since coming for work experience a year ago and we are pleased to welcome her on board! Zach Sparrow has also joined us this week – so great to have a strong team complete for the season.
Good to see Albert and Angela Thompson, Nicky Preece and Julie Venvell here last Saturday to see Some Finish, Get Involved and Bally Lagan who all look well after their summer break.
Nearly all the horses now in and its great to see all the heads over doors again, another trip to Ireland this week on a mission to find another star – a busy day with several nice horses to see, and a day of backs as well. Always nice to see the Irish friends and a busy couple of days.
Action stations again at Hill Farm! The holiday makers – equine & human returning to work – refreshed and slightly chubby (equine!)
We managed to sneak off for a week to see if we could help out the Greek economy in Kefalonia. A lovely week with the family, very relaxing with plenty of sun, nice to be away but equally nice to get home and make a start on the new season.
The horses have had a great summer, with plenty of grass and not too many flies until recently, which has worked well as they are pleased to be in in the day away from the biting monsters (such painful bites from such small creatures), they are currently going out in the evenings when the flies have gone elsewhere (where do they go??)
Most of the team also back from their summer breaks refreshed and ready for action. Ceris Biddle joins us as a new team member. She lives locally and has been our super Saturday girl for a couple of years – great to have her full time now.
No doubt most people will have seen the article in last weeks RP re Restless Harry leaving us. A big blow for the team, and hard to understand when no reason given by the owner, devastating for Holly who has looked after him so well for so long. Of course we wish Harry all the best, and mostly that he stays safe. We will miss him immensely.
However they say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and it has been amazing how many messages, tweets and phone calls of support we have had, so thank you to everyone who has been so supportive, it means a lot.
It’s onwards and upwards from here, and we have a nice team to go to war with. Lots of youngsters who are now handicapped, and some babies who were getting educated over hurdles who are now ready to go chasing. Exciting times, and can’t wait to get going again.
Thomas Crapper, Garrahalish, Bally Lagan, Dontminddboys, Anti Cool, Myroundorurs, Tara Well. Some Finish, Get Involved, Blackcountry Boy, his brother ‘BabySpider’ all back in, Graham
and Lynne Knights’ Cockney Rebel three year old back for some more education, and a new Kadastrof filly arriving today. Under the Phone, the Lion Man and Dans Quest also making a start, whilst Kaddys' Girl goes off on a short break (she ran rather disappointingly last week but came in season the day after the race)
Lovely to have Badgers Cove back from Mr Beech’s where he has been having an extended spoiling – he has swapped with Young Lou who has gone home for a break and no doubt the same treatment!
Be My Witness finished fourth on her first run over fences yesterday – jumped well and fine today. BMY also turned her hand to flat racing last week, when stepping in at way beyond the eleventh hour as a replacement runner for Chris Dickin in the charity race at Ascot. Chris’s intended mount was unable to run at the very last minute, and so ‘Spice’ was drafted in to make sure Chris’ amazing efforts in preparation for the race (lost 2 stone, endless early mornings to ride out before work and raising an incredible £5.5K!) did not go to waste. As a 94 rated jumper against a load of much higher rated flat horses she was always going to have her work cut out, but gave Chris a great spin to finish fifth. He really enjoyed the experience and thank to everyone who came and supported him on the day.
Ascot sales last week and Dance For Livvy, Presenting Paddy and Windy Miller have all gone off to pastures new. We wish their new connections all the best and hope they all do well in the future.
A happy lunch last week at the Manor in Moreton in Marsh to celebrate Alan and Anna Varey’s (Batsford Stud) Ruby wedding anniversary. Many congratulations to them and also thanks for a delicious lunch!
A sad day for us last week.
No clue as to why this has happened, but the article written by Lee Mottershead says it all. so no need to add to it.
The placeditis outbreak continues – with a double of seconds at Market Rasen. Both Kitegen and Galactic Power both finishing runner up under Charlie & Joe respectively. Lovely to have Kite back firing again and he was desperately unlucky not to hang on for the win. GP ran his usual game race and again was unlucky to come up against one on the day – he has come home a little sore so crossing everything that we can get him settled down and out for a break.
