The yard was a little quiet this morning, as at the weekend we said goodbye to stable apprentice Nathan Alison. Nathan has been with me for 8 years, and held his licence for the last 5 of those. I still remember the day he walked through the door as a 15yr old who had never touched a horse, let alone sat on one. A budding footballer, his lack of stature had held him back from progressing in that sphere, so a friend had recommended he tried his hand at horse-racing, and brought him down to our yard for an interview. Through a combination of hard graft, determination, good manners and ability, he has hauled himself up to compete with guys who have been riding horses all their lives. Continue reading
If complaining that your horses are out of form gets you 2 winners out of your next 4 runners, then I apologise in advance if I start doing it more often. It’s amazing how quickly fortunes can turn, and following hot on the heels of Idle Curiosity’s win at Ffos Las on Tuesday, Sonnetation broke her maiden tag at Bath on Thursday, with a really game effort under a very good ride from Cathy Gannon. I was delighted for the aptly named ‘In Recovery Partners’, who have been such good supporters of ours. Continue reading
I knew as soon as I crossed the Severn Bridge in the horsebox, and only got charged the car rate, that our luck might finally be in yesterday. And so it proved. We had a great journey down there, the filly travelled well, and the weather was lovely but not too hot. On the track she proved the run at Lingfield the week before to be all wrong, in the process showing that she is quite happy on fast ground on turf. Andrea gave her a lovely ride to grab the near side rail, and the filly was very genuine to stick her neck out all the way to the line. I was over the moon for her owners Inside Track Racing Club, who have been great supporters of ours, and in one fell swoop you have the reason why we do this – yesterday morning I was looking at an impending entry on the cold trainers list and all of a sudden all is well again. Let’s hope we can keep the run going now. Continue reading
Our runners continue to disappoint somewhat, and whilst it may be 30 degrees outside, we are feeling a little chilly here as we get closer to making an appearance on the Racing Post cold trainers list. There can’t be many other professions where your performance can be analysed by all and sundry at the click of a button, and it can make training a lonely enough place when things aren’t going well. That said, you soon have to develop a thick skin in this game to cope with the inevitable knock-backs, and the lows always make the highs even sweeter.
It’s not often you can say you had an enjoyable day when your horse finishes fourth and you spend 8 hours driving a horsebox in sweltering heat, but Saturday certainly went down as an enjoyable day, despite just those circumstances. We took Clearing up to Chester for a £10’000 handicap, and all the owners managed to make it up there, despite all being based in the South – the main reason being that as I mentioned last week Chester has a great reputation for looking after owners, providing them with a designated marquee close to the pre-parade ring, and a supeb 3 course lunch, as well as being a picturesque racecourse with a great atmosphere. Continue reading
I returned from a whirlwind 48hr trip to Ireland on Saturday afternoon, having taken in Leopardstown races, a trip round Coolmore, Wexford races and a pub in Wicklow to watch the Lions. The trip round Coolmore was fantastic, a highlight for me being the time spent with wonder stallion Galileo (a more placid beast you could not find), and the facilities there are absolutely jaw-dropping. However, what also really impressed me on our trip was the welcome given to us at Leopardstown races. Continue reading