Friday, 13 January 2017 07:18

WINNER #10

Winner number 10 for the season at Leicester yesterday!

Bally Lagan has on many levels been a frustrating horse over the years. Rarely running a bad race but also rarely getting his head actually in front! However yesterday was his day and under a great ride from Jack Quinlan cantered to the front two out and then won nicely by a couple of lengths! Happily a good turn out of 'The Park Lane Partnership' who own him were there to cheer him home. 

Four runners at the meeting so the team busy, but doing us proud with four immaculately turned out horses - sadly Leicester too mean to bother with turnout prizes yesterday. 

Routine Procedure having his first proper run over fences and jumping like a pro to finish fourth - a good run from him and definitely now progressing in the right direction.

Whispering Nick ran Ok for his third hurdle run but Some Finish too awful to be true - never really going - tests to be done.

The one positive from SF was that the violent right turn in mid air was much better - this after a schooling session with Yogi Breisner on tuesday. Yogi is a genius at helping to iron out jumping issues and we had a very productive morning jumping a few with him. Great to have Mel & Elaine Waller & Nicki Preece & Julie Venvell along to watch - they were all fascinated watching Yogi at work! The team also get a free lesson and Routine Procedure, Get Involved, The Lion Man & Bettalatethanneva all jumped too. Interesting to then see a change of jumping style as Harriet had a lesson on her event horse.

Little Galactic Power has been a consistent sort but got a fright first time over fences when one fell right in front of him at the first fence. We ran him back over hurdles at Taunton as a confidence booster, and he ran a super race in a big field (17 runners round Taunton was as surprise!) to finish a creditable 3rd. Chris Ward rode a lovely waiting race on him and produced him just right, only for a mistake at the last to probably cost them second. I don't think we would have caught the winner - but a good run never the less. A good turnout of the EPDS Twitterati who GP is running for this season - shares available in this bonny horse - and the club an excellent and economic way to get involved . Contact us or John Powell at EPDS for more information.

'The Big Storm' did not really materialise yesterday although it was pretty wet at Leicester - we did see about three snow flakes as we were loading to come home, and have woken up to a dusting this morning.  

 

 

Monday, 09 January 2017 07:19

Monday 9th Jan

Weather being ridiculous at the moment, varying from -7 to +9, difficult to know what to put on the horses, duvets the usual attire at this time of year, and needed in the frost, but next minute they are all sweating! we had a couple of days of delayed riding out so that the frost had come out of the gallop and it was easier on the hands and feet by later in the morning!

Frozen ground and pouring rain are the  only times we don't turn out, and we always hope for not too many days in a row of that or else the bucking and kicking when they do get back in the field is just too nerve wracking!

The weather really not helping us at Cheltenham on New Years day - hoping that it would hold off until after 2 pm when Thomas Crapper was running - sadly the weather Gods had other ideas though and it p****d all morning, and the ground was very much against us as TC not keen on a bog! However he ran a blinder to be 5th and was right there until the last when the ground stopped him. Some brilliant shots of the two Harriet's taken by the Jockey Club photographer which I will attempt to up up here later! Great to see so many 'Crappers' there braving the freezing wet day and also great to have TC back running so well. He bounced out of the race and was bucking during his next morning trot up! Probably back to Cheltenham for him on Trials day.

Young Lou disappointing at Hereford, but things not going to plan for her during the race and she expressed her disapproval at the business end of the race!

Fog was the order of the day on the trek to Wincanton on Saturday, very patchy and dense as we arrived but then lifted, only to come down again as we were standing in the paddock with Oneida Tribe.A commentators nightmare, and very nerve wracking when all you could see were the last two fences! 'Ian' hated the gluey ground but ran very well to be 4th only beaten four lengths. He jumps like a pro and there will be better days than that for him.

At last a week in a normal routine this week - seem to have had trouble knowing what day it was for the last couple of weeks, Christmas would be so much more convenient in June! The team working on, although we did manage to get some time off in for everyone, and some half days on the bank holidays! Trees down now and everything put away till next year - when i WILL be better organised!!

 

Wednesday, 04 January 2017 12:44

A very wet day at Cheltenham

Thursday, 29 December 2016 07:11

Seasons Greetings

Technology is a wonderful thing - when it works!

As many of you are aware we have been having more than our fare share of 'techy' issues lately which has made me pretty 'tetchy'!!

Hopefully now solved.

As a result of all the hassle, Christmas Greetings from Alne Park, could well be construed as early for next year!

However - a very belated:

 

'Seasons Greetings' from us all here and Best Wishes for a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New Year, filled with plenty of winners.

