Plenty of Upside!

            Looking back on what felt like a quiet week – I still managed a couple of yard visits and an afternoon at a county show!

            The week started with a Bank Holiday – and I did what so many do on a Bank Holiday – cut grass and did gardening things! Having walked up the village for a drinks party on the Sunday afternoon, I was shocked to see how much the grass at our village War Memorial had grown, and with a showery day forecast I was out early on the Monday to get it tidied up. I have been mowing the grass around the memorial since the beginning of the first covid lockdown, and have kept up with it since, I feel that it is very important that this part of our village remains well kept, and looks tidy at all times – it is the least that we can do to remember those from the village, and across America who gave their lives for our freedom. Thurleigh has one of the biggest WWII airfields in the country – built in 1940 for RAF Bomber Command, it was handed over to the USAF 8th Airforce in 1942. It was the base for the 306th Bombardment Group through to the end of the war, and we have a memorial alongside that of our WWI fallen for those from the 306th that lost their lives in WWII.

            On Tuesday I went up to Warren Chase Stables to see Auditoria. Audrey has come out of her Stratford run in fine form and is really well. She really looked to enjoy herself back over hurdles that day, and the plan is to run over hurdles again next time – but that said, she is so versatile that if there was a weak looking chase, on the same card as a competitive handicap hurdle, she could revert back to the bigger obstacles and not miss the chance of winning a race. Jordan who rode her on Tuesday morning reported her to be in fine form, still as sassy as ever, and obviously on good terms with herself. She cantered on the round sand gallop and was moving really well. She will have entries in the next couple of weeks. With her work done, it was up to the owners room for a bite of breakfast, and a chat about a few other things with Olly, who was off over to Ireland on the Wednesday, taking his senior staff over there for a couple of days as a thankyou for their hard work over the course of last season – a season where they broke the 100 winner barrier, with a very impressive strike rate of 22% - had another Grade 1 winner, and won over £1m in prize money. All in all, a terrific season for the team!

Auditoria having a canter

Horses on their 'summer' breaks

Walking home

Just when we were about to set out from the yard to head across the field to see Itchy Feet – the heavens opened and we thought better of it – IF is out with his pals, I would like to say they are having a lovely time, but in all honesty, standing out in the rain with their backs to a cold wind isn’t much fun for them. I hope for their sake (and ours) that the weather changes for us all very soon!

It was back to the office in the afternoon to get the monthly admin done. Even though all bar two of the horses are on their holidays there is no shortage of bills to pay!

            Wednesday, we received the sad news that one of our ‘Old Guard’ had died. Land League – Larry to his friends – and he had many! Larry came to us from Ireland where he had been running in point to points, winning on his final start before I purchased him. I always felt that the 3m of a point to point was stretching him and thought that a drop back in trip would suit. He got a nasty bout of travel sickness on his way over from Ireland which took him a while to recover from, and his first season was nothing too special, but after a summer break he bounced right back with a win over hurdles on his seasonal bow, before switching to fences later that season. He was a lovely natured horse, and when it was clear that racing was not for him anymore, he was retired and rehomed locally. When that first home didn’t quite work out – he found his way into the hands of Megan who had looked after him when he was racing. It was with her that he spent the rest of his life – not doing anything over taxing – just enjoying himself and getting the very best of care from Megan! I know she will miss him!

Megan with Land League during his racing days.

Later that morning I popped over to Buckingham to pick up something from the tailors in the town – if you are looking for something made to measure – give Dennis a call – excellent service!

            Thursday was a quiet day, for once a relaxed morning in the office finishing the tasks I didn’t get done on Wednesday – but a quiet day meant a chance to head out to The Carrington Arms in Moulsoe for a bite of lunch with a client. I had not been to The Carrington Arms for a fair few years – always famed for its steak, which are ordered from the meat counter, carved off the joint by the chef and cooked as you like it – great to see that they continue with this tradition – and Steve and I both had a very good steak lunch! I went for a rib eye, and it was as good a steak as I have had for a long time – When our friends Kev and Jukes had the Kilkeney Inn in Andoversford – I would always say that his steak was one of the best you could get – since they have left the Kilkeney – I haven’t had a rib eye that matched up – until Thursday – it was excellent – give it a try! Good to catch up with Steve, who is now halfway through the busiest year of his life! He has exciting plans to expand his racing interests, and we talked about that. While at lunch I nearly expanded my racing interests when I came close to buying a well related, unbroken 3 yr old – but in the end it didn’t happen – discretion the better part of valour! One that has been popular is the 3 yr old filly by Lindas Lad that will head into training with Alan King. She has a very nice pedigree being out of a 2x winning mare who has bred 6 winners from the 8 offspring that have raced. Being British Bred she qualifies for 100% of the GBB bonuses on offer to mares in bumpers and novice hurdles, and as a result will have the chance to run for an extra £20,000 every time she runs next season. Winning a single race means that she can gross £24,000 – and she is not restricted to a single bonus – many mares have gone on to win several qualifying races, racking up a huge amount in bonus’s in the process. As she is a free lease – there is no capital payment, and the monthly costs are fixed at an all-inclusive £130/month. Over 50% of the shares are spoken for – please get in touch if you would like to get involved in her – she is currently being broken in by Jamie Magee and will be aimed at the first 3 yr old junior bumper of the year in October. She will run in Junior Bumpers and National Hunt Juvenile Hurdles throughout the 2024/25 season – and with all of the bonus’ on offer, and no capital outlay – she makes a huge amount of sense! The initial term will be for the 2024/25 season, but there will be the a clause in place to extend should we wish to – and on the other hand – if she fails to live up to expectations the lease will be terminated before the end of the season – you will not be entering a contract that ties you to a horse that is not performing! As you can see there are huge upsides to getting involved in her syndicate – and very few downsides – 07909 518902 to book your place – or email

