Monday, 28 April 2014 00:00

Bring on the new season!

Well we have come to the end of another season, and what away to finish! The first night racing of the season for us on Friday night at Chepstow, Entertain Me up 15 lbs for her win at the previous meeting, and running what was probably a career best, to finish second only beaten a neck. A brave run from her, sadly Mrs Merry not there to see her but cheering from afar! Dancing Daffodil again disappointing - blood vessel issues for her and a holiday beckoning - she will be be back!

Home at eleven o'clock and then on the road again by ten on Saturday, Holly and I off to Sandown with the boys - Restless Harry and Kitegen for the final day of jumping this season. The Bet365 Gold Cup for Harry - a top quality race and one that was run at breakneck speed - Harry a bit outpaced on the first circuit and made a couple of small errors, which did not help our blood pressure, but Charlie doing sterling work and had him back where he wanted him as they went out for the second circuit. As they came to the pond fence Harry started to make ground and two out he was right there. The rest of the race was a bit of a blur, only clearer after watching the replay a few times, Harry fought SO hard and ran the race of his life to be fourth only beaten three and half lengths. None of us had any voice left afterwards, and it is difficult to put into words how proud we are of him.

He has been a great horse for us, but this time last year things were not looking good. However he and Charlie have struck up a great relationship (after an early blip or two!) and both look as if they are having a great time together. So good to see and also very satisfying for the team - headed up by owner Richard Whitehead - who have kept the faith and produced him back to his very best this season.

Kitegen has been a revelation since swapping to fences and ran another rock solid race to finish fourth in a valuable race on ground probably soft enough for him. An excellent day all round - Richards' first runners at Sandown and both in the winners enclosure! Holly thrilled to lead both horses up for the first time since her accident - rather paying the price on the way home, but at least able to walk that far now!

This season marked a few changes for the yard - all of which have been for the better. We now have a top class team behind us, and the makings of some top class horses as well. Plenty of highs this time - always balanced out by some lows to keep your feet on the ground. Overall though I think we can look back at this season with a smile.

This has been our best ever season for prize money - by £35!!! Thomas Crapper has been a revelation this time and happily thinks that Cheltenham is the centre of his universe - long may that continue. Garrahalish has the making of a top class staying chaser. Restless Harry will be contesting some big prizes next season and there are several others just waiting in the sidelines, with Routine Procedure and Dontminddboys the latest additions to the yard.

The summer team look strong and will hopefully get us off to a good start - Troyan, Valrene, Entertain Me, Bally Lagan, Kitegen, The Absent Mare and Playing With Fire should all win through the summer, Under the Phone an unknown at present, but super excited about him. and also praying that Autumm Spirit will find her form again. There are also some nice babies waiting in the wings and some old favourites who have been sidelined, on the comeback trail now. Hopefully we can get off to a good start whilst the ground holds out, as none of them will want to be running on firm ground.

Plenty of thanks necessary at this time of year.

Thank you to the home team - I am sure they have won as many BTOs as any yard in the country - the horses always immaculate - they have been brilliant this year and their efforts have really paid off with some fantastic results. A sense of humour always essential in this job, and that, and a brilliant team spirit has kept us all buoyed up through the very wet winter! The extended team too many to mention, but special thanks to Arlo our farrier and Graham Potts our vet, who obviously play a huge part in the operation.

Thank you to C Beech (Steel) ltd for their kind sponsorship of the yard - which they have generously agreed to continue for a further twelve months. Great to have Cliff and Brian back in the winners enclosure with Badgers Cove, and excited about some lovely youngsters that they have coming on.

Thanks to Nic Allen, our landlord who keeps our facilities in top class order - we just love this place!

Most especially thank you to all our fabulous owners for trusting us with their precious horses.

Bring on the new season!

Last modified on Saturday, 10 May 2014 19:01
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