This week saw the start of the yearling merry-go-round, though I wasn’t getting involved as the starting point was Deauville, where I would have been an interested bystander at best. I only have a couple of yearling orders so far this year, but I will be heading to Doncaster next week to try to fill one of them.
There was a time when I would have also bought one or two yearlings on spec, but at the moment that is just too risky as I could not afford to get left with one, and owners are still very thin on the ground at present. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation though, as it is much easier to sell a horse to potential owners if you have a nice horse in the yard to sell. Hopefully I can pick up another order or two along the way, as it is essential to restock with fresh blood every year, to replace those that will inevitably be retired or sold, and give us the chance of unearthing a diamond.
Runners have been fairly thin on the ground this week, but we had a couple at Brighton on Tuesday. Idle Curiosity bounced back from a poor run at Windsor the previous week (I said in my last blog she could be inconsistent!) to finish a very good 2nd – she was badly drawn at Windsor and got a little bit disappointed, but here she bowled along happily in the lead, and when headed by the eventual winner looked like she would be swallowed up by the field, but stuck to her task really gamely. Speed Society, a nice scopy 2yo, once again ran a bit green, but will only improve with time, and is definitely capable of winning races.
Pip and I were out on Sunday watching one of our ex-racers, Big Hands Lynch, competing in the British Dressage Petplan Area Festival under Gabi Freydl, and it was great to see him win and thus qualify for the Area Festival Championship. Big Hands was pretty slow as a racehorse, but he is further proof that there is plenty of life after racing, even for those that don’t have a succesful career on the track. Even if dressage isn’t really my cup of tea, we both take great pleasure in seeing or ex-racers in their second careers, be that as pleasure horses, or competing in various competitions. I know I’ve banged on about it enough times, but for those of you that still haven’t seen it, please take a look at our Jim Boyle’s Ex Racehorses facebook page by clicking this link https://www.facebook.com/#!/JimBoyleExRacehorses, where you will find information on loads of our ex-racers in their new careers.
This weekend sees the Annual Epsom Yard Open Day on Sunday, followed by the Family Fun Day at Epsom Racecourse on Monday, and the Stable Lads Charity race on Tuesday, where my travelling head lad Richard Farmer and Rodrigo de Freitas will be attempting to repeat their victory of last year. I’m hoping they do too, as I’ve got used to having the winners trophy in the bar! If anyone would like to sponsor Richard and Rodney please click on the following link https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/richardfarmer1. It would be great to see as many people as possible out for the Open Day on Sunday, and I hope the weather is kind. There will be horses cantering on The Downs from 9am and then the yards will be open from 10am until 1pm. Please come and say “Hello” if you do manage to make it up to South Hatch.
Our old favourite Ree’s Rascal returns to Goodwood on Saturday, where with luck he can continue his fantastic run of form this year, again under Nathan Alison with whom he gets on so well. Nathan is going great guns since moving to William Haggas, and already getting plenty of rides.
Finally, I’m wondering if after 3 games it’s too early to start getting excited about the current football season? Well, with Forest sitting at the top of The Championship I have started dreaming of a return to The Premiership already. Let’s hope ‘King Billy’ can deliver it for us this time – a win at Watford this Sunday would be another step in the right direction. It’s a good job the Open Day finishes at 1pm as I need to find a big screen for the start of the match at 1.15pm………