Dans’ Quest ran a solid race at Worcester but an unexplained blip in Anti Cools form at Southwell when he ran no sort of race at all. Tests have revealed absolutely nothing, which is frustrating. Both now in the field for some ‘Dr Green’, and will be ones to look f
Spurned Girl ran a hugely improved race at Stratford running on really well to finish third under Ben Poste – the tongue strap helping her enormously! Great o see her starting to repay some of the Hitchman families’ patience. She has been a big handful but has settled down well and starting to channel her energies in the right direction now! Young Lou ran well for a long way but needs different tactics, and Be My Witness ran well to be fourth should have been closer but for encountering traffic problems in home straight.
The power hose is getting well used at present; it is a big job to get all of the boxes to cleaned right out, washed and disinfected and a very tedious one too! The team are on it though and making good progress, although will be thrilled when it’s all finished!
Harriet & I have been in Ireland for a couple of days this week, plenty of backs to do for me and some young sport horses for Harriet to sit on, as well as a catch up with some old friends. An enjoyable trip but energy levels dipping a bit today!
No runners over the weekend and indeed pretty quiet at present with only 14 or so in. The rest looking fat and happy in the field.
Dancing Daffodil will be looking particularly fat before too long as she has just been scanned in foal to Native Ruler who stands at Batsford Stud. Super excited about this news as we bred her and her mother and I owned her grandmother from a very young age and saw her born! How time flies!
An outbreak of placeditis since the last update – an improvement on unplaceditis but still frustrating. Many of the team now shivering out at grass, but still quite a few to run – at least the rain is keeping the ground safe!
The Lion Man shaping up nicely, and finishing fourth on both of his starts over hurdles so far – he is growing into a really nice type and getting stronger all the time – he will make a chaser in time but will win over hurdles before too long. Get Involved needs a wind op – no sign of trouble at home but he has been very noisy on both of his last runs – he is an exciting horse and will be back in the autumn.
Anti Cool is another that helps you to get out of bed in the morning – he has been third in both his hurdle runs and makes his hurdles debut tonight at Southwell. A hot little race but hopefully he will run well and gain from the experience.
Experience was what is needed for Wildmoor Boy, who got horrifically upset on his hurdles debut. He really did not cope with any of the preliminaries at all – very out of character for him – and had run his race before they even jumped off! We ran him again quickly to try and help him cope, which he did and ran much better to be third. Young Lou also third and running a nice race. Kitegen has got his jumping confidence back and is coming down in the handicap and will be back in the winner’s enclosure soon.
Galactic Power ran a super race at Worcester to finish a fast finishing third – the race not run at all to suit with a very slow early pace he then got rather done for toe down the back but finished probably best of all. He has been a great little ‘super sub’ standing in for a couple of the EPDS horse who have had to have some time between races and is a lovely character to boot. He is gathering quite a fan base, and is an easy horse to like!
Kaddys Girl also ran really well in the bumper at Worcester, she continues the very good line of offspring from Dickies’ Girl – the dam of Arctic Spirit, Autumn Spirit and Bill Brown among plenty of others, and is another that will soon be troubling the judge. The night racing certainly takes its toll on everyone, but good to manage to spend some time with John Powell and Ellie over a very late Chinese after racing and for them to be able to see the string without an early start.
Shares in Some Finish going fast now – he is having his summer break now, but it will be good to get the partnership together by the time he comes in so if you are interested do please get in touch. He is another that should be a lot of fun for next season.
There are also a few shares left in The Lion Man – again great value for a horse that is showing plenty of promise.
On the whole the horses are running well – last season was always going to be a tricky one for us as we build up a new base of horses. Lots of youngsters to get handicapped, many of which are future chasers – lots of b****y seconds (including five for Thomas Crapper!) and Restless Harry off the road – but also now lots to look forward to as we get going on the new season. As always huge thanks to all of our lovely owners and supporters and of course the team at home.
