Monday - The New Sunday!
Three days at a sale, three yards and a football match - we got a lot in last week to say the least - hence the news appears on a Monday - but it is a Bank Holiday Monday - and that's like a 'false Sunday' - so not a problem!
Monday we headed up to Doncaster for their Premiere Yearling Sale - the first yearling sale of the year in the UK. Typically the horses sold at this sale are very sharp two year old sprinting types - and with nearly 400 on offer there were plenty to chose from. Once again from the start there was a strong trade - the appetite for horses continues unabated. Over the course of the two day sale on Tuesday and Wednesday there were significant rises in all the metrics, and the trade was once again very strong. Small sprint bred yearlings not our thing - but we did follow a couple into the ring, thinking we may just get a bargain - but none to be had. On the other hand the appetite for horseboxes seems to be as strong as the one for horses and we had a busy time with new and exisiting customers. With the whole of the motor industry suffering with supply problems with new vehicles, lead times have got longer and longer over the last couple of years - and although we can offer some models as early as November/December we are looking at April/May 2023 for others. Thankfully all of our clients are very understanding, and realise that this is 'just the way it is now', and are still ordering.
With our usual Doncaster eatery closed on a Monday it gave us the chance to check into the Whitby Fish Bar & Restaurant - superb fish and chips - with all the trimmings - worth a visit if you find yourself in Donny. On the way back to the hotel we nipped into the Hilton to catch up with a few folks, good to see a few we had not seen for a good number of years - it ended up being later than planned, but it was a fun night.
Tuesday night we got to go to our favourite haunt - Vivo's - an authentic Italian Restaurant, that is a must visit!
Wednesday night was a late home, and Thursdays alarm was all too early - but in with Olly Murphy at 7.00am to see all the horses there. All of them are doing plenty of cantering - Itchy Feet a week or two behind the others, who are now up to 1m4f a day. Auditoria looks fantastic, and has certainly strengthened again this year - there was a glowing report about Tintagel Queen from her regular pilot Lewis Stones who can't wait to see her in a bumper this autumn. Champion Amateur James King was also very complimentary about a 4 yr old filly by Walk In The Park who is owned by some clients, and who he thinks will also go very well in mares bumpers this autumn. Izzy who rides Itchy Feet says that he is a different horse this time around after a wind op in the summer. Nobody knows the horse better - she has ridden him for the last 2 years, so she should know. He is certainly in great form, and just to see him trot round the school in his warm up - he really does look like a class horse. After being let down last week, we are delighted to have sold another share in him in the last few days, and we are all really looking forward to seeing him out over the winter. His first target will be a £50,000 chase in Haydock on Betfair Chase day - what a way to start off with him, and what a meeting to see him run in our colours for the first time! The other two client owned horses in at Warren Chase are also looking fantastic - a filly that will be lots of fun over hurdles this season, and a handicap hurdler, who will be out again in the next few weeks.
Friday was another early start - down to Ravenswell Farm for 7.00am - good to meet Darran and his family who were in to see the horses, Darran had planned the trip to celebrate his 40th Birthday - and had a great time, although he didn't get to see his horse sadly, as Intrepide Sud is away on a break at Jason Maguires. IS is in good order, and needed a break to mature into his huge frame - he is still only 4, and will be a different horse when he returns in the spring of 2023. It was also great to see Karen who came armed with some of the best brownies I, and all those in the owners room, had ever tatsed - there is a talent for sure. Karen in to see Blue Bikini and Hidden Beauty, both of whom are looking fantastic. BB has started to go upsides up the hill, and was paired with Fortune Forever on Friday. FF had been very weak in the spring - not unexpected for a 4yr old filly, but Adrain Heskin had ridden her in a piece of work and really liked her, and advised that we put her away for the summer and that she would come back in the autumn much stronger - he was right, her work is differemt again this time, and Fridays work was as good as I have seen her. Sally came off the gallop full of praise for her, and she is another that we are really looking forward to seeing in a mares bumper in around a month. Blue Bikini continues to thrive - she has really taken to her new lodgings, which suit her perfectly, she gets plenty of fresh air, and only has one neighbour to get on with - it took a few days to sort out who was best suited to living next door - but they got there in the end, and she is certainly a very happy mare at the moment! Mamoon Star will be back to Ravenswell Farm today - he has spent last week up at Martins Hill after having his soft palate cauterised by Ben Brain the week before. They have a week off after the procedure, and he returns to work tomorrow. He had just been making a bit of a noise since he started cantering last month, and it didn't improve, so a short trip to the vet was needed. Jo got to ride Volkovka for the first time - like Hidden Beauty, she needs soft ground so she didn't return to work until August 1st. After a couple of weeks with Jason Maguire, they both headed back to Ravenswell, and are both doing plenty on the round gallop. V was her usual exuberant self, and Jo knew she had done it when she came back in! V in fine form, and we are all looking forward to seeing her over fences this season - I think that a Listed Chase is well within her compass based on how we saw her school over the bigger obstacles in the spring.
