2014 saw another solid year of consolidation for us, with the same total of winners (18) as in 2013. What was particularly frustrating is that the number of 2nd and 3rd placings rose from 11 and 8 respectively in 2013, to 23 and 15 in 2014. However, this did mean that a much higher percentage of our runners finished in the frame (33% vs 24%) which in turn saw a much more respectable prize money haul of £103’000 for the year vs £68’000 in 2013.
Following a spate of seconds in the last couple of weeks, we had a welcome winner in the shape of Liberty Jack at Lingfield on Wednesday. We bought this horse at the Newmarket HIT sale in October, and he has always shown us that he has plenty of ability, but it’s just taken us a little while to work out his optimum conditions and how to ride him. What I really liked about his win was the way he quickened from the rear of the field when asked to go and win his race – that turn of foot is what wins races, and hopefully now we have found the key to him he can win some more for us this year.
At last the rain has relented and we can get back to some sort of normality. Thankfully here in Epsom we have not been as badly affected as many other areas of the country, but it has still been a relentless barrage which has not made life much fun for horses or staff. My thoughts go out to those whose yards or gallops (and homes) have been flooded out, as for them it must have been a complete nightmare. Continue reading
Having languished in the cold trainers list for a few weeks, Sonnetation fired us to the top of the hot trainers list with 2 wins in the space of a week. It just shows how these statistics should be taken with a large pinch of salt. Horses may be running well enough without winning for a period, and you can quickly find yourself a ‘cold trainer’. Then within a week all of a sudden you’re the ‘hottest trainer’! I’ve given up paying too much attention to these stats – you’d drive yourself mad if you took too much notice. Continue reading
Things had got rather chilly at South Hatch, in part due to the downturn in the weather, but also due to our inclusion on the cold trainers list. We hadn’t had many runners but had gone through a bit of a quiet spell for a couple of months, and were very pleased to get back on the scoresheet with an impressive win for Sonnetation at Kempton last week.
It’s been a busy, but ultimately very succesful, couple of weeks trying to stock up on new horses for next season. Since buying one yearling at Doncaster, I have had two trips to Ireland, and came home from both with a couple of yearlings. At Fairyhouse I managed to buy a really strong Approve colt for 20’000 euros, and whilst there ended up buying a smashing Intikhab filly for 11’000 euros (we were only supposed to be buying 1, but the owners and I just couldn’t resist!). Then I headed back the following week to Goffs and managed to buy another colt and a filly, but had to spend substantially more. Continue reading