Sunday 24 January
More Like It
Well that was more like it! Blue Bikini ran a cracking race yesterday to finish second in a mares bumper in Taunton. Her debut had been very encouraging - but her second run, in which she pulled up was just too bad to be true. Ciaran had reported that he felt she had lost her action behind, but after the race, and the following morning she appeared to be 100% sound. Having learned about ulcers and the effect they can have on a horse, and their performance, I asked for her to be gastroscoped - and a possible reason for the poor run was soon identified. She had very bad ulcers, which would definitely have caused her to run very badly. She was treated, and we went to Taunton hoping that the treatment had had the desired effect, and that she was feeling much better in herself. She certainly looked better on my TV. She ran accordingly. Paddy Brennan, has been so good with his feedback after he has ridden the horses he has for us in the past and now that we have an ever growing number of horses with Fergal O'Brien where he is number one jockey, so I was keen to get his services for BB. Paddy has vast experience, and always tends to ride his bumper runners the same way - out the back with patience and confidence. Yesterday was no different, settled in rear BB crept into it on the wide outside where the better ground was to be found. She quickened well into the straight, but as Paddy said, it was just a shame the winner quickened as well. She really knuckled down and galloped all the way to the line - impressing Paddy in how she picked up. He is confident she will win a bumper, and we will see how she comes out of this and make a plan. Classic Ben went to Ascot yesterday. We know that Ben really wants marathon trips these days, but we are very conscious that you can't keep running most horses over those trips without souring them completely. We give him a couple of runs over that trip every season, but in the meantime he has to run in 3m chases where he just isn't quite capable to go the early pace, and tends to struggle before staying on at the death. We had tried Ascot before, so knew what to expect, and when there were so many horses declared that liked to run right up with the pace we kind of knew our fate. Ben ran OK, Ciaran felt that he knew he was beaten after jumping 4 so rode him accordingly. When he drop back to 3 miles in the future, every effort will be made to run him on a stiffer track where the pace of the race should suit better. Queenohearts has left Fences Farm and gone to The Elms stud. She has a very minor injury, that to get her back to her best with confidence, the vet advised that her season was ended and that she had a careful convalescence to get her back on track next season. Her owners have been very patient, but she has proved what a good mare she is, and they are willing to give her the time she needs. Go Millie Go was also found to have the same level of ulcers as Blue Bikini, so the fact that her seasons form figures read 211 is a small miracle - she must be very tough. If her treatment has the same effect as it had on BB she could be a very good mare. Her form continues to be franked, and the aim is to have her back by late Feb. Our Bubba also had very bad ulcers, and his treatment will take a little longer than BB and GMG, he is to have another round of medication, but will hopefully be back in action in about 5 weeks. Down at Ravenswell Farm, San Seb is back from his spa break with Jason Maguire, he really benefits from his sessions there, and they are integral in his training regime. There is a real difference in him after just one session on the water treadmill - Jason has an excellent facility, and is an excellent tool for Fergal to have in his box as a trainer. He could well be out again early next month. Yauthym is another that benefits from visits there. She suffered a knock after her seasonal debut, but has been ready to run for a few weeks - but we have been patient and waited for the right race for her. She will run this week in Fakenham, and we are looking forward to seeing her out again. Volkovka came out of her last run in Taunton where she was a very close second in great order. Having gone through the 3 yr old juvenile fillies this season we decided to give her an entry in the Listed fillies race in Doncaster on Friday. This was not a race we had planned for her, but it fits in with her programme and we will have a look and see what it looks like nearer the day. Hidden Beauty really is a lovely filly. She is in Jason Maguires and he thinks the world of her. She is very nearly ready to make the step up to 'big school' and make the short trip to Ravenswell Farm which is very exciting for all of her owners! She will have an away day down to Tom Georges gallop before she goes, and we are looking forward to seeing that on the clips that Jason sends on a weekly basis. I was lucky to be able to go to Olly Murphys Warren Chase Stables on Friday, and it was fantastic to see Auditoria looking so well. The difference in her in just a month is quite amazing. She came from France looking very poor and weak, but a month in Ollys, where she has been carefully managed has really turned her around and she looks like a different filly. Where she used to trudge around with no real zest, she is now much fresher and feeling very well in herself. She will be ready to ake her hurdling debut in mid Feb. There are still a very limited number of shares available in her so get in touch if you fancy joining the Audrey Army.