Monday, 30 April 2012

A blog within a blog......

Cold and drizzly here this morning but it was a fine weekend and for once we seem to have missed the worst of the weather and the forecast is reasonable.  A standard sort of morning on the all-weather and up in the forestry, all seem well.  A few bumps and scrapes from Perth but hopefully nothing too serious, splendid piece on Tipsy Dara and the Highland National in Frank Cornfield's blog - I recommend it
Tipsy Dara goes to post - ambulance?
Wetherby's abandonment means there has actually been a short break before the new jumps season kicks off in the North at Sedgefield tomorrow evening, Lucy rides Mansonnien L'As in the 6.15 for Ferdy and I see my old friend Sydney Cove has been declared by another trainer, very sad to lose him as I seemed to have found the key to him as his 4th trainer, he probably put in a career best on his last start for this stable when runner up at Ayr in February, seems odd but there's "nowt as queer as folk" and I wish him well, perhaps his new trainer will have found an extra gear, will probably burden him with a substantial Alexander wager, insurance I think it's called....
Statistical analysis of the old season and targets for the new one still a work in progress but delighted with how things have gone and excited about the new season, lots happening.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Little Glenshee

Little Glenshee
Glorious spring sunshine, busy morning on the gallops but basically a quiet weekend, almost a relief to climb off the rollercoaster. A marvellous week at Perth who put on a first class festival despite the elements and yesterday Little Glenshee ran well above expectations to finish 2nd, elation, then half an hour later Tipsy Dara came down at the first in the Highland National after jumping in to the back of another horse, Lucy received a nasty kick and was "stood down" for the rest of the afternoon, she then missed a winner on Rossini's Dancer who provided a fairytale end to the Festival for Susan Bradburne, perfect (well very nearly perfect!) and tremendous scenes in the Winner's enclosure celebrating a marvellous career, what a day and what a week!
Tipsy Dara, Mark Fleming (minus mud!) and Kelly
A chance to relax this afternoon and enjoy the racing from Sandown and an astonishing display from Tidal Bay, cantering home with top weight in the race that will always be known to me as "The Whitbread," he has been one of my favourite horses for a few years as one of the best sons of Flemensfirth, a stallion that produces the toughest of progeny. I had the fun of watching two of his sons in the field this morning, one yearling out of a sister to a Gold Cup winner and another a half brother to Buffalo Ballet et al. Plenty to look forward to and as the curtain comes down on the 2011-12 season one's mind is immediately drawn to the future, on Monday we will be riding the 3yo's again that were broken last summer, they will be ridden round the farm for a couple of weeks then turned away for the summer prior to coming in to training in August. We will be starting to back off a few of the horses in training but we look like having a busy start to the new season with 17 different horses to run in May all being well, starting at Kelso on Wednesday evening..........
Tipsy Dara struggles to her feet, Lucy receives a proper kick.
By the way, vile commerce, I hardly dare mention it,  but many of these attractive young horses are for sale and should provide bags of fun......... these photographs courtesy of Frank Cornfield and to finish the season - a caption competition..........

Friday, 27 April 2012


Papamoa (right) just gets up from a seemingly impossible position (Mike Bishop)
Glorious sunshine this morning but cold with a strong drying north-easterly wind. A memorable winner yesterday (aren't they all?) with Papamoa just getting up in the shadow of the post under a strong drive from Lucy after being under pressure for much of the race. A fantastic reception and much well deserved praise for what was an outstandingly determined ride. Commercial Express appeared to be handling the conditions and was travelling sweetly when blundering and unseating Kit. Schooling here this morning then off to the races for more fun and games, then a quieter weekend, Kelso on Wednesday next destination but no rest for Lucy who after her 5 rides this afternoon will head down to ride at Market Rasen tomorrow where she rides On Gossamer Wings in the 3.55 and Stuff of Dreams in the 4.30 - that will round off the 2011-12 jumps season but quickly into action for the new season with 3 rides at Wetherby on Sunday (assuming the monsoon relents). Great pictures from yesterday from Mike Bishop and Dennis Penny.....
Heading to the Start - Papamoa

Gritty stuff

Partnership still in tact
Emma seems happy to lead her horse back in, sadly without Kit this year

And this is my new background on my PC!

