Monday, 17 August 2015 13:00

17th August

WINNER!

 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!

Monday, 03 August 2015 13:20

3rd August

3rd August

 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.

Monday, 20 July 2015 11:29

Monday 20th July

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!

Wednesday, 15 July 2015 12:57

A Sad Day

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.

Friday, 19 June 2015 12:01

More chill time

Friday, 19 June 2015 11:54

Holiday makers

Friday, 19 June 2015 11:53

June 19th

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!

Tuesday, 02 June 2015 08:59

June 2nd

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!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015 10:18

A New Partnership

 

 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.

Friday, 08 May 2015 12:42

May 8th

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!

Friday, 03 April 2015 12:16

Friday 3rd April

News a bit thin on the ground lately – super busy and there just does not seem to be time to fit everything in!

 Various runners making their first appearance for us, including Spicy Lady who ran Ok at Chepstow – first runner for Paul Rogers, and another BTO for Megan. The Lion Man had his first run over hurdles and finished a pleasing fourth, delighted with him and for John & Margaret Cooper who have bought a share in him to replace Dancing Daffodil who has gone off to Batsford Stud this week.

 We bred Daffodil who won 5 races for us and she was born at Batsford so it felt like we were completing the circle! She has gone to get up close and personal with Native Ruler – a young stallion by Cape Cross. Exciting times!

 The Lion Man was another of our Irish purchases – had a good first run but then rather disappointed, however Charlie and I loved him so decided to take the chance and he has showing us the promise that we hoped for. Shares available in him so do get in touch.

 Dance for Livvy back over hurdles ran well for a long way, but the race did not really go to plan and she was caught up the straight having been too free early on. Myroundorurs ran a greatly improved race at Newbury – is learning to settle and will want better ground. Letsfacethemusic hated the ground at Uttoxeter. (BTO for Kelly)

 Thomas Crapper (BTO for Harriet) went to Ascot on the windiest day of the year – the journey down the M40 was horrendous! TC is the model of consistency but does prefer good ground, and the deluge in the morning was not in our favour. However all looked well as he jumped for fun and was upsides at the last. We thought we had the winner but Puffin Billy fought hard and just piped us on the line. The race was won on the nod, and one stride before would have been ours. So disappointed for TC who must be the best qualified novice in the country having been second five times this season. It’s easy to go through all the if ands and buts, and at the end of the day he was only beaten about three inches, but the softening ground was against us and for the winner. Take nothing from the winner who also ran a great race – a dead heat would have been a great result!

 TC will now possibly head for Punchestown.

 No time to pause for breath and back down the M40 with four on Monday Mertesacker very strong early doors and then did not get home having nearly run away for the first mile. Kitegen running a super race till belting five out – hard – Charlie sensibly pulled him up after his chance was gone. Under the Phone ran his usual solid race to be third, and Timons Tara disappointing when fading after coming there easily and looking sure to be in the shake up.

 Lots of visitors over the last couple of weeks – great to see everyone and of course everyone always more than welcome.

 Many of our owners will remember Kykie Allsop who owned horses such as Kadijha and Jose Bove with us – sad to say that she died recently in tragic circumstances. Always an entertaining character Kykie was a very kind person and we send our sympathies to her family.

 

On a happier note we wish everyone a Happy Easter – unlikely any runners over the w/e – one race too hot – ground too soft elsewhere!

Friday, 20 March 2015 17:51

omission!

One omission from the news latest was Get Involved ‘s debut for us at Southwell on Monday.

 Get Involved is the lovely Milan horse that was bought to replace poor Point of Attack that we so sadly lost back in the New Year.

 He has been doing everything nicely at home, but we see him as a future chaser so were just hoping for a solid run to start his career over here.

 Absolutely DELIGHTED with him – he jumped like a pro and stayed on well to finish a very creditable third. He will want fences and a more galloping track, but it was a very good performance.

 Really pleased for the group who had been so patient with PoA, only to lose him just as he was coming together. Several of the team there to enjoy his run and think that they certainly have an exciting recruit on their hands.

 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015 10:09

March 18th

Back to reality with a bang on Thursday after Thomas Crapper’s great run on Tuesday. Garrahalish running a super race, (jumping like a stag for John Mathias) was infuriatingly brought down in the Fulke Walwyn chase. Poor Gary really did not deserve it and nor did John who was giving Gary a great ride. Happily both Ok afterwards and live to fight another day, but of course there are always the ‘if only’ thoughts to deal with!

 It’s the third time Gary has been mugged, and the second at Cheltenham, which is so disappointing for one of the best jumpers that you will see – his luck must change.

 If a mistake is your own it’s so much easier to deal with, and being brought down/hampered leave you with a real ‘kicked in the guts’ feeling! However, it could all have been a lot worse, as was brought home by Tom Weston’s’ horrible fall in the same race.

 Cheltenham its usual magic self, amazing atmosphere and we were extremely well looked after in the Brightwells pavilion with a superb lunch, so thank you Cheltenham for that addition to the day, much appreciated by all owners and trainers I am sure.

 Under the Phone to Kempton on Saturday for the Silver Plate race for horses that were balloted out of the Martin Pipe on Friday. He ran a blinder under Joe P jumped like a bunny – a solid effort.

 Eventing on Sunday and a win for ex racehorse Tilt Du Chatelier who Harriet has been re training – delighted to see a horse who did not take to racing having another opportunity at a different job, and very proud of Harriet who has turned a very difficult ride around.

 Lorries in two directions yesterday one heading north, the other south with Routine Procedure and Presenting Paddy – a long way both ways! RP got rather upset in the preliminaries and really ran his race by the time they got to the second hurdle! He stayed on one paced though and jumped very well. Fences beckon!

 Presenting Paddy has been off the track for a while and managed to get rid of Charlie at the second fence on his return run a couple of weeks ago, when his head was going faster than his legs! Not the case yesterday, when he jumped like a stag, and settled well. He did not really appreciate the dead ground and Charlie pulled him up turning in. All positive though and he also behaved on the lorry with Tommy for company which he certainly did not first run!!

 All home safe and sound, although the box driver from Exeter was flagging a bit by the time we got home! A long day.

Thursday, 12 March 2015 11:27

Thursday 12th March

 

What a couple of days!

 Thomas Crapper again did us proud and finished a gallant second in the last race at Cheltenham on Tuesday. Given a great ride by Charlie Poste he jumped and travelled beautifully all the way,

But annoyingly met one just too good up the run in. Its hard not to be disappointed with second again this year, but actually just feel immensely proud of our boy who is an absolute star!

 He seems to love Cheltenham and is not at all fazed by the crowds and general buzz of the place. Back home safely and fine afterwards always the highest priority. Out to play with his friends yesterday and the next step being planned.

 Back to reality and Huntingdon yesterday with little Galactic Power who has been acting as a courtesy car to EPDS Racing whilst Anti Cool has been off, and now has stepped into Money Maids shoes for EPDS 5. Ridden by Charlie’s girlfriend Francesca Nimmo, GP was suited by the savage early pace he jumped superbly and was always in the right place at the right time. Staying on well down the back he swept to the front turning in and went on to win by 5 lengths. Probably an odd sort of day for John Powell who runs the EPDS partnerships as their other horse was second! He did mention that his only thought going to the last was that he hoped that GP did not fall and bring Celtic Artisan down – not a good thought at all!!

 Our first winner for John and his team, and a first winner under rules for Fran. Delighted for both, and also for Kelly who has been a GP fan from the minute he walked into the yard and has looked after him since.

 Off back to battle today with Garrahalish in Fulke Walwyn chase today, was OK till I read the Racing Post – now feeling quite sick!

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