Horse Racing News

Wednesday 11 June 2008. Cyd seems to have come out of her race in grand order. She suffered a bit of a cut during the race, but that has been dealt with, and she has been relaxing in the paddock today.Matty is declared to run at Uttoxeter tomorrow night, there is a full field of 18, but plenty of dead wood in the contest, and if he shows up like he has been at home he will run a very pleasing race. Sam takes the ride, and who knows it may be the second winner for him and the yard this week!!

Tuesday 10 May 2008. WELL DONE CYD!! Nicole and Dales game mare was the winner of the 8.30 at Southwell tonight.In what turned out to be more akin to the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot next week with only 5 hurdles jumped during the 2miles 5 furlong trip, she had to be a bit lucky after the last when her two main dangers conspired to collide and gift her the race. Fortunate maybe, but she had been unlucky earlier on in the summer when Jamie had fallen off of her at the first at Ludlow, and Sam said if she had jumped the second last with more fluency,she would have taken a deal of beating anyway. It was a shame that all of the hurdles were omitted as this certainly did not play to her main strength which is her jumping, but she battled on to prevail.Once again well done to all, and who knows we may have another winner on Thursday with Matty, as he is working well with Cyd at home. Fingers crossed!!

Saturday 7 June 2008. A beautiful morning on the gallops, where we saw Mattaking go well with Cyd Charisse. Both have entries next week - Cyd should go to Southwell, and Matty will go to Uttoxeter or Fontwell on Thursday. Both are in fine form, and good runs are expected from both. I popped over to Ann and Colin Garratts to see Bobby Gee and Kikos who have become good mates, and have settled in well in their field. They both seem in fantastic shape, and will be enjoying the sun on their backs.

Thursday 5 June 2008. As Kikos enjoys himself out in the sunshine with Bobby Gee, his form took another boost yesterday. Kim Baileys Double Mead who finished third, one place in front of our new boy at Bangor, won a handicap chase off of her revised mark of 105 by 11 lengths!! This is the third significant form boost to come from Kikos' last run. A look at the revised handicap ratings for the three horses who finished in front of him show that the winner is 10 lbs higher, the second is 7 lbs higher and the third is also 7 lbs higher, and will go up again for winning so easily yesterday. All in all it shows that his last run was a really good effort against some well handicapped opposition, and we firmly believe he will improve for fences. Roll on the new season!!

Tuesday 4 June 2008. Having spent the last couple of months chilling out in the field, it is back to work for Important Business and Ogee. This week they are back on the walker, and also back on a bit of hard feed. This is the start of the long process to get them back up to peak condition and ready to race in the late summer (if we ever get one)! Both look really well and have let themselves down well, they have put on a few pounds which can now be turned into muscle through careful conditioning work, followed by a steady increase in the frequency and speed of their work and they should be ready. Both will appreciate better ground and being rated 110 and 118 they should not find it hard to pick up a few races before the big guns come out in October. Can't wait!!

Saturday 31 May 2008 It was good to see Kevin and Jo Hornby, along with Geoff Bridgford over at Fences Farm this morning to see their new horse Kikos before he left with Bobby Gee to spend the next month at Ann and Colin Garratts, Ringtail Farm. It is always nice to get the horses somewhere new as it gets them off of the premises where they do all their work and they can switch off and relax fully before coming back into work. Kikos will be back in a month, and Bobby will be a little after that as he will want the soft ground, and therefore will not need to be ready until November. Nicole and Dale were also over to see their mare Cyd Charisse do a nice piece of work with Matty - both will have entries in the next couple of weeks,Matty continues to improve. After dropping Bobby and Kikos off at Anns we hot footed it to Dingley to the point to point there, and had a really enjoyable afternoons social in the sunshine. Although Kikos has moved, anyone that is still interested in joining the club ( only 2 places left) is still more than welcome to come and see him.

Thursday 29 May 2008 Another couple of good reasons to watch the racing last night - two pieces of form that related to our horses! (That's my excuse - and I'm sticking to it)!!! Firstly Go West from the Heather Dalton yard hacked up in a beginners chase, this horse had been beaten 14 lengths by Bobby Gee over hurdles at Uttoxeter, so it just goes to show that Bobby's form is as solid as we all think. And in the concluding handicap hurdle Apollo Creed won again - this horse, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davis was the winner of Mattys last race at Uttoxeter, so, it can be seen that his win was no fluke and he was good enough to win off a higher mark which suggests he was as well handicapped as we thought.I am thrilled that there are winners coming out of Mattys last race, it is giving the form a very solid look, and suggesting that it was a competitive heat that he contested.

Wednesday 28 May 2008. I have just discovered something very interesting and really quite exciting!! As I have mentioned I saw Kikos run in a bumper at Towcester and fell in love with him there, but I did not really know how well bred he was. Looking into his pedigree this afternoon I discovered that he is bred along exactly the same lines as the Champion Chaser (and best horse in training) Master Minded. Both are by Nikos out of a Garde Royale mare. Lets hope that our chap improves over fences like Master Minded!!

Tuesday 27 May 2008 Another form boost for one of our horses! Tonight, Sherriff Hutton from the Tim Walford yard won a novices handicap hurdle at Hexham by 9 lengths, previously the same horse had been 7 3/4 lengths behind Mattaking in a handicap at Uttoxeter receiving a couple of pounds as well, so it looks like the form of Mattys last race is working out OK. Mrs Robeson rang today to say that Matty had worked well and came swinging off the top of the gallop with bundles of enthusiasm, so things are looking good for a good run next time!!

Saturday 24 May 2008 It was good to take advantage of the good weather on Saturday, and nice to welcome a few members of the Racing Club over to Fences Farm to have a look at their new horse Kikos. He has settled in really well and after his new owners had cast their eye over him, he was turned out in the pen in the field to start and relax and enjoy his holiday. His bumps and grazes are healing really well, and it will not be long before he joins his new pals. The pen is used to help horses adjust to being turned out, without having them gallop around like twits and risk injuring themselves, it is a really useful stepping stone. Mattaking and Cyd Charisse did nice pieces of work second lot, both quickening well off the top, Mattys next engagement should be Uttoxeter on the 12 June, I know all of his owners are looking forward to seeing if he can keep on improving. To join the Racing Club, call me on 07909 518902, only limited spaces remain.

Thursday 22 May 2007 We have only had Kikos at home for a matter of hours and his form takes a boost!!! Isaac Newton who finished 13 lengths behind our new boy in his last race at Bangor was a winner at Wetherby this afternoon. So you can see that Kikos could well be a winner waiting to happen, so ring me and join the Club, what more fun could you have with £20 per week??!!

Wednesday 21 May 2008. Stuart and I have spent the last couple of days at the Doncaster May Sales. DBS earlier this year, closed their old site and moved to a new purpose built facility alongside the home straight of the racecourse. It really is a superb place, with everything made easy for both human and horse.Yesterday was pretty disappointing, I was underbidder on a couple of lots, and when a lovely horse by Pierre was led out unsold I did think there would be a chance of snaffling him up, but the vendor would not budge from his reserve price, which was unfortunately just above our budget.Today started off in much the same way, underbidder on two early lots,and some just making more money than expected, other potential purchases were found to be lame, or not quite what we were looking for.Our moment came with the sale of the draft from Sir Robert Ogden. I had gone through the catalogue and found two horses which really caught my eye, one was just over budget on Tuesday, and the other was a horse from Alan Kings, owned by Sir Robert, called Kikos. We had seen him at the races and really admired this big strapping son of Nikos, and in fairness he has disappointed on the track, Alan King and others assured us he was 100% sound and he moved beautifully.Fortunately he failed to make his reserve through the ring and I was able to negotiate a deal with Barry Simpson, Sir Roberts racing manager, and we have brought him home. He will be a great addition to the team, and I am sure the Racing Club members will have a great deal of fun with him throughout the forthcoming season. He really is a horse you would be proud to own, and he will get some really admiring looks on the course. If anyone is interested in joining the club then please get in touch as there are a limited number of spaces left, and I think this fellow will give you a great deal of fun next season, there is an initial capital outlay of £300 which buys your share, with a further £20/week to cover all costs, and all prizemoney won is retained in full by the club and distributed equally at the end of the season. There are very few other Racing Clubs that offer that kind of deal!! A photo of Kikos will follow shortly.

Monday 19 May 2008. It will be a busy week. I, along with Stuart will be up at Doncaster this week for the Doncaster Bloodstock Sales Horses in Training Sale. This is usually a five day marathon, but this year for the first time they have split the sale into two parts, with the horses in training selling this week and the untried stores next week. We will be up there to purchase a horse to run for the Nick Brown Racing Club, which incidentally still has a few spaces, so if you want to become an owner for very little - get in touch.While there I will be looking at other horses, so if you fancy owning a whole horse and would like me to help in the purchase then let me know.


Saturday 17 May 2008. Quiet times now, with only a handful of horses actually left in work time on the gallops is at a minimum, but the yard remains busy with a number of 2 year olds coming in from the stud and being broken before going back to continue to enjoy the rest of the summer. Although they will only remain at Fences Farm for a short space of time, the experience they have is all important to their future development and essential to producing a well mannered horse for future years.
Tonight we were guests of Roy and Ann Mason in their box at Uttoxeter. Roy and Ann are co-owners of Mattaking and have been members of The Ravenstone Partnership since December.They are both very keen on their racing, and it was very nice of them to ask us to join them and their friends.I have never been in a box at Uttoxeter before, and I have to say that the facilities are superb, a great night was had by all.It was Uttoxeters annual James Bond theme night, and Roy took his 1965 Aston Martin DB 5 to the course as a centre piece for their evening, it went down a storm, and the Steward that was charged with overseeing it was grateful as he said he managed to get the number of a couple of girls who thought the car was his!! Thanks again to Roy and Ann for the invitation.

Thursday 15 May 2008 Anyone interested in having a winner, and possibly two by the Autumn should definitely read on!! Due to unforeseen circumstances a 1/16 share has become available in Important Business. As you know he is a firm favourite, and we think a winner waiting to happen. He is currently enjoying his summer holiday at Fences Farm, but before he was turned out he had a full MOT (including scans) and was given a clean bill of health by Brett the vet. Currently rated 110 he has only had one try in a handicap where everything went wrong for the poor chap and we were very disappointed to be beaten, I am sure he will be winning off of this mark. He will be back in training in the middle of June with the intention of getting him back on the track in the late summer to pick up a couple of wins. If you are interested and would like to come and see him, then please get in touch, but be quick as I do not think that this opportunity will be around long.

Tuesday 13 May 2008. Matty seems to have come out of his race well, he put his head straight in his manger when he got home, and spent yesterday resting up in the paddock. Apart from one slight knock on his shin he has not got a mark on him, and he should be out again in about 3 weeks. Important Business, Bobby Gee and Rousing Rob are all looking fabulous in the field at the back of the farm and will be moved up to the summer field some time this week. There are still shares available in Rousing Rob , and Bobby Gee will be sold in 8 shares in the Autumn. If anyone is interested in joining a any of these exciting Partnerships then please get in touch. The Nick Brown Racing Club has only a few places left, so if you would like to have the fun of ownership at a fraction of the cost, £300 + £90/month (all inclusive, and all prize money back) then again give me a call, the club horse will be purchased at the forthcoming Horses In Training Sale at Doncaster.
Important Business is really enjoying his time out in the field, and is very very relaxed, he will come back in and begin pre-training in the middle of June, a couple of weeks earlier than most of the others, and be prepared for a late summer/early autumn hurdling campaign where he will hopefully run up a little sequence of wins.

Rousing Rob will return to training in early July, and be aimed at an Autumn bumper, and from there he has the option of staying in another couple of bumpers or going over hurdles, he has shown us plenty at home and we think he is the very nice horse that his pedigree suggests it is, he is a lot to look forward to.

Bobby Gee will stay out for a bit longer this year and come in about a month after the main group as he really does have to have softer ground and he will not need to be back on the track until we get his favoured conditions in November, so he will have a nice long break. The plan at the moment is to run in another Handicap Hurdle as we think he still may be well handicapped off of 122 before we go Novice Chasing with him when we have reached the top of his rating and we feel he can no longer win off of his rating over hurdles.He is absolutely made for chasing and I cannot wait to see him jumping the big ones and do believe could be top class over fences. I have already had thoughts about the 2009 Hennesey Gold Cup, but this game is all about dreams!!!


Sunday 11 May 2008 Matty thankfully showed us that he can do it today, when he finished fourth of sixteen on his first try in handicap company. This was really pleasing, and the members of The Ravenstone Partnership that made it to Uttoxeter had a lovely time in the sunshine!! Matty seems to be growing in confidence and now that he is running against horses of a similar ability showed us that he should be winning soon. He travelled and jumped well throughout, and actually battled all the way to the line to keep hold of fourth in a bunched finish for the minor honours. I have said that he has turned a corner at home in his work, and he hopefully seems to be translating a bit of it to the track. Well done Matty!

Friday 9 May 2008 Mattaking is declared to run at Uttoxeter on Sunday. The weather looks to be set fair, and the ground should be on the quick side which he will relish. I hope that he will put up a better show for his loyal owners - The Ravenstone Partnership, many of who will be at the races to see their fellow make his handicap debut. I think that now that he has been assessed and can run on a 'more level playing field' we should see him in a better light. His confidence continues to grow at home and I hope he transfers that to the track. Cyd Charisse runs at Aintree tonight, and although it is her first run for a while, she should go well, good luck to Nicole and Dale.

