Ender Racing Stables

2015 Diary

24 June

Frankie had an over the ground scope this morning in order to find exactly which breathing operation he requires.

Annie rode him aggressively up the all-weather gallop at Tim's with Stitch and Sara.

Frankie flipped his palate towards the end of the exercise and the diagnosis was straightforward.

He also found he had had a little bleed.

Frankie will have a soft palate operation early next week and then have an easy three weeks before resuming his training.

Yet another blow for the yard in a very forgettable year.  

22 June

Frankie failed to build on his excellent third two races previously, when pulling up at Hexham yesterday afternoon.

He jumped with his usual slickness for much of the contest but after the first circuit he came off the bridle and he was quickly beaten.

Rider Killean Moore said his breathing was the reason for the tame effort and we will have to decide on our next move.

He may have an over-the-ground scope to ascertain just how bad the problem is.

Later in the day Rachael Mcdonald gave JT a super ride in the 3m handicap chase.

She made the old boy's mind up for him at several of the big fences and he still held every chance before the third last.

JT tired quickly and finished 46 lengths behind the eventual winner with the rider saying she though he may have blown up.

There was blood found in his right nostril in the racecourse stables afterwards.

He will be kept on the go and could go to Uttoxeter next month if he continues to show his well being. 

19 June

We have another trip to Hexham booked after JT and Frankie have both been declared for there respective races this Sunday.

With Nathan Moscrop unable to ride Frankie owing to administrative issues regarding his riding license, Killean Moore will partner the junior of the pair.

The nine-year-old, who ran so well prior to losing a shoe the last time, is dropped into a selling hurdle but oddly is taking on classier rivals than he previously did.

He is poorly in at the weights and it is hard to see him being good enough but he is fit and will wear cheek pieces for the first under rules.

The legend that is JT is moving up in grade after finding the pointers too good for him this past season On the positive side he now runs in a handicap and his brilliant jumping should insure he isn't outclassed.

Rachael Mcdonald, who rode him so well in his last run rides again and there would be worse outsiders to back than him.

Both worked as well as you could expect yesterday and nice good ground would suit JT while the slower the better for Frankie. 

Stitch and Monkey continue to progress well, with the former probably going to Southwell next month for a handicap hurdle.

10 June

With several on the team enjoying a break things are on the quiet side with just four on the go.

JT and Frankie will be our next runners all being well, as the other pair Monkey and Stitch are a few weeks from seeing the racecourse again.

JT continues to work well and considering he has been on the go for so long and at his advancing age, he is a remarkable horse.

He and Frankie will probably go up to Hexham later in the month with the old gelding going for a 0-100 handicap chase over 3m.

Granted suitable conditions he might be competitive while Frankie could run in the selling hurdle on the same card.

The last named has become a little cunning on the gallops of late and might have some head gear fitted prior to his race to get him to wake his ideas up.

The other two are steadily getting there.

Stitch looked like he would take forever to get some condition on him following his return to training but he is now looking really well and his work rate is increasing.

Monkey has yet to do any fast work but is doing everything nicely and seems to be enjoying himself going up the gallops again.   

1 June

Max and JT each had their final races of the point-to-point season at Hexham yesterday.

JT, with Rachael McDonald sitting on him for the first time, gave him an excellent ride, leading from the start and looking like he would play a role in the finish.

That was until the third from the end when his old legs found the quickening of the tempo too much however he stayed on again after the last and ran a solid race to finish fifth.

His jumping was faultless as was the ride given and for the second time in a race he wore blinkers, which seem to make him concentrate and travel better.

JT, who has become a priceless addition to the squad, is staying with us for the foreseeable future.

Max continued his regression despite finishing a modest third under Jack Teal in the 3m maiden race.

His rider was starting to niggle before the back straight for the final time and he was well beaten by the time he came to the last obstacle.

Max had very little momentum meeting it and perhaps the rider would have been better pulling him up rather than attempting to jump.

He somehow clambered over it and plugged on but it was another tame effort from the gelding and he will now be sold.  

He just hasn't progressed since his promising first start for us at Charm Park and the likelihood is that he may have an issue or two.

Both were sound and healthy this morning.

After what has seemed an eternity since his win at Hexham last year, the tall grey gelding Grey Monk was back on the Malton gallops.

He canted up with Frankie and behaved impeccably.  

Lets hope the next six weeks go as smoothly.


27 May

Frankie failed to complete after pulling up before the last at Hexham last night.

He jumped the hurdles beautifully throughout but it was noticeable that he lost his place after taking the last flight on the home straight and before the turn towards the far side, for the final time.

It was almost certainly at that point where he lost a shoe and afterwards his rider reported that Frankie wanted to hang badly.

There was no other evidence as to why he should have run so poorly and, as he didn't have a hard race, he will be turned out as soon as we can find another opening.

There is nothing in the near future over hurdles and it looks like we will have to put him over fences.

A return to Hexham early next month might be the only option. 

There was a mixed feeling early this afternoon as our gorgeous Dan left home to join his new owner.

His buyers look like they will spoil him rotten and although we have had him for three years, I can't help feeling envious that they have him and we don't.

That aside I wish them the very best of luck with him.  

25 May

Hexham's Clerk of the Course was confident that they will produce good safe ground for tomorrow evenings fixture, so after taking advice from the man in charge we have decided to declare Frankie for the 7.40 race.

With another 10 deciding to take their chance, the hoped for small field is now not going to happen.

More often than not we have gone to the races and come home disappointed since Frankie's excellent seasonal reappearance over tomorrow's course and distance, but just what he achieved then is questionable.

His remote third in a novice hurdle is verging on impossible to accurately weigh up.

The handicapper can only estimate what it was worth and a rating putting him one off the heighest weighted runners tomorrow makes life tough.

There is little doubt that in all his previous point-to-point and hunter chase races he contested a good while ago, non added up to his current mark of 97. 

Has he improved over a stone since then and following an enforced 10 month break?

In my opinion the handicapper has taken no chances at all but it was a case of accepting the rating and using it or giving him another run in a novice hurdle.

That's all the negative stuff out of the way because there are some positives or at least one main reason for thinking a good performance isn't out of the question.

He is working like he has never worked before.

In previous seasons he has looked a plodder who worked like a good point-to-pointer but no more than that, however these days he seems to have developed some toe.

I'm not suggesting he has an electric turn of foot but he travels powerfully and is able to increase his speed.

Frankie is fit and fancied to run well tomorrow and providing the handicap mark isn't miles above his proper level of ability then who knows what can happen.

The monotonous journey north to Hexham is likely to be taken again in the next week as we have JT and Max entered at the Border point-to-point on Sunday.

There is only the Ladies Open that JT qualifies for and he will go there with his last throw of the dice in what is probably going to be too difficult a contest for him.

At 13 years of age he isn't getting any quicker but he is working really well and we go there hoping for the best.

Max ran a stinker at Mordon on his last start and needs to regain his earlier form.

He wasn't firing going into his last race and although that run is a complete mystery subsequent signs suggest he may be returning to his best.

Max, who will contest the older horse maiden, may have a visor fitted although a decision will be made later in the week.  

23 May

With Nathan Moscrop still on the sidelines, choosing a jockey for Frankie's Hexham engagement on Tuesday was proving more difficult than expected.

The winning point-to-pointer is going to have his fair share of weight on Tuesday and he has always been an easy ride, so we are happy enough to claim off him.

John Quinn's conditional jockey Dean Pratt was chosen and he came to sit on the gelding this morning. This was Frankie's final piece of work before the race and in company with JT (Sara) and maiden pointer Max (Annie) all three went nicely.

As usual JT set the pace until joined by Frankie after the turn into the long straight with Max held up.

The last named was off the bridle when the pace increased and plugged on at the same speed while the other two dominated.

Frankie and JT finished upsides but Tuesday runner had plenty in reserve and is in excellent shape.

There seems to have been no ill effects from the work-out so although confidence is low after a miserable time this past couple of months, it really couldn't have gone any better.

I have no idea whether Frankie is well handicapped, badly handicapped or on his correct mark but he seems in very good form and might give us something to shout about come Tuesday evening. 

