We are 'on location' this week. This weeks news brought to you from a hotel room in Lincolnshire! More of that later.
It's been another fun filled week with a few runners across the country. Some ran well, one not so well.We started off on Monday in Plumpton - why they insist on having so many meetings in Plumpton on a Monday beats me - have they not tried travelling around half of the circumference of the M25 on the first working day of the week? It is a trip no one from our part of the world looks forward to! Monday was a first - an almost hassle free trip there and back - I wish the race had gone as smoothly. Blue Bikini was running in the two and a half mile handicap hurdle. A winner of her previous start after a little set back kept her off the track in the autumn, she came into the race in good order, and being a previous course winner hopes were high that she could score again. It as not to be - never travelling, her hurdling was far from fluent on this occasion and it was only her toughness that saw her keep going for the entire race, eventually finishing fifth. No immediate explanation for the run, and nothing came to light the morning after when thankfully she pulled out fine and trotted up sound. Initially in the absence of any other explanation we put it down to the dreaded 'bounce factor' where a horse runs really well on it's first start back after a prolonged break but inexplicably runs poorly on its next outing. After further analysis - Fergal did hold his hands up and say that he felt that he had run her back too soon though - she had suffered a fairly nasty cut when winning in Taunton and had been on the easy list for a few days afterwards to avoid infection, and although she had worked great and was looking in super condition, the only reason for her to run the way she did was that he had run her back too quickly. She has suffered badly with ulcers in the past - and although the team at Ravenswell have got right on top of those - just as a 'belt and braces' exercise I did ask him to put her on a course of gastroguard for a month, so we are leaving no stone unturned! She will be out again in around a month, and remains on a workable mark.
Blue Bikini looked a picture in the paddock
Luke Harvey - doing Luke Harvey things!
Tuesday was an easier trip to Leicester - Auditoria contesting a four runner mares handicap chase. She came into the race in good order and with the best recent form so we were all hoping that she could get her head in front again. She is a very consistent mare - but although she always runs her race she hasn't made the winners circle as often as we would have liked her to - but she runs regularly and gives her owners plenty of sport! The only slight doubt in our mind was the drop back in trip, she would appreciate the quick ground and with the blinkers she first sported in her previous start when second in Fakenham retained we hoped she could get her head in front. Not to be - she jumped and travelled well until the pace lifted at the end of the back straight where she was left a little flat footed before staying on at the one pace all the way up the home straight to finish second. She has come out of her race fine and will be out again very soon, over a bit further.
Auditoria pre race
Wednesday was an office day - and while sat at my desk I was tracking the entries in Sandown and spotted an opportunity for Mamoon Star there - so he got an entry. The rest of the day was spent moving forward with plans for our latest venture that will be launching in the summer. We are getting the nuts and bolts of it sorted and we are really excited by it - this will be something a little different and accessible to all! Wednesday night we headed up to Peterborough to see the amazing Danny Baker on his latest tour - we are big fans as are Mat and Sarah so we booked our tckets and strapped ourselves in for a night of fun! Danny is great value and his stories are the stuff of legend - and there's a few of them! He bounced on stage at 7.30 and would still be there now if he could - he eventually, and reluctantly, walked off stage at 11.15pm - great value - and a great laugh, catch him on this tour if you can - if you've never seen him - make it your mission - it's a wonderful night.
Thursday another one of those awkward trips - this time to Ludlow - a hundred ways to get there - none of them simple! Volkovka running there, hopefully getting her confidence back after a disaster in Hereford where she was declared in a race that was perfect if the ground had been as described - soft and very hard work - but far from perfect on the actual ground she had to run on which was basically good ground. She had been flat out that day and her jumping had gone to pieces as a result, and this trip on good ground was far more suitable. We know she doesn't truly stay two and a half miles, but this was the right race to get her back on track. All went to plan, apart from grabbing at one she was very good, and was running a lovely race until her stamina ebbed away a couple of furlongs out - eventually finishing fifth. This as been an impossible season for her - she needs two miles and soft ground, but the scarcity of genuine soft ground this winter means that she has never had her ideal conditions. This term has been all about getting her chasing career off the ground and putting down the building blocks for next season. Volkovka came out of her race in good order and will be out again in 3/4 weeks.
