Sunday 6 October
Sorry From Stuart
Yesterday in Fontwell did not go well - for which Stuart profusely apologises. As all will know, the Fences Farm gallop has been refurbished, which has involved taking up the old wood chip surface, reconditioning the base and drains and applying a new surface on top. Stuart has been very much held up by the supply of the new surface, and has, in reality only had half a gallop to work on for the past three weeks. He has been doing his best, but without working the horses from the bottom of the hill, he has lost his 'fitness guage', and, although we felt that Guest Of Honour was a little below being 'cherry ripe' it was thought that he was fit enough to do himself justice. We could not have been further from the mark! GOH was way short of fitness and despite travelling well for a fair way, in the words of jockey, Jamie Moore 'blew up like a balloon' half way down the back. I had promised to see a few of his owners in the bar afterwards, but didn't make it as he blew for so long after the race, we had to take it in turns to walk him round to recover. Fences Farm horses are always fit, and we have never experienced this before, normally his horses blow (breathe heavily) for 15-20 minutes after a race - GOH was at it for 40!!! Looking on the bright side we learnt how to ride him, know he acts on the ground - and can fix the fitness!! He will be much much better for his hurdling debut in 3-4 weeks!! A disappointing day - and Stuart can only apologise! Genny Wren has further issues which will need to be fixed before she runs again - she will soon be bionic!! The good news is that both seem fine this morning. Yesterday morning they finally got to work the string from the bottom, San Telm showed that he is not quite fit enough to warrant an entry next week in Chepstow - where the ground looks like being too quick anyway. He should be ready for two options in Cheltenham the week after. Smart Exit was the eyecatcher of the week, and did a beautiful piece of work - he will be ready to rock when it rains. Omaruru was on the walker, and went for a long trot. We had a little scare with him on Thursday, but thankfully Brett the vet gave him a thorough exam and is happy that he is OK. He will resume cantering next week, and will only be held up for about a week. Colebrooke worked well, is about 2-3 weeks off a run, and we may look at a chase for him as he schools over fences so well!!