17 May

Yesterday started off mildly better with the wonderfully old JT running as well as could be expected when last of the four finishers in the hotly contested Ladies Open at Mordon.

The veteran was wearing blinkers for the first time and jumped like the thorough professional he always has been.

JT held every chance until getting left behind when the pace increased from four our and rider Emma Todd commented afterwards, "he was so much fun to ride".

The maiden in which Max contested was one of the least competitive you are likely to ever come across and was sent off favourite following his promising third at Charm Park last time. His rider Max Johnson was never happy on him and it was a laboured effort to keep him in the chasing pack before disappearing from view before the fourth last.

He soon dropped out of contention and was pulled up before the last.Jockey with the rider reporting he never traveled at all and felt like a different horse to the one he rode last time.

He also felt it was a physical problem rather than the fast ground.

Max will now be sold.

Yesterday Frankie and Dan had a serious workout up the long gallop at Malton with Dan (Sara) taking charge and giving his rider little control.

His workmate, who was giving at least 20lb was ridden firmly by Annie Eddery to get upsides and had a good blow after pulling up.

After yesterdays racing though we are still none the wiser regarding the wellbeing of the string.

13 May

I am far from certain as the whether Max and JT will each take up their engagements at Mordon on Saturday as both require different surfaces to produce their best.

Good ground would be ideal for them but currently it is on the soft side, and if that were the case then JT would probably stay at home.

Both had a gallop this morning with this weekend's rider Jess Gillam coming over to partner JT, who was wearing blinkers for the first time.

He went best in the work although Sara wasn't exactly jumping for joy with the way Max traveled for her.

It has to go down as adequate rather than spectacular for the maiden and there was a smidgen of blood in his nostril afterwards.

JT has his entry in the Ladies Open - as it was the only option for him - and Max in one of the Maiden races at the last meeting of the Yorkshire point-to-point season.

Looking ahead to Saturday morning and Frankie will be having his first piece of work since his bleed a couple of weeks previous while next week we are hoping to buy a couple of horses at the Doncaster horses-in-training sales. 

Yesterday we had an offer for Dan but the lady in question has now given back-word and the Malton pin-up remains on the market. 

10 May

I'm afraid Dan's racing story has come to an end, without him even taking part at Easingwold this afternoon.

Upon arrival at the track he was found to have blood in a nostril and again after he had been tacked up prior to the race.

The decision to withdraw him was immediately made.

Hugo at least made it to the start but he was not in the same form as the last time he ran here and was never travelling well. The lightly raced 10 yo had lost touch when pulling up well before the second last.

There were no obvious signs that he had bled but rider Max Johnson thought he wasn't a hundred per cent sound and that could a reason for the dismal show.

Another disappointment to an already forgettable season. 

7 May

Both Dan and Hugo have entries this Sunday at Easingwold and the pair had their final piece of work prior to their engagements, up the long gallop at Malton this morning.

Dan is something of a shot-in-the-dark, as he is entered in a very warm heat, and his free going nature makes life difficult for his jockey to ride a proper race on him.

He is very keen at home and almost certainly will have to go off in front. His jumping scares the s#@t out of me as well.

Hugo has had a pretty miserable season, with his first fence fall at Brocklesby Park on his reappearance and then blowing up and having a bleed next time at Sheriff Hutton.

He seems in good form and his entry in the Restricted race could cut up as there are only 11 entries.

We have yet to be sure they are over the bug that has been causing the bleeds and to be honest any crumbs of hope from Sunday are much needed.

Both are course winners and the rain over the past couple of days should be in Hugo's favour but not necessarily for Dan.

Rupert, who had Angela Moore give him a thorough massage a couple of weeks previously, was ridden for the first time again this morning.

Whatever the problem was making him lame behind seems to have corrected itself and hopefully we can get him going again. 

26 April

It was only a few days ago that Frankie worked up the long gallop at Malton with Max and went as well, if not the best he has ever gone.

That resulted in him getting an entry for Sedgefield this coming Thursday, but that is all it is as he cantered up the 7f gallop this morning under Joe Williams with Dan, and returned having bled.  

For that reason both of today's point-to-point runners will not now take their chance as there is something clearly wrong with the majority of the string and we need to get to the bottom of it ASAP.

Another with health issues is Rupert who was brought back by Sara after walking him only 50 yards and finding him lame.

He had back woman Angela Moore work on him last week and it is hoped that today's finding is nothing more than a hiccup.

18 April

The vet gave JT the all clear yesterday following his scope and blood test, confirming that all the string are not under the weather as thought.

We have had reasons to believe that they were with so many 'bleeds' of late but maybe we are over thinking things. Or perhaps I took the wrong horse to have tested and the others aren't right.

Anyhow as things stand JT did not bleed last week as it would still have shown up in his trachea scope despite it being a few days after his run.

One who did bleed again was Max. Together with Frankie the pair worked up the long gallop at Malton this morning.

It doesn't seem to distress him in anyway and he might still take his chance at Easingwold a week tomorrow. 

As usual Frankie and Sara sat in behind Annie and the maiden pointer until they worked upsides for the last three furlongs.

Frankie won the gallop in a canter and was simply in a different league to his workmate. Probably the best he has ever gone really!

I don't think we have had a horse that has done so well mentally and physically since he first joined and he is looking magnificent.

He looks to be in the form of his life and is a possible for Sedgefield at the end of the month, ground permitting, and is probably going to stay over hurdles for the time being.

Monkey has been back since the start of the week and has been going around the canter track with Stitch.

The last named has been showing some of his infamous tricky tendencies that were highlighted to us by his previous handler and we wait to see if that is as quirky as it is going to get.

Yesterday Nathan Moscrop and Max Johnson came for a schooling session with Frankie giving a lead to Dan over the point-to-point fences at Malton.

It was really to find out if Dan had the ability to cope with another race and a refresher should we go back over fences with Frankie.

Nathan had an enjoyable time aboard Frankie who just didn't put a foot wrong. They gave Max and Dan a lead and when Dan is on a long stride he is very good but he just doesn't seem to have any idea what to do when he has to 'pop'.

His schooling suggests that he can only run on a course that has easy fences and he may go to Easingwold next week. 

12 April

JT pulled up in a hotly contested Ladies Open at Hornby Castle this afternoon.

With the rain in Malton nowhere near as heavy as expected it was decided to take the teenager to the races despite not having a rider booked.

Unfortunately the weather in the Catterick area was just as had been predicted and the ground was on the softer side of good, although riders opinions differed markedly.

Jess Gillam, who rode the first winner on the card was asked to ride, and she did everything she was told to do on the old lad and he still held a chance at the fourth last.

The gelding was soon unable to go with the better one's when they quickened up and he was tailed off when she called it a day before the last.

Gillam reported that JT was looking after himself and that he wasn't moving right prior to he dismounting.

That could be for a number reasons but he coughed up blood in his box soon after arriving back at the yard. Confirming fears that some of our horses may have a virus of sorts.

Despite finishing third last week Max bled from the nose, something he has never done before while Hugo also had a bleed two days earlier and again after a routine canter a few days later.

Frankie had a cough coming back from his work the other morning and Rupert had been seen to have a snotty nose.

Time to give away more money to the vets again I suspect.

6 April

Max made his debut for us at Charm Park this afternoon, running a fine race to finish third in the Conditions Maiden.

He was given an excellent ride by his namesake Max Johnson, who had him disputing the lead from the start until being headed around three out.

He was eventually beaten ten lengths and the most positive thing to take out of the race was his solid jumping.

He was slick throughout and that will always keep him handy in most of the maiden races between now and the end of the season.

The rider felt that he came off the bridle a good way from the finish and it is hard know what his best requirements are. I would imagine he needs to race bang on the pace and kick a good way out.

He appears to lack a turn of foot. 

All being well he may go to a Mordon in a couple of weeks time where the sharper track might play to his front running strengths.

On the downside the gelding bled after the race although it may not have affected his finishing position.

4 April

Hugo faded quickly after sitting in third place and eventually pulled up before the third last at Sheriff Hutton this afternoon.

Rider Max Johnson was adamant it was a lack of fitness that caused him to tire and it is to be hope he can build on his first 'proper' race for nearly two years.

Disappointingly he was found to have bled on the return home. 

