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      Extra Mag & Brinkley Out at Grass

Another week has passed and while Boris’ speech did not give any clues as to when racing might resume I believe we will find out more in the next couple of days.  The government will hopefully put some ‘meat on the bones’ to the Prime Minister’s speech and give further details of its road plan later today and when the Resumption of  Racing group have met as well we should find out more.  Fingers crossed we may get a date when the flat will be able start sometime this week.  My three children watched his speech with us last night and were all left a little disappointed.  They were hoping to hear about sleepover’s and when they might be able to go shopping next and it is really hard to explain to Martha (4) that these things would not be happening for a while!


At home things continue to tick along okay.  The horses enjoy their daily exercise and are then turned out in little paddocks to enjoy some grass in the nice sunshine.  I have started to bring a few in from the field that I will get ready to run later in the summer over jumps.  Paricolor and Story of Friends are two that fall into this category.  Both enjoy better ground and I could look to exploit the handy four year old allowance that Paricolor would get in novice chases a bit like we did with Teaser last summer.  Story of Friends did not enjoy the soft ground he encountered at Taunton when he last ran in December but off a mark of 119 so I hope there is more to come from him over hurdles on some decent ground.


We have had another nice recruit join us in the last few days; Major Robinson joins the team for some existing long term owners.  He is a four year old by Kalanisi who has won his only start in a bumper at Thurles back in March.  He won nicely that day despite running a bit green.  We will find out a bit more about him in the coming days before we turn him out for a little holiday but he looks a lovely prospect to look forward to in the autumn.  There is a quarter share available in him so please do get in touch if you have any interest, call the office on 01884 840715 or email for more details, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


So in the last couple of weeks we have been looking at some horses that won at least two races and more last season but obviously every single winner is important at whatever level so this week I aim to pick out a few special moments from the past season although I am sure it will be continued into next week as well.

Aside from the wins I have already mentioned from the likes of Ramses De Teillee, Israel Champ and Main Fact to name just three probably the biggest high and the lowest low came from the same horse last season. 


The giant Warthog gave me great pleasure when he won the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham last December but also great sadness when we sadly lost him back at the track in January.  It is probably fair to say that Warthog had probably not done as well as hoped until last season but at eight years old he had finally seemed to have grown into his big frame and we had never had him in better form.  He was the breath-taking winner of his novice chase debut at Sandown the season before last but he had lacked a bit of consistency.  We had tweaked a few things at home this year and he had had a winder operation during the summer and for the first time he was showing us what we knew he could do on the racecourse.  His seasonal re-appearance was in the Betvictor gold Cup at Cheltenham in November.  He outran is odds of 33/1 to finish third, beaten just over eight lengths by winner Happy Diva. He returned back to Prestbury Park the following month for the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup off the same handicap mark of 132.  I think he gained a lot of confidence knowing he could breathe from his previous run and he put in a mighty performance to win this day.  He was up with the pace throughout and showed a cracking attitude in the finish.  He got headed by Spiritofthegames but battled back gamely to win on the run in to give David Noonan the biggest success of his career.  He won the hearts of many racing fans this day and we received many messages of congratulations.  Everyone loves a grey but the manner of his gutsy success captured the hearts of many people watching.

Warthog had showed a great liking for Cheltenham so it was always the plan after his Caspian Caviar win to go back to the course at the end of January.  In the paddock beforehand he looked amazing and was sent off the 4/1 favourite.  Sadly he suffered a freak injury and he had to be put down.  I was with him on the track and although he came back to the racecourse stables there was nothing that could be done to save him.  Bryan and Caroline, myself and Rosie who looked after him all got to say our goodbyes but losing any horse is always difficult and a handsome good one, with the best still yet to come is particularly hard.  An empty stable the next morning is one of the most horrible feelings in the world. 



Hugo N Taz was a victory which gave me great delight last season as well.  Bought by James Couldwell who runs the Value Racing Club he arrived at Pond House last September with the main target to run in the Linconshire National at Market Rasen on Boxing Day.  A fine big horse he had only ever won one race in Ireland and although placed he had not won over fences from fourteen starts.  He worked nicely at home and it was fantastic he went to Market Rasen and won on his yard debut as I know how much it meant to James.  He disappointed at Exeter on his only run after this but there were excuses that day.  I think there is more to come from him over marathon trips and I look forward to him returning to us to run this winter.

                   Hugo N Taz


Three horses that were all winners and each gave me plenty of satisfaction from their wins.  All three have ability but are characters who do have their own ideas about things sometimes.  Since going chasing Midnight Magic has been the model of consistency and I couldn’t have been more pleased for his owner breeders Middshire Racing when he got his first success over fences at Wincanton in October as they have been very patient with him and me!  Probably unlucky not to have won again he also finished runner up three times from just five starts last season and he is definitely capable of winning again this summer.  He is in training at the moment and will be ready to run as soon as jumping returns.  David Noonan rides him and gets a good tune out of him.

Great Tempo and Dusky Hercules were two brilliant winners for my newly formed Racing Club.  Great Tempo was my 50th winner of the season at Taunton on New Year’s Eve and Dusky Hercules was the first winner for the club at Exeter in early December.  We have a healthy membership for our club in our first season with five horses involved.  We are having good feedback and we would love more people to join us with the hope of getting more horses.  For just £100 for 12 months membership join today!  Further details and how to join can be found on the Racing Club page on the website.

                  Midnight Magic                                                 Dusky Hercules

Once again stay safe and stay healthy everyone and have a good week.