Thursday 8 May 2008. I blame it on the Bank Holiday - they always manage to put us a day out somewhere, and this one was no exception!! Matty would be a certainty to get in his race at Uttoxeter on Saturday and is sure to run very well, because if we took him there he would be on his own, as the meeting is actually on Sunday!! Slight cock up at this end, but as I say I am blaming it on the Bank Holiday!!
We had a terrific evening yesterday as guests of Michael and Fiona Kehoe in 'their' box at the Hunter Chase Meeting at Cheltenham. This meeting has a real end of term feel about it, and it is so good to catch up with friends for a good social in the spring sunshine. Thanks very much to Michael and Fo for their generous hospitality.

The Nick Brown Racing Club is proving to be very popular, and spaces are now limited, anyone interested in joining should register their interest as soon as possible!! I have been through the sales catalogues and spoken to various trainers, and found some really likely types that should give us a lot of fun throughout next season. The main thing is to make sure that the horses that we are interested in are sound in wind and limb, and have no other nasty traits such as breaking blood vessels, and I am currently sounding out the respective handlers on these issues, and will be going to the sales with a good shopping list!!

Thursday 8 May 2008. I blame it on the Bank Holiday - they always manage to put us a day out somewhere, and this one was no exception!! Matty would be a certainty to get in his race at Uttoxeter on Saturday and is sure to run very well, because if we took him there he would be on his own, as the meeting is actually on Sunday!! Slight cock up at this end, but as I say I am blaming it on the Bank Holiday!!

We had a terrific evening yesterday as guests of Michael and Fiona Kehoe in 'their' box at the Hunter Chase Meeting at Cheltenham. This meeting has a real end of term feel about it, and it is so good to catch up with friends for a good social in the spring sunshine. Thanks very much to Michael and Fo for their generous hospitality.

The Nick Brown Racing Club is proving to be very popular, and spaces are now limited, anyone interested in joining should register their interest as soon as possible!! I have been through the sales catalogues and spoken to various trainers, and found some really likely types that should give us a lot of fun throughout next season. The main thing is to make sure that the horses that we are interested in are sound in wind and limb, and have no other nasty traits such as breaking blood vessels, and I am currently sounding out the respective handlers on these issues, and will be going to the sales with a good shopping list!!

Tuesday 6 May 2008. Some beautiful weather today, certainely the sort of weather that that the horses in the paddock enjoy. Mattaking has an entry at Uttoxeter on Saturday and we hope and pray that he shows something off of his mark of 87. There are plenty of entries and it is a bit touch and go as to wether he gets in or not, but if he does and the ground dries up it will be right up his street.

Tuesday 29 April 2008 Daurica seems fine after yesterdays efforts. Matty has been given a handicap mark of 87, and so is now qualified for handicaps, this will be more of a level playing field and we may see him in a better light.

Monday 28 April 2008 Cyd Charisse appears to be fine after her bid for liberty yesterday. Today Daurica began her racing career at Towcester. She is a nice filly, but still very weak and will be a much better mare next season. The TV pictures of her run do not do her justice as she was really green for most of the race but when the penny dropped she really stayed on up the hill and was flying at the death.She will be put away now to strengthen up.

Sunday 27 April We made the tedious cross country trek to Ludlow today with Cyd Charisse. It was her first run back after a mid winter break and we were all looking forward to seeing her run well on her favoured better ground. Unfortunately not all went to plan, as Jamie Moore was unseated at the first and she had a good gallop round without her pilot. A long way to go for a very disappointing outcome, but the good news is that she appears to be fine after her loose school and does not have a mark on her. Her owners were understandably disappointed but we are all relieved that she is OK and will fight another day. Ludlow is a bind for us to get to, but when you get there it really is a quaint little track with heaps of charm, and a very unique type of crowd. The paddock is in the middle of the track and not one but two roads actually cross the track at either end. For those that have not been it is well worth a visit.

Saturday 26 April 2008 A beautiful morning on the gallops, College Ace has come out of his recent spin really well, and was out first lot with Daurica, Tish Too, and Cyd Charisse who breezed well ahead of her run tomorrow at Ludlow. Meanwhile quite a few of the yards stars are now enjoying their summer hols and it was nice to be able to get their rugs off for them to enjoy the sunshine. Ogee, Bobby and Important Business were in their element catching a few rays this morning. Not a great morning elsewhere though as poor Fiona Kehoe suffered a bit of a mishap out at exercise back at her yard and ended up being airlifted to Stoke Mandeville with a fractured upper leg, we all wish her a very speedy recovery.

Friday 25 April 2008 Mattaking seems to be fine after his run on Wednesday, he is now qualified for handicaps, so we will be playing off a bit more of a level playing field from now on, and that may lead to a bit of imprivement.
The Nick Brown Racing Club will resume games in the summer, and this year may be the chance to actually own their own horse. The May sales at Doncaster, have one or two nice types that would be great fun for a club, so I will be looking to buy something there. The cost of joining the club will be £300 with a further £25/week to cover all costs. Anyone interested should get in touch via the Contacts Page, but be quick as spaces will be limited !!!

Thursday 24 April 2007. Having taken 2 to Worcester last night, unfortunately only one could run as the ground around the home turn and all the way up the home straight was very testing and was not suitable for Heebie Jeebie, so it was left to Matty to provide the sport. As planned Sam settled him in rear and although he started to think about things after making a mistake down the far side he soon bucked up with a couple of sharp reminders and actually ran to the line. Sam was a little happier with him, and he is now qualified for handicaps, so we will be on a bit more of a level playing field, lets hope the low grade handicaps will suit him better and he can get competitive.

Tuesday 22 April 2008 Mattaking is declared to run at Worcester tomorrow evening, he needs this run to qualify for handicaps, the visors that lit him up so much last time have been removed, and Sam will try to hold him up and get him to run through horses. Also declared on the card is Heebie Jeebie who is working very well at home, and if she settles over this extended trip she will run a big race. Let's hope we have 2 good runs and both return safe and sound, it will be a late night!!

Friday18 April 2008. Mattaking is entered to run at Worcester on Wednesday evening. These evening meetings can be really good fun, and it will be good to have Worcester on the roster again after the floods of last summer. Worcester is the kind of place that you either love or hate, and it would be a really good track if they looked after their Owners a little better, the facilities for those that supply the horses for the sport are really bad, and although we do not expect the red carpet,l just to have a nice bar with a decent tea and coffee would be nice!! Let's hope that all the work done to get the track back into shape has taken this into consideration!! The card is an all hurdle card as the chase course is still unfit due to a lack of grass cover after being under water for so long, but they do say that the chase course is not for off being fit.

14 April 2008 As we all know, owning and racing horses can provide the most thrilling fun and enjoyment there is, but it can also be absolutely heartbreaking. Unfortunately Saturday went down in the latter category, when during a routine piece of work at home on the gallop, Pleasurable fractured a hind leg and had to be humanely destroyed. This was a great shock to all, as this was the first unfortunate incident of this kind that had occurred at Fences Farm, but a local vet was very quickly on the scene and the situation was dealt with very professionally.Although a bit of a madam(she was handy with both her teeth and hind feet) she was tough and genuine and well capable of winning races on her favoured quick ground. We will all miss her. Later on Tish Too made her debut at Uttoxeter and ran very green but with promise in the concluding bumper, she will be put away and resume her career next season.Mattaking seems OK after his run and should be out again towards the end of the month.

Friday 11 April 2008 We were going to declare Important Business for Uttoxeter but the ground has gone Good to Soft, Soft in places so he will not be going. This is very disappointing, as he is in fine form and judging by the entries would have stood a great chance of getting his first win. Never mind, these things are sent to try us, and he will now be put away for the Summer and resume his duties in the Autumn.

Monday 7 April 2008 No snow at Southwell, well not until we were on our way out of the gates anyway!! The heavens really closed in then and we had some tricky conditions for the first few miles, infact they must have been really bad as Stuart nearly got us lost!! Matty sported a first time visor yesterday, and it was pretty much counter productive. The application of the heagear really lit him up and Sam had real job holding him. The idea was to settle in third or fourth but he jumped his way to a share of the lead over the first and then there was no stopping him, he was still taking a good grip coming past the stands a second time. He basically ran his race back to front, pulling far to hard early on and then having no energy left for the finish. This allied with the fact that he may not have stayed the 2 1/2 miles resulted in him getting well beaten, but we have not given up on him, and the next step will be to step him back in trip, take the visors off, and hold him up to try to get him to finish a race.The good news is that he seems fine this morning, and we will look to run him at the end of the month.

Sunday 5 April 2007. Mattaking goes to Southwell today, or at least that was the plan!! But awoke this morning and thought that we may be staying at home, SNOW!! I know it was forecast and as I said yesterday it did feel like it was on it's way but it was still not good to see! The good news is that as I write Southwell seems to have missed the horrible stuff and after a look at 6.45am the Clerk of the course gives the ground as Good, Good to Firm in places with no inspections. It will be cold but hopefully an enjoyable day out!

What a race yesterday!! And what a result!! I have always been a huge fan of Timmy Murphy, and anyone that has read his biography will know what hell he has been through throughout his career, culminating in a brief spell at Her Majestys pleasure!! I know that it was nearly all self induced and for that reason it is hard to be overly sympathetic, but the way he has turned his career around in just a few years is testament to the mans character and immense ability in the saddle. I can really recommend his book as a first class read, and very thought provoking!! Well done to to David Pipe, who after only a couple of years in the job after taking over from the legend that is his father, has saddled his first National winner along with a whole host of other big race victors. It must be a great pressure taking over the reins of an outfit like that and all credit to him as he has done a first class job!! I do not know David personally although he did try to run me over in the horsebox park at Punchestown, but he seems to be a really likeable chap and very easy with the press, which his father was sometimes not too good at, although they couldn't shut him up yesterday!! Congratulations to all involved.


Saturday 5 April. A beautiful morning at Fences Farm, but there was a distinctly chilly feeling and it could be that the forecast snow is on the way, lets hope it does not get to Aintree before 4.15. Todays Grand National looks to be one of the best ever seen, the quality of horses is amazing, and I can see it being a really competitive affair, although I do think that the changes made to the course and the quality of horses running has meant that big priced upsets are going to be a real rarity from now on. It was good to see Pettifour win the Sefton Novices hurdle at Aintree yesterday as this once again boosts the form of our chap Important Business,l as we beat him in a bumper at Uttoxeter in November. IB's form is really rock solid, apart from his last run, and he will be entered at Ascot and Uttoxeter next weekend, but if the conditions are not right he will be put away for his summer holidays, as although he needs quicker ground he has been in for a really long time and we feel he needs a break. He will come back a bigger and stronger horse next autumn.He is in great form after his little break, and worked really well this morning.

Mattaking is in great form as well, in fact when I went in to adjust his rugs mid morning he tried to bite me so he is certainly feeling well!! His race at Southwell tomorrow looks quite hot but we will be sporting visors for the first time to help him concentrate so hopefully we can take another step forward. He certainly breezed well today.

Bobby has a pal in his pen at the moment. Boulevard Bay has been suffering with a bruised heel so he has been brought in from the field for a few days, I'm not sure that Bobby appreciates the company as 'Bully' is living right up to his stable name!! Bobs looks really well though and when the weather warms up he will go out in the field to enjoy the summer. Anyone who has been following Bobby Gees' career since he joined us, and would like to become involved, may like to know that a new Partnership will be formed in the summer to take over ownership of him, spaces are very limited and if you would like to know further details then please get in touch.
Rousing Rob is being a really good patient as he recovers from his set-back, but Stuart tells me he is starting to get a little grumpy being locked in his stable. Not too long now before he can go out in the field and enjoy the summer, in the mean time he can watch his close relative Cape Tribulation who runs in the Champion Bumper at Aintree, this horse looks very exciting and is favourite so lets hope he can keep up the family tradition of gaining some black type.



Wednesday 2 April 2008. Mattaking has entries at both Chepstow on Saturday and Southwell on Sunday, and at the moment the preferred option is Southwell on Sunday. The ground will be to his liking, and he has been going really well at home, so we are all looking forward to a good day out. We may try him in some form of headgear, just to see if we can get him to concentrate a bit, and give whoever rides him a bit of assistance. The stable will have a busy day as Mrs Robeson has two fillies entered in the bumper at Market Rasen, and if the ground dries up they may both take their chances.It was the ground that was the undoing of Pleasurable on Saturday at Newbury, it really was the most miserable day and the ground was described by a few of the jockeys as disgusting. Pleasurable did not like it at all, and we look forward to seeing her out again soon on some better ground. Important Business has started a bit stronger work again after having had a few days off, and appears to be in good form with himself. The trouble is there are not many races for him now, and we will soon have to make a decision as to wether to run him again this year and run the risk of losing his Novice status, or putting him away for the season, and look forward to having him back in again later in the summer for an Autumn campaign, it will be a tricky decision, but it would be nice to turn him away sound, and have something really exciting to look forward to. Bobby will soon be out in the field enjoying his summer hols, as will Rob who will have an X Ray on his forearm before he goes out.

Friday 28 March 2008 Matty will be staying at home this weekend as the ground has gone against him. He really needs good ground, and with all the rain about it was decided to wait until things dry up a bit. He still has an entry at Wetherby on Tuesday, and we will continue to monitor things between then and now.

Tuesday 25 March 2008. What an awful weekend for weather, at least we had some top quality sport to enjoy!! After all the rain and snow etc. I hope that we get a little spell of drier weather so we can at least run Matty. He continues to go the right way at home and is entered at Wincanton on Sunday. It is a very warm affair with horses in there rated 135, but we will go and have a run as a stepping stone to getting a handicap mark, as long as the ground does not get too soft, at least it never gets too testing there. Important Business will be taking life easy for a little while, I feel he has just run up very light, and a rest will do him the power of good, he should be out and about on the quicker ground in about a month. Rousing Rob is recovering well, an X-ray of his forearm will be taken in the next couple of weeks and all being well he will be able to go out in the field when the weather warms up a bit. Bobby is in grand form and I cannot wait to get him back for next season.