3 April

This morning Nathan Moscrop came over to the Langton Wold gallops to ride Rupert and to give him a look at some small hurdles and considering he has such little experience of jumping, his technique was excellent.

He looks like he will take quickly to hurdling and he will be given some similar education next Tuesday.

Should that go trouble free then Jack Of All Trades JT can give him a lead over the real thing next Friday.

Hugo (Annie) gave Rupert (Nathan) a lead up the long gallop prior to his school and the latter was extremely keen.

His race at Wetherby last time seems to have woken up the youngest member of the team and Nathan was flexing his muscles a little more than he wanted to.

Hugo's work is now complete and he will go to Sheriff Hutton tomorrow in fine form.

It looks a competitive Restricted race on entries alone but hopefully the race may cut up a little and the softer ground should be ideal.

His jumping will always be a concern (see 8 Feb report), particularly the early fences of his races, but that's something we have to live with. 

Hugo had a 'pop' a couple of days ago with tomorrow's rider Max Johnson aboard and jumped as good as he has ever done.

Max reported that he has never felt Hugo "as well as he is at present" and had he had a run under his belt then we would be really fancying him tomorrow.

Later this morning on the Highfield gallop Monday's Charm Park entry Max (Sara) set the pace ahead of Frankie (Annie) and with the surface riding deep and slow, it was starting to find out the pair.

Both were coming off the bridle by the finish and Max has now earned the day off tomorrow with just a nice steady canter on Sunday before his run in the Conditions Maiden in three days time.

Max was given a school over the Malton fences yesterday in preparation for his first start in a long while and jumped like a seasoned campaigner.

Prospects for the pair, well Hugo needs a career best to win or indeed finish in the money, however, he is really well and we are expecting a slice of the prize at the very least.

The Maiden race on Monday could be on the weak side. At least I am hoping so.

There are a couple that look improver's although each of those have their jumping frailties and if Max can't make his presence felt in such a winnable race then he isn't as good as we think him to be.

He is no superstar but he does go a good pace and wouldn't be far removed from our other pointers on home work.

31 Mar

As I write up my plans for the Easter weekend the weather has become horrendous.

The wind is bad enough but the sleety rain accompanying it is bordering on as bad as it can possibly get.

Lets hope it isn't going to last for the remainder of the week as we have a busy time with the two that run in the next week both wanting a school.

Hugo has an entry at Sheriff Hutton for Saturday in the Restricted race while on Monday Max makes his initial start for us in one of the maiden races at Charm Park.

The first named is on a recovery mission after falling at the first at Brocklesby Park a few week's ago.

He was incredibly fresh that day and it is to be hoped that he will concentrate more on the job this time.

Rider Max Johnson is coming to school him tomorrow morning at Malton and it would be ideal if he could partner him in the race itself.

The ten-year-old gelding looks in superb condition and his home work has been just as good.

Max - race name Island Punch - will also have the services of Max Johnson for a schooling session on Thursday morning and at long last will be making his debut for our yard.

He has only had one previous run in the past twenty-three months and that was when pulling up after becoming tailed off in January 2014.

It is a big ask to have him spot on after such a break and the gelding hasn't been the easiest to keep sound however, he will take his chance providing there are no unforeseen hiccups between now and Easter Monday.

Max should be in the thick of the action from the start and is a keen goer at home.

Rupert has come out of his Wetherby exertions last week in fine shape and will go to Tim Etherington's indoor school tomorrow morning for some early education on jumping.

Nathan Moscrop is coming to teach him the rudiments in the next phase of his racing career. .    

27 Mar

Rupert had his fourth and final bumper start this afternoon at Wetherby and the outcome was a little disappointing and even more baffling.

Jockey Nathan Moscrop made plenty of use of the gelding, jumping him off in front and making it a good pace from the start.

Rupert was still showing his inexperience passing the stands for the first time, as he was clearly thinking about going straight on rather than going left-handed, at the turn.

He remained in front until nearing the completion of the turn back into the home straight where his rider gave him a back-hander.

It was at this point that Rupert become unbalanced and shortly afterwards Nathan also lost his seat and for a moment appeared as if he was going to be unseated.

Rupert immediately began to hang left while not striding out and looking very ungainly and he eventually trailed home 46l behind the winner.

The 5yo will now be schooled over hurdles and we will give him the opportunity to prove himself a better jumper than flat racer before any conclusions are made. 

26 Mar 

JT (Sara) did his final gallop this morning together with Hugo (Annie) up the long gallop at Langton Wold and ground permitting, will take his chance in the Confined Race at Askham Bryan on Sunday.

His rider was more than happy with the old lad however, he is very ground dependent and wouldn't want anymore rain between now and the weekend.

More immediately Rupert has been declared to run at Wetherby tomorrow in the bumper.

There is every reason to believe that he has improved since his run at that course nine days ago and we are hopeful he will run a lot better than his odds will suggest.  

24 Mar

Considering Frankie's lack of a recent run and the ill health he suffered recently, to finish third in a novice hurdle after a break of nearly three hundred days this afternoon was excellent.

His jumping was exemplary on his first start over the smaller obstacles and he still held every chance half way down the back straight for the final time.

Understandably the nine-year-old became tired climbing the hill into the straight but kept on very gamely and he might be able to win before long.

He was soundly beaten but the two in front of him are well above average and we are convinced he will improve physically for the run.

Rider Nathan Moscrop reported his breathing needs some attention but hopefully we can work with that and if the handicapper looks on it realistically, he could be one to follow.

Frankie will stay over hurdles next time but fences beckon and a novice handicap chase could be right up his street. 

Its a long drive up to Hexham but it is proving to be our lucky course. 

22 Mar

Hugo was given a school by Max Johnson yesterday morning on the Langton Wold gallops and he has never jumped as well.

He went firstly over a hurdle and two plain fences before repeating the fences and a ditch again twice over.

He then, together with Annie and JT worked up the short gallop and went really well.

The 10-year-old looks in top shape and the fall at Brocklesby Park might have reminded him to pick hooves up or else.

Rupert has been given an entry at Wetherby next Friday for his fourth and final start in a bumper.

Frankie, who worked with Max up Tim's gallop yesterday, is in at Hexham on Tuesday but might miss that engagement as it looks ultra competitive. 

17 Mar

Rupert was soundly beaten but not disgraced at Wetherby today.

The 5yo was warm down at the start and keen early on, but passing the stands with a circuit to run he was being niggled along by his rider.

He stayed with the pack until around five furlongs from the finish and eventually beat three home.

Rider Nathan Moscrop was sure it was greenness, rather than a lack of ability, that caused him to finish so far back and expects he will come on plenty for the run.

The jockey was of the opinion Rupert should be turned out again quickly so we will look for something in the next ten days or so.

Rupert blew for a good while after the race and perhaps he also needed it as well as the experience. 

15 Mar

Our super old gelding JT ran for the third time this season at Dalton Park today, in the Ladies Open

With the ground riding on the fast side of good it was for the first time since he joined us, that he got his favoured surface.

His jumping was excellent and a third place finish in an Open showed his two PP's were ground related and not a lack of ability.

Rider Emma Todd got him into a lovely rhythm throughout and he was never far away, holding every chance at the second last and although he faded soon after, he wasn't beaten far.

JT really is ground dependent, so he will go wherever he can hear his hooves rattle.

Perhaps next weeks Hutton Rudby meeting will come too soon, but he may still get an entry providing the weather forecast is favourable.

Before that he will have another day at the races as he will accompany Rupert to Weatherby on Tuesday.

Nice to get his season back on track again.   

11 Mar

Following his work at Malton this morning Rupert has been given an entry in the NH Flat Race at Wetherby next Tuesday.

Nathan came to ride the 5yo who was given a lead by Chloe (Annie) until they moved upsides after six furlongs.

The plan was more to educated Rupert rather than working on his fitness and he was firmly shoved along by his rider to assert before the pull up.

One thing he doesn't posses is a turn of foot and the galloping nature of the Wetherby track should suit his style, and he and us will learn plenty from the outing.

The gelding, despite conceding around a stone to his workmate, won the gallop and it was just what we wanted to see.

However, Nathan said that he was still very green throughout the exercise. 

Rupert will have another good piece on Saturady morning and that will be it for him.