            Friday, we headed off early – down to Ravenswell Farm to see Fergal O’Brien and watch Mamoon Star work. MS is the only one we have in training at Ravenswell at the moment and is in great shape. He worked very nicely and will be out again in the next couple of weeks. He was given a mid-winter break, so that he could run on through the summer on some better ground, and his first run back after his break was a pleasing run around Hereford last month, where the track didn’t suit him at all. He will go up slightly in trip next time out, and will run on a slightly different track, which we think will suit him better. In the end I am sure he will be stepping up to 3 miles very soon. It was good to see a few of the lads from Wales who had popped up for a morning out – since the retirement of Hidden Beauty and the sad loss of Blue Bikini they have been without a horse, but they still enjoy a trip up to the yard. Jack was also in to see MS work, and afterwards we both headed over to Jason Maguires to see a couple of horses that are there.

A glorious morning at Ravenswell

Mamoon Star

Jack had never been to Ivy Lodge Farm and was keen to see the set up – like everyone that visits he was very impressed. We saw two ridden – Barry our 3 yr old Blue Bresil Gelding did a couple of canters on the round gallop, followed by one up, the straight. He is a hugely impressive individual – he has grown again this spring and would now stand over 16.2hh – he is still a big, weak baby, but goes round the deep sand gallop like it was beautiful downland turf, he just looks different class, and it is very hard not to be excited about him. After he had spun up the straight gallop he had a school over a few hurdles, and again showed how athletic he is! He is now over the snotty nose that has plagued him for a couple of weeks, and if all is well, he will head down the road to Tom Georges woodchip gallop next week and swing along upsides another horse. He will just be asked to swing along at 80% and will get his first taste of a piece of work. Barry will need time, and his owners will need to be patient, but at this stage he looks like he will definitely be worth the wait.



We also got to see the 2 yr old by The Grey Gatsby, who has only been ridden for a week, have his first canter on the deep sand. He went very nicely for his first time and is another very nice addition to the racing team. He will continue his education for a few more weeks – will do plenty of cantering and do a fair bit of schooling over poles and hurdles before he heads back out to the field.

            Saturday morning – the first of June meant it was renewal day for members of The Red Sash Racing Club – so the first part of the day was spent sorting out the renewals. The first season of the racing club has gone well – we are all delighted with Ridin Solo who in his three runs showed that he has plenty of ability, and both Donald McCain his trainer, and jockey Brian Hughes think that he is potentially very well handicapped after three runs over 2 miles. He looks like he will relish a step up in trip to 2m4f and beyond, and then improve again for a switch to fences at some stage this winter. Members can renew via the link that I sent yesterday morning, anyone wishing to join in the fun – for a single payment of just £75 – head to and grab yourself a share – membership includes over £30 of free Tote bets, along with access to the members area of the website where you will get all the Ridin Solo news along with episodes of our In Behind feature, which highlights aspects of the racing and bloodstock industries that are often overlooked.

 With nothing planned for the rest of the day we headed over to the Cambridgeshire County Show in Abbots Ripton, considering it was the first of June it was a chilly afternoon in a brisk wind – but great to see plenty of folks – and catch up with a lot of people from the farming community.

It's a miracle that ice cream van did any business!!

A very impressive Derby winner in City Of Troy - I said before the race that I felt that horses by his sire seem better suited to stamina tests - and  would not be surprised if we were going to see a totally different performance to the one he produced in the Guineas - well he did - an easy winner, a great ride - just what we needed! 

Another who was out and about yesterday was syndicate member Andy - who after increasing his interests with us by taking another couple of shares with us on Friday - decided he would see if he could save himself a few quid and take over the riding duites! He tells me he's a natural!! 

Andy - claims he's a natural! 

            Around the rest of the team – Intrepide Sud is summering away from Ravenswell in a larger field in Chedworth, Greyval is up with Fergal and Sallys stud, and Maria’s Flame is on the final stages of her rehab from a pelvis injury at Connor Braces. She is on the walker for a couple of hours a day now, and looks great – she will be seen by the vet in the next 10 days after which she should be given the green light to head out into the field for a bit of R&R.

 Rockola is out in the field at The Elms, Old Blue Eyes is turned out with Donald McCain at Bankhouse – there is just a single share left in Old Blue Eyes – and I would highly recommend that you take it! All the ground work has been done with him, and despite not getting to the track last season, he did enough at home to show that he is well above average! 07909 518902 or email  Ridin Solo is summering well with Will Kinsey at Peel Hall, and Tintagel Queen, Cloud Dancer and Dino Bellagio are all out at Ivy Lodge Farm.

            We have shares available in a couple of horses – two in Auditoria for a bit of instant summer fun – just £110/month all inc – until the end of October. One in Old Blue Eyes – that should not be missed – I keep telling you - head to the For Sale Page to see all of his details and don’t forget the Lindas Lad filly heading to Alan King – just £130/month all inc. and she will be running for over £20,000 every time she runs!! Lots of upside – very little downside – the type of deals we like –  I also have the chance to take on a flat handicapper, who will be a few fun days out for a syndicate this summer – he is a winner of 5 of his 28 turf outings, and is best on quick ground – 4% shares are £500 plus £125/month all inc – he is fit and ready to run - 50% of the shares have already been taken – there are just 12 available!  Please feel free to call, message or email me about any of them!

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