Wednesday 19 March 2008. Rory and Karen Lawther were up yesterday morning and brought a home bred Gildoran mare for us to have a look at with a view to having her to run for the racing club. although a really nice mare,she was a little way off a run and so we decided to pass on her and try to get something that is a little bit closer to getting on to the course.There is a Doncaster sale in a couple of weeks and there are a few potential types entered, I may have to pay a visit with my cheque book.

Mattaking did a really striking piece of work and seems to have improved since his last run. He is entered at Towcester on Easter Sunday, but I would think it would take near Sahara type conditions to dry out the track enough to let us take our chance. We will be patient as he is another who needs a bit of decent ground.

The ground will be drying up at Haydock for Important Business, but it seems as though we are due to get a lot of rain tomorrow, and possibly a few snow flurries by Saturday, so his participation is still very much in the balance.

Monday 17 March 2007 Happy Paddys Day!! We were at Uttoxeter on Saturday, and it was packed to the gunnells with people again. They really do come to this meeting in their droves, and most seem intent on having a really good time, which usually involves drinking a fair amount of the sponsors product!! Ogee ran in the Novices Hurdle and ran probably his best hurdle race to date. He jumped better today and although he found various traffic problems throughout the race it seemed to really get his dander up and he finished really well to be second, beaten 8 lengths by a very very good horse from Nicky Hendersons. I think that Punchestowns could be a serious horse and is definitely one to keep the right side of in the future.

Also at Uttoxeter, we were interested in the Malcolm Jefferson trained Cape Tribulation in the bumper, as he is a Hernando half brother to the dam of our latest purchase Rousing Rob. We were not disappointed as he fair bolted up under a penalty, to add to his Market Rasen victory earlier in the month, so it looks as though the pedigree of our horse has another significant member, and has taken a real boost. Our chap has already shown us heaps at home, and anyone interested in either of the shares left in him for next season should give me a call, or send an email.

I am really pleased that we did not declare foe Weatherby on Saturday as the ground up there was really quick and a little rough. Sam who had 2 rides and managed a winner for Richard Guest says that we would not have run if we had gone, so the right decision was made. We would not have been alone, as there were 8 and 9 non runners in some races. I do not think there is much firm ground left about now after the deluge on Saturday night, so we will have to see what we do with Important Business for now. He will have an entry for Haydock on Saturday in the hope that the ground dries up, but if it does not we will ease off of him for a couple of weeks and get going again when we get some decent proper spring ground.

Friday 14 March 2007. It has arrived!! The clash that all jump fans have been waiting for - Kauto Star v Denman. Paul Nicholls is without doubt a master of his art but even he must pinch himself to have the best horse he has ever trained as favourite for the Gold Cup, AND have a horse in the next door stable that really could be anything, and that could actually make the rest of the field, Kauto included , look like a bunch of handicappers!! Just for the record, I think Kauto will win, but really I will be backing Knowhere to place and enjoying the spectacle of these two great chasers locking horns.

I hope that you were on my tips yesterday, a few winners in there including Our Vic who reminded me so much of our Olney Lad, made all in first time blinkers!
Back In Line advised Each Way - 3rd, Albertas Run - 1st, Our Vic - 1st, Inglis Drever 1st.

What a thrilling days racing it was, and we saw 2 great performances in Master Minded who looks like the best horse I have ever seen, and dear old 'Uncle ' Inglis Drever who won his third Stayers Crown. I simply adore this horse as he is so tough and genuine, and a real star to come back from injury the way he has, it nearly brought a tear to my eye.

Tips for today: 12.30 Theatre Girl + Sweet Kiln . 1.05 Aigle D'Or + Group Captain. 1.40 County Zen + Junior ew 2.15 Franchoek + Five Dream ew. 2.50 Lodge Lane + Tother One ew. 3.30 Between the big 2 , but have Knowhere to place at 4/1.4.05 Lou Du Moulin Mas 4.40 Take Nicky Hendersons Mare My Petra to win the race named in honour of his father.5.20 If you have any cash left then there are 3 in the last to have a look at , I'msingingtheblues , Mon Michel and Mountain. Good Luck and enjoy the clash of the titans!!

Unfortunately the ground at Wetherby has gone too quick believe it or not. The Clerk of the course is giving it as Good To Firm with a going stick reading of 9.5 which is getting to be plenty quick enough even for us, so Important Business will just have to wait for a few days. Frustrating, but we do not want to do any damage to him at this stage of his career.

Thursday 13 March 2008 No Cheltenham yesterday, and what a brave decision it was to call it off! Although I was not in the area yesterday, I do know that it was really blowing a gale as one trainer that I spoke to, who is not far away decided to give his horses a day off instead of trying to exercise them! With the strict health and safety rules that have got this country by the balls it really was a no brainer on the part of Cheltenhams Edward Gillespie to postpone the days sport. It does of course mean that the next 2 days are the best that a racing fan can wish for. I put up 2 seconds on the first day, and that is a reflection of how the whole day went really, and today there are even more opportunities to do your money!! I will give you a few for today, just for a bit of fun 12.30 Back On Line ew. 1.05 Albertas Run and Air Force One. 1.40 Boomshakalaka ew. 2.20 Voy Por Ustedes. 2.55 Our Vic+ L'Antartique 3.30 Ingles Drever+ My Way De Solzen ew.4.05 Crozan + IL Duce.4.40 Good Luck Sam. 5.15 Noir Et Vert + Beat The Boys. 5.50 Anybodys guess!! Now at least you know the ones to avoid!!!

The ground remains Good to Firm, Good in Places at Wetherby, which will suit Important Business, so it looks as though he will be taking his chance at their meeting in Saturday, just as long as his co-owner and assistant trainer have recovered from their antics at the Festival!!

Matty has been ticking over since his last run , and he will do a bit of work on Saturday and all being well be entered up during the next week.
There are developments on going with regards to a replacement for Bobby Gee and I am very hopeful that by the middle of next week Nick Brown Racing will be able to announce the arrival of an exciting mare that will be ready to run in about 3 weeks. I will keep you all posted.

Rousing Rob is recovering well.

Monday 10 March 2008. With gales and wind hitting oiur shores today it is definitely a day to stay inside, but unfortunately you just can't do that with the horses so thoughts go out to all stable staff who had to ride out this morning. Saturday was entirely different, and it was good to see Kate, Michael and Evie on the gallops for second lot. They saw their horse Mattaking do his first canter since his Huntingdon run, and were also able to see Ogee and Important Business do a really good piece of work together. Ogee will be entered for Uttoxeter on Saturday and Important Business is likely to go to Wetherby on the same day, though he will also have an entry at Uttoxeter on Saturday and Lingfield on Monday. They are both in really good form and I am looking forward to them both running. Bobby is still well and as soon as the weather warms up he will go out in the field, and Rob is recovering well from his hiccup and is moving as if nothing is wrong now.

Cheltenham this week, and hopefully we get the weeks sport that it promises to be. Everyone keeps asking me Kauto or Denman, and I have to say that I think Kauto will win, always go with proven form, and the form of all his races this year has been superior to that of Denman in any case.Osana is my fancy for the Champion Hurdle, and I think that Pipe Jnr will be very close to winning the Sunderlands bonus again this year as I think that Saturdays winner Askhazar will take a deal of beating in the Fred Winter, they say he has come out of the race well, and should emulate his stable-mate Gaspara, who won the bonus for David Pipe last year. Good luck to all, and have a fantastic festival if you are going. Hope to see you there!!

Monday 3 March 2008 A reasonable day at Huntingdon yesterday. It was pleasing to see Pleasurable come back to form, she ran really well on a track that would have been too sharp for her and over a trip that was definitely too short. The experiment was to see if she handled the ground and she seemed to do that, so upped in trip on a stiffer track and she should not be long in winning. I hope you all managed to get on each way!! Mattaking, was really the pick of the paddock, and well done to Alice who came on her day off and picked up the best turned out award, she is now level with Rachel with 3 apiece, this competition could go right down to the wire. Matty ran a sound race for his first effort over hurdles. It was a weak affair and as predicted Ollie Sherwoods mare fairly carted up. Matty is a bit of a riddle wrapped in an enigma - he has a bundle of ability but seems to be far more happy to keep it to himself, he jumped adequately on his debut and will no doubt benefit from the experience but his tendency to lug in behind the winner was slightly concerning, we will have to try and find a way of getting him to put his best foot forward.

Important Business has been entered for the EBF Final at Sandown on Saturday, but off his current mark I would doubt if he will get a run. We will continue to look for races for him as he is really well and continues to really impress at home. When we see it on the racecourse he will take some stopping!!

Rousing Rob has had his debut put on hold as he has suffered a bit of a set back, he will now spend the spring and summer in the field and come back into training in July. A bit frustrating , but being in training this winter will have stood him in good stead for next year and he has certainly shown us enough to keep us all on our toes and dreaming of winners over the summer!!

Bobby is 100% now and enjoying his rest and relaxation. When he is in work he can be a little aloof in his box, and not really want anything to do with anyone, but now that he has adjusted to being off games he really craves a bit of attention. He will soon, sadly be joined in his pen by Rock Wren who has injured a tendon and will be on th easy list for a bit longer than Bobs.

Saturday 1 March 2008 Never a dull moment in a racing yard and today was certainly no exception. First lot saw Matty and Pleasurable have a little refresher in the jumps field and then head off to the gallop to to a nice canter before their intended runs at Huntingdon tomorrow. Both schooled beautifully, and with only 5 runners in Mattys race I really do hope that we think the ground is safe, as it would be a lovely introduction to hurdling for him.Jamie Moore takes the ride, he is a really good strong jockey, and is in the form of his life at the moment so with him in the plate and the better ground sure to suit we think that our Matty should show vastly improved form. I think it will be tough for him to win as Ollie Sherwoods mare looks hard to beat, but anything could happen!! Pleasurable runs in the opener and if we leave the form of her last run behind I think she would have a good each way chance as she is in really good form.



Friday 29 February 2008. I had a walk around Huntingdon yesterday, and to be quite honest I did not like what I saw one bit. The ground is in awful condition! The Clerk of the course is currently giving the ground as good/ good to firm in places and on paper this would be ideal for Mattaking (although Pleasurable would not run on it), but in truth the ground is SO rough with some very bare patches that we actually need some rain to make it a bit safer.I think we will declare Matty,as there is a bit of rain forecast, but will have a close look at the state of the ground on Sunday before we make the final decision if to run or not. This is a far from ideal scenario, as many of the members of The Ravenstone Partnership will be changing their plans for Mothers Day to get to the course, and if their horse does not run it will all have been for nothing, but I am sure they would all agree that the safety of their man is all important.

The vote for the name of the Selkirk was held last night, and it was a really close run thing! We originally had a tie with Counting Pennies and Rousing Rob each receiving 2 votes, but the casting vote went the way of Rousing Rob so Mrs Robeson will begin the naming process and The Chicheley Partnership will have their first runner, hopefully at Uttoxeter on March 15, Midlands National Day.

Wednesday 27 February 2008. Matty is entered at Huntingdon on Sunday, and has a ballot of 29 so should get a run. He continues to school very very well. Important Business has come out of his Sandown race in good form, and we will look for a race in about 3 weeks for him. I am just waiting for 1more suggestion for a name of the Selkirk horse and then we can crack on and get him named. As soon as this is done he will be running.

Sunday 23 February 2008 Sorry for the delay in the update, but it has taken an extra day to get over the disappointment of Friday. We really thought that we would have a winner with Important Business but it was not to be. On reflection we feel there was a number of factors that added up to getting us beaten. He got a bit worked up in the prelims, the race was run at a crawl for the first mile and we were forced to make the pace, it turns out that our chap needs to go left handed, and the ground was no where near the good that they gave, and the racing posts time based ground figures give it as being soft which certainly did not help!! All in all a bitter disappointment, but we know that he is better than that and we will regroup and fight an other day. He came home and ate up and was sound yesterday morning, so that is all good.

Matty was scoped after work this morning, as he gave a couple of coughs after his Kempton run, and he was clean today, so he will be entered for Huntingdon an March 2.we want quicker ground, but he will not run if the ground is rough which it was when we were there on Thursday.

The Selkirk gelding went really well and will have a run, as soon as he has been named.

Friday 22 February 2008 Ogee ran a really good race in the Sidney Banks Memorial novices hurdle at Huntingdon yesterday. Usually a race that is used as a stepping stone to the festival by many of the trainers of the best novices in the country, and yesterdays renewal was no exception! A quality field and a really good race, just watching these good horses you can tell that they are going so much faster than noirmal. Ogee finished 6 beaten 15 lengths off the front, so he ran right up to his mark, jumped a lot better, and we learned a little more about him today. His turn will not be far away now, despite what Mr Neesom thinks in RUK!!

Today is the turn of our own fellow Important Business at Sandown today. Good to have Sam back in the plate, not that Jamie did anyhting wrong last time!! It is his handicap debut and I think he will run a nice race. Lets hope both come back safe and sound (and first)!! There will be a full report and photos tomorrow.

Thursday 21 February 2008 Important Business is declared at Sandown tomorrow. He will face 18 other rivals on his handicap debut, and if all goes well he should run a nice race. He is in the rudest of health and has been working well. Matty continues to impress with his jumping and is a real natural, so much so that he will be entered to make his hurdling debut at Ludlow next Thursday. The ground at the Shropshire track should be it's usual good or quicker and I think this will certainly suit as I am not totally sure that he enjoyed the soft at Kempton last time.I am sure he will leave his bumper form behind.