Frankie and JT both worked up the all-weather gallop together with the latter's rider and trainer reporting that he might be best without his usual tongue tie on Sunday at Dalton Park.

He breathing seems fine so the less in his mouth the better.

As expected Anne said Frankie got tired before the finish and he will work again on Saturday morning.

Dan will not take up his entry at the weekend after schooling poorly yesterday and has been retired again!.  


7 Mar

Work morning for Rupert, Dan, Frankie and JT with the first two named going up the long gallop at Malton.

Sara and Dan set the pace until after the turn and before the final stretch and although Annie had to niggle Rupert to go upsides, there was little doubt he was on top by the finish.

He is gradually getting the hang of what is required and we are delighted with him.

Dan is a notoriously moderate finisher in his work and next Wednesday Rupert will go up with Chloe to see if he can pick her up as easily.

Rupert remains on course for Wetherby a week on Tuesday.

In the other piece of work JT and Sara set the moderate early pace up the grass gallop at Tim's from Frankie and Annie, with the former finding the soft conditions not ideally to his liking.

Frankie still looks a little burly but his last couple of pieces of work suggest that he wouldn't be that far from a run.

Hexham, a fortnight on Tuesday over 3m and hurdles, could be an alternative to Southwell over a shorter trip the same afternoon.

He really wants fences but it is a means to an end, as he will gain a handicap rating should he not be totally tailed off.

Monkey and Stitch have gone on their holidays to Hanging Hill Farm so they can has access to a horse walker and they will spend just over another three weeks there before returning for ridden work. 

5 Mar

Richard Tierney came over at lunch time to partner Dan in his final schooling session before his intended run at Charm Park on Sunday. He jumped several but just wouldn't have a cut at any of them and needs much more practice if he is to point-to-point again.

He very definitely won't be going anywhere this weekend. 

1 Mar

No joy for Chloe this afternoon and for the fourth time in a row she has failed to finish in all her hurdle races.

I think this was her tamest effort to date with the mare showing little enthusiasm throughout.

Not at any stage did she show she wanted to do it and her rider reported she never 'blew up' or 'went through her girth'.

That was confirmed afterwards as she showed no signs she had put any effort in whatsoever and Nathan's words of "get rid of it" are understandable.

Ironically she will now have gained a very low handicap rating but the feeling is she will not race over hurdles again and will be found a good home.

Should that not happen in the immediate future then she will be kept in training as she is a reliable workmate for the others.  

Dan has been given an entry for Charm Park next week, so should everything go well between now and then, he will take his chance on Sunday. 

28 Feb

This morning Chloe completed her final canter before she runs at Sedgefield (2.10) in a competitive novice hurdle tomorrow. The mare is totally outclassed in every way against opposition who would probably have to conceded her a couple of stone were this a handicap.

That really tells you all you need to know about her chances and add to that the probability of the ground being unsuitable, then she is up against it to say the very least.

On a positive note she is very well in herself and has schooled nicely with the aim being to get her a handicap mark so she can go to the races in future with some sort of a chance. Nathan Moscrop rides.

Our last runner under rules was Grey Monk and Monkey is going on his travels on Monday to a livery yard where he will have access to a horse walker in his continued recuperation.

A month there and the okay from Rainbow will signal his return to light exercise by the beginning of April.

Stitch will be coming to fill his vacant box and he should be getting started early next week. The gelding has been out in the field virtually since the day he was bought six months ago.

Dan will get an entry in the Restricted race at Charm Park for a week tomorrow and hopefully Richard Tierney will be free to ride.

The rider got on well with him earlier this week when they had a schooling session and they will have another day of bonding this coming week.

There just isn't a suitable race in the calendar until 17 March for Rupert when he will make a belated seasonal debut at Wetherby on that date in a bumper.

He is showing up nicely at home and is no forlorn hope despite his unattractive previous form.

First things first though and the most we can hope for tomorrow in all probability is another best turned out award and Chloe's first hurdling completion.

25 Feb

Dan had his first taste of the big fences in a long while today when Richard Tierney came over to school him in preparation for his run at either Charm Park or Dalton park next month. 

After schooling firstly over hurdles with Chloe (Sara), the big gelding was a little rusty over the row of three fences for the first time. 

Next go he was much better and he was ever bit as good by his third school. 

The key to Dan's jumping is getting his confidence up as he is fine on a long stride but not so good when he needs to pop and Richard purposely got him ‘deep’ into the big open ditch.

Getting him to believe in himself is the aim and he will have another school sometime next week. 

Chloe also did everything asked of her. 

Sara was more than happy with the way she jumped with her and all being well she will go to Sedgefield on Sunday. 

The race is far beyond her capabilities and realistically if she can gain her handicap rating after this run then it will be mission accomplished. 

It does look very strong at the entry stage but she will go there and do her best. 

15 Feb

JT was turned quickly after his poor effort at Brocklesby Park last week and was again pulled up.

He had been in the mid-division for the first half of the race but had lost touch with the pack when his rider called it a day, before the second last fence.

His jockey Emma Todd gave him a lovely ride and despite jumping without much zest over the opening three fences, he warmed to the job and got himself into a nice rhythm thereafter.

She later reported, like Richard Tierney had the week previously, that JT wants it no softer than good or even quicker..  

This was a marked improvement on his sole effort for us last time and he will now be campaigned when the surface dries out.

JT had a good blow after the race and he may have needed the run a little more than first thought. He looks one for the second half of the season.

13 Feb

On Wednesday our back lady Angela Moore came to have a look at JT and he subsequently had a quiet day in the field yesterday.

With one eye on the weather, he may make a very quick reappearance at Duncombe Park on Sunday, but he won't should the ground turn soft.

Last week was just a non event for him and with all of our riders otherwise engaged we have booked Emma Todd - who has been in good form in a couple of hunter chases recently - and she may come and sit on the old lad tomorrow.

Nathan Moscrop came over to sit on Rupert yesterday morning and it shouldn't be long before he has an entry but as he is still a little unbalanced then it will be only flat, galloping tracks for him.

Chloe will have a school tomorrow over the hurdles and may have a run at Sedgefield on 1 March proving she jumps well in the interim. 

8 Feb

After today I have little doubt the standard of point-to-point stewarding can't even be disguised as amateurish following the farce that followed JT's pulled up effort at Brocklesby Park this afternoon.

Rider Richard Tierney was instructed to "ride him as you find him" as the horse was having his first run for us and after starting at the rear he was never jumping with any fluency.

JT was tailed off by the time he was pulled up after the seventh of the eighteen fences, completing virtually a full circuit of the track.

The rider came back and immediately said he needs rattling fast ground and simply hated today's soft/heavy conditions.

Despite given all the facts, the stewarding panel decided that the rider had made insufficient effort on his mount and fined him £125.

Quite rightly Tierney wasn't going to take the abhorrent decision lying down and following a discusion between myself, the starter and the panel, it will now be referred to the BHA in London.

The starter incredibly reported that the rider was 20 lengths behind when he let them go.

If we were going for a school round why would we have him super fit and declare both aly's of cheekpieces and a tongue tie?

He isn't a youngster but a 13 year old that doesn't need any educating.

I have paid entry fee, jockey fee and diesel to go a circuit. Where would the sense in that be?

We train in Malton and don't need the racecourse to get them fit.

Had they watched him closely they would have seen the jockey had a baggy reign after two fences and was outpaced and jumping moderately throughout the circuit.

If they uphold the fine then I certainly wouldn't ever have a runner at Brocklesby Park again, if that's the best stewarding they can offer.

It is an utter disgrace that they can call us cheats.

The day got decidedly worse with Hugo falling at the first obstacle in the Restricted race and he has a huge hematoma above his near fore leg.

He will now be on the easy list for the time being.

 Jack Teal (rider) said Hugo just wasn't concentrating and never saw the fence. Typical Hugo.

In the hope that the ground is good, we have entered JT for Duncombe Park next week and between now and then he will have some intensive schooling.

 7 Feb 

With Mordon given a new date of three weeks after it postponement, it was an easy decision to put both the fit pointers in at Brocklesby Park for tomorrow.