Volkovka in the paddock
Volkovka and Sam after the race
Friday and we got a video first thing that made us smile! Donald sent a clip of more of Dino Bellagio's antics after his work! He really is a character and is always full of himself! He did have an entry in Doncaster yesterday, but we decided to not run. He will have a racecourse gallop in preparation for a tilt at the Aintree Bumper. I can't tell you how excited we all are about that! The plan is to have two runners on Grand National day, Dino will run in the concluding bumper and Itchy Feet will hopefully run earlier on in the afternoon - he has a couple of options - he could run in the Grade 3 handicap which opens the card, or having chatted with Olly about him this week, he could also get an entry in the Grade 1 Liverpool Hurdle. First things first - he's in great form and heads to The Cheltenham Festival the week after next!
Dino Bellagio - on his way in - AFTER his work! He just makes everyone smile!
After getting the last of the race reports typed up and emailed to owners and syndicate members on Friday morning I headed over to The Elms to see the young stock there. Really happy with them all. The two youngest - Floyd (out of Savingforvefas) and Finbar (Molly Childers) are both looking great. Floyd is a lot like his half brother Dino - he is a compact and strong individual, Finbar is a typical first foal but after a slow start he is really coming together now and is going the right way. The two year old Barry (Savingforvegas) is a quality gelding, and being by Blue Bresil the future looks very bright for him and his owners The Denton Partnership. His full brother Frank is not over big, but has a great walk and plenty of depth, he will head down to Jason Maguires in a few weeks to be broken in and got going. One that went through that process last year, and who will be joining him down there to further her education is the 3 yr old Jukebox Jury filly, out of La Pelodette. She was very good last year and has matured nicely - she will be syndicated in the summer and will be aimed at junior bumpers and National Hunt juvenile hurdles in the autumn. When they have done their bits down at Ivy Lodge Farm, Barry will head down to be broken in.
Barry - Blue Bresil ex Savingforvegas
Frank - Blue Bresil ex Savingforvegas
The Old Girl herself - Savingforvegas - in foal to Golden Horn, and returning to him this year.
Floyd - Falco ex Savingforvegas
Floyd (left) and Finbar
Jukrbox Jury ex La Pelodette - a half sister to a black type performer - she will be syndicated in the summer.
Friday night under lights down at Goldington Road watching Bedford play rugby is always a good night - and when they play like they did this week it is even better - a great game - a good win for The Blues and a good few beers with some old mates!
On Saturday it was good to welcome a new NBR member to the fold -Naathan picking up the last share in Tintagel Queen - we wish him luck with her! We are desperate to run her again, but Olly is adamant that she will not run on watered ground - so we have to be patient, but time is not being wasted and while we wait for rain she has been having a pop over poles under Olympic Gold medallist Laura Collett. Laura has been coming in and working with the young horses and she is very taken with TQ. As her syndicate have not been able to see her on the track in 2023 we are planning to get them all up to Warren Chase in a couple of weeks to see her on the gallop and watch Laura give her a pop in the school.
Tintagel Queen geting the best education from Laura Collett
Saturday night and we got the glad rags in for a night out in Lincolnshire - great company - and a real laugh! We stayed at the venue, The Black Horse in Baston, which was a lovely pub, with rooms and a good sized function room. Our bedroom was big and comfortable, last nights dinner was good and this mornings breakfast was excellent. Only downside the Wi-Fi service was not great, hence this update was started in Lincolnshire and is being finished in Bedfordshire!
Around the remainder of the horses - Cloud Dancer didn't switch to Ivy Lodge last week as his trip there had to be aborted at he very last minute due to a complication. All is well now and he will hopefully make the move tomorrow. He will not run again this season, but will be fine and we can't wait to see him in the autumn. Greyval has left Jason's and returned to Ravenswell Farm. She will have another run later this month before heading to her target race in Cheltenham in April. Hidden Beauty continues to recover from her pelvic injury at Ivy Lodge. She is on box rest and seems very happy - Intrepide Sud is in good form, he is getting the full use of all of Jason's toys and enjoying his turn out in the paddocks. Fortune Forever is in good form after her run in Warwick - she will run in another bumper before the end of the season where we hope to finish the year off with a win. Over in Newmarket, Reflexion Faite continues on her journey to full fitness. She's in good order and expected to make her racecourse debut over 6 furlongs in May. Still a couple of shares available - get in touch!
That about wraps things up for another week. Next week looking a little more quiet - Mamoon Star has, this morning been declared in Sandown on Tuesday. He looks to be the only runner next week, and then it's on to the greatest show on turf the week after! This year we are going 'All In' - we are doing Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown - I will need a good lie down by May!! Should be some good tales to tell on here though!!
Until next week - have a good one!!