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.
We had had the race in mind for her since her last run 6 weeks previously, and I was horrified when it looked like we might get balloted out on the day. There was relief when we got in, which promtly turned to annoyance at being drawn out in the car park in stall 14 of 14. However, she made light of this draw under a masterful ride from Pat Cosgrave (who has now headed off for his winter stint riding for Mike de Kock in Dubai), and won with a little bit in hand from Legal Legacy. She is due a winter break, but we are looking to strike while the iron is hot and will be turning her out under a penalty at Lingfield this week, after which she will be given a well deserved holiday. She has been a model of consistency this season, and has improved as the year has gone on. She should be capable of finding further improvement as a 4yo next year.
Our yearling buying was over a couple of weeks ago, but this didn’t stop us picking up a couple of new horses at the Tattersalls Horses In Trianing Sale in Newmarket last week. We bought a lovely Sakhee 3yo called Liberty Jack, who has shown a decent level of form and is a gorgeous looking horse, and we also got sent a horse called Ultimate Warrior who was a cheaply bought maiden who will hopefully give us a bit of fun on the all weather this winter.
Having been forecast virtual armageddon in the gale force winds last week, we actually came out of it pretty much unscathed, barring a bit of felt coming off a garden shed roof, and the odd slate off the yard roof. I had visions of our mobile home ending up in Kansas the way the forecasters were going on, so was relieved not to find a yellow brick road outside our front door.
I was lucky enough to enjoy a trip round Jackdaws Castle last week with an owner who had bid for the visit at a charity auction. Jonjo and his wife Jacqui were fabulous hosts, and I have to say the facilities were jaw dropping. I came away green with jealousy, and will enjoy following their horses through the coming winter, when I’m not concentrating on Kempton and Lingfield.
It has also been nice to see my former apprentice Nathan Alison boot home a couple of winners recently. He’s certainly putting the mileage in, but it is paying off. I know he is enjoying things, and learning a lot, at new boss William Haggas’.