 

A huge thank you for all of the support through the last twelve months, especially from our wonderful owners and their amazing athletes.

Thank you to the Team at home who have worked so hard to produce the goods - we certainly couldn't do it without them.

 

 

 

Monday, 12 December 2016 12:31

Monday 12the December

 

Rather a long gap since the last blog – busy all round at present, so apologies for lack of news  - this will probably be a long one to catch up!!

 On the whole the horses running very well which is pleasing – always frustrating not to be in that #1 spot but much to be taken from some progressive runs.

 Routine Procedure back after a long layoff for a niggly injury – he has always been a horse that we have thought the world of at home, but never really got his act together on the track. Looked a picture in the paddock and ran very encouragingly. Travelled and jumped well to finish a running on 6th. Happily all cold after the run!

 Timons’ Tara at Warwick not taking to fences on this day – better to come from her. Bally Lagan a non runner after a storm of monsoon proportions!

 La Fille Francaise & Okmyway both running nicely in the bumper on racecourse debut.

 Nice to have Young Lou back out again and running her usual solid race to be third at Uttoxeter.

 Dans’ Quest also back from a long lay off at Hereford.

 Dontminddboys a tad disappointing first time over fences at Towcester – ground nowhere near as soft as we thought it would be, and a manically run race not helping at all. He jumped well though and there is much more to come from him.

 Some Finish ran a blinder to be second – again not helped by ground quicker than needed for him, but much happier right handed and just getting mugged by one up the Towcester hill. Amazingly we still have shares available in Some Finish – great value and a fun group to be involved with – what better Christmas present could anyone ask for??

 Leicester chase and hurdle track as always an enigma – soft on the hurdle course and firm was the polite version of the chase track! Bally Lagan again a non runner for the opposite reason to last time! Wildmoor Boy venturing further from home – it seemed an awfully  long way in the lorry! Up 10 lbs. He ran Ok, but feel he may have left his race on the M69 to some extent. Back to Warwick & Cheltenham!

 Twycross Warrior a shade disappointing at Ludlow, Whispering Nick another solid bumper run to be 5th.

 Young Lou following up her Uttoxter 3rd with a game 2nd at Southwell – annoyingly just coming up against one well handicapped one on the day!

 Vocaliser has been another that has been causing some head scratching but put all that to bed at Sandown with a really good run to be 3rd. Going clear at the second last he slipped on landing and nearly parted company with Jack, who did well to get his head back up and keep him going to finish a battling 3rd at 40/1! Happy Songsters!

 Get Involved and Charlie had a parting of the ways when GI jinked around another jockey on the floor! It was some nifty foot work from him and gravity took over for Charlie! Both fine after!

 Routine Procedure ran again at Uttoxeter and finished a good 5th – ground too soft for him and he did not quite get home after travelling and jumping well throughout. Frustrating but still a huge step up on last season’s form. More to come from him!

 In between all the runners a quick trip to Ireland resulting in a new arrival at any minute this morning. An exciting four year old by Scorpion who is well related and an exciting prospect. He is for sale so do give a call for more details.

 As well as the Irish trip a rather longer one for Harriet as part of a GB team to Stockholm show. Harriet was co driver in one lorry and by the time they arrived back had shared the driving of a 2,700 mile trip! Her horse jumped really well in an electric and very noisy atmosphere – it was like being at the Horse of the Year show – an environment the event horses do not usually face , so we were thrilled with how he went. It was a fun few days – much easier for the support crew who flew in – we were well looked after by the hosts and it was a fun couple of days. Also did a bit of sightseeing around Stockholm, which was a very clean and interesting city – but very expensive!!

 The team here fighting coughs & colds with the constant change in temperature, (-8 on Monday - +13 on Thursday – ridiculous!) but still soldering on! Megan ran  her first half marathon yesterday in a very respectable time.

Harriet T qualified her puppy for Crufts. Well done to both of them.

 Great to see lots of owners and friends over the last couple of weeks, and Christmas preparations going ahead – albeit slowly & with not much enthusiasm!

 Foals weaned his week which was more traumatic for us than them – feeling terrible about splitting up mothers and sons, but they were not bothered in the slightest and glad to be in for some extra food, and out of the rain on Saturday!

 The lads are busy fencing at the moment and replacing some old post & rails that have seen better days – all looking very smart!

 One sad note this week – our old cat Marmalade – chief mouser at Hill Farm, departed to the mousing ground above! Everyone pretty sad about her departure as she was something of a legend here.

 A few runners later in the week – all ground dependant – bizarrely in December, needing rain!!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016 11:24

Winner #9

 A manic few days for the team here, and only finding time to draw breath briefly today!