Monday 18 February 2008. Brett the vet was in this morning to do a few little jobs, he scoped Important Business and he was clean, bloods were taken and the results this afternoon showed that all was well with him. The Selkirk gelding was fully vetted, and I mean fully vetted!! The examination included both a scope and scans and I am pleased to say that he passed with flying colours. I have agreed his purchase, and he is now the property of The Chicheley Partnership for who he should be running in the next couple of weeks, just as soon as a name has been agreed, he has been putting in some really tasty pieces of work on the gallops so we are very much looking forward to his debut.

Saturday 16 February 2008. A really lovely morning on the hill, although we could have done with a bit of heat in the sun!! Everywhere was pretty much frozen, so all horses used the all weather, what a bonus it is to have this gallop, it really makes you wonder how things were done before the days of woodchip and poly track. Mattaking has only been on light exercise since his debut run at Kempton, and Stuart has taken the opportunity to start him jumping, and touch wood, he seems to have taken to it really well, he has schooled alone and upsides, so his first run over hurdles will not be far away. Important Business is still in good form, although a really minor hitch saw him miss his last canter this morning, but he still remains firmly on course for his handicap debut at Sandown next Friday. Unfortunately the treatment that Bobby has been having has not fully worked, so the only cure for him is time. This means that he has run his last race of the season which is a huge shame for the Club. They have had only a couple of runs out of their man this winter, but what a thrill they have had, finishing second at Warwick and then winning at Uttoxeter where the sound of the celebrations is still reverberating around the course!! The good news is that Bobby will be staying at Fences Farm for the remainder of his career, so we have plenty to look forward to!! I will be on the lookout for a replacement for Bobby so that the Club can have a bit more fun for the remainder of the season and beyond.The Selkirk gelding will be vetted next week and all being well he will then be the property of The Chicheley Partnership and should be running as soon as he is named.

Tuesday 12 February 2008 Important Business' handicap mark remains unchanged, even though the form of the horses that have finished around him in all of his races just keeps getting better and better, it was a fear that the handicapper may have looked at his races and raised him. Mattaking and the Selkirk gelding have both had their first pop over an obstacle this morning and both took to it well. The Selkirk will be vetted in the next few days and as long as all is well he will soon be running for the newly formed Chicheley Partnership. Cettis Warbler has now left Fences and gone to be readied for her broodmare career at Southcourt, I hope all goes well and she produces some lovely foals who like her go on to win plenty of races.Bobby is Ok this morning so hopefully we have turned a corner with him.We could do with some rain by the end of the week for Rock Wren if he is to run at Fakenham although he does have a fall back entry at Uttoxeter. The drying ground should suit both Palila and Dareyna who have entries.Cyd Charisse has arrived back at Fences to resume her season, she looks really well and the spell at Michael and Fionas and will now be got ready for a spring campaign.

Monday 11 February 2008. Busy weekend so the update is a little late. Back on Friday we sent 2 to Kempton Park. Ogee was a good second in the 2m 5f novices hurdle, his jumping still left a little bit to be desired, but was adequate and he stayed on well behind the decent King Jack. Although he certainly has the talent to win a novice, he may well go down the handicap route. I cannot understand why the press are always so rude about his attitude, we do not think that he is in anyway holding anything back,it's just that he is a lazy horse and does nothing in a hurry, he will be winning soon! Mattaking ran a sound race in the bumper although his finishing position does certainly not tell the whole story. He has been a big green baby at home, so the instructions were to get him in the hurly burly of the race and make a man of him.He travelled through the race far better than expected, and was actually fourth as they turned into the straight, but at this point the rest of the field drifted off the rail and left him slightly isolated, and being a bit green he wandered about and didn't quite know what was expected of him. Rodi was very kind on him and let him coast home in his own time, he will be a lot better next time when he will be jumping a few hurdles over a more appropriate trip. Both runners have come out of their races in good order.

On Sunday it was off to Hereford. Pleasurable was upped in trip in the Mares Only Novice Hurdle. A real disappointment, she was really flat and was pulled up when tailed off before the last. She was scoped at the races , but no problems were found so it's back to the drawing board with her. A little break may be the answer as she has been on the go for a long time, and may be feeling it a bit.

Bobby continues to have little niggles, but has cantered away today and all seems to be well again with him,but it is a bit of a day to day thing.

Important Business is in the form of his life and was bucking and kicking on his way back from exercise on Saturday. He has matured and put on a bit of weight, and we are looking forward to his next run!

Thursday 7 February 2008 Two go to Kempton. And a bit like an Enid Blyton tale it could be quite an adventure. Ogee is declared in the 2m 5 furlong Novices Hurdle, and with a little less emphasis on speed he should jump better and run a nice race. Mattaking is declared for the concluding bumper, and although lots of things are against him it will be a valuable part of his education. I hope he enjoys his day at the races and learns what he is all about.

Tuesday 5 February 2008. Bobby has resumed full exercise, and was ridden around the farm today. His problems appear to be well behind him, and now it is time to kick on and try to get a second win out of him, and off his current mark who says that can't happen.No rock Wren at Market Rasen today as the ground is decribed as simply awful. It's a sure sign things are not great with the going when the Clerk Of The Course is actually trying to put you off running. There will be other days for Rocky, he is well. I saw Cyd Charisse last weekend when I went to see Michael and Fiona Kehoe, Cyd looks really well seems to be enjoying her mid season holiday, she should be back at Fences Farm in the next week or so. Heebie Jeebie is also having a break down at Southcourt Stud and will return to run on the better ground in the spring. Nothing ever came to light regarding the really poor run of Dareyna at Huntingdon, it could only have been the awful ground. She has schooled really well and will be entered up in the next few days.Ogee has been intensively schooled and his technique has definitely improved at home, let's hope he can carry that through to the racecourse.

Saturday 2 February 2008. No snow! And a really good morning on the gallops. Crisp first thing, and you would not have gone on the grass today,but all the horses seem in good form, and that always keeps the cold out! First lot saw Ogee and Rock Wren both work well ahead of their intended races next week, Rocky is in at Market Rasen, and Ogee will go to either Kempton on Friday, or Newbury on Saturday.

It was nice to welcome Michael Dunkley over to Fences Farm for second lot. Michael is a new member of The Ravenstone Partnership and he seemed to really enjoy seeing his new horse Mattaking work well, although he did look a little chilly! Mattaking did work well, and a change of tack that Stuart thought may do the trick does seem to have worked, so it is all systems go with him and he was entered for a Kempton bumper on Friday. I think the track and trip will be on the short side for him, but he just needs to go to the races and learn that he is a racehorse.

Also out in the second lot was the Selkirk gelding who showed up really well, and did a particularly eyecatching piece of work. Charlie Brandon who rode him was very impressed and reported that he seems to have plenty of gears. Geoff Bridgford who was in the Sherington Partnership, and had such bad luck with Paix Eternelle was up the hill, and he was suitably impressed to buy a share in him on the spot. There are only 2 shares remaining, and I think they will be snapped up pretty quickly so get in touch if you want to be part of the fun - you will not be waiting long as he will be running in about 3 weeks. He is being vetted on Wednesday to confirm his wellbeing and after that it is all systems go. His pedigree is outstanding, with lots and lots of Black Type, and so many winners that only 2 generations can fit on the page!! (Click here to view Pedigree).

Important Business went out third lot, and Stuart said he felt in really good order - he said he was like trying to ride a slippery eel. It is the intention to run him in the EBF Final but with his current rating he may not get in, so his next race may be at Sandown in a 0-120 handicap, which will be a good trial for the Final a fortnight later.I hope you were all on Fresh Winter on Friday, as I said, on my handicap he was well in, but I did not expect him to bolt up by 17 lengths!!

Bobby Gee was on the walker today as he continues to recover from his little niggle, he should be cantering again next week, and be running mid to late Feb.

Friday 1 February 2008 Pretty dire ground at Towcester yesterday, and it was this that just found out Cettis Warbler. The blinkers had the desired effect and seemed to sharpen her up, but the really soft ground just caught her out a bit. Not sure what happens to her now, but if her racing days are over she would make the most wonderful broodmare. Being a Mares Only Chase Final winner I should think that the stallion men will be falling over themselves to get Mrs Robeson to use their horses, it could be fun trying to find her a 'husband'. John Mackies Fresh Winter that finished fifth behind Important Business at Doncaster last Friday runs again today, and if our rating is anything to go by he should win, albeit the grond is very different from last week. He is upped in trip but bred to get this far so I can see him being well handicapped. Incidently the winner of last weeks race Lease Lend is declared to run at Weatherby tomorrow if they escape the weather, and it will be interesting to see how he runs. Two horses to very much keep the right side of. No runners this weekend, so a busy day on the hill tomorrow, I hope there is no snow!

Thursday 31 January 2008 Not at Towcester today due to company audits, but Stuart reports that the ground is really bad. It will certainly not be to the liking of Matty, who will now stay at home tomorrow rather than going there to gallop. We want him to enjoy his experience, and pulling him about on that grond will only be counter-productive.

Wednesday 30 January 2008. Last night Paix Eternelle went through the ring at Doncaster. It was a really poor night and due to the massive overproduction of foals in the bloodstock industry at the moment the value of mares, particularly National Hunt mares, is at rock bottom, and in the end we were really lucky to get a bid on our girl and she was led out at the minimum bid of 600 guineas. She will be coming back to our area, and will be put in foal. A really sad end to a venture that started off with all before it. I was quoted in the local press as saying that this season was to be 'Paix' back time and we would make hay with the mare this year with the new mares only series at the forefront of our minds. It was not to be with her although I am pleased to say that most of the members of the Sherington Partnership have been accomodated into new ventures and were, although disappointed by their experiences with Nellie, not totally put off racehorse ownership.I hope we can give them all some decent sport with their new charges. I suppose there is always a silver lining to a cloud, and in this case it is Bobby Gee who came to us as a replacement for Nellie, and we all know what he has achieved this season, would have been nice to have both though!!

Saturday 26 January 2008. Important Business seems to have come out of his race in fine form, he got back and could not wait to get his head in his feed, and was literally bucking and kicking when he was led out this morning, even so he will still have an easy couple of weeks and we will see on Tuesday what the handicapper does and then plans can be made from there. Getting him to the final on a stiffer track with a low weight would be ideal!!

On the gallops this morning the Selkirk gelding went really well and gave Stuart good feel so he should be staying in the yard. There are only 2 shares left in him so anyone interested should get in touch quickly.He is only about 3 weeks off a run so you will not have to wait very long to see your horse on the course.

Matty is now officially named Mattaking and was yesterday entered in a Wincanton bumper on Thursday. He has been working really well, but typically today when a few of his owners turned out to see their new boy he decided to behave like a real baby, and worked so green that any plans to run on Thursday had to be scrapped. They race at Towcester on Thursday and if they will let us we may take him for a racecourse gallop either after racing or on Friday morning, he just needs to grow up. Young horses are often this way, he has been going really well and pulling his way up the gallops for the past couple of weeks but just today he took it upon himself to look around, not concentrate and curl up under his rider. He certainly has the ability, he now has to learn how to use it!



Friday 25 January 2008 Another second!! How unlucky is our little chap Important Business, this is the third time he has run into a good one! Saying that, what a brave and gutsy performance it was. With Sam at Newbury and Jimmy suspended it was down to Jamie Moore to do the steering and he rode a peach of a race. Always in the front rank he looked to be travelling really well of the home turn, only to be swallowed up and go a couple of lengths down, but he our lad battled back and was just in front landing over the last and it looked as though he would go on to win but yet again he was to go a lengths down but amazingly battled back near the line to reduce the final margin to 1/2 a length. Jamie was chuffed with him and thought that having to switch up the home straight may have cost him, but he was really complimentary about our horse and said he will be winning in the very near future.Although I was really pleased with the performance and it was a definite step up for Important Business, it was gutting to finish second once again, especially as the money was down!! IB has now finished second three times and in those runs has been beaten a total of 3 lengths, how unlucky is that!!! Th form figures for all of our horses this season now read, 1 win 3 seconds a fourth and a fifth. Not bad so far but I think there is better to come.

Cettis Warbler seems fine after her run yesterday, and Rock Wren is entered for Leicester and Chepstow next week.


Thursday 24 January 2008 Important Business goes to Donny tomorrow. Jamie Moore takes the ride as Sam has to be at Newbury for his boss Brendan Powell, and Jimmy is suspended. Jamie is a really good lad and a great little jockey, if he gives our boy a ride like the one he gave Cyd Charisse to win at Uttoxeter earlier in the season then we should be in for some fun!! IB is really well and has come out of his Huntingdon race bucking and kicking, there are a few decent types in the race but I think that we will improve a bundle for the step up in trip so a good run is expected. It will be good to go and see the modifications they have made to the course as although a really good galloping track- it was a barn of a place, and I hope that the upgrade has been succesful. Fingers crossed for a good run and we get round safe and sound.

Wednesday 23 January 2008 Bobby Gee will unfortunately miss his intended targets at the end of this month, but has suffered only a minor niggle and should be back on the course in about 3 weeks. we still hope to qualify him for the EBF Final at Sandown but we may have to drop in trip slightly to do so. Ogee runs today at Huntingdon. This represents a far easier option than that he faced on debut and he should run well, he is quite lazy and was not quite match fit at Newbury, so he will improve from that and could go close. Important Business' blood test results came in last night and are perfect, the vets have confirmed Stuarts view that the horse is in the form of his life, so with him facing a slightly increased test of stamina on Friday, I think we can be hopeful of a good run. 'Mattaking' is coming along really well and did a good piece of work yesterday, he will not be far off running, and all being well should make his debut in a bumper in early February.