A lonely moment, trainer watches Commercial Express galloping loose (sorry about the wellies!)

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Muddy Perth

Lucy on Four Fiddlers (Dennis Penny)
Cool but dry this morning with a stiff breeze and the sun trying to show its face, a while since we've seen it but forecast improving so hopefully this weather pattern is about to change.  A scamper on the grass this morning for tomorrow's runners and most of the others, they all appear fresh and well including Tipsy Dara who we will declare for the Highland National at 2.35 tomorrow, Perth's first race to be shown live on Channel 4, Lucy will ride and 11 run on what will be very soft ground; it's a huge ask for her after her slog in the mud at Hexham on Monday but she has come out of her race well and was bucking in her stable awaiting her feed last night so who knows.  Prior to that we run Little Glenshee in the 2.00, 7 run, Peter Buchanan rides, the trip will be on the sharp side for her but she needs experience hurdling.  Buffalo Ballet was declared for the bumper but I have just heard that it has been cancelled, seems a somwewhat premature decision. Lucy also rides Cheatingsideoftwon in the 2pm, Niaid de Misselot in the 3.45, Rossinis Dancer in the 4.20 and Higgs Bosun in the 4.50.
It was too soft for Four Fiddlers yesterday, he needs goodish ground but he still put his miserable Kelso effort behind him and plugged on gamely to finish 4th, The Paddy Premium didn't like the mud and was up against it but he jumped round nicely to pick up a good 3rd prize, all being well both will reappear as soon as things dry up a bit
The Paddy Premium
Huge disappointment that an early decision was taken to abandon the Fife point-to-point on the basis of a poor weather forecast yesterday, a very hasty decision taken with scant regard to those that have invested in preparing horses to take part, after a poor turnout of runners in recent years some have gone to particular effort to produce horses to support this fixture and I'm not sure they will bother in future when the fixture isn't given every chance to go ahead.
Some more excellent pictures from Perth yesterday taken by Frank Cornfield

No, that's not mud on Mark's face!

Mid - div

Need a shower?

4F with Emma, he did look smart!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


A fine dinner party chez Bradburne last night though Mrs A (aka she who drives home as opposed to he who drives there!) in absentia, so slightly weary this morning and heads down in the yard after a nasty stable accident late yesterday as a result of which we lost Mersey.  He reared over backwards in his box and fractured his skull, a horrible incident for young Kelly who was with him and who only 24 hours earlier had been in the winners enclosure at Hexham with Tipsy Dara, a freak accident and desperately sad for the horse and his owner brother Jamie.  Although he had only been here a couple of months we like to think we had sorted out one or two of his little niggles, he was an excellent fast finishing 2nd on his debut for the yard, wasn't right next time but appeared to be back to himself and we were all looking forward to seeing him at Balcormo on Saturday - always difficult to handle for everyone.
Perth appear to have escaped the worst of the rain so far but I expect it to ride pretty soft, tomorrow we run Papamoa in the 3.00, Lucy rides 10 run.  Then in the 4.05 Commercial Express will try to defend his crown in the Hunter Chase, Kit rides and 10 run.  Lucy also rides Jetmaster for Susan Bradburne in the 2.00 and Riguez Dancer in the 3.30 for Ferdy Murphy

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Tipsy again...

Tipsy Dara at Hexham yesterday 
....hic, a brave performance in the mud by Tipsy Dara at Hexham yesterday running out a decisive winner under a positive ride from Lucy, she is a tough mare who relishes the mud and a test of stamina.  Seeking Power travelled well enough for a circuit but his early summer break soon told and he pulled up, honourable retirement beckons and I have found a good second career for him, the next chapter awaits.....
Lucy had five rides booked at Towcester this evening but only one of them was declared, she rides Around a Pound in the 6.50 for Nick Kent, then a long haul back up for Perth tomorrow where she rides Four Fiddlers in the 2.00 for Dan and Michelle Macdonald, 7 run and the ground is likely to be on the soft side which I don't think will really suit but he ran well over course and distance this time last year.  We then run The Paddy Premium for Mark Fleming in the 3.00, Lucy rides and 4 run, he is likely to need this first run back after a break.  Lucy also rides King's Chorister in the 4.40 for Barry Murtagh.
Should be three days of excellent racing at Perth's April Festival, lots of horses from Ireland and the big Southern yards should produce a great atmosphere, let's hope the rain goes away.......