 Two runners last Thursday at Towcester – The Lion Man too bad to be true last time, bloods not quite right after and possibly the visor having a reverse affect, so off this time and a change of tactics. Rory looking much happier out in front and running a hugely better race to finish fourth. In many ways he is still a big baby and lacking in confidence but he travelled well, jumped superbly and Charlie was chuffed with him.

 Whispering Nick an exciting prospect and confirming that on the track finishing a decent 5th in the bumper.

 Back to gallop at sparrows the next morning with four – a morning marred badly, by an injury to a lovely filly of Charlie & Frans’. Our gang all galloped OK but it was hard to judge things properly when dealing with other things.

 Home and straight off to Cheltenham with the enigma that is Wildmoor Boy!

 WB has had his antics well documented, and it was with a large intake of breath that Megan, Ceris and I set of for Cheltenham! Having only ventured as far as Warwick And Stratford, for previous runs this year, it seemed a good way away, and judging our late entrance just that bit trickier!

 All went to plan though, even if Mr Beech will owe the girls a new pair of boots for all the walking as he just will not have it in a stable, so much walking required!

 As we are so limited with where we can go, it's tricky to find races, and although WB probably wants further, 2miles was our only option, so it was up to Charlie to make it into a stayers race! This he achieved will great skill. In front all the way until landing from the last when we all thought 'oh bugger' it's going to be second (would still have been a great result!), however once headed the Mighty Mouse was not going to be denied! He fought back under a strong drive from Charlie and they won tidily going away from the second horse!

 Unbelievable, emotional, and altogether bloody fantastic! No voices left from us, and there was a good chance Megan would beat them all up the run in! In to a wonderful reception from the crowd, no finer place to be that that winners spot.

 A great lift for Charlie after the events of earlier in the day.

 Delighted for Cliff Beech & Brian Wilkinson and the whole Beech family. Cliff has had horses with us for many years, this his first Cheltenham winner. Sad he was not there but plenty of cheering from him at home I am sure.

 Then you have to get WB  home............!

 All well though and happy to see this little toughy  trot up on springs the next morning, looking pretty pleased with himself!

 The horn working well up the lane and great to celebrate the win with all of our super team, plus John and Ellie of EPDS fame who were staying prior to a yard visit the next day. I seemed to have a lot for the recycling bin the next morning!

 Lovely to see members of EPDS racing here to see their boys. Anti Cool, Dontminddboys and Galactic Power. Shares are available in all of these talented individuals and it's a great set up to be involved in. Do call if you would like details.

 No peace for the hungover though, and back to Cheltenham with Thomas Crapper, and off To Uttoxeter with Galactic Power.

First time with a tongue strap after a couple of disappointing runs. It worked and he finished a valiant 6th in the big race of the day! Probably a PB for him, and he does so love Cheltenham!

 Little GP a firm favourite here and back from a long lay off. He was given a lovely sympathetic ride by Chris Ward and finished 3rd on very soft ground, which he would not relish!

 Everyone back in one piece, which is always the priority, the team pretty exhausted and a relief not to have any runners on Sunday!

 Southwell today with Routine Procedure – first run back after a very long lay off so safe home a priority!

Wednesday, 09 November 2016 11:30

9th November

 

A mixed couple of weeks – mostly spent praying for rain!

 Unbelievable how dry it’s been, and the same in Ireland when we were there last week – dust seen where only wellies have ever been required!

 At last some of the wet stuff arrived last night, although not sure if it will be enough to make a huge difference for a while.

 The dry weather instigated a long trip to Carlisle for Dontminddboys to find some decent  ground for his first race for a good  while. Three and a half hours up there well worth it, as ‘Caspar’ ran a really nice race to be 4th. No mean effort after over 500 days off the track. The edge taken off the day with a homeward leg that took five and a half hours! Lorry lag for Robin & Megan but Caspar a star traveller with Tommy for company. He will now go chasing and there are shares available in this stunning grey, if you want to get involved please give a call or contact John Powell at EPDS Racing, you could make a lot worse decisions that getting involved with this horse!

 No peace for the wicked, and off to Hereford the next day with Twycross Warrior who also ran very well for another 4th! The handicapper thought he ran extremely well – giving him a mark of 107.

 The ground unsuitable for many of the team to run which is frustrating all around – this probably included Celestial Chimes who ran in the bumper at Warwick, and gave a somewhat underwhelming account of herself! She has been working nicely at home but the occasion rather got to her and combined with the quick ground it all happened  rather fast for her and she never got into the race at all. Bounced out the next morning – very untired!!

 Thomas Crapper also 4th at Ascot – disappointed with him but think a reason now found!