Tuesday 22 January 2008. Just when I pray for a bit of drier weather in Yorkshire they go and get some really dire stuff and the place is flooded - typical!!! All seems to be well at home, Bobby has met with a really minor hiccup, and it will be a bit of a race against time to get him ready for the qualifiers at the end of the month, and as they are getting few and far between it would be a real shame if he were to miss out. All that can be done will be done to get him to the races on either of the 2 days, it really is frustrating when these things happen, but thats racing! Important Business continues to thrive and worked well this morning and although the floods are out up north I think we will still take our chance and try to get him qualified as well if the meeting survives. Doncaster is very free draining so things are hopeful on that score. Our new Breeze Up horse is progressing well and moving really nicely on the gallops. Before I went away, a vote was undertaken by the members of The Ravenstone Partnership, and the name that came out on top was Mattaking which was the first choice of Roger and Mavis Butson who have been in all of the syndicates that I have formed, well done to them both. The naming process was put in progress by Mrs Robeson in my absence, and subject to the name passing the necessary checks it should be confirmed in the next few days and we can look at getting him entered. It looks like a busy spell for the syndicate horses so keep up with events here.

Monday 21 January 2008 I pick up the racing post today and see a lovely picture of Important Business on page 7. He is pictured behind Anthony Bromley and Peter Thomas as they stand beside the paddock at Huntingdon. It shows him off quite well, but I wish he didn't have his tongue out!! As I mentioned we were away for a few days, and I must thank Nick and Jane Walton for inviting us to spend a lovely week with them at their property in Antigua. Nick has been a member of The Tyringham Partnership from the start, well actually more precisely Jane has, as he purchased his share in Olney Lad for her as a wedding present!!Antigua is a lovely island, and I can recommend it to anyone, we even managed to see Shirley Heights and Mill Reef, which was a pretty good effort to see these two legends of the turf on one small island!! It was lovely to get away, and I'm sure I will feel the benefits as soon as the jet lag wears off!! The entries for Doncaster look pretty strong but at least all three of the stables entries should get a run, lets hope we don't get too much rain.

Monday 21 January 2008 Sorry for the recent lack of updates, but as some of you know I have been away for the last week, and by the looks of things I could not have chosen a better week to get away as there was a distinct lack of racing during the past seven days. So we must go back in time to Friday January 11 when the yard had 3 runners at Huntingdon. The Cambridgeshire track is usually associated with good ground but even that had to change as it rained all morning and the ground changed from good to soft to heavy in the matter of a few hours, unfortunately this was not going to suit all of the days runners. Firstly our boy Important Business ran in the 2m Novices Hurdle and ran a blinder in a really hot contest. The rain soften ground was a real worry before the race as all of his family have wanted a decent surface and as he has such a lovely action we thought that he would be no exception. One thing was for sure though, he would not lack for courage as he really is a tough little fellow! As it transpired he acted well enough on the ground and ran really well to finish fifth, unfortunately not in the first four to qualify for the final but a really good race in what was a very warm heat. In hindsight I think if Sam had committed for home before turning out of the back straight he could have burnt off some of the speed of the 2 milers and we would have finished a bit closer but still a really good run all the same and it does at least prove that he acts on the ground. Unfortunately this was not the case for the yards other 2 runners who both ran poorly, it seems the ground found out Heebie Jeebie and she will now have a bit of a break and wait for better ground, and Dareynas run was too bad to be true, and I am sure something will come to light.Important Business returned sound and well and will be entered for a race at Doncaster on 25 January.

Thursday 10 January 2008 As planned Important Business is declared to run at Huntingdon tomorrow. The race looks like a hot affair, and our boy will have to be at his very best to lower the colours of some of these over this trip, but at least he will be running on some of the best ground in the country at the moment, and this is the reason for running. Heebie Jeebie also runs in the Mares Only Handicap and has been in good form, and should run her usual honest race. Dareyna is declared in the Bumper and I am confident she will leave her debut running well behind. Good luck to them all!

Monday 7 January 2007. We are now praying for a dryer week, as we have Important Business in a Novices Hurdle at Huntingdon on Friday. We all think that he needs a decent bit of ground so we are hoping that there is not a lot more rain this week and that the ground will remain around Good to Soft. He did a really nice piece of work on Saturday and definitely seems to have come on for his hurdling debut as so many do, and although the trip is on the short side he should run well.
Mrs Robeson has entrered Cettis Warbler at Carlisle, so there seems to be a long drive for Stuart in th offing. The track should suit and the trip seems ideal so hopefully she will come back to a bit of form, if not it will be a bl**dy long drive home!!

Saturday 5 January 2007. What a beautiful morning! You could be forgiven for thinking that it was spring this morning, it was lovely. It was slightly less busy for me as well today, Ian and Mary Burchell were due in to see their new horse, 'Matty' but Mary has got this rotten cold that is doing the rounds and so wisely chose to stay at home in the warm. We wish her a speedy recovery, and look forward to showing her her new 'baby' in the near future. It was good to see Alan Gibson today,and I think he left thinking it was good to see us, as his horse Important Business did a fantastic piece of work, and really looked exciting. I think he left with a rather large smile on his face!! Bobby had one canter, and all seems well after his win last Monday,and Matty went really well and is learning his job all the time, he really does look the part and is the most fabulous mover. He will be named shortly which is always an exciting time for new owners, and I am getting a few of their suggestions back through the post now, They really have been putting in a great deal of effort and I am sure that our chap will get a name befitting of his looks and athleticism.
If anyone is interested in joining a new 8 person Partnership then please get in touch, as there are only a couple of places left. We have a horse for sale in the yard, and we think he is worth having, so get in touch for further details.
Important Business is entered up a few times this week, but the state of the ground and quality of opposition will determine where he runs. At the moment Huntingdon on Friday looks favourite.

Wednesday 2 January 2008 The good news to start the year is that Bobby Gee seems to have come out of his race in good order. He will spend a few days in the field and then come back into work at the end of the week, but at this stage all looks well and he appears to be enjoying his time out in the field with Sukie.In fact all of the runners from the past week appear to be A1 after their races, although Pleasurable did have a bit of an infection in a hind leg, but that seems to be all clear now. Important Business continues to surprise us in that he had a pretty hard race at Bangor but after a few days doing very little he is bucking and kicking and in really good form with himself, so the plans of running him at the end of the month have had to be re-drawn and he will now have a spin in the next couple of weeks, as it is just like sitting on an electric eel when they ride him at the moment. He is already entered in a maiden hurdle at Ludlow but it is unlikely that he will go there, the more likely option is an EBF qualifier at Huntingdon on January 11.

Monday 31 December 2007. WELL DONE BOBBY GEE!! What a way to end the year, good old Bobs does the business at Uttoxeter. I have always found the holiday period between Christmas and New Year the ideal time to run horses. Firstly a bigger percentage of partneship members are usally free to go racing, and with the greater volume of meetings scheduled, it usually means that the races are often a little easier to win. Bobby Gee had been ready to run for a couple of weeks, but I advised the club members that we would wait until this period for a run to try and get a win out of our boy. Their patience was well rewarded, as after being entered in a few Novice and Maiden Hurdles but getting a really low ballot, we plumped for a Class 3 Handicap Hurdle with a prize fund of £8,500 that cut up to just 8 runners, and it looked to be a perfect opportunity for our man to get off the mark. And so it prooved, travelling well on the soft ground he quickened away turning in and under a great ride from Sam, strode away to win by 13 lengths, something that Sam apologised for, but in fairness I don't think you can start thinking of easing down on soft ground as that is when those horrible episodes occur when something can come up and do you on the line. This was a very special winner for Sam as it was his first winner for Uncle Stuart and Mrs Robeson. He was all smiles afterwards as it has been a bit of a while coming, but I was thrilled that it happened on one of ours. Sam really is a super lad and I am sure that he will go on to some really big things as a Jump Jockey. There was a massive turn out to see Bobby win, 28 club members made the trip, along with a number of friends of the yard, it all made it a really good day, I have never seen so many smiling faces, it certainly makes all the hard work put in by all involved so worthwhile!! Thanks to everyone for their messages of thanks and congratulations, we will now have a sit down and plan Bobbys next run which will probably be an EBF qualifier at the end of January or the beginning of February. Meanwhile Bobby will have a well earned few days off in the paddock, and come back to work at the end of the week. Once again congratulations to all involved!!

By Permission Of Alan Wright of Official Photographers


Sunday 30 December 2007 Bobby is declared to run at Uttoxeter tomorrow. It was at this meeting 8 years ago that we had our first runner, Outplacement, so it is great that we get to go back, although I hope Bobby does a bit better than Wiz did on that day. Since then of course we have had some really great days at the Midlands track, Olney Lad won twice, Cettis Warbler won the Listed Mares Olnly Chase Final along with countless other triumphs, and it really is a place that we all love to go to.Bobby makes his handicap debut tomorrow, and as is often the case between Christmas and New Year the race has cut up to only 8 runners. This will be ideal and I am hopeful that Bobby will run really well, I think he probably deserves to be favourite. I will apologise now for the report of the day being late as I can see us having a bit of a party on News Years Eve, a double celebration I think!!

Saturday 29 December 2007. Newbury today, Pleasurable in the Juvenile Hurdle with only the matter of a classic contender to beat, and the mystery horse that was mentioned on here a few weeks ago, Ogee, running in a really hot introductory hurdle. Pleasurable is another tough youngster and ran really well in a race full of some really classy types. Jimmy had thought she may pick up a place before the race which would have been a really amazing result considering her opposition, but as it was she was flat out for most of the way and finished a creditable ninth in the circumstances. Ogee was the mystery horse and one that everyone has been looking forward to. He is a 93 rated stayer on the flat for Sir Michael Stoute, and if he took to hurdles he could be more than a bit useful. The race was restricted to horses who have only run in a maximum of 1 hurdle race, so they are nearly all at the same stage of their career, and it was an ideal starting point.Ogee had schooled well at home, in fact he jumps the chase fences better than the hurdles so we were hopeful that all would be well in that department, he had been a bit lazy but his work had improved lately so actually getting to the end of his race was a bit of a worry, and as it was this is exactly what happened, he jumped OK travelled well until between the last two flights where his lack of match fitness caught up with him and he finished a really good sixth. Plenty to like about the run and all at Fences Farm hope that he can go on to bigger and better things.

Friday 28 December 2007 A busy time of things between Christmas and New Year, and today it was the turn of Rock Wren to go to the races at Leicester. Rocky had some decent bumper form but up until now had not shown too much over hurdles. It has been his jumping that had let him down, he is such a tough little so and so that he has no respect for his obstacles and tends to just try and run through them. The plan was to get him settled and jumping and do his best. Sam did this to perfection and Rocky really made a mockery of his 100/1 odds by finishing a very fast finishing second to a mare of Paul Webbers that they hold in very high regard. This was very out of the blue but really enjoyable , although I fear the handicap mark has gone out of the window a bit!! It was great to see Roy Bowring at Leicester today, for those thsat have read the site you will know that Roy was our first trainer and it was good to catch up with him, he has still got that old charm!! Well done Rocky, its off to Newbury tomorrow!

Wednesday 26 December 2007 What better way to get rid of those Christmas excesses, than to have a bright and breezy day out at Market Rasen! Palila was the runner and was expected to run well on her handicap debut. As is usual on Boxing day, the jockey situation is manic so with Sam at Huntingdon for 7 rides,(1 winner) it fell to local lad Tom Messenger to do the steering. Getting to the course was a bit of a nightmare though, it was an easy run all the way until we reached the outskirts of Market Rasen from where it took us a further hour to get on to the course. Had to feel a bit sorry for James Ewart who had made the long treck from Scotland only to be caught in the same jam. He made it on to the course after some pretty daring driving on the wrong side of the road with only minutes to spare before his first runner, who looked like he would rather have been back in the traffic, but his other runner was going really well and upsides th eventual winner 2 out when his jockey fell off, so a really frustrating day for them!! It was much the same for us, as Palila travelled really well but just did not pick up as the taps were turned on and finished a rather poor seventh, lets hope a reason comes to light.

Friday 21 December 2007 They say that weight stops trains, and unfortunately this was the case with Nicole and Dales own little express Cyd Charisse yesterday. She ran in the Mares Only Qualifier at Ludlow where although the conditions overhead were horrible with freezing fog resulting in really poor viewing the racing surface was perfect for the mare. She was burdened with a double penalty, and found this just a bit too much for her, the welter burden just taking its toll between the back of the second last and the line, resulting in her just being run out of things in a bunched finish and finishing fourth. She has run with real credit and right up to form, and has qualified for the final in March. She will now have a little holiday while the worst of the weather is about through the depths of winter, and return on her favoured quicker ground in the spring. Another placed effort for the yard, I just wish they could be winners instead of places, but I'm sure that the winners are only just around the corner. Who knows it may be today, when Cettis Warbler returns to her happy hunting ground of Uttoxeter. She has come on for her run at Sandown, and really loves this place so hopefully she will put up an improved performance.

Wednesday 19 December 2007. Important Business runs at Bangor on Dee today. This will be his first effort over hurdles, but judging by the way he schools at home it should not be a problem to him. The biggest factor may be the trip, which at 2 miles and 1 furlong may be a bit on the short side. Sam takes the ride.

