Sunday 20 September
Last week I mentioned that we were casting our net far and wide to add another quality horse to the squad - and later that afternoon we managed to land our catch. When I say far and wide - I really mean far and wide - as we claimed a 3 yr old filly from a race in Toulouse no less! Well, when they are there to be had, you have to have them!! Volkovka is a 3yr old filly by sire sensation Camelot, from a very strong French middle distance family that features top French jumps stallion Montmartre. She was a filly I saw run earlier this spring, and added her to the list of horses I am tracking across France and Germany, as in addition to her pedigree she has a bit of size and scope for juvenile hurdles in the UK. By mid summer, she had won a conditions race and been allotted a mark of 37 which equates to 81 in the UK, so she was removed from the list, as I thought she would be a bit pricey for our budget. Ratings in the south of France are always a little inflated, but it was still a pleasant surprise to see her down to run in a claimer for 20,000 Euros - so we had to get to work. The trainer was complimentary about the filly, explaining that she was sound, and available - so we made our play, securing her for 22,500 Euro. She has come out of the race well, and is now in Chantilly, awaiting collection to go to Jason Maguires yard near Gloucester where she will firstly have a full veterinary examination, and then be schooled over hurdles in preparation for a juvenile hurdling career with Fergal O'Brien. Three year old fillies are a vein we have mined before, and one which I will continue to as well. There is a great programme for these fillies, including some nice starting points in the autumn at the lesser tracks, before 2 Listed heats in December - where they can pick up valuable black type, before ending their season in a 4 yr old only, Grade 3 Fillies handicap in Cheltenham in April. There is great prize money on offer, and superb opportunities to get some valuable black type and enhance the capital value of the horse. Volkovka has proved to be very popular, with over 50% of the 10 shares reserved in the first 48 hours. There are now just a couple left - priced at £2750, plus £250/month. No payment is being taken until she is passed fit to train by the vet next week, so if you would like to reserve a share in this exciting filly, just let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org (07909 518902). Elsewhere, Fergal phoned on Friday to say that Yauthym is working very very well. She was our 3 yr old filly from last year, and was being aimed at the Cheltenham race in April before everything was closed down, so if the trainer has it right there should be a bit of improvement to come and she should be a lot of fun this winter. At Fences Farm we said goodbye to Land League on Friday - off for a well earned retirement. He had lost his appetite for the game, and after canvassing opinion amongst his owners, the overwhelming decision was to retire him. Our Bubba was entered for a novice hurdle in Warwick on Tuesday - but the ground there looks like it will be too quick and he will swerve this and wait for proper good ground. It has been a long wait for his patient owners, so a little longer will not be too hard, he is a lovely horse, and hopefully there will be a clear run with him now. Go Millie Go and Molly Childers are also nearly ready to run, and both could have entries in Bangor on Dee at the end of the month. Classic Ben and Blue Bikini cantered together yesterday, and both looked and moved great, as did Queenohearts. Hi Ho Silva Lining is coming along nicely, he is much improved from last winter when he wasn't strong enough to do himself justice, and he will start off in a bumper somewhere. There will be further syndicate news next week - the breeding syndicate with Savingforvegas is taking shape, and the cut off for share options in her will be October 1st, so get in touch if you would like more details - and to be involved from the very start of the journey, and breed your very own racehorse - again no capital costs, and very reasonable monthly fees. There will also be more news of another 25 string team with fixed weekly fees of just £25 - I already have a waiting list for this new group, and we are working hard to secure the right horse for them - more details will be released when a deal is finalised, but if you would like to be added to the waiting list then please let me know. As I posted on Social Media a couple of days ago - I can't believe how busy we have been over the course of the last 6 months. We have welcomed new faces, and welcomed back some old friends. People have joined us from all four corners, from Dorset to Scotland, and Norwich to Cardiff, and I have to say how very grateful I am to everyone for the level of trust and support they have shown, when we have all been going through a torrid time with the global pandemic. Thank You!