The home team now trying to fit in holidays as well as all the usual summer jobs that involve paint brushes and power hoses! It would feel a bit easier if the weather was less Baltic and a bit more like June!
Our latest Irish import - Some Finish
We are putting together a new partnership in this lovely horse and there are a few shares remaining.
He is by Kayf Tara out of a three times winning mare and has been second and third in points. He would have been second or third in the previous run too but for tipping up at the last!
He is closely related to the prolific winner State of Play and is a lovely stamp of a horse.We have been doing a bit with him at home since he arrived and he has done nothing but please us - seems to have a great temperment and does everything very easily.
If you might be interested do come and see him or give us a call (07979518594).
We think he will be an exciting prospect for next season.
A slightly bumpy ride for us lately with some of the team not running up to expectations, but also explanations for some, and things not quite as black and white as it may look on paper.
More of which later as first mention in despatches has to got to Thomas Crapper who is back from his Irish adventure. TC made the long trip to Punchestown with Tom George’s lads as Harriet and I were already there. He arrived in good shape although delayed after a long wait in the docks as it was too rough for them to go on the fast boat. A few early hiccups ironed out very quickly and TC settled well after a bedroom move late at night. Harriet did an excellent job with him and spent a lot of time grazing him in-between exercise as obviously he could not be turned out – he looked amazing and handled the buzz well. The whole place was electric and it was amazing to be part of it all. Sadly the dream did not come true, and TC ran a little below par to finish 7th. He jumped well and was far from disgraced – he so game and genuine and a horse that we are all privileged to have anything to do with.
Great that many of the Crappers made it over to Punchestown, and also lovely to have support from some of our other partnership members who were there too. A night in Naas with Graham Wilcox and Peter Marsh seemed to leave the trainer with a bit of a headache the next morning!
We travelled back on the early boat on Saturday morning, with Harriet’s horses as well the lorry was packed to the roof, the crossing was pretty choppy but not as rough as the drive through North Wales which was horrendous, with monsoon conditions. Back safely though and very happy to get back into my own bed after nine days away! Sleeping in the lorry is all well and good when it’s warm but less appealing in Baltic April weather!
It’s not all doom and gloom as we have had some very nice debut runs from Anti Cool and Kaddys Girl who both finished third in their respective bumpers. AC hard done by not to be second as he was badly interfered with in the last furlong, KG a super first run for John and Ann Rogers who have recently bought the sister to the good family of Arctic Spirit, Bill Brown etc. Kitegen ran much better to be fourth at Exeter and third at Chepstow, an improved run from Presenting Paddy at Southwell and a nice come back run from Young Lou after a few months off after a stress fracture. Galactic Power (BTO Kelly) put a poor run at Bangor behind him yesterday to finish a good second at Newton Abbott. Dans Quest a super second at Chepstow – bloody annoying to find one too good on the day but a good run nonetheless. Mertesacker ran a much better race at Wolverhampton.
Some not so good runs have been frustrating – both Galactic Power and Dans Quest both ran stinkers at Bangor, no explanation and some odd results on the day apart from ours. Warwick runners had wind issues and Timons Tara (BTO Holly) got herself into a frenzy before her race and left her race in the paddock! Be My Witness travelling really well at Fakenham but then both she and Joe got kicked by a faller – Joe in the arm and BMW in the belly. She was distressed after the race and very sore, so a run to put in the bin for her!
Dontminddboys ran well for a long way at Cheltenham but Charlie felt he is still rather weak and did not really see the trip out, and Garrahalish ran OK to be fifth but was not the normal Gary and very flat throughout. He came home and then got a snotty nose so obviously had something brewing that did not show up on bloods or scope.
Training horses can be such a roller coaster, and even with all the tests available these days is never an exact science – frustrating when you can’t nail an explanation for some poor form, but often a reason lurking which raises its ugly head after the event. Plenty of holiday time beckoning for some of the horses now and the grass finally getting greener. Very cold up here yet though and not sure it’s quite time for rugs off even if it is May!