 Last Saturday was Open Morning and amazingly it did not rain – it was however very windy and bloody cold! Great to see a nice turnout of faces familiar and also  new, sustained as ever by Terry & Mandy Poulson on the coffee and cakes front, and also Julie Venvells’ delicious offerings! Thanks as ever to them for all their help!

 A couple of days in Ireland last week, a day of backs on Tuesday and a catch up with friends, then an early pick up at the airport to retrieve Robin & Charlie and a standard tear around to view a bunch of horses and for Charlie to ride several of them. Narrowed it down to a couple and hoping to add to the team. Lack of light means a not too late finish, and time for a glass or two before the flight home. Lack of car keys meant things not quite so easy once back in Birmingham!!

 Lots of visitors including the West Berks Racing Club who were here in force prior to an afternoon at Stratford races. A very knowledgeable and enthusiastic bunch – it was a pleasure to see them all.

 Also having a proud parent moment this week as Harriet has been picked to represent GB in a team competition at Stockholm show at the end of the month! Her first time in an international team, so delighted for her. The logistics of getting four of them to Sweden less thrilling, but a plan now coming together. Flying in rather easier for myself than three days trucking through northern Europe to get there with the horses!

 As long as the rain has made a difference runners at Towcester & Cheltenham this week.

Monday, 17 October 2016 10:06

Monday 17th October

A busy week with all the team nearly ready to run, just waiting on some rain!

 Saturday particularly manic, with Robin & Megan off early for teh long drive to Hexham with Bally Lagan.

 Lovely to see many of The More Of Us The Merrier here to see Routine Procedure who having missed last season is nearly ready for a return to the course. Its a good trek down here for several of the shareholders so great effort for an early start from them! We were looking forward to seeing Joe Palmowski, who was coming down to ride out  – but his nerve faltered at the last minute and he could not make it. Joe has not been on a horse since hanging up his boots, and the excitement clearly got to him as he was up all night throwing up (or so he said!!)

Bacon sandwiches eaten, it was then  off to Chepstow with Thomas Crapper & Some Finish. A really decent crowd at the course and a buzz of excitement with winter racing ‘proper’ getting underway!

 Out two both looking a picture, Thomas Crapper ran well for a long way, but just getting done for toe from two out. He will have come on for the run, and heads to Ascot at the end of eth month now. Some Finish found the graound way to quick and could never get into a rhythm jumping so Jake Hodson sensibly pulled him up (definitely rain dance required!).

 Trying to keep an eye on Hexham at the same time, and awful to learn that racing was delayed for a good while due to Henry Brooke’s horrible fall. Thankfully he is OK but it does hit the realities of our sport home when incidents like that happen. The delay took its toll on Bally Lagan who was all dressed up and ready to go for a long while, and by the time the race actually happened, I think he had peaked rather early. Jack reported that he did not travel with the same gusto that he felt at Warwick, and although he was fourth I think we were all a bit disappointed.

 All three home safely though, and trotted up fine the next day.

 Charlie, Chris, & Jack all in to ride out as usual through the wek, and joined by Jake Hodson & Tabitha Worsely this week. Tom Frost also a regular now, and a great help to have around.

 Stratford on Saturday and the test for the team that is Wildmoor Boy! Joined by Twycross Warrior who is the complete opposite in temperament! TW ran a really nice race to finish 6th on only his second hurdle start. He will come on for the run, and looks to have a promising future. Wildmoor Boy ran in the ladies race, and although as usual, arriving at the track very last minute, he did not behave too badly, although Megan & Ceris  both required for the lead up and both looked pretty warm as he went off to post. WB  was given a nice ride by Tabitha – he made all and we thought we had it off the last bend but a good battle with the Irish favourite saw us come off second best. A good run though, and despite all his nonsense, what a little ‘toughy’ he is turning out to be. The third horse was 23 lengths adrift, underlining what a good run it was.

 Both horses fine on Sunday morning.

 The clippers rarely stopping at present, and glad to have Kelly Sullivan back on a Saturday morning to help get through all of the defuzzing!

 No runners until at least Thursday, with Bally Lagan at Ludlow, and then Garrahalish at Cheltenham on Friday.

Friday, 07 October 2016 09:32

Video Tester!

A busy week - ots of schooling and this is a teser to see if my IT skills are working!

 

hopefull the link will take you to Dontmindboys schooling over fences!

 

https://youtu.be/XQulE1B2lfs

 

Monday, 03 October 2016 10:49

WINNER #8

Winner #8

 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!

Saturday, 17 September 2016 12:04

September 17th

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!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 11:01

Blenheim

Bit of a long one here!

don't get any ideas Charlie!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 10:47

Blenheim

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!

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