Having monitored the state of the ground all week it seems as if Sundays ground will be bottomless and obviously for horses making there seasonal return it puts them at a disadvantage.

That said both Hugo and JT are as ready as they can be and both should run well.

Richard Tierney will partner JT in the Confined race as at the time of booking him we were looking for a rider.

Jack Teal, who rides Hugo has since become available however, in racing, loyalty is everything and Richard will keep the ride.

Hugo was forced to miss the whole of last season with a minor injury but won his maiden when last seen and has to put up a career best to be competitive in the Restricted.

For a 10yo he is very lightly raced and it is not out of the question he can make the progress required.  

1 Feb 

With Mordon postponed owing to snow and frost and a miserable forecast for the coming week we are no nearer to getting the pointers out onto the racecourse.

Even if it is given another date - perhaps next Sunday - with the weather predicted it looks unlikely that it would be able to take place.

Brocklesby Park is a possibility also next Sunday for Hugo and JT but again its all down to the weather.

Our talented but fragile maiden pointer Max is proving difficult to keep sound and has to be considered doubtful to run for us and as a result its entirely possible Dan will take his place.

Had there been a reasonable offer for him in the Autumn then he would have been sold but he has too much potential to go cheaply or to the wrong person and he has been kept on the go with the others.

He has been around the canter track most days and will now be asked to go up the gallops and we can rev him up for a run in about three weeks or so.

The steadier tempo of point-to-pointing may enable him to regain his old form. 

29 Jan 

That's it now for Hugo and JT.

They both had their prerace blow-out up the short gallop this morning with Rupert (Nathan) sat in behind.

Hugo and Georgia set the pace ahead of Sara and JT with the inexperienced youngster on and off the bridle in last place.

Nathan felt his mount was racing greenly and would improve when working upsides, so he and Chloe will do some more over the longer gallop next week.

Sunday's runners both seem as ready for a race as you could have them.

The Restricted in which Hugo takes on non-maidens for the first time has attracted only 11 entries and he wouldn't be far off the best of them on the figures.

The biggest concern we have is that he has become quite fresh of late and although he doesn't take a strong hold in his races, he might lack concentration over the opening obstacles.

From previous experiences he has been known to hit one or two in the early part of his races.

JT runs in a race for horses who haven't won for a good while and the entries look formidable. It is similar to a Mens Open and he might be out of his depth if some of them bring their best form to the table or even within a stone of their very best.

I am not worrying about other people's horses and what they can and can't do but I can tell you our lad is thriving and won't be disgraced.

Apparently it is to be -2C overnight in the Sedgefield area from Saturday into Sunday so frost could be a danger.  

26 Jan 

I made our first entries for the new point-to-point season this morning.

Despite the poor weather forecast for the latter part of the week we are optimistic both JT and Hugo will make the journey up to Mordon on Sunday.

Hugo has his first run since 12 May 2013 where he lost his maiden tag at Easingwold.

He moves up a grade to Restricted company and as he doesn't ever show much at home you can never go to the races filled will that much confidence.

His work this time around is no different but he has never looked so well in his life and we have had no interruptions with his preparation.

If he has the ability, which we think he has, then he might be up to the task.

My only concern would be the sharpness of the track although his win was at a course that isn't noted for stamina.

The other runner is only three years his senior but has many more miles on the clock.

JT will run in a race for horses that haven't won a race since November 2012 and I am hoping their will be few entries owing to the race conditions.

He is now a teenager although you wouldn't know it as he has a great attitude to life and is showing plenty of spark.

With our regular rider Max Johnson unable to ride owing to other commitments we will use super-sub Jack Teal on at least one of them and probably both.

Without seeing the entries yet, unless there is a superstar in either of the races then both should be worth a financial interest.   

18 Jan

The weather forecast looks bleak for most of this week with the temperatures unlikely to climb much above freezing.

With Mordon just a couple of weeks away everyday is crucial, not only for keeping fitness levels up but for schooling.

JT didn't impress with his technique when he last jumped a fence but I have few concerns about his ability although it would be nice to get him schooling a couple more times at the very least before he runs.

Hugo, on the other hand schooled well, but he needs more practise if only to sharpen him up.

On home work I would think JT is the more likely winner of the pair first time out but Hugo is so consistent and he has never really shown much at home.

His complete form figures of FP42/PU2221/ show just how reliable he is when he completes.

Both have been on the go for a good while now and providing we don't have any hold-up's then both could be concerned in the finish in a fortnights time.

Rupert is looking well and I would guess about four weeks off a run although he has yet to do any fast work owing to a snotty nose.

Nothing that has held him up and all being well he could do some faster work this week.

We are in a quandary with Chloe.

Do we go all-weather flat racing, hurdling, point-to-pointing or ARO?

The latter is the least likely option but she would be the biggest certainty you could wish to have were we to take that route.

She is one of the lowest rated thoroughbreds on their figures and in truth should be very nearly the highest judged on her bumper third last year.

The problem is that none of the meeting they stage are remotely close to home although the prize money is more than you would get for winning a point!

I reckon she would have three stones in hand were we to go that way.

She is going to have a school over the point-to-point fences at Malton as soon as the ground improves and then we will decide. She is in the form of her life and would canter all over the Hugo and JT.

I think our maiden pointer Max would also be quicker that the last named pair.

He has had a quiet couple of weeks owing to lameness and will hopefully be ridden again this week.

It's been a tough time for Frankie with his recent illness however he has been back in training and is ready to start going up the Malton hill sooner rather than later.

There are no plans for Dan, who is fit and well while our winning hurdler Monkey continues his recuperation of box rest.

It's so frustrating not being able to bring Stitch back home owing to a lack of spare boxes.

He has been out in the field for four-and-a-half months now and we will crack on with him just as soon as there is somewhere to put him..    

11 Jan

Max remains extremely doubtful for Mordon at the start of next month but both JT and Hugo continue to progress and at present will be on the lorry for the second meeting of the Yorkshire season.

Both will have at least another couple of schooling sessions between now and then and should be fit enough to justify running.

Its possible that Chloe might be our next runner although suitable races for her are few and far between.

She needs to have a couple of stalls tests, as she has an aversion to them, and getting out faster than she did at Beverley when last in them is a priority.

The mare could get an entry for Southwell on 22 January should she make the improvement required.

That's a 0-65 over 1m4f, however there would be a risk she could fail to make the cut owing to her lowly handicap rating.

Failing that the next option would be an Amateur Riders race on 3 February for horses in the bracket 46-52 over 11 furlongs. Nothing simple when you are operating at the lower end of the weight scale.

Rupert continues on his way to a seasonal debut and could go to Catterick next month.

He seems on happy terms with himself and hopefully Nathan can come one day this week and give him a gallop.


7 Jan 

After schooling a few days ago Max has been lame with a swollen off hind hock.

He was on box rest yesterday and turned out this morning but unless there is some improvement in the next day or two then his in tended debut for us will have to be put on hold.

Yesterday morning Nathan came to the Langton Wold gallops to have a sit on Rupert and he will ride him again next week for his first serious piece of work since he came back into training. 

3 Jan 

We have abandoned plans of going to Sheriff Hutton next Sunday as the pointers just need a little more time and JT, Hugo and Max will now all head to Mordon a fortnight later.  

The trio went up the Langton Wold gallops this morning and all had a nice school.

JT (Sara), Max (Jack Teal) and Hugo (Max Johnson) went up the 1m3f all-weather gallop and with the former setting the pace they went a fair lick.

All three had a 'blow' at the end.

The schooling of Hugo and Max went particularly well with both jumping as well as could be expected.

Max, who has yet to finish in the frame for his previous owner, is a 9yo maiden but works like a horse who should be capable of losing that tag immediately and is the hope for our next winner.

Hugo delighted Max in his schooling and is mentally better than he has ever been.

He has previously needed a run to get his eye back in and now has to take on Restricted horses, however he is lightly raced and could still be capable of more improvement.

JT with Max aboard schooled solo and the teenager looked a trifle quirky.

He is a lazy old sod and will be better jumping with company next time.



16 Dec

Today was the first work morning in what seems like an age with the the most forward of the pointers, JT (Sara) and Max (Georgia) finishing upsides.

The former, who has run in a tongue tie for his previous owner, was equipped with it again and he set the pace up the Polytrack.