Monday, 23 April 2012


A day for the committed yesterday, steady rain and heavy slippery ground; a good 3rd from Native Coll in the Mens Open and similar from Flaming Thistle in the Maiden, Amulree didn't handle the conditions and finished mid div, we withdrew Northern Flame.  Back down the A68 today to Hexham, Tipsy Dara in the 2.30, 13 run, Lucy rides, heavy ground and Seeking Power in the 3.00, Brian Harding rides, 13 run conditions right up his street.  Lucy rides Samson Collonges in that race, deserting the horse that supplied her first winner against the pro's but Ferdy has given lots Lucy some great opportunites and he was keen for her to ride this one.  She also rides Or D'Oudaries in the 4pm.
Tipsy Dara
Glorious morning for once here and busy here as we move in to the final week of the 2011-12 National Hunt season, hoping for 15 runners before the curtain comes down on Saturday evening, Lucy is on an amazing 36 winners, I would have been delighted with 10 when she turned pro, she will be going flat out as ususal this week, Towcester tomorrow then three days at Perth.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Oh no.....

..........where did the blog go?  Most remiss of me, anyway, no luck for Lucy at Ayr, a couple of seconds from 8 rides, I was happy enough with Academy's debut, taken a bit by surprise jumping wise and interrupted preparation told but my faith in his ability is undimmed.  We are taking four down to the Braes of Derwent p2p at Corbridge today; Northern Flame, Amulree, Native Coll and Flaming Thistle - all seem in great form but it will be competitive.  Tomorrow we willbe back down the same road to Hexham with Tipsy Dara and Seeking Power, the latter most probably making his final appearance on the racecourse.......
Seeking Power at Hexham

Thursday, 19 April 2012

And now Ayr

Cold and showery this morning, some horses having a quiet time, a few of the point-to-pointers over to Lucinda's for a spin before running on Sunday, others doing easy stuff on the grass, me running round in circles as ever.
And so to Ayr for the Scottish Grand National two day meeting where Academy makes his stable debut in the opener at 2.20, my first ever runner in a "Juvenile Hurdle", 5 run, Lucy rides and the ground should be on the easy side of good.  This horse came from Michael Stoute via the October Sales at Newmarket and I have had an "educational" winter with him, he is by Montjeu from a smart German family and I think the world of him however we are taking on some classy opposition for his hurdling debut; we will improve for it fitness wise whereas they hold mostly be at the top of their game so I'm not expecting too much which is fine as it would be nice to have him as a novice for next season.  Lucy has a few other rides; Toshi in the 2.50, De Boitron in the 4.00, Red Tanber in the 4.35, Easter Vic in the 5.05 and Higgs Boson in the 5.35.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Colour is only skin deep?

A wet night and a slightly soggy gallop but plenty of work there and in the school with Northern Flame, Four Fiddlers and Flaming Thistle practising their jumping over coloured poles and the schooling hurdles, the latter being particularly exuberant.  No luck for Lucy at Kempton but off to Cheltenham tomorrow where she rides Lord Villez in the feature race at 3.45, hope she might pop in here on Thursday, plans forming for runners at Ayr and Corbridge p2p this weekend and we should have a good number of runners at Perth next week.
One thing I have been rather quiet about has been the miscreant terrier Joey who disappeared again last Wednesday night, more searching of the farm and heart but a certain resignation this time round, however to our delight we were telephoned this morning by the Police, she had been found late last night wandering the streets of Coalsnaughton, an ex mining village 25 miles west of here, she had obviously been stolen as her face has been dyed to disguise her, fortunately Mrs A had her microchipped after she was stolen in January and the police were able to re-unite us.  Although there are much worse forms of animal mutilation I do feel quite sick about what has been done to her, luckily she doesn't know she looks a bit odd and hopefully the dye will grow out over time, she has now been fitted with a GPS tracking device to go with her microchip.

The original version as a puppy

Monday, 16 April 2012

Monday schooling

A very useful morning with Academy, Goldtrek, Little Glenshee and Papamoa all schooling well over hurdles - they will all hopefully run in the next 10 days or so, the rest worked on the riverbank gallop which was back in fine form after being a bit wet later last week. A splendid winner for Lucy yesterday at Market Rasen, she heads to Kempton Park for the first time tomorrow where she rides Emperor Charlie in the 2.50.
We are putting graphics on the new lorry now, what do you think? - will need to keep it clean!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Dealing with demons

Cold and a touch of frost but glorious sunshine this morning.  A heavy heart yesterday as I went out to do evening stables after the the BBC's excellent final coverage of the Grand National.  I find it incredibly difficult to reconcile my enjoyment of such an exhilarating race with the death of two wonderful horses.  As it was the Beeb's final go and hence, however good Ch 4 may be, the last chance to watch full coverage without being continually interrupted by bookies adverts, I had made the most of it and had loved every minute until the news came through of the fatalities. Any horse's death in the race is sad, two horses that I had developed a particular affection for is very difficult.
According to Pete
So, a slow walk up the hill afterwards, I went round my horses as I do every night, feeling all their legs, checking for changes, I then prepared the feeds, nearly all tailored slightly to suit the individual.  The girls had come straight in after the race, all the horses had been groomed, given an extra rug, beds skipped out, hayed and watered, a few cuts cleaned, legs hosed, a little physio here and there, bandages applied, some drugs administered.  Up early to feed them this morning, a quieter day exercise-wise with most of them on the walker, similar routine this evening, I will then jump in my car and drive off to check ground conditions at an imminent meeting. 
These animals, like most racehorses, are incredibly well cared for; as with many trainers I live and breathe them, would I ask one of them to line up in the Grand National?  Yes, of course I would, if I had a good enough horse that I felt would be suited by the challenge then I would not hesitate, I wouldn't watch and I would be incredibly nervous but it is their raison d'etre; every race is dangerous, there will be horses killed but horses die at home and like it or not it is a real part of a wonderful sport that creates fantastic living conditions for tens of thousands of animals and creates tens of thousands of jobs.  When I have to put a horse down and hold it while the vet euthanases it I am sure that the horse feels no pain, it doesn't suffer.  Those two horses yesterday would have gone from adrenaline rush to permanent sleep in seconds, they would have felt little, it is those missing them that will feel the pain, those that have to cope with the empty stable, but they are horsemen and will move on like we all do, it's very very tough but the sense of loss is merely a reflection of how treasured the horses are in the first place.  There will be calls for further modifications to the race but how far do you go? 
Of course, I write this not simply to bore on like so many others, it is a sort of personal exorcism, the demons of doubt rise high after a day like yesterday, they must be dealt with, writing about it is a good way of doing that, being with the horses is the other.
And now to today, Lucy at Market Rasen, On the Right Path in the 2.30, Domoly in the 4.40 and Good Star in the 5.10.  She then might be at Kempton, Cheltenham and Southwell prior to heading to Ayr at the end of the week for the two day Scottish National Meeting where hopefully we will have a runner or two......

Saturday, 14 April 2012

National Day

It's a sure sign that racing has reached the centre of the national psyche when my ex accountant rings up for a tip for the big race, you would have thought that 20 years of doing my tax return would have made him realise that there are fews pots of gold for those professionally involved with the racing industry, or perhaps he imagines all my winnings are in cash, stuffed under the mattress, well away from the beady eyes of the taxman, I wish...  Speaking of the taxman I can't resist commenting on how disappointed I am with the increasingly supine Cameron and Osborne, how can they possibly believe that it is right that all holders of senior public office should have to reveal their tax returns to the public, it will simply make public office even more unacttractive for any sensible person, nobody will be interested of course, it is just the press that want something to write about to keep people buying newspapers, it seems to me that Cameron and Osborne will do anything that they imagine will keep the press on their side.......
Apologies, back to racing, great day at Aintree and a wonderful, wonderful follow-up for Malcolm Jefferson with Attagalnce, a splendid double for Lucy at Sedgefield yesterday inculding the easiest 40-1 winner I have ever seen in my life, won by a distance, most bizarre; today she rides Kealigolane in an ultra-competitive handicap after the Grand National at 5.05, tomorrow to Market Rasen for 3 rides.  Busy here this morning, horses working on the all-weather, the grass and four over to Lucinda's woodchip - Four Fiddlers, Commercial Express, The Paddy Premium and Academy, all seemed well........... oh, and the Grand National, well, "Trendy Wendy" our Saturday workrider and computer tipster picks Synchronised, a great chance, I won't have a bet because I am so keen for one particular jockey to win it but I suggested Junior to my accountant.......

Friday, 13 April 2012

Big Bucks

They came in their thousands to Aintree yesterday to hail a true champion and they were not disappointed, a wonderful record 17th consecutive success for the imperious Big Bucks. Great to be there and also to see Monets Garden among the former champions on parade, on his toes and looking wonderful, and an excellent day's racing rounded off with an outstanding weight carrying performance from Cape Tribulation. Another good card at Aintree today but Lucy has opted for Sedgefield instead where she rides Gougane in the 2.45, Behindcloseddoors in the 3.55, Stanley Bridge in the 5.05 and Lukie in the 5.35 - I will be trying to find where at Aintree one can watch the away fixtures and then listening to the last two on the long road home, busy morning planned for tomorrow with one particularly crucial gallop......

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

One for the Anoraks?

Greatly enjoyed profile of my neighbour Lucinda in this weeks "Weekender" and exciting to know that we share a love of The Saw Doctors and Gavin and Stacey, also delighted to be reminded that I trained her only winner as a jockey enabling her to achieve the same strike rate in that department as her partner, the mighty Scu; it would be remiss of me not to correct the article by pointing out that Panegyrist was actually 17 when she won on him, not 14, I rode him in the same race the following year when he was 18, sadly we were only 3rd, I am therefore still to ride my first winner. Panegyrist's other claim to fame was being the oldest horse ever to win a novice chase which he did in 1989 at the age of 14, beating his 7yo half brother Toddlin Hame trained by Colin Parker, ridden by Brian Storey with the only other starter being Waternish Point, trained by a Mrs S Bradburne and ridden by Mr J Bradburne. Panegyrist was ridden that day by Joe O'Gorman, currently head lad to Kevin Ryan, Lucy's employer last summer.... small world!


Thundery showers this afternoon but a decent morning, yesterday's rain had been much heavier than I initially thought, well over 30mm and some colatteral damage to the gallop, remarkably it dried out over night and a bit of graft from the little tractor had it sorted for first lot this morning.  Most of the horses worked there apart from four mares that went to Lucinda's woodchip, all worked well but unfortunate drama on the way home when one went down in the lorry on the way home and panicked injuring herself and Gemma who was trying to calm her; Gemma off to A&E but nothing broken and Issabella Gem treated by the vet and will hopefully be alright.  Some also worked here on the grass so a quiet day for most tomorrow, I will be making my annual pilgrimage to Aintree for tomorrow and Fri, early start beckons and late back Fri night, looks like excellent racing........
Gemma and Issabella Gem

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Wet Tuesday

Proper wet morning today, first one for months, soaked by 6.30am, not good for morale, schools & AW scheduled for this morning, maybe a pop over the hurdles if it relents a little later.  A productive day at the Cumberland Farmers p2p where the weather wasn't too bad at all, just some soft rain, and the ground was perfect resulting in loads of runners.  The two maidens ran much better than of late, appreciating the surface and galloping track, Flaming Thistle came 4th of 16 in his division and Northern Flame 6th of 17 in his, both jumping with much more purpose than in the the past, something to build on I hope.  Earlier Native Coll ran a very solid race to be 4th of 8 in the Northern Area race.   The nomad wending her way back from Fakenham, no winners but both placed, hopefully back home for a couple of days before Sedgefield on Friday......
Tiring stuff, but at least the sun was shining.........

Monday, 9 April 2012


Showery and cool, looks like being a bit wet down in Cumbria for the Cumberland Farmers p2p, we run Native Coll, Flaming Thistle and Northern Flame, Kit rides them all and I suspect the ground will be softening as the day goes on.  There will be lots of runners, chances difficult to determine until we get to the paddock but all three are in good hear at home.  Meanwhile over at Fakenham Lucy rides Sumak in the 2.05, Tiradia in the 3.15 and Emperor Charlie in the 3.50, after that, all eyes on Aintree.....
Some of the team.... Emma, Holly, Gillian, Gemma and Lucy H

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Sunday Morning...

Isla Pearl Fisher - the morning of the race, ready to go (Frank Cornfield)
Hmmmm, lying in bed, 7am alarm - the Sunday "lie-in", Alice Arnold bringing me up to date with the world, the drama of the Boat Race, back late last night,  a moment to reflect, a marvellous run from IPF yesterday, just denied at the end of three miles in an exhilarating 3 way battle up the run-in, cruel, but he proved more than worthy of the step up in class, great day, Mrs G on the phone from the velodrome in Melbourne, excited, watching Chris Hoy perhaps handing over his mantle; time to get on,  35 hungry mouths waiting, Easter Day, the sky full of birdsong, tomorrows runners need to be excercised, dogs to be walked, Church with the boys at 11, Mrs A and Clare staying in Pumphreyland, avoiding the M74 commute, her Father rowed in that race, gritty stuff, perhaps that is the source of Lucy's "steel," where is she? on the way to Towcester;  back here lunch with Granny, back to check the horses and fine tune plans for three Easter Monday runners, then the annual battle to stay awake until the end of the Masters (never manage!), this sporting world, happy days.........
And just denied in the shadow of the post.......

Leaving the Paddock, he was ready....

Friday, 6 April 2012

Happy Easter!

Cold and damp but snow and frost away so can't complain and a productive morning with horses working here on the all-weather and riverbank and on Lucinda's woodchip.  As with yesterday Susan Bradburne brought a couple of her's along and it was interesting to see them working with ours. Bade a sad farewell to my faithful old lorry of the last 10 years, Mrs A finds it bizarre that this appears to be some sort of an emotional event for me but there we go; excited about the new lorry's maiden voyage tomorrow though, Carlisle beckons where we run Isla Pearl Fisher in the 3.55 - 6 run, Lucy rides and the ground should be good.  He won nicely last time and whilst I hope he will run well again this is a step up in class.  We also run Almost Blue at the Morpeth p2p with Jamie on board, he also won last time and also won this race last year in a famous Uncle vs Nephew battle, he seems in fine fettle and should appreciate the conditions.  

If we survive all of that we will be back down the M74 on Monday to the Cumberland Farmers p2p at Dalston where we hope to run Native Coll, Flaming Thistle and Northern Flame, a busy Easter but I can't think of a better way to spend it.  Not as busy as Lucy's though, apart from Isla Pearl Fisher tomorrow she rides Raggios Boy (2.15), Rich Lord (2.50), Cantrell (3.25), Farm Pixie (4.30) and Le Roi Rouge (5.05), that's six in a row, then she heads to Towcester on Sunday and Fakenham on Monday, let's hope TomTom is working!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Boom boom