BB and Eve
One slightly sad piece of news last week was the decision to retire Yauthym. She retires sound and in good health, but placing her to effect had become very tricky off of her current mark and it was felt that the best thing was for her to head off on to her next career as a broodmare. She really does need fast summer ground, and also to go right handed, and sadly all of the summer jumps tracks are left handed. We had hoped that she may be effective on the flat, but sadly her two runs in that sphere this summer have proved that she wasn't going to trouble the judge iany time soon. The right decision to retire her, and we will find her a nice home at stud, and look forward to seeing her progeny in the future. Yauthym has retruned to the Elms, and has a breeding certificate - she is by Authorised, and is a half sister to Landym, a Listed winner on the flat, and Early Doors a Cheltenham Festival, and Galway Plate winner who was also placed twice in Grade 1 company - get in touch if you would like further details.
On From Ravenswell to Ivy Lodge Farm - and great to see Sunset Melody back in. SM suffered a pelvic fracture in one if her last pieces of work before her intended debut in a mares bumper in February, and has taken her time to heal. She has spent the last month out at grass, and seems to be fine. She will be ridden again this week, checked over by the vet, and all should be good to return to work. When she does she will head to Martins Hill, where the gallop will suit her much better, particularly after the injury she suffered last winter. SM is a tough and hardy mare, who will be well suited to soft ground in the winter - a half sister to Shantou Bob, she has a wonderful pedigree! Also good to see the 3yr old Jukebox Jury continue to improve in his work. He has gone through a bit of a growth spurt, and it has also taken a while for the penny to drop with him mentally - but the results of Jasons patient approach are there for all to see, and he should be ready to make the switch to Gary Moore in a couple of weeks.
Jukebox Jury 3 yr old
Saturday was a quieter day - thankfully - and yesterday we were very lucky to be asked to Villa Park by Olly Murphy, to see his beloved Aston Villa take on West Ham. Neither side has started the season at all well, and Olly and I were not expecting a great spectacle if we were honest. My first visit to Villa Park, and it was a superb afternoon - a fantastic lunch, and seats very close to the half way line made for a terrific afternoons fun! Not the best of ganes, but a 1-0 win for West Ham meant that at least I went home happy. Both sides will need to improve significantly!! Huge thanks to Olly for inviting us.
Our 3 yr old homebred, 'Dean' is going great guns with Donald McCain - we all know how good Donald is as a trainer - but his current 27% strike rate is exceptional even for him - he has them in flying form, and we are delighted to finally have a horse with him. I hope to get up to the yard this week and see Dean doing his stuff - shares are avaiable in him, as we have taken the patient approach to his syndication, but now that Donald has plenty of work done with him, and likes what he sees, we will get some video and pics and get his syndicate filled - please give me a shout if you would like more details - firstname.lastname@example.org - 07909 518902.
Talking of memberships - we would like to welcome the new members who joined NBR this last week - I am sure you will have lots of fun with your new horses! Joe even got to find out that he could still support Hidden Beauty this winter - it was a pleasant surprise for him!
I also hope to get in to see the horses at The Elms this week. Floyd the foal has now been weaned, and strikes out in life on his own - he is a most impressive youth. Molly Childers' foal Finbar remains with her as he was a late arrival, but will be weaned very soon. Barry the Blue Bresil yearling looks to be something a bit special, and his two year old full brother will be brought in from the field soon for a few weeks of 'education' - it is always good to teach them a little bit about work life at two so that things are a bit less of a shock when they start their sales prep at 3. This homebred, by the very very popular Blue Bresil, out of Savingforvegas will be offered for sale next summer. Our 2 yr old filly by Jukebox Jury, has had a full education this summer and is now back in the field enjoying some R&R along with the Mahler filly who will also be joining us on the team next year. So nice to have a succession plan in place, especially with fillys of this calibre.
We have finalised dates for a couple of yard visits - Saturday September 10th we will be in with Fergal O'Brien - you will see all the horses work on the gallops, there will be a cooked breakfast on offer, along with teas, coffees, and of course cake - we look like having a big turnout - so get your name down quickly if you would like to join us - it is a fantastic morning, a great chance to see the horses and meet all of the staff that look after them!
The next visit is to Olly Murphy's on the 17th - he has invited everyone associated with NBR, even if you don't have a share in a horse at the yard - again we will see all the horses up close in the big arena, before heading out onto the gallop to see them do plenty of work. There will be a champagne breakfast, tea, coffee and a bite to eat - and again, you will be able to wander around the yard at your leisure and see all of the horses. Both vistis are a great way to meet up with fellow shareholders and chat over the season ahead, it's great to see the excellent facilities at both yards - and make new friends - all are welcome - new members, and even those that may wish to rejoin one of our groups - shares are limited, but I'm sure we can find you something to suit!
Enjoy your Bank Holiday - and catch up again next week - we shoud be back to Sunday!