The journey was a long one, as due to a lorry fire on the M1 at Northampton, and that roads subsequent closure, we were forced across country to pick up the M40 and make our way to Bangor that way. This added about 40 minutes to the trip but we still managed to get to the course in good time, so that Yorkie could relax.

He came across to the course from the stables 40 minutes before his race time and was led around the pre-parade ring, this was to be the first time that he had been saddled in the pre-parade and not in the stables so it was good to see him take it all so well. Bangor is a lovely track to introduce a novice as all the facilities are first class, a fact that was made all the more clear when you look at the previous winners of this Novices Hurdle, which included My Way De Solzen and Garde Cahmpetre, it is strange how top trainers seem to run their good horses in the same races year after year. Important Business took all the prelims really well, was superbly turned out by his lass Rebecca (Alice to her friends, and anyone that has seen The Vicar Of Dibley will know why). In fact she did such a good job she picked up the best turned out award, and is now level pegging with Rachel with whom she is battling to get the most number of best turned out awards during this season, Important Business really looked a picture.

Race time, and Sam jumped our man off in third place with enough width to get a good sight of his first hurdle, he jumped it well and settled into a good rhythm. In the main he jumped really well, but found himself outpaced along the back, but this tough little chap responded to Sams urgings and stayed on to finish fourth only beaten 8 lengths. This was a really good performance in a very hot little race over a clearly inadequate trip. I was thrilled with the run, and the way he jumped really put down a firm foundation for his future. He had a pretty hard race today, and is still only young at 4 so he will have a decent little break now and come back again in about a month if we can find some decent ground.


Tuesday 18 December 2007. Important Business has been declared to run at Bangor tomorrow. Unfortunately the two horses that we would have ideally liked to have missed are declared to run as well, but I still feel that our little chap will more than hold his own and a placed finish is certainly on the cards. The way things are going form him and the rest of the yards runners it will no doubt be second!!

Sunday 16 December 2007 Sunday morning and Sam was up to school a couple. First to have a pop was Important Business who went well, and then it was the turn of the mystery horse who also took to the job well.Important Business is entered for three races on Wednesday, but his likely engagement will be at Bangor in a 2m 1f National Hunt Novices Hurdle. There are a few decent sorts entered so we must hope that these bypass the race and go elsewhere leaving a nice opportunity for our boy to have a pop round and pick up a few quid.Thr ground will suit, and although he will stay further in time, the trip should be OK as well.

Saturday 15 December 2007 No Rest for the wicked!! After a long day and night yesterday it was an early morning this morning. Matty the new horse travelled home well, and settled in his stable for the night. He will be kept in one of two isolation boxes to avoid the possibility of him giving any bug that he may have to the horses already in the yard, the other isolation box is home to the Selkirk gelding that came home with him from the sales, so at least they can keep each other company, and possibly exchange tales of their time at Cheltenham!! First lot saw Cettis Warbler work with Pleasurable and both went well, a few youngsters cantered in behind. Second lot, Important Business and Bobby Gee both did a strong piece of work together, Palila and worked well, as did Cyd Charisse who worked with a horse that has been in the yard for a few weeks, and could be a very exciting recruit. I will keep you guessing about his identity until he has an entry, but he could be very exciting!!

Third lot was the turn of the new boys to stretch their legs! Matty and Rob (the Selkirk) both went for a walk and trot around the farm and then did a little canter up the all weather to stretch their legs. Rachel had the pleasure of being the first to sit on Matty, we thought this was only right as her Mum is one of his owners,and so she could report back, judging by the smile on her face when she walked back all went well, so Mum should be pleased. Andrew and Sarah Mathewman who were with us yesterday popped in on their way home to see how their new charge had settled in, and Mr & Mrs Roy Mason were up, they have been interested in joining a syndicate for some time, and a chance conversation in the pub a week ago, and a timely phone call from Roy on Friday meant they could come up and see the new horse and I am pleased to say they quickly snapped up the remaining share. Good Luck to everyone!!


Friday 14 December 2007 An early start today as we pulled out of the yard at 6.30am for the trip to Cheltenham. We wanted to get to the course early to see the horses that were breezing this morning go down to the collecting area, as you can get a really good idea of temperament by just looking at the way they are handling proceedings prior to their work. Andrew and Sarah Mathewman, new to ownership, and members of The Ravenstone Partnership for whom we were buying today were also up early and we managed to grab a quick cup of warming tea before going out on to the course. Two words can describe the breezes, bloody freezing!! Poor Sarah looked frozen, but we toughed it out and watched every lot go through its paces. After the horses had done their bit, it was time for a very welcome cooked breakfast, and then the hard work of looking at all the selections we had made by pedigree and breeze. I must say that the quality of horse on offer this year was excellent, and there really were some quality models on show. One really taking grey by April Night caught our eye, but it also seemed to be quite a favourite of Michael O'Leary the owner and chief executive of Ryan Air, so it was soon clear that he would be out of our budget.After looking at all of the horses we needed to, there was just time to catch a few races, and see Sam ride a peach of a race on Brendan Powells Which Pocket to take the Conditional Jockeys Chase. This was a really good way to come back from his recent injury, and he did a really good interview after the win as well, a good young professional.When racing was done it was time to check the vet certificates of our selections, to make sure that there had been no problems detected by the veterinary panel, and a good opportunity to grab a quick glass of something and catch up with a few friends. The sale began at 5.30 and we were invited to join Brendan Powell on his table and enjoy the proceedings from there (Thanks Brendan). It was soon clear that it was going to be a very brisk trade, and that we were going to have to be very sharp to get the sort of horse that we were after. Lot 13 saw me make my opening gambit, she was the most gorgeous looking half sister to Le Volfoni, a smart chaser of Paul Nicholls. She was produced by leading consignors Mill House Stud, which is run by David Minton of Highflyer Bloodstock and his wife Julliette. Unfortunately I found myself the under bidder at 32,000 Guineas and lost out to Nicky Henderson. I think we will see a fair bit from this mare on the racecourse before she goes to stud. As the evening went on the prices just got higher and higher and it was clear that we would have to make a small compromise as to the sort of horse we would get as the ones that we felt would be suitable in terms of looks, pedigree and breeze were going to be way beyond our pockets. We felt that the best way forward was to buy a really nice model that had breezed really well, but had perhaps not got the strongest of pedigrees, as Stuart says 'I can't train a page!!' Luckily for us we managed to secure lot 54 for 28,000 Guineas. He was consigned from Aiden Kennedy's Rectory Stables in Ireland, and is a four year old by Mister Mat the sire of a number of good National Hunt Horses including Mr Banjo, and had done what we thought was one of the three best breezes in the morning, so at least we know he can gallop!! When we were inspecting the horses after the breezes he really caught Stuart, Trish and my eyes so hopefully not all of us can be wrong!! He really is the most stunning big dark bay gelding, a real old fashioned chasing type and one that I hope can go on to some pretty good things in the near future.We found ourselves taking two home, as a horse that did not make its reserve came back tom Fences Farm with us for Mrs Robeson to train. He is for sale and there will be more to come about this fellow in the future.By the time we had paid our bills and loaded up it was getting on and it was 10.30 before we got home, a really long day and hard work but it will all be worth it if this new fellow manages to find his way into the winners enclosure!! The fun starts here!!



Thursday 13 December 2007 Frosty and cold, and that is just the reception that Fiona Needham received from trainers and jockeys when they arrived at Huntingdon to find that a course that was deemed raceable at 10.30am was suddenly unfit at midday. I can fully appreciate what a difficult job being a Clerk of the course may be, but as I am only 20 minutes from the track I can safely say there was no hope of racing going ahead today, and the meeting really should have been abandoned at 9.30am, thus saving owners and trainers all the time, trouble, and expence of heading off to the races. From an owners point of view travelling horses is very very costly, and if the right decision had been made at the first inspection then a lot of money could have been saved.

Fortunately racing went ahead at Ludlow and Heebie Jeebie ran really well to finish second in the Mares Handicap. She was beaten by a rapidly improving sort from the David Pipe yard that we thought may have just been got by the handicapper. How wrong can you be!!! Never mind, another second for the Robeson yard, hopefully this will soon change to a few in the number one spot.

Important Business will not go to Doncaster this weekend, but will instead be aimed at a National Hunt Novice at Bangor or Newbury in the middle of next week.

Wednesday 12 December 2007 Those of you who enjoy reading the trials and tribulations, and the fun and heartache that is all part and parcel of our wonderful sport via this page of our site, may like to nominate us for a small award. This is a small competition run by the Racing Post through its Net Prophet feature, and the name of anyone that votes in the competition will be automatically placed in a draw to receive a fee bet with Victor Chandler. I will endeavour to provide some really good information should one of our nominees win, so it could turn into a very profitable exercise. Anyone that would like to cast their vote in our favour should email and vote for us by typing for either the Best Racing Industry Site, or if you feel inclined, the Website Of The Year categories.Thanks.

On Friday we go to the Breeze Up Sales at Cheltenham. This is a fantastic day out , and I am pleased to say that a couple of the new members are taking a moment out their hectic London lives and coming down to Celtenham early to enjoy the breezes and get involved in the selection of their new horse, this should be great fun and we look forward to having them on board. There is still one place left in this Partnership if anyone is interested, if you are then please give me a call.I will take the camera with me on Friday and put up a blog about the whole day sometime over the weekend.

Important Business is entered to run at Doncaster on Saturday. The race looks quite a hot affair with a Johnson/Wylie horse entered called Scriptwriter that was third in the Ebor at York, so you could say that it has a bit of ability!! We will monitor the situation and probably give or horse entries at Newbury and Bangor in the middle of next week.

Heebie Jeebie is in grand form and is entered to run at Ludlow tomorrow, she could run very well, if declared.

Saturday 8 December 2007. A thoroughly filthy day on the gallops this morning, but it was worth being out as Important Business did his final preparations for his hurdling debut next Saturday at Doncaster. He went really well and is ready to run for his life. Bobby did a swinging piece and went well, and will run again between Christmas and New Year. Cettis Warbler and Pleasurable seem to have come out of their races in good form and both will be out again in the near future. Mrs Robeson has found the ideal race for Cettis back at her beloved Uttoxeter in a couple of weeks, so lets hope she can run as well as usual at her favourite track.

Friday 7m December 2007 At last big Cettis Warbler got to go to the party. the rain softened ground at Sandown was deemed to be ideal and she lined up in The Sun Page 3 Handicap Chase (perhaps she should have been Chesty Warbler for the day)!! The one thing that the big mare is good at is galloping and jumping, but she finds it hard to give weight away to better horses, she is far better at giving weight to slightly inferior opposition, so our hopes were tempered on that front. She did jump really well and put in some spectacular leaps, but in the end was just not fast enough to go with them, Jimmy jumped her round and completed the course as he was enjoying himself so much (although he claimed he needed the practice) and it did the old girl the world of good. She will be a lot better next time. After having a bit of a pop at various courses over the months here I must say how much I enjoy going to Sandown. We all know about the natural amphitheatre and the fantastic atmosphere, but the day is made so special by all the employees of the course who always find the time to have a laugh and a joke and are not oppresive in any way but get the job done so well. I cannot wait to go back!!

Thursday 6 December 2007 Pleasurable ran a blinder today to finish third in the Juvenile Fillies Hurdle at Leicester. She just pecked on landing after the last flight out the back, just when the rest of the field were quickening. Jimmy was patient and let her regain her balance an she stayed on really well to finish in the frame at 100/1!! There was a bit of 40/1 for the place on the exchanges, I know, I had it!!! Cettis Warbler is declared to run at Sandown tomorrow.

Wednesday 5 December 2007 Sam continues to recover, and should be back riding in about 10 days. Rocky seems to be fine after his slog around the Towcester mud on Saturday, and all seems well back at Fences Farm. Stuart has taken advantage of the wet weather, which has resulted in perfect underfoot conditions for schooling, so nearly all of the horses have had a jump this morning, and I'm pleased to report that all schooled really well. Pleasurable is declared to run in the Juvenile Fillies Novice Hurdle at Leicester tomorrow with Jimmy doing the steering.This looks quite competetive for a race of this nature, and a good clear round will be a sound starting point for her hurdling career. The wet weather does at least mean that Cettis Warbler should get a day out on Friday at Sandown.Anyone wishing to come and see the horses on Saturday morning is more than welcome, just get in touch (numbers on contacts page). Non owners welcome, as it is always a pleasure to see new faces.

Saturday 1 December 2007. A brisk wind on top of the gallops this morning, but still a good mornings work. Cettis Warbler worked with Pleasurable first up, and both went well, both have entries for the end of next week, as the ground has not come for Cettis at Leicester, there will be more news on the pair during the week. Bobby and Important Business did swinging pieces and went really well,Important Business continues to school very well. and is a very neat and economical jumper so he should be OK for his debut which looks as though it could be at Doncaster in a couple of weeks (all being well). Bobby continues to thrive and he will tell us when he is ready to go again.

After second lot it was off to Towcester, where Rocky was running in the Novices Hurdle. Rodi Greene was in the plate as Sam was to ride one for Brendan Powell (his boss) in the race, and Jimmy was at Newbury. To deal with Rocky first, he travelled OK to the bottom of the hill, but just got tired in the very testing conditions and was pulled up. He is a tough little chap, but these conditions were just too much for him.

