Going, Going, Gone!
Well that was a warm one! The start of the week we 'endured' record temperatures, with the thermometers heading north of the 40 degree mark on both Monday and Tuesday. Rightly all of the meetings in the areas of the country that were due to experience the hottest temperatures were abandoned the previous week, and time of the first race in Stratford was brought forward so that the races were not staged in the hottest part of the day., Extra measures in place at both Cartmel, and Newtin Abbot and the staff at all the courses that staged meetings this week have worked doubly hard to look after the horses taking part. As I mentioned last week, I don't think that jump racing should go ahead in temperatures above 25 degrees, but as it stands it does and the horses that run are tended the best that they can be. Hats off to all the staff, including those at every yard whos' already early mornings have been at least an hour earlier recently, so that they can get their horses exercised, washed and cooled off before the heat really started to set in. As ever a big thank you to all!
Not everyone enjoys the day that they get their car MOT'd, but I do - it means I get to see someone I don't see enough of. For the past few years I have made the jourmey up to Peterborough to have my car tested at NCK Autos, owned and run by my good mate Nick Griggs. Since Covid, I haven't seen as much of him as usual, and it is a good chance to have a good catch up - and this year we have arranged to meet up more often and sample some Guiness - hopefully we can even get to see West Ham once or twice!. For those in the area - NCK Autos offer a really good service - professional and trustworthy - I would reccommend them if you need work done on a car, an MOT, or even a new second hand car, as they offer a great package deal on the cars they have on offer on their used car lot. http://nckautos.co.uk/
A few of Intrepide Sud's new owners popped into Ravenswell Farm to see their boy on Monday morning. They had a great morning there and were really impressed with the yard and the staff - they said IS was in great heart and got to see him school as well!
Tuesday got hotter, As you will know, our house is thatched, and a few folks have asked what is it like living under thatch in the heat we had last week. Well, it's like this - Day One - hot outside, lovely and cool inside, the thatch is excellent insulation and keeps the heat out. Day Two - nothing can survive the onslaught, and it is as hot inside as outside, like most places - Day Three - the great thermal insulation properties of the thatch now work against you - with temperatures dropping outside, it is like a bloody oven inside! In the end it cooled down just enough to sleep upstairs!
All the syndicates have received their dividend details this week, and the last payments will go out tomorrow. For those who joined new syndicates last season, and have not recived a dividend in the past, could you email me bank account details please. The heat always slows everyone down a bit, but I am pleased to say that it did't stop us putting the final touches to a couple of syndicates this week. We had just a single share available in both Intrepide Sud and Itchy Feet, and the IS share was snaffled by Karen on Thursday, she is also the member of the Tintagel Queen group, and just fell in love with IS when she saw him run earlier in June - she does not have to wait long to see her new horse on the track, as IS is declared to run in Worcester on Tuesday evening - we wish her and the rest of the syndicate the best of luck with him - second in a similar heat at the same track in early July, the hope is that he can go one better on Tuesday. It has been a busy week with horseboxes too, with regular customers returning to swap in their old vehicles for new. Next week will see lots of new boxes making their way across the channel, at least they come across unaccompanied, and nobobdy has to sit in the queues that we have seen this week, particularly in Dover and Folkestone. Lots of new boxes that will be going to their new owners in the next week or two.
On Saturday it was an early start, and into Olly Murphys Warren Chase Stables just after 7.00am. The plan had been to meet a group of men who had each put themselves down for a share in Itchy Feet. Sadly an overnight medical emergency for the man that was doing the organising and driving meant that they didn't make it, but we had a fantastic morning nonetheless. We have three there to run in our own colours this season. Tintagel Quuen and (the very cheeky) Auditoria are in fine form and both look great - new boy Itchy Feet is still recovering from his recent wind op, and will start back ridden in the next week/10 days. There are also three further horses there that we manage for clients, one is in full work, and will run again in a few weeks, the other two are lovely young fillies who, like Auditoria and Tintagel Queen have just started back cantering. They too look very very well.
Sadly we didn't get to see our new Itchy Feet men yesterday, but we did get a message at lunchtime to say that a new man would like the last remaining share in him. Like Intrepide Sud earlier in the week, that is now Itchy's syndicate full - all of the shares in him are now reserved, it is now just a case of tying up the details and getting syndicate agreements and invoices out to everyone and getting them registered to his ownership group. We wish them the very best of luck with him - he looks sure to take them to some great meetings next season!
Itchy Feet - Library photo - don't worry he wasn't in his rugs!!
This now means that all of our partnerships are fully subscribed, apart form a single share in the Jukebox Jury 3 yr old that is going into training with Gary Moore next month. He had been fully booked, but a change of circumstances has meant that a single share in him is back on the market. He is currently back in work with Jason Maguire, who likes him a lot, and is really happy with him. He has started to canter away, and doing everything right at this stage. He will be aimed at Junior Bumpers in the autumn. He is out of a dam that won 4 times on the flat, and who is a full sister to Group 1 winner Durban Thunder. He has the looks and the pedigree to be very useful, and everyone that has had anything to do with him thus far likes him a lot. Good to see Jukebox Jury have a very impressive winner of a 1m4f handciap yesterday in Lingfield off of a rating of 78 - with this horses pedigree, he should be good fun in those junior bumpers for sure. Talking of the Moores - great to see the photo of Josh at Oaksey House this week - smiling as ever - his road back to full health is sure to be a slow one - but from where he was - he really is a miracle man!
Next week looks like being fun! Monday will be in the office sorting the final dividends, and getting the Itchy Feet invoices out. Tuesday eveniing we will be in Worcester to see Intrepide Sud try and go one better than the last day. Wednesday we will be in Cheltenham at the Cheltenham Cricket Festival - not our usual Cheltenham Festival, but one that I am really looking forward to. Glocs v Northants - a buzzing Northans who have been in good form of late!
On Thursday we will be heading to Stratford where Yauthym will have a spin round in the 2m mares handicap hurdle. Her first run for a few weeks, as she punctured the sole of her foot a while back - but she's back in good form, and although this race isn't ideal for her, she likes the summer ground and should get her summer back on track here.
The rest of the horses are all well - just three left to go back to their trainers - Classic Ben, Hidden Beauty and Volkovka all head back to their respective yards on Monday August 1st. Tariners are very happy with those that have arrived with them earlier this month. Donald McCain is really happy with 'Dean', he has settled in well, and doing everything asked of him 'with no bother' so all good there. Fergal is really happy with Mamoon Star, Fortune Forever, and Blue Bikini. All cantering away nicely. BB was gastroscoped this week, and her ulcers were nowhere near as bad as they have been in the past - ulcers are graded 1-4+ with anything over 2 being performance inhibiting, and 4+ as bad as they get. This time last year she was 4+, and we had expected her to be up around 3 this time - remarkably she showed at just a 1 - which for her is amazing - the treatemnt and management programme that they introduced her to last summer has obviously worked really well, and although many would just carry on with her as she is on the findings of this scope, we have decided to take the belt and braces approach, and take the same route as last year, and she will have the full treatment again - it obviously worked well, so why change it?
As mentioned the Jukebox Jury 3 yr old is going nicely at Ivy Lodge Farm. The two year old Filly by the same sire is also progressing well - half way through her 6 week 'primary school', she will be backed next week.
Looking forward to seeing plenty of you at the races next week - ans a good few at the cricket too!