A day late with the news this week, after our annual trip to the Cheltenham November meeting. A great three days – good to catch up with plenty of people, and although the meeting was blighted by a number of non-runners, there is never a race at Cheltenham that doesn’t get the heart racing just that little bit faster. Last week wasn’t the busiest (not like the one ahead anyway), but there was still plenty happening.
On Monday Blue Bikini was due to return to Ravenswell after her break. She has suffered from atrial fibrillation a few weeks ago, and although she had ‘righted herself’ within a few hours, the vet felt that it was best that she had a few weeks on the easy list to get over it. To confirm 100% that she was OK to return to work, her return to training was delayed for a couple of days, to await test results, so her trip back to Ravenswell was put back to midweek. Glad to say that all is well with her again, and she has resumed exercise, and it was good that she got to canter in front of a few of her syndicate members who, like so many others, popped into the yard to see their horses on the way to the races.
Blue Bikini back at Ravenswell
The Tattersalls Ireland November Sale took place from Monday to Thursday last week in Fairyhouse, A huge catalogue of National Hunt foals and breeding stock – nearly 14 million Euros changed hands, and the remarkable appetite for horses continues. We had an interest in a couple of pedigrees on offer, but made a conscious effort to not get too ‘involved’ in the sale. That is not to say that we have stopped buying, and we will be trying to add to the squad of horses in training this week – watch this space!
On Wednesday Mamoon Star had a little trip up the road to Warwick to school over hurdles on their schooling ground. This had been well watered all autumn to produce a safe surface to school on, but after heavy recent rain the ground was very soft, so it was a steady school for the babies. he jumped ok, but showed a hint of a tendency to go slightly out to his right, so plans to run him at the track this coming Wednesday have been shelved and he will instead head down to Taunton the week after. Paddy was really happy with him after the session, and he is a very bright prospect. The form of his seasonal debut in a Cheltenham bumper has been franked in some style over the past weekend, and we can't wait to see him over hurdles.
A happy Paddy after schooling Mamoon Star
A Happy Mamoon Star
On Thursday we put the final parts of the plan in place for our flat yearling filly Reflexion Faite, and we are very excitied to announce that she will be trained by one of the rising stars of the flat trainers ranks - Kevin Phillipart De Foy in Newmarket. https://www.kpfracing.com/about-us
Kevin has only had a license for a couple of seasons, but has already notched up 85 winners at an impressive 16% strike rate. His stable has grown very sharply over the course of the last year, as more and more people recognise his considerable talents and he is now attracting some of the biggest owners in the flat world. We are thrilled to be working with him, and are really looking forward to enjoying those summer mornings on the Newmarket Heath. There are still shares available in Reflexion Faite (Fay), to either purchase or lease, please have a look at her on our For Sale Page, and get in touch! Shares are £500 each to purchase, or available on a free lease with just the all inclusive £25/week training/keep fee to pay. email@example.com or 07909 518902.
Reflexion Faite is currently with Jason Maguire and has been broken in and is being ridden away. Jason is really pleased and impressed with her - she has been a star pupil, and her education so far has gone without a hitch, although she did need a couple of staples in a puncture wound she gave herself on the walker the day before a group of potential new share holders went in to see her last week!! They still liked her!
After lunch we set off on our annual pilgrimage down to the Cotswolds for the November meeting in Cheltenham held from Friday to Sunday. It is one of our favourite weekends of the year, and although some of the fields were depleted because of the ground, it was still a wonderful three days racing. We always stay at The Fish Hotel just outside Broadway for this meeting and the Festival, and it never dissappoints - everything about the place is ideal - not your usual hotel,something a bit different, but the staff are superb, and the food is out of this world. A great atmosphere and we can highly reccomend it.
If that wasn't enough we were also lucky enough to be invited for lunch in the Royal Box, by Louise Kemble (Elms Stud) on Sunday. Thanks to her for the invite, it was a lovely afternoon, in a stunning location watching great racing in fantastic weather - it was a terrific way to end the weekend and we are very lucky to have been asked.
While at Cheltenham I met up with plenty of clients over the course of the weekend and it was good to see so many of you there. At 2.12pm on Saturday a few were to be found in the William Hill betting shop under the stand where we gathered to watch Classic Ben make his seasonal debut in Uttoxeter. Ben has been a star for his owners, but has always had a 'lazy bone' and as he has got older, it has got increasingly harder to get him fit first time up, so he nearly always needs his first run of the season. On Saturday he ran a cracker, jumping and travelling great until the lack of a recent run took it's toll after landing over the second last where he was headed - going on to be a very good third beaten just 4 lengths. He will now resort to much the same programme as last year, which as mentioned will involve Exeter a lot!
Classic Ben after his very good seasonal debut in Uttoxeter on Saturday!
When the races are on in Cheltenham it is always busy at Ravenswell Farm in the mornings and we had plenty of folks popping in on Friday and Saturday. Friday is work morning and they got to see Blue Bikini canter, Mamoon Star and Volkovka work as well as Fortune Forever work very well with Hidden Beauty. Three of the 5 have entries this week - FF in the warwick bumper, Hidden Beauty in the mares novices hurdle in Uttoxeter, along with Volkovka who has 3 entries over the weekend.
Fortune Forever works very well upsides Hidden Beauty
Up at Warren Chase, they are all in great form - Itchy Feet is entered to make his debut in our colours on Saturday in the Graduation Chase he was second in last year when he tried to concede 4lbs to Bravemansgame - tough task - IF is very well and we are all looking forward to seeing him. Also on Saturday Cloud Dancer has been entered in the junior bumper in Huntingdon, although his participation will not be confirmed until later this week. If he doesn't run here he will be out in the next couple of weeks.
Of the others - Intrepide Sud had some visitors over the weekend when Basher and the gang popped in to see him while he is on his winter break. Tintagel Queen needs rain to be able to go and gallop on turf ahead of her racecourse debut. Auditoria is in great heart and is an intended runner in a mares chase in Chepstow on Friday - the step up in trip should suit and she is very much ready to run! It was good to chat with Donald McCain over the weekend and he reports Dino Bellagio to be in great order - he is really happy with him. Donald was down in Cheltenham at the sales on Friday night, and one of his guys back at the yard did the work lots for Saturday morning - when he got back he spotted that Dino had been paired with a very sharp sort, he and although he thought that it wouldn't suit D - he left them together to see what Dino could do - and it is safe to say that he was pleased! His words - 'He certainly isn't slow!'
This coming week looks mad - we have been out and about today looking at foals and we have added a gorgeous filly to the squad - more about her next week. Tomorrow I am down in the Cotswolds at a stud owned by a turf legend, and then on Wednesday we are in Warwick. On Thursday I will be in the office - organising a lot of badges for the weekend and then onto Chepstow on Friday - Haydock or Huntigndon on Saturday, and Exeter or Uttoxeter on Sunday - lets hope they all run well and come home safe - a winner or two would be nice too!
Steve, who has shares in a number of horses with us - is a regular reader, and just has to look at me to know that I am a fan of food - so when he found himself in a very good restaurant in Cheltenham over the weekend as he and his pals enjoyed a boys weekend at (or near) to the races he was quick to send the link - so I will pass it on - he reports that Prithvi is well worth a visit! Up until yeaterday I would say that his recommendations came from a sensible, sane and cultured young man - but having seen photographic evidence of a bet struck over the weekend that he will ride a point to point winner in the next seven years I am doubting my previous judgement of his character - so make what you want of his restaurant review!
Nicks Notebook should return to it's usual slot of Sunday morning next week!
Have a good one - and hopefully I'll see plenty of you on the track this week!