As things transpired it was a really bad day all round, as Trish had to take Sam to Milton keynes General Hospital after he suffered a horrific fall in a really dramatic first race. It all started badly at the first fence, which over 3 miles at Towcester is downhill off of a short run and can often catch a few out.On this occasion it didn't just catch out one, but an incredible 4 went. All horses and Jocks were up OK by the time the remaining runners reached the second where Romney Marsh who had been badly hampered in the first fence melee was very slow and pulled up straight after jumping it. This left six in the race with two loose horses preceeding them up the home straight for the first time. The field managed to negotiate the first two in the straight but there was more drama to come at the one at the top of the hill. The loose horses ran along the rail and when they got to the fence there was nowhere to go and they turned right across the front of the field. there was chaos! The leader managed to jump the fence, but four of the five behind were brought down, fell or refused. Unfortunately Sam was on a faller, his horse tried valiantly to jump one of the loose horses in front of the fence and the fence as well, but it all went wrong, and the horse ended up vertical and firing the unfortunate SP straight into the dirt. He knew immediately that he had broken his collar bone, although it could have been a lot worse if the horse had not knuckled over to its right, if it had gone straight over, or to its left it would have landed straight on Sam. Sam walked to the medical room where he was checked over, and then it was off for Xrays. These proved inconclusive, but SP was sure it was broken, so he called 'The Galloping Doctor', Dr Phillip Pritchard who manages to cram being a Trainer and Jockey into his busy life as a GP, and Dr Pritchard agreed to see him that evening at his surgery near Bristol. So after another long treck it was confirmed that Sam had broken his collar bone, but it had not displaced and he should be fit to ride out again in about ten days.We all wish him a speedy recovery. To add insult to the injury, his other ride for Sue Nock went and won so he missed a winner as well, nothing a young jockey hates more!!

Friday 30 November 2007 After three runs in hurdle races Bobby Gee has now been assessed by the Handicapper,and has been given a rating of 110, which is exactly where I had him. I think this is a fair mark, and would be quite hopeful that he could win a novice off this mark, and it also opens up the opportunity to run in some nice handicaps if we decide to go down that route.

Important Business continues his preparaions for his hudling debut,and despite a slight hiccup earlier in the week, he continues to do it well, He even loose schoolsm himself!!! He is very careful and clever at his obstacles and if he continues to learn his trade at this rate, he should be out in a Novices Hurdle in a couple of weeks, at one of the better tracks. Looking back on his last run at Uttoxeter, I think it was a really good performance and we may have just run into another really good horse, who incidentally is another graduate from a breeze up sale.

Possible entries this weekend are; Rock Wren at Towcester on Saturday, and if the rain arrives, Cettis Warbler may go to Leicester on Sunday.


Tuesday 27 November 2007 The Robeson horses still seem to be in rude health. Today Heebie Jeebie ran at Kempton and put in a really good performance. She is a really buzzy filly and pulled very hard for the opening half mile of the contest, but settled to her job and actually took up the running turning in, only to have her exertions early in the race take their toll going to two out. To her credit she did pick up again after the last and finished well. The race was run in a very quick time and I think the first and second are clearly useful so this represents a really good run, and when she learns to settle, a good deal of fun can be had with her.

Monday 26 November 2007 Two runners from the yard left early this morning for the awkward trip over to Ludlow. Palila was engaged in the Novices Hurdle, and ran really well to finish sixth, not beaten far, she is another that is not without ability and will be a lot more competitive now handicapping. Hylia went in the concluding handicap hurdle, and although she travelled a lot better today she still lacked that spark that she has thrived on in the past. She may be heading along the winding road of retirement. Orchids Silver seems none the worse for her efforts yesterday. Heebie Jeebie runs at Kempton today, and if a few of her problems have been ironed out she should run well of this sort of mark. Cettis Warbler should be off to Lingfield tomorrow, she is also entered at Wetherby where the race is far more suitable but their ground is still Good to Firm around the home turn and up the length of the home straight and this is far too quick for this big girl!

Sunday 25 November 2007 Having spent a really enjoyable evening with Nick and Jayne Walton, who are members of The Tyringham Partnership, at their home in Surrey, it was off to Towcester to see Orchids Silver run over hurdles for the first time. She finished up sixth, beaten a fair way but considering her jumping was far from perfect, which was a surprise as she jumps so well at home, she ran well. Although no superstar she is a nice mare and will only improve with time.Palila and Hylia are declared to run at Ludlow tomorrow.

Saturday 24 November 2007 A beautiful crisp morning, and although the grass gallops and canters were all frozen this morning, the horses were all still able to work on the all weather. Cettis Warbler went well first lot with Pleasurable and a couple of youngsters did their first canters in behind. Second lot cantered and third lot went to the jumps field to school, but after popping Orchids Silver up the hurdles once it was decided that even at gone 11 o'clock the ground was still a little to firm with frost and the remainder just went and cantered.

Friday 23 November 2007 There is now ONLY 1 PLACE REMAINING in the new Partnership. I've been through the catalogue with a fine toothed comb and found a few likely candidates, so if anyone is interested in joining us, then please get in touch quickly as I cannot see this place remaining unfilled for very long. The cost of the remaining share in this new 8 person partnership is £4000 + VAT (which I will claim back on behalf of the purchaser and refund in March) plus a further £175 / month to cover all costs. I think this represents great value, and having met the people already involved, it will be a great deal of fun!!

Thursday 22 November 2007 All seems well this morning, as is normal Bobby has been rugged up and turned out in the field this morning to recover from the exertions of yesterday. Because he put so much effort in yesterday we may well spoil him and give him a few more days off if the weather stays dry. The good news is that he is sound and well and we have a lot too look forward to in the months to come. Having watched a recording of the race on Racing UK they really were complimentary about the way that Bobby looked, and when Cyd Charisse won at Uttoxeter the other day the TV pundits could not get over how fit and well she looked, so it just goes to show that the horses really are in the form of their lives and being primed to the second by Mrs Robeson and her team.

Having had a couple hit the cross bar in the past few days it got me thinking about how many horses that have run in the 'red,black and white' have finished out of the first five, and the results are astounding. From 32 runners only 9 times have they finshed out of the first 5, and if you take Outplacement out of the equation who did win, but was out the back in his other runs, the figures read 27 runners with only 5 finishing out of the first 5, and one of these was when Olney Lad fell at Newcastle.So a remarkable 72% of Nick Brown Racing horses in the last 5 years have finished in the first 5!! It just goes to show that all the hard work I put into finding the right horses, and the efforts of Mrs Robeson, Stuart and all at Fences Farm really gets results.


Wednesday 21 November 2007 Second Again!!!! It is probably THE worst position to finish in, and we have done it twice in 5 days.Bobby Gee was fantastic at Warwick today, and considering it was touch and go as to wether he would actually take part, his performance is even more meritorious. We have had so much rain at home that the horses are squelching around the farm, yet at Warwick the course had actually dried up after the weekends downpours and was Good ground.Having said that Bobby needs soft we were initially reluctant to risk him on this faster surface, but we held judgement until after the first race to assess things and ask a few of the lads that had rides in the first what they made of the ground. So as Stuart looked at the ground to see what sort of print they were making I asked a few jockeys what they made of it, and all reported it to be perfect ground, just on the soft side of good, so we took the decision to run. Sam once again took the ride and gave him a peach!! Being a bit keen early his instructions were to get a bit of cover, and then just come through and ride a race.S P did it perfectly, although he was so nearly carried out approaching the fourth hurdle when a horse on his outside unfortunately broke down and had to pull up sharply. Bobs was stopped in his tracks, and Sam did well to get him back between the wings and jump the hurdle, but he did not panic and just picked his way through the field.Jumping really well Bobs hit the front going over the last down the back and quickly went four lengths clear and looked to have gained a winning advantage only to be run out it on the run in. In the circumstances it was a great run, and those club members that managed to get to Warwick had a really great day. For quite a few it was their first experience of ownership and it so nearly started off in the best possible way. It is certainly a run to build on. They were very complimentary about Bobbys well being on the TV and he really was turned out superbly, he looked in the peak of condition, and was a credit to Mrs Robeson and her team. Well done to all.

Tuesday 20 November 2007 At Last!! Some wet weather, so Bobby Gee has been declared to run at Warwick tomorrow. There is more rain forecast so the going could go even softer than the good to soft they have at the moment, and this can only be a help. He is really well and although he has not had a run for some time I think he will put up a really good show tomorrow. Quite a few of the club will be there to see him run, and I hope they all have a really good day!

Monday 19 November 2007 There is a whole load of good news today!! Firstly Important Business seems to have come out of his race on Saturday in fine form.He came home and ate up well and spent yesterday morning relaxing in his paddock before the rains came. He will now be schooled, and his next engagement should be over hurdles. As mentioned it rained yesterday, fortunately it rained a lot more at Warwick, and their good to firm ground has now gone to good to soft so this means that Bobby can at last make his seasonal debut on Wednesday, something that the members of the Nick Brown Racing Club have been waiting for for some time now. Hopefully we will get a good turn out of members and he runs well for them. The ground will certainly suit as we are forecast rain and I think he will really relish the battle.

Saturday 17 November 2007 So near!! Important Business ran a blinder at Uttoxeter today coming from a mile back to be second in the concluding bumper. A crisp morning saw the lorry pull out with Rock Wren and Important on board for their trip to the Staffordshire venue. The journey is really easy and both travelled well. The ground was superb, a great covering of grass and the minimal amount of rain that had fallen on the course in the preceeding seven days had allowed the going to remain Good, a description that would suit both runners. Rocky was first to go in the opener and although a bit fresh to begin with, resulting in him running into the bottom of the first couple of flights he settled to his task well and was in touch leaving the back straight where he lost his hind quarters after jumping the last on that side and Sam, realising that all balance and momentum was lost simply popped him home to ensure he enjoyed his first experience over hurdles on the racecourse proper. We then settled back and enjoyed a good afternoons sport, both at Uttoxeter and at Cheltenham via the TV, and I must say how sorry we all feel for Paul Nicholls and the connections of both the horses he sadly lost. It is a stark reminder of how tough this sport is, but it is through these adversities that National Hunt folk gain their spirit, and sense of camaraderie, which makes it such a wonderful sport to be involved in. Important Business was third favourite for the bumper and looked a million dollars in he paddock. His lass Rebecca had also led up Rocky and won the turn out prize with him and she certainly deserved another for the way that 'Yorkie' looked in the prelims'.He was really well behaved and got to the start with no fuss. As the tapes went up Sam found himself shuffled towards the rear of the 18 runners and with no pace on he was sort of stranded there and turning out of the back straight was actually second last when we wanted to be in third or fourth!! But the game horse battled and ran on well to make his challenge about 1 furlong out, only to find that the exertions of coming from nearly last into second place had emptied his tank and he could not quite get past the eventual winner, a horse that is evidently held in very high regard John Jo O'Neill.Initially disappointed with being beaten, we soon realised that Yorkie had run a really good race from where he came from, and although Sam will not be exactly thrilled with the ride he gave him he said he was a lovely horse and will win plenty of races, he also suggested that by the time the race was run the ground was a bit cut up and rode quite dead, and that he would prefer better ground.So touch wood all is well with him over the next few days and we can build on another promising effort and now go hurdling with a lot to look forward to!!

Friday 16 November 2007 We're off to Uttoxeter tomorrow with Important Business. He runs in the bumper, and if the form of his debut is anything to go by he will dot up, as I have just seen the winner that day, that was all out to beat him by 1 1/2 lengths win the Grade 2 Novices hurdle at Cheltenham. This was easily the best Novice Hurdle run this year and he beat some really good horses, so all looks well for our Yorkie!!! Rocky runs in the first and he stands a bit of a squeek as well. What price a Robeson double???!!!!

Thursday 15 November 2007 A nice run from Palila yesterday, although the opposition was hot. The eventual winner won a bumper at Hereford about 12 months ago, and I know that when they pulled up the trainer asked the jockey if the horse had made any sort of noise, meaning did it have a breathing problem, and the jockey replied the only noise it made was when the turbo kicked in!!! The second is a lovely horse and one that we would have liked to buy at the breeze ups last year but he went a bit beyond our budget at 75,000 guineas!! So all in all it was a good run, she jumped well was only run out of it as they turned for home, but stayed on again and is now qualified for handicaps, so if she gets a nice mark she should be a lot more competitive from now on. The good thing was that she took the day much better this time, she was very much more well behaved and this is a good progression from her last outing, when she left her race in the paddock. She appears fit and well this morning. Jo, who was Important Business' work rider for all of last season, but has not been riding since the birth of her and Pauls first child, Niamh a couple of months ago, sat on him for the first time yesterday and was astonished by how much he had changed since she last rode him in the Spring, she said he has really grown into a nice horse now, so that bodes well for the future. As I write he is still on course for his second racecourse appearance at Uttoxeter on Saturday. Unfortunately it looks as though the lack of rain will once again thwart us with Bobby as the ground is still only Good and there is no rain forecast until Saturday afternoon, I think we will have to remain patient. He will be entered up at Warwick next week in the hope that any rain we get over the weekend is sufficient to change the ground to his favoured soft.

Monday 12 November 2007 Well done Sam!! A very good weekend for the young man, with a double at Fontwell on Friday for Brendan Powell, and another winner at Hereford on Sunday. His season is really starting to pick up, and hopefully he can put in a really good challenge for the conditional jockeys title. On the home front, Geoff Bridgford was over to see his horse Bobby Gee do a really nice piece of work with Rock Wren. Both will be entered for a novice hurdle at Uttoxeter on Saturday, but as usual Bobby will not go unless the ground is Good To Soft all round. Important Business just cantered and will have an entry in the bumper on the same Uttoxeter card, but unlike Bobby he will run on Good ground so long as there is no Firm in it. All things considered it looks as though we should have at least one runner this coming weekend!!



