Places To Be
'Close but no cigar' this week- two runners - both finished placed and ran really well, and can both be aimed at some spring targets.
In the office on Monday - and thrilled to welcome Kevin to The Sherington Partnership after he purchased our last share in Itchy Feet. Through the wonders of modern technology we mananged to get everything sorted while Kevin was away in South Africa, and we wish him the very best of luck with Itchy. He was not the only man to purchase a share in Itchy Feet this week - originally we did a deal with Olly to purchase 80% of the horse as he was more than happy to retain 20%, as he had every faith that he could get him back running to a very high level, and having done so , this week, we found ourselves selling one of Olly's shares too! Good to have Neil back in the NBR family - his return started well! After Itchy's run yesterday, I think I may have a customer for Olly's other share too - chances to buy into a horse like Itchy Feet are very rare - and he will,be taking his owners to the Cheltenham Festival next!
Early morning Tuesday, and a horrendous trip around the M25 and down to Gary Moore's. Patchy freezing fog led to awful hold ups, and all in all I was glad to get there, all be it 40 minutes after I had intended to arrive! Luckily the fog almost cleared by the time I got to Cisswood Stables at 8.10am, and I hadn't missed Cloud Dancer. He looked in great order, and worked well up Gary's woodchip hill gallop. He seems to be a very tough and genuine little horse, who has schooled well, and will make his hurdling debut in Newbury this afternoon. He has only had the one run in a bumper in Cheltenham on New Years Day, where he was far too green and inexperienced to do himself justice, but stayed in really well up the home straight to finish 7th from a very unlikely position as they descended the hill. He will have learned plenty from that, and will also learn a lot from his first hurdles start later today. Tuesday was entry and confirmation day for a few races at The Cheltenham Festival, we decided to leave Greyval in the Triumph Hurdle, she is unlikely to run in it, but just in case of the unfortunate and very unlikely event of an asteroid hitting Willie Mullins's yard in the next couple of weeks, we left her in. She was also entered in the Mares Novices' Hurdle on the Thursday, and will have an entry in the Fred Winter when the handicap entries come around. She needs to run once more to qualify for that, and has two entries next week in Huntingdon and Exeter. She will run where the ground is most suitable. She is in great form at home, and with her form being franked in Haydock yesterday, it will be interesting if the handicapper takes another look at her mark on Tuesday morning. Long trips on motorways are a good time to catch up with folks. A chat with Donald McCain revealed that Dino Bellagio is in rude health - as rude as the language that Donald used to describe his antics! Dino is full of youthful exuberance, and on a serious note his trainer was wondering how he was going to keep a lid on him, and stop him hurting himself before his next run in Aintree at the Grand National meeting. Having chatted over a few options on the phone on Tuesday, and looking into it a bit more deeply when we met up in Haydock yesterday, he has a few options. We will have a proper chat about them next week and make a plan. Dino was another one to have his form franked this week when the third placed horse from his last run in Doncaster was just nabbed on the line in Kelso. Dino is a gem, and we need to get him to his target in one piece! Also on Tuesday, up at Warren Chase, Auditoria had a bit of a spa day - she had her 6 monthly visit from the dentist, and also had a bit of physio on her back - the day after a physio session they always have an easy day - so she had a fun couple of days - although the dentist looked a bit brutal! As you will know - we auction off the trophys we are lucky enough to win amongst the winning owners/members and on Tueaday the Blue Bikini trophy from her win in Taunton went under the hammer.- congratulations to Harry who had the winning bid - £240 off to the Injured Jockeys Fund next week! Tuesday being Valentines Day, I had already given Cheryl her gift - I buggered off early to Gary's - and it always means an evening out at a nice restaurant for a candle lit dinner - though we do it with a difference - a table for four please! Great to catch up with Sarah and Matt for a curry - the Nawab Lounge in St Neots the chosen venue for this months 'Curry Club' - it's a bit of a 'go to' if I'm honest - although we hadn't bargained on a set menu! I had to go 'off piste'! A little different! A good night to celebrate the big mans birthday! And yes - I blew the candle out!
A beautiful morning at Gary Moores's
Cloud Dancer working nearside.
Blue Bikini trophy - £240 raised for the IJF.
Happy Birthday Griggsy!
Wednesday we headed up to Olly Murphys to see the team up there. Itchy Feet in great order ahead of his run in Haydock yesterday. Auditoria on a quiet day after her papmer session on Tuseday - she will be out again in a few days. Tintagel Queen is looking in great order, she has kept her condition well for a big, tall weak girl, and Olly is desperate to get her out again, but we will need to be patient as running her on watered ground would not be the right thing to do for sure! Rain will come, and when it does, she will get her second run in a bumper. After that Olly will get on and get her schooled over hurdles, and a decision will be made to either stick to bumpers for the spring or give her a run over hurdles at some stage before a summer break.
The least nice part of Auditoria's spa day! Dentist
Itchy and Izzy!