A frosty start so winter routine with Kit doing the early feed and trainer out on tractor harrowing all-weather and riverbank gallops, all open up nicely and, unlike in deep winter, fortunately do not refreeze enabling all of the horses to do plenty of work.  Cracking double for Lucy yesterday at Sedgefield's feature meeting of the season, sadly marred by atrocious weather, she won on Kealigolane and Fred Bojangles, both of whom I suspect would not have been declared if such extreme conditions had been anticipated, funny things horses.  Doing our best to get as many as possible fit and ready to run this weekend, Amulree quite stiff this morning, hardly surprising when you look at the picture below, she is in the middle (scarlet, blue sleeves - click on picture to enlarge, captured by John Grossick) and in the process of being wiped out mid-air, hopefully Gillian's magic hands will have her feeling better in time to line up in the Restricted at Dalston on Monday; huge (record?) entries by the way in stark contrast to recent fixtures, it's all about the ground, if point-to-point fixtures want runners they need to organise themselves into producing decent going, it's not easy and may cost money but its not impossible... 

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Topsy Turvy

... are the only words for it, after record March temperatures of 21 degrees last week three inches of snow and a blizzard raging as I write, "all-weather" for 17 this morning and the rest on the walker, not exactly hacking weather, the worst morning of the "winter" so far. Harrowing school, towing out stranded cars, power out, office freezing, light log-burner, chimney blocked with snow, office fills with smoke, power back on, smoke alarm won't shut up........

Inspection time
An unproductive day at Kelso yesterday with Little Glenshee withdrawn due to the lack of precipitation and Amulree badly hampered and brought down in a 4 horse incident at the first caused by the erratic behaviour of the increasingly appropriately named Risk Assessment. It was a frightening moment as the horse effectively had her legs swept away from underneath her in mid air at 30mph causing her to fall heavily and somersault on landing,  Frustrating but that's racing and all returned home in one piece so that's always the main thing. An amusing little vignette of photographs summarising the day taken by Frank Cornfield
I greatly enjoyed Marcus Armitage's article in today's Daily Telegraph , made me chuckle, meanwhile today Lucy is at Sedgefield where she rides Formulation in the 2.30, Kealigolane in the 4.00 and Fred Bojangles in the 4.30.
Bare in places.....

In hot pursuit...

Amulree... in one piece, another chapter written...

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Off we go again.....

Kinneston dawn (John McBroom)
Back in the driving seat, a frosty start but amazingly dry everywhere, ground conditions more akin to the middle of a dry spell in high summer, turning colder now and an interesting forecast for the coming week, nature will be confused!  Horses back on our "riverbank" summer gallop yesterday for the first time since September, riding well, otherwise a quiet weekend, ideal for making plans.  No runners last week as a result of the prevailing ground but plenty of horses ready to run as and when we can find the right opportunities, I am always in close contact with the team when on holiday discussing each individual horse's requirements on a daily basis, it seems to be working well, all I need to do now is get that periscope hitched up to the internet. Lucy has been racking up the miles over the past week taking in Market Rasen, Newcastle, Wetherby and ending up at Uttoxeter yesterday; rewarded with one good winner on King's Chorister at Newcastle on Thursday, I see her car parked outside this morning, late home from the Midlands.
So, Buccleuch Cup day at Kelso tomorrow, should be an excellent day's racing on properly watered ground and we run Little Glenshee in the 4.00, Lucy rides, 12 run, this trip is likely to prove on the sharp side for her but she needs experience jumping hurdles, she will only take her chance if the ground is on the soft side.  We then run Amulree with Kit on board in the feature race at 4.30, 12 run, this looks competitive but she has been running well in point to points, seems fresh and well and should appreciate the conditions.  Lucy also rides Sumak in the 2.30 and Higgy's Boy in the 5.00.  Thereafter a quiet week on the racing front before we try to be at Haydock, Carlisle and Morpeth on Saturday...
Some great pictures below taken by Frank Cornfield at the Lanark p2p last week, a huge crowd enjoyed competitive racing in glorious sunshine and a historic dead heat between Jamie (47) and Ross Wilson (18)

Jamie on Almost Blue

Desperately close

The judges deliberate.... (don't I know him?)

Not forgetting to weigh in....

Uncle and sister give Kit his instructions

The Jockey's board for the Maiden

Thirsty work....