Friday 10 November 2007. I will be attending the up and coming Breeze Up Sales held by Doncaster Bloodstock Services at Cheltenham Racecourse in the middle of December. This is a really good sale, and a fabulous source of quality horses. Recent graduates from the sale have included Crocodiles Rock, Otto des Pictons and of course our very own Important Business who I bought last year.The horses are cantered/galloped up the straight on the racecourse in the morning, then Stuart and I spend the rest of the day examining the ones that have caught our eye, and hopefully end up buying one. With this format of sale at least you can see the horses move in their quicker paces, and get a better idea of what they may be capable of on the racecourse, rather than buying a backward store that is unbroken and can only be trotted up on a head collar.Having been prepared for the sale they are of course that much further forward, and so purchasers do not have to wait so long to see their horses on the track. I have a couple of places left in a new partnership I am putting together so if anyone is interested then please get in touch.

Thursday 8 November 2007 A pretty rough old afternoon at Towcester. Luckily I managed to miss the worst of the weather as I was late getting to the course, but races were delayed and things were being blown over and down everwhere for a few moments as a storm streaked across the course. Luckily it had passed by the time the little three year olds took their chances in the juvenile bumper. As you can see from the photos of the track when we walked it a couple of weeks ago, the place is a real test for a youngster in the best of weather so at least the worst of the wind and rain had died down by the time the last was run. Pleasurable ran a very respectable race, and the experience will certainly bring her on. She took it all very well, and is one to look forward to.

Tuesday 6 November 2007. Another beautiful day!! But really not what we want. The ground for tomorrows meeting at Chepstow is given as Good, Good to Soft on the stable bend. This is not quite soft enough for Bobby Gee and yet again the members of the Racing Club will have to be patient and wait for rain. It is better to be a little patient and wait for rain in the next couple of weeks, than run, and have to be very patient and wait for a leg injury to heal which will take 12 months! Important Business was scoped after work this morning and all looks well ahead of his intended seasonal debut at either Sandown or Wincanton on Saturday. Bobbys next entry will be for Uttoxeter on Saturday week, and I ask all readers of this diary to go out and do rain dances,( but only after one member has finished drilling their winter wheat today), so that we may at last get Bobs to the course!!

Friday 2 November 2007 What a day at Uttoxeter today!! Congratulations to Dale and Nicole, their horse Cyd Charisse was the very very game and tough winner of the Mares Only Novices Hurdle. She had to shoulder top weight of 11 stone 12 lbs around the 2 3/4 mile course and just would not be beaten. It was nip and tuck all the way up the home straight with Full Of Zest , a mare from the Alison Thorpe yard, to whom Cyd was giving 15lbs. Full Of Zest seemed to be going the better but made a hash of the last giving the advantage to Cyd, but she bravely battled back to give Cyd a real battle, with Dale and Nicoles brave Kayf Tara mare coming out on top in the photo by the shortest of margins. You cannot imagine how tough this mare is and she is a real credit, Jamie Moore who was in the plate said he has never ridden a horse before that is like a giraffe in the finish, he swears her neck grew longer and longer so that she got her head infront on the line, she just did not want to be beaten. Well done to all, especially Dale and Nicole, who are both great sports, and have been so lucky with Cyd who is the first foal they have bred. To get your first foal to the racecourse is a real achievement but to have one that wins two and finishes second twice in her last four appearances is nothing short of a miracle!!! I'd better mention Stuart as well as it was his him that found the race about a month ago and it was a well worked plan by himself and Mrs Robeson to pull off the win! His race planning is getting a lot better !!

Thursday 1 November 2007 Patience is a virtue, and all in the Nick Brown Racing Club will have to have their fair share of it over the next couple of weeks if the weather forecast is anything to go by. As you will be aware Bobby Gee really needs to get his toe in the ground, and with the recent bout of drying weather most of the courses, English ones anyway, are currently good to firm, and this will definitely not suit our fellow. Because of this he has not been declared for Uttoxeter tomorrow, and we will give him an entry for Chepstow next Wednesday. Let's hope we get some rain!! Although looking at the long range forecast this seems unlikely.Cyd Charisse on the other hand seems to love the quicker ground and does run in the Mares Only Handicap, and should go well with conditions to suit.

Sunday 28 October 2007. It's always the way!! You spend all morning indoors pottering about until it is time to go to the races, and it's a lovely day outside. The moment you step out of the door it starts to pee it down!! Today was no exception, Heebie and Cetti at Towcester, at least the bad weather kept the usually massive crowds down to a reasonable figure, and one could get about the racecourse without the usual cross between a rugby scrum and a game of sardines.Unfortunately the rain did not come in time to get into the ground for Cetti. The ground had actually dried up a bit from yesterdays march round and she is such a big girl it was deemed not worth risking her on ground that although definitely softer along the back was genuinely good from the bottom of the hill to the winning post, it is early in the season and there will be plenty of other chances for her this winter.They say there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing, and I say it never rains in bars, so although the heavens decided to open half way through the afternoon it was a really enjoyable time. Heebie ran really well, she was left in front after 3 furlongs after a very nasty accident to Valley Hall from the Charlie Mann yard, who broke down in front of the stands and our sympathies go out to her owners and everyone at Charlies, and this meant that once again she made the running and set the race uo for those in behind. She led until the bottom of the hill, was passed and plugged on up the hill to finish a game fifth. This built on her performance at Bangor and although the steps are small they are still in the right direction. Bobbys race at Uttoxeter looks pretty hot, and we will need rain for him to run so watch this space.


Saturday 27 October 2007. A great day on the gallops today. I was there early as usual and watched first lot work. Heebie and Cetti did nothing too tough before their races tomorrow, and Dareyna and Pleasurable went well in behind.After breakfast we had an influx of owners and the yard was a hive of activity. Everyone picked a good morning to come over as they saw their horse Bobby Gee to a good piece of work upsides Important Business who continues to impress.Bobby did enough to show us his well being and earned himself an entry in a National Hunt Novice Hurdle at Uttoxeter on Friday, and the plan is for Sam to ride.Also out in second lot were Cyd Charisse and Orchids Silver who both worked really well, these two will also be entered at the same meeting on Friday.The afternoon was an ideal opportunity for Stuart , Myself and Harriet to nip over to Towcester to see if the ground was suitable for Cettis to take her chance tomorrow. We walked all around both the Chase course and the Hurdle course, and found the ground to be good up the home straight and slightly softer along the back straight. I must say the ground was in really good order, but we felt that it would need the forecast rain to arrive early for the ground to ease enough for Cettis to take her chance, it is not worth risking her at this stage of the season.Towcester is a really good course these days and a real test for a National Hunt Horse, I tried to capture the extent of the straight from the bottom of the hill as we walked around but I don't think you can appreciate what the finish is like even from the photos, it really does look like a bloody long way to the lollipop from the bottom of the hill.Heebie will run tomorrow and hopefully she can build on her previous run at Bangor.As we were walking the course we got a phone call to tell us that Souffleur from the Peter Bowen yard had just won at Aintree.This was the good news, Cyd Charisse had pushed this horse all the way to the line in her last race at Bangor, so it was good to see Souffleur win as this well and truly frank the form. The bad news was that it absolutely bolted in by 8 lengths and between the last two flights it looked as if it had only just joined in, it was going so easily!! This means that it is sure to take a massive hike in the weights as this was it's first effort in a handicap, and will more than likely force the handicapper to look at Cyd and put her up a few pounds as well!! There is nothing worse than getting a horse put up for standing in it's stable but at least Cyd has an entry in a handicap on Friday and the weights will be published by the time the ratings are reassessed on Tuesday so she could be 'well in' by the time she runs!


Thursday 18 October 2007 The welcome deluge of rain that fell on Tuesday night meant that some of the soft ground horses could at last be schooled on turf safely. Cettis Warbler was in tremendous form over the chase fences and Bobby Gee went up the hurdles a couple of times and was in great form. If we continue to get rain and underfoot conditions remain on the soft side then Bobby will not be far off running. The plan is to remain over hurdles, and probably start off over 2m 4f to 2m 6f and progress from there. Important Business is swinging along in some style, and his preparations are bang on track.

Saturday 13 October 2007 Slightly misty this morning for first lot, and the 'new' gallops vehicle was a little more reluctant to get going!! Still we made it up to the top and saw first lot going through their paces. There were quite a few out early as it was a busy day for the yard at Bangor where three runners were taking their chances. Bobby, Important Business and Palila all did strong canters, this was the firtst time that IB had gone a little quicker and he just floated along and really seemed to enjoy himself, Bobby always enjoys himself, he just loves his work and when we get any apprecaible rain he will be on the go. This was Palilas first canter back after her run at Uttoxeter earlier in the month. Hylia worked with Pleasurable and both went well, all seems to be OK with Hylia so hopefully her last run was just a little blip and best forgotten.

After breakfast it was off to Bangor with Cyd Charisse, Heebie Jeebie and Dareyna. All travelled well and we arrived in good time. Cyd was first to run in the 2m 4f Novice Hurdle, which on paper looked a reasonably hot heat, with expensive winners in the field and a whole host of what I call sleepers, ie horses that could potentially find all manner of improvemnt. Cyd ran really well staying on strongly to finish second, I think she ran right up to her mark and will improve for a bit further. Heebie ran a more promising race, as there was no pace Sam decided to make the running and probably set the race up for the horses behind but she ran well and this is a building block for the future, keep your eyes on the form of this race as I think it was decent and will throw up a few winners. Dareyna ran OK for her debut in what I think was a good mares only bumper, she will imorove no-end for the experience.

Managed to get all the way home avoiding the rugby score as I had it recording at home, although Harriet did her best to blab when we got back to the yard.And what a result!! Well done England, now just the Final!! All in all a really enjoyable day and so different to Market Rasen, Bangor is a really lovely track and one that I would recommend to any racing fan. There are no stands but you get a really good view of the racing, the gound is always in tip top order and the atmosphere is simply great. Go on make the treck to Wales, as you really will have a lovely time the day you go to Bangor!!!

9 October 2007 Hylia seems to be fine after her non event at Huntingdon, and it seems that the enthusiasm needs to be re-lit so a pair of blinkers may be the order of the day. I hope they work as I have a soft spot for her. A great weekend for Sam with a winner on both Saturday and Sunday. Fontwell on Sarturday saw him win on L'Oiseau for Johnny Portman, Sam and the horse have become a good combination and a change of tactics that was suggested by the jockey paid off in some style with a really easy win. On Sunday Sam started off at Huntingdon before shooting over to Uttoxeter for two rides later on on their card. It was Huntingdon that saw Sam at his best on Sunley Shines (see photo), another horse with which he has struck up a really good, succesful partnership. Sam quickened the pace down the back and had all his rivals in trouble turning for home as the big daughter of Komaite jumped her rivals into the ground for an easy success.Well done Sam, this will be a good kick start after his unfortunate break early in the summer.

7 October 2007 Hylia ran at Huntingdon today, but I use the term 'ran' in the loosest possible way as she didn't seem to go a yard and Jimmy reported that she was never travelling at any stage. It was really disappointing to say the least, 'Hilda' is no superstar but she is really game and always does her best, it was thought that she would need the race after being off for so long and having the burden of top weight (she is very small) but she was expected to run a race, which she just did not. So tests will be done tomorrow and Tuesday to see if there is a problem, and if nothing comes to light then it is back to the drawing board. She may even have lost interest in the game totally and if that is the case it may be a struggle with her.Let's hope that something turns up.

4 October 2007 I must be getting old!! As you know from the latest instalment fron Fences Farm, on Saturday we took Orchid's Silver to Market Rasen. Rasen is a beautiful course that is set out well, the young Clerk of the course does a wonderful job with the ground despite the fact that he has two soil types, and races there all year round, the enclosures are well laid out, and the viewing areas give you a good sight of the entire course, but there is one thing that really makes me mad, and that is drunk, loud, boys, girls,men and women.I have nothing against going out and having a good time, and few have gone out as much as me and had quite as good a time as me in the past, but I strongly feel that there is a time and a place for getting plastered, and in my opinion it is not on the racecourse.On our last vist to the course in the early summer when we sadly lost Coralbrook, the jockeys were even having abuse hurled at them from the crowd as they walked into the paddock - people should remember that if it were not for these brave lads there would be no racing at Market Rasen at all, and a friend of mine was verbally abused while just watching the horses in the pre-parade ring. I do not know what it is about the North Lincs venue that attracts these sorts, we arrived at 2.45 with the horse and as we walked over to the stables there were two men, both in their middle age who were trying to get a cab away from the course, these fellows were so drunk they could barely stand up and had no idea that their taxi had arrived and pulled up right in front of them, they must have really enjoyed the first two races!! On the way out, when in fairness you can expect to see a few worse for wear Stuart was prodded and poked whilst being on the phone to the owners of the horse, and was shouted at about being a jockey just because he was carrying the colours bag. I really do not want to sound like a kill joy, but this sort of behaviour, although widespread on racecourses, seems to be at least twice as bad at Rasen, and it really is off putting to go there. Perhaps the management could have a look int the proliferation of people walking about with cans of alcohol, not something you see on most courses. I have probably gone on about this for far too long but I just needed to get it off my chest. Sorry.
4 October 2007 On a slightly lighter note than the last post, I have what may be a major scoop. Whilst looking through the results in the Racing Post I see that the winner of the 4.05 at Auteil yesterday was won by a 23 year old called Patriote, trained by a certain M C Pipe!! Has the great man quietly come out of retirement in France and managed the near impossible feat of training a 23 year old to win a £14,000 hurdle - he really has reached a God like status and surely a Knighthood is only a matter of course!! On the other hand is it a sad reflection on the new editor of the trade paper, that he and his team have missed this massive news - or is it just a mis-print? I'll let you decide!!


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