Thursday we were round the M25 again - this time to Sandown to see Mamoon Star in the 2m novices hurdle there. He looked to be taking on two pretty smart horses, but with the ground drying everywhere, we felt that it was the right place to go for the safest going conditions. MS had won in Taunton and we had hoped for a really nice run in Kempton on Boxing Day - a win that day was unlikely, but MS is a nice horse, and we were certainly hoping for better than we got. After the race it transpired that he was under the weather, like a few in the yard, but a course of antibiotics,and an easy couple of weeks had him back on song, and he looked a picture in the paddock. He ran a nice race finishing third behind two bright prospects - he was carrying a penalty for his Taunton win, and on Tuesday the handicapper should give him a rating and we can plot a path through the spring with him.
Mamoon Star pre race
Malcolm looking happy with himself after his run
On Friday Classic Ben headed down to Donnington Grove vets in Newbury for some treatement on his injury. Thanks to the practice for honouring an agreement that was reached with them a couple of years ago without any prolongued negotiations. Life is better if you keep it simple! Ben has returned to Fences Farm, where he will remain for another few days before switching to The Elms Stud where he will convalesce and receive further veterinary treatment. When we see how the injury has responded to treatement a decision will be made about his next move. Another trophy auction - this one for Greyvals Listed win in Doncaster - a terrific bidding war saw Tony come out on top - £400 going to the Injured Jockeys Fund! That is £800 raised in the last 2 weeks - with more to come next week!
On Saturday we headed up to Haydock to see Itchy Feet contest the Grade 2 Rendlesham Hurdle there. Itchy had really enjoyed the switch back to hurdles the last day when winning in Huntingdon, and immediately after the race the plan had been to head straight to the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival which he qualified for by winning, but this race fitted in nicely in the middle, and is not the strongest of Grade 2's these days. The drying ground would be no issue, and the small field ideal - so with £32,000 on offer to the winner, and some great place money too, it was very much worth taking a shot at it. Itchy Had been in great order since Huntingdon, a really happy horse, and we were hoping for a big run in a wide open event. Once again able to be handy with him, Sean Bowen had him perfectly placed throughout and he was jumping beautifully. Everythng going to plan, until Harry Skelton flicked on the afterburners and injected a load of pace into the race a long way from home. With plenty under pressure behind the pair, and Itchy matching him stride for stride it still looked as though he had everything covered - Harrys move soon had his horse in trouble and left Itchy galloping alone into the teeth of a strong headwind up the straight. On a run in that was really hard to watch - the fact that Harry had got them racing early started to take it's toll, and as Itchy's fuel guage started to flash empty, the looming presence of the grey. Wakool started to come into focus, eventually running him down with 1/2 a furlong to go. A fantastic run - possibly a Grade 2 that got away from us a bit - but we are all very proud of Itchy Feet, who has come out of the race in great order, and will now head to The Cheltenham Festival
Itchy Feet pre race
Delighted with his 2nd
You could say he has come out of his race well!
Today we are off to Newbury to see Cloud Dancer make his hurdles debut. Quick ground there, but that should not bother CD too much, Gary is happy to run.
Around the rest - Fortune Forever is in fine form - as I have said - the mid season break away from Ravenswell has done wonders for her - and she has an entry in a mares bumper in Warwick on Friday. Blue Bikini had a niggly little cut (looked like a horrible big one to me - but the vets assured me it wasn't) in her win in Taunton - the team at Ravenswell have dealt with it, and she is back cantering again now. She will have entries in a couple of weeks! Volkovka is in great order, and did get an entry in a mares novices chase in Ludlow next week, but it was only because there were very few entered, and we couldn't run if we were not in - she needs soft ground, and it would take rain of biblical proportions to get the ground in Ludlow to where she needs it - unlikely! Down at Jason Maguires - Hidden Beauty has settled in well. She will be confined to her stable on box rest for 6 weeks, after which her rehab will begin. Simple pelvic fractures as she has suffered are realtively simple things to come back from and at this stage the prognosis is very good. Intrepide Sud is enjoying his paddock in the day and his warm stable at night, Ivy Lodge Farm is perectly deisgned for these horses to spell there. We have decided to not return him to training this spring, but will instead, give him the spring and summer off, and he will be back in training in June.
Reflexion Faite is really pleasing Kevin Philippart de Foy over in Newmarket - she has just started to quicken up slightly in her work, and although, as her pedigree suggests she is not likely to make her debut over the minimum trip, she should be ready to rock and roll over 6 furlongs as the 2 yr old maidens over that trip click into gear. Welcome to James and Charles who took shares in her this week - we are down to the last few now - so please have a look at her on our For Sale page and get in touch email@example.com Having spoken with Kevin this week we will be having a yard visit for her owners next Saturday 25th February, and if anyone is interested in purchasing or leasing a share in her and would also like to attend, then please just let me know and I will add you name to the list. it woiuld be good to see you.
There will be a report on that visit, along with another one in next weeks news - tune in - it's all here - have a good one!