Max joined the old boy at half-way and Georgia was the first to ask her mount to go faster.

The pair each had a good blow at the top of the hill and doubtless will come on a ton for the spin.

They will work again over the weekend while Max may have a school a day earlier, as his namesake is coming to sit on him on Friday morning.

11 Dec 

Yet another morning at Rainbow this time with Monkey.

Thankfully Frankie is recovering from his impaction but Monkey has been very lame for the past couple of days and we have finally got to the bottom of it.

He went up the Langton Wold gallop on Tuesday and returned home unable to put his off hind down.

The scan and X-ray revealed he has a fracture of the cannon bone and had surgery this morning,

The bone has been pinned and the prognosis is good and he should be able to race again.

The alternative was to leave it to heal by itself but he would have had to have been retired.

Apart from Monkey winning at Hexham in October it has been a year to forget however the pointers are making progress and are on course for Sheriff Hutton, all being well.  

27 Nov 

With the exception of Frankie, who seems to be getting better after his recent illness, the other members of the team are back in full work.

Monkey, who was given the go ahead by the trainer to be ridden at the start of this week, is the latest to come from off the injured list and is trotting at present.

Its far too early to make any predictions about where he will reappear but I would imagine some time in the first half of next month would be a possibility.

He seems to have put on weight, which is no bad thing and he is such a great doer.

Max remains the most forward of the pointers and it will be interesting to see how quick or slow top speed is with him when he eventually goes up the gallops.That should be in the next couple of weeks or so.

The two older horses Hugo and JT go out together most mornings and are cantering.

It goes without saying the the first named will be pointing while JT could have a very attractive handicap mark and might go under rules instead.

The wisest thing will be to see how much he shows when striding on.

A run under rules would rule him out of point-to-points for 60 days, so really it will be one or the other for him.

Rupert is on a months course of Equitop Myoplast. The supplement is to support muscle development and he is in full work without any hold-up's so far.

There are no plans regarding the mare Chloe or Dan but are both being ridden daily.

By next week it will be three months since I bought Stitch from DBS.

That means he can go on the horse walker for 10 minutes per day to begin with and really indicates the starting process to him coming back into training.

His tendon injury meant he couldn't be ridden for 6 months so we are half way there now. 


12 Nov

Monkey was trotted up yesterday morning and the signs look a little more encouraging in that he could be back in light exercise next week.

He seems to have been lame behind for weeks now and since he was last ridden he has become very hairy.

Frankie is also getting better after suffering with Peritonitis but he remains on antibiotics for the next couple of weeks. He won't be ridden until next month at the earliest.

Of the other invalids Dan is back cantering and touch wood all the others are coming along nicely.

Max is probably the most forward of the pointers with JT the least while Hugo is somewhere in between the pair.

Rupert will start in a bumper some time in the early part of 2015 and we may try Chloe in a long distance handicap at Southwell also around the turn of the year.

With the point-to-point season only a matter of weeks away we are looking for around a dozen people to lease the three that will be going down that route.

For a one off fee of £400 you can have a share in each of the trio until the end of the season with nothing else to pay.

Stable visits always welcome, either to just see the horses or watch them work, and a share in any of the the mighty prize money that point-to-points have to offer are just a couple of the the benefits!

Island Punch (Max) reminds me of a horse I used to be involved with named You Do The Math.

They are both short in the back which is no bad thing when it comes to steeplechasing. The 8yo is a lightly raced maiden who has shown enough ability to win in that grade and thats where we will start him off in.

The senior member of the pointing team is Just Talking hence where his stable name JT derives from. He hasn't won for a good while and joined us from Kelly Harrison.

He looks a good addition and jumps for fun.

We have had Never Forget Poppy (Hugo) since he was an unbroken 4yo and remarkably he has only raced ten times in his whole career.

He was forced to miss last season after becoming cast and knocking himself.

Hugo needs cut in the ground and by the time he would have been fit and ready to run the ground would have been turning against him, so we felt it best to give him the season off.  

We are looking to get off to a flyer and the aim is to have all three fit and ready to run for their lives at Sherriff Hutton in mid-January. 

2 Nov

Ironically all the horses that have been out all summer are back in full exercise but Monkey remains on the easy list.

He is still lame behind and plans remain on hold for the time being.

Yesterday we had to take Frankie to Rainbow (vets) first thing after he had been very lethargic for the previous 24 hours. All he was wanting to do was lay down and was showing signs of distress.

He was kept in but is responding to the treatment and hopefully he will be able to come home sooner rather than later.

Doncaster sales on Tuesday and I have my eye on a couple.

As Tattersalls have just finished their HIT sale I think there could be value to be had but need someone who has some spare cash to help pay for them!  

20 Oct

Monkey won't be taking his chance at Aintree next Saturday owing to being lame behind.

It's possible he hurt himself when working the other morning and we shall monitor his progress before making and plans.

14 Oct 

I would like to thank Equiwinner for generously letting us have a couple of sample packs of their anti-bleeding patches.

They report to have a 95% success rate so maybe Dan might be brought back from retirement after-all.

Rupert and Frankie were both shod yesterday with the latter ridden for the first time in a long while this morning.

JT, Hugo, Monkey, Dan and Max were all also exercising on the canter track. 

7 Oct

Monkey hacked up the all-weather gallop this morning for the second time since his win at Hexham and seems none the worse for that very easy victory.

The handicapper has left him on his rating prior to the win -120 – and he will have to take on the better horses next time.

Aintree on 25 October could be his next engagement but the ground will be the biggest factor as to whether he runs. A step up to 3m ought to be ideal however nothing quicker than good to soft or he stays in his box.

The other members of the string, those who have been enjoying there summer holidays are back at Norton Grange.

They were picked up yesterday with both Chloe and Frankie having abscesses each, so they are resting for the time being but Hannah’s JT and Hugo both had a saddle on their back this morning.

3 Oct 

Its not often that everything goes to plan but Friday 3rd October was one such day.

It helps when you have a good horse, with the perfect temperament, running in a grade beneath him.

Not for the first time one of ours won a best turn out prize and the race itself went pretty smoothly in the main.

Monkey wasn't comfortable on the faster ground and struggled a little to go the early pace.

The grey made good progress to sit behind the leading duo with a circuit to race and readily pressed the eventual runner-up on leaving the back straight.

He soon went clear of his rival on the climb before the home turn and was barley out of low gears on the run-in. He simply pissed up.

I asked rider Nathan Moscrop to dismount coming back to the winners enclose as a precaution and the jockey reported his mount's breathing wasn't great.

The subsequent auction was always going to be stressful and after looking like there would be no bid for the winner, we were eventually pushed up to £5800 to keep him.

I have little doubt that Monkey is more than capable of being competitive in handicap company and we will look for something around 2m4f on a soft surface next for our stable star.  

A wonderful day made so special by our gorgeous grey horse. 

2 Oct 

Monkey had a very steady hack up the all-weather gallop this morning, ensuring he was nice and fresh for his Hexham engagement tomorrow afternoon.

I bought him at the Doncaster horse-in-training sales a month ago as a horse to crack on with, rather than something for the long term future, and he has been pretty straightforward.

He clearly has his issues and it was only a little over a week since Angela Moore, the back lady, came to give him a massage as he wasn't moving freely when trotting-up.

He looks like he wouldn't want the surface faster than good, so we will keep a close eye on the ground as he might not be the soundest and he will wear a tongue tie.

He had his breathing operated on prior to him joining us and has sounded like he was struggling with his breath on occasions when going up the hill.

All that aside he has always worked like he has an engine and went nicely earlier in the week.

Whether he can run up to his official rating of 120 I would question, because of his issues mentioned earlier, but would he need to.do to win tomorrow?

That's the main reason why he is in such a low grade race first time as his current handicap rating makes placing him difficult.

I wouldn't put anyone off backing him and following a short break, could well be the time to catch him at his best.

Nathan Moscrop rides.    

30 Sept

We took Monkey (Sara) for a change of scenery, along with one for another yard to the Langton Wold gallops this morning.

The pair cantered up one of the gallops before switching to another and working over around five furlongs.

Monkey's rider was happy with him and he will go to Hexham on Friday providing the ground is no faster than good.

The race looks likely to cut up and he should be one of the favorites but a word of warning, he has had his problems and will wear boots in front and a tongue tie. On a positive note, he seems well in himself and could well be up to the task.

He will have a school later in the week.

26 Sept 

Nathan came to ride Dan in a gallop with Monkey and one other, with a view to perhaps taking him to Hexham with the latter a week today.

It was really the last throw of the dice (again) for the big horse and he was equipped with a pair of blinkers for the first time.

Nathan made the pace and was joined after the bend by Sara and Monkey and both traveled well until the final hill where Dan stopped quickly and that has now banished any thoughts of him racing again.

Even on lasix he doesn't finish a gallop!

Sara reported that her mount chocked once and that he worked very lazily.

The grey was wearing a tongue tie this morning and we may try the W Grill on him next week.

He may also have his blow-out up the grass gallop next week.

Monkey will get his entry for Hexham in the seller and having an official rating of 120 should ensure - to a certain extent - that the weights are likely to be favorable.

It may seem foolish running a horse rated so highly in that grade but we have to give ourselves the best chance of winning race and as he has physical problems, should anyone want to buy him afterwards, then they can. 

21 Sept 

Our back lady Angela Moore came to have a look at Monkey this morning and after speaking with her, it has been decided to give Market Rasen next Saturday a miss.

He will now need a couple of days off and for the treatment to have maximum effect he doesn't want to be running so soon.

As a result and all being well he will target Hexham a week on Friday.   

20 Sept

Monkey and Nathan teamed up this morning for the first time as they went upsides with Sara and Dan before the grey was given a school.

Nathan was very pleased with his mount who was going easily by the end of his work and he jumped the hurdle and the two small fences brilliantly.

We are looking at a 0-120 handicap hurdle at Market Rasen next Saturday as a starting point for the six-year-old, which should put him spot on for Hexham the following Friday.

Plans remain fluid as to whether we go the selling hurdle route or a novice handcap chase but as the entry is next Saturday, a decision will have to be made before he runs. 

13 Sept

We gave Monkey, with one from Tim's yard, a blow-out up the all-weather gallop this morning.

The horse he went with is notoriously lazy but it was still helpful in knowing a little more about the new acquisition.

He tracked his workmate until going upsides after the first bend and did it very easily, however, he didn't wear a tongue tie (something he has done in most of his races) and he made a choking noise on a couple of occasions.

Sara didn't think it made too much difference to him but he didn't really come under too much pressure either and he will wear one the next time he works.

Whether that will be a problem in the future only a race and time will tell but he will probably have a school over hurdles and fences before too long and then we can try and make a plan for him.

The handicapper has given him a rating of 122 over hurdle/fences so life won't be easy and I am still favoring the easier options of a claimer or seller. 

10 Sept

Stitch went for a scan on his forelegs this morning and our fears were confirmed, he has a tendon injury on his off-fore.

His previous trainer Mrs Rose Dobbin forgot to mention this to me the day I bought him but filled me in with everything thing else about him.

I really should know better at my age.

There is a three month period where he will do nothing except be out in a small paddock and the following three months he can go on a walker.

He will then return to Rainbow for another scan and if everything is going well then we can kick on with him.

I am well aware he was a cheap horse and in six months time he could look a bargain but it now means I have a couple of grand tied up when we were wanting something to race now.

Also, by the time he will be fit to race the ground might be drying out so he might need to have a further break! 

I went to the horses-in-training sale to buy something to crack on with but got what I deserve. 

6 Sept

Both of the newcomers have settled into there new boxes without any bother.

Stiched In Time - pet name Stitch - has a little heat in a leg and as a precaution we will take him to Rainbow on Wednesday morning and get him scanned. Hopefully we can kick on with him but if he needs time then so be it.

Monkey (Grey Monk) is beautiful looking with lovely long ears.

He will have a saddle on for the first time on Monday and we will most likely have our back woman Angela Moore come and give him the once soon after.

It is far too early to make plans although Monkey only ran 15 days ago.

Unless there is a problem it shouldn't be too long before we can get him on the racecourse.

Having spoken with the handicapper yesterday regarding his official rating, it seems he may be allotted about 120 although it could be a pound or two more.

That makes life so much the harder as he isn't a novice over hurdles and it may be that we put him in the easiest race possible, where he will be best in at the weights.

There is a selling hurdle over 2m41/2f early next month where he would almost certainly be the pick on figures, alternatively a six hour drive for a claimer at Perth in 19 days time might be on the agenda.

Failing that it would have to be the handicap route or a novice chase. 

Following there recent retirement Dan and Yogi are up for sale.

Any experienced rider looking for a project can have the last named pretty cheaply and if you have the time and patience to school him properly you will have a young, sound, cheap, good looking horse to enjoy. Call for more details.   

4 Sept

Both runners at Southwell yesterday ran like they have done for most of the season with Dan pulling up before the second last and Yogi beating only one home.

Nathan was adamant that Dan burst a blood vessel and that was the reason for his dismal display while Yogi - to my eyes -just seemed to hate everything about racing.

Perhaps its a little unfair to be too critical about him as he clearly has breathing issues and this could still be heard while he was cooling down back in the racecourse stables.

Both have been retired from racing with immediate effect and are up for sale.

Yesterday I bought a couple at the HIT sale Doncaster for, in relative terms, little money and we shall collect Grey Monk and Stitched In Time this morning. Both have winning form in point-to-points and under rules and hopefully can give the yard the boost we so badly need.   

2 Sept

I declared both Dan and Yogi for tomorrow at Southwell with Nathan riding the pair.

The ground is the biggest concern for Dan after speaking with the clerk of the course first thing this morning. By all account it is on the faster side of good while somebody else told me it was rattling fast at their last meeting.

We will probably make our minds up after the first race their tomorrow unless I hear anything different before then.

Yogi will take his chance whatever the going is.

Dan (Sara) and Yogi (Hannah) each had a stroll up the all-weather gallop before declaration time and seem well.

The last named appears to have taken his run last week in his stride but there is always the worry it could still come too soon.

I am disappointed that Southwell, who have said all along they will water to maintain good ground, are not being totally honest and seem to be watering to keep good in the going description.

Tomorrows races coincide with the Doncaster sales which is far from ideal as Sara will probably head there before going on to Southwell while I will take the runners in the lorry earlier.

Dan will wear cheekpieces while Yogi will have his tongue tied and be visored again

27 Aug

For the third time in as many starts last night Yogi finished tailed off.

To be fair to him he showed up well for three-quarters of the race and with the first time visor seemingly have an effect, this has to go down as an improved display in spite of being beaten 31l.

Nathan Moscrop thought either his breathing was again troubling him or perhaps he just 'blew up'.

I am inclined to think that there was a bit of both contributing to his final placing but it was a better effort and he did try for his rider even when out of contention.

He was green at various stages of the race and it might be that the experience of getting his bottom smacked in earnest will have taught him more than his easier previous runs.

This all raises the question do we continue and give him another go or not?

I am thinking the former, as he will tighten up for the race and will be more street wise after this and as we have come this far whats another race?

He seemed fine when led out into the field this morning. 

26 Aug

After all the fuss about Bank Holiday Monday going to be a washout proving incorrect,in the North East of the country at least, it was thought better not to declare Dan for Sedgefield this evening.

That leaves us with only Yogi running in the bumper at 8.00pm.

Its 117 days since he last went to the races and between then and now he has done plenty and won't lack through fitness.

The chestnut is lazy and will wear a visor for the first time in a race as well as a tongue tie. He has been up the gallops a couple of times in the shades and it is hoped that will help aid his concentration.

The faster ground is an unknown and this will be the second start since his soft palate operation which he underwent in March. Some say that the second run after the op works better than the first because of the confidence factor.

We have had a wretched season and we go to the races today with confidence low and no great expectations, however he will be ridden handy and he might show himself a little better than his previous runs indicate.  

Nathan Moscrop rides.

This Sunday is the annual Malton Open Day where all the yards in the area open their stables for the general public. All proceeds go to charity and weather permitting its a great way to get up close and personnel with the horses.  

Several of our jumpers are still on their summer holidays but we still have eight or so equines looking forward to meeting up with you. Some stable pets and some in training.

Although we don't have the stars that Fahey's and the Easterby's have please drop in and meet our team if you have the time.   

23 Aug

After Dan's disappointing run at Southwell last week it was decided to retire him, but he barley had a race at Southwell and was very fresh when I attempted to lead him out in to his paddock the following day.

A change of heart has resulted in him getting an entry, together with Yogi, at Sedgefield this coming Tuesday.

This morning both were paired together along with one from Tim's yard for their final proper leg stretch.

Tuesday's rider Nathan Moscrop came over to partner Dan, who was equipped with a visor for the first time, while Sara rode his stablemate.

They were both given a lead up the all-weather but Dan just didn't face the visor and he won't wear it again.

Yogi was lazy but will have the visor back on, on race day and we will keep the cheek pieces on the black horse.

Interestingly the only time Dan won he didn't wear a cross noseband yet in every subsequent race he has.

As he is dropping back again to the minimum trip he will be without it so I hope Nathan is feeling at his fittest.

The ground is all important to Dan but not Yogi, and at present it is faster than we would like it to be.  

Plenty of rain is forecast though.

19 Aug 

Dan, who was retired from racing after Sunday's run was helping his stablemate Yogi in his penultimate piece of work, ahead of his run at Sedgefield next week.

Dan (Sara) took little out of himself the other day and led the chestnut under Nathan Moscrop until halfway through the gallop, where the conditional rider had to give his mount a couple of backhanders to move upsides.

Yogi was again fitted with a visor and tongue tie but even with the headgear on he galloped lazily.

To be fair though I don't think he has ever worked as well as today however, that probably isn't saying a great deal.

Nathan with sit on him again on Saturday morning and again in his race on Tuesday.    

17 Aug

Yesterday's poor showing from Dan at Southwell, when he pulled up two out, was almost certainly because he had bled internally.

He traveled well until heading past the mid-point down the back straight for the final time but then faded very tamely.

There was blood on his water bucket this morning suggesting he had snorted it out of his nostril.

We have to be realistic and it looks as though he has come to the end of the road regarding running under rules and he will be either sold or may drop back into running in points.

No decision has been made but whatever happens his best interests will first and foremost.

From looking like very promising maiden winner to to where he is today is so disappointing but that's the lows of this tough sport.

At least we still have a horse that is capable of doing another job if not in racing.    

13 Aug

Nathan Moscrop came to ride Dan for his final gallop before his run at Southwell on Sunday.

Along with his usual work partner Yogi (Sara) they quickened up after the bend and Dan, who led throughout went really nicely.

Nathan said he gave him a good feel however everyone who rides him say the same thing and he is still a maiden under rules.

He was wearing cheekpieces for the first time and they appeared to make him concentrate more, particularly when he was popped over a hurdle.

He was asked to only jump the one and he was brilliant, seeing a stride and jumping fast, flat and low. Faultless. 

Prior to his work he was injected lasix again and the poor lad can’t stop peeing!

The best looker in Malton has been dropped a further 5lb in the handicap since his dismal effort at Market Rasen and is getting to somewhere I initially wanted him to be in the ratings. 

Its still had to gauge as to what mark he could win from but when you get to these low figures, if you can’t be competitive from 90, then there really is no point running.

We have decided to dispense with the tongue tie as it seemed to have no effect on his performance last time and he will be dropped in on Sunday and creep in to the race.

Going back left handed and up to a stayers trip on some nice ground gives me some encouragement but it really is down to how he is feeling and whether he wants it as much as we do.

4 Aug 

Another tame effort by Dan at Market Rasen yesterday afternoon just goes to confirm his rapid demise from a once promising pointer to a thoroughly modest hurdler.

If he had tried his best but was just not good enough then you can accept he has very little ability, but he just doesn't want to exert himself when the going gets tough.

His last place finishing position was far from surprising as he was not travelling at all well passing the stands with a circuit to go, and yesterday's rider Paul Moloney said he was beaten entering the back straight.

He also stated that he was unsuited by the track - something we were aware of - also that he found the ground too quick and the distance too short. Three valid points but he should have traveled into the race further irrespective of all that

So what now?

Clearly he will be given another chance to redeem himself and we have to go left-handed and and up in trip and on some softer ground. Finding a slow surface at this time of year will be no easy feat though. 

The only other option is to put something on his head and a visor is the most likely choice.

He just shows no spark these days and unless he can regain the old enthusiasm then he has not future as a racehorse..

1 Aug

After not taking up the Stratford entry, owing to fast ground, we have declared Dan for Market Rasen on Sunday.

This represents the lowest grade since his point-to-point days but it has to be remembered that he has been an habitual bleeder for a good while now and not surprisingly he doesn't want to put himself through the pain of it.

That has resulted in his regressive efforts and we can only hope that the lasix, which he has been training on, has given him a little confidence to run on when pressure is applied.

At present the ground is on the faster side of good but Market Rasen are watering and there is rain forecast.

I am not convinced he has done enough to warrant a handicap rating of 95 and the trip of 2m1f is surely not far enough for him

However, on the positive side we have Paul Molony aboard and more importantly he is very well in himself.

He is looking look well muscled up and has developed a huge arse - and that's where all the power comes from.

Fingers crossed. 

29 July

Things continue to be quiet with just two on the go and with a 10-day break in the jumping calendar commencing in just a few days time, there isn't a lot to report.

Yogi will be given some schooling in that window and will make his hurdles debut in about three weeks time, providing his schooling goes well enough but Dan is ready to rock n' roll.

More than ready in fact and he has two entries between now and Sunday.

I put him in at Market Rasen for 3 August to go with his Stratford entry this Thursday.

The distances of those races differ greatly, however we favor going over the longer trip of 2m6f in a couple of days time.

That is also a novice handicap as opposed to an open handicap and over 2m1f at the weekend.

As he is a bleeder, a bequest from his breathing difficulties, the slower pace and the longer trip will enable him to do things easier but there are ground concerns.

Stratford report the going likely to be on the quick side of good and with very little rain expected in the next 48 hours, unlike Market Rasen, where they will be watering for good ground.

Just so many problems to contend with.

Dan completed his antibiotic and course of lasix and is bouncing like a coiled spring.

He worked yesterday morning and was full of it and stayed at home on the canter track today and again he was showing his well being.

He is looking a million dollars and mentally seems in cracking form.

Nothing would surprise me with this fella and I think he will either will hack up or pull up in whichever race he runs in.

A rather bazaar statement I know but there are no grey area's with this horse because of his health issues.

He could even win them both!

14 July 

The only two we have in training at present both had a hack around the canter track this morning but more importantly one of those, Dan, had his first injection of diuretic drug Lasix.

He has now completed the Ventipulmin and antibiotics prescribed and will now have the anti-bleeder drug injected daily for the next week.

We can now step up his work, as he hasn't done anything more serious than cantering since the end of last month.

Its a good job he is such an easy horse to deal with and all he wants to do is please.

The Lasix has a withdrawal period of three days and it is hoped that he will only have to be injected on work mornings.

Should this prove to be unsuccessful then his career as a racehorse may be curtailed early.

Our other horse in full work is Yogi, who has been learning the art of jumping.

He went with a 20 year old pony - who jumps for fun - to a cross country course last week and was getting the hang of jumping different obstacles by the end of the morning.

He doesn't make life easy for either himself or us but he very definitely has the scope to jump fences let alone hurdles.

If we can get enough schooling into him then he could run at Southwell a week tomorrow.   

30 June 

Dan had an 'Over The Ground Endoscope' this morning.

Following his poor recent racecourse efforts it was felt we had find out the reason why and although we now know the problem, finding a solution to it isn't easy.

The endoscope was to ascertain if he had a breathing problem and Dan worked with a camera up a nostril and with other equipment under and around his saddle.

Sara galloped him pretty much flat out for 5f and having watch the data from inside the vets car it was evident that his air passage was clear, even under maximum pressure.

We took him to Rainbow Equine Hospital on the way home for another scope and that showed he had bled. He will be put on a bleeders' supplement but its not the news we were hoping to here.    

28 June

This morning Yogi went to Tim Etherington's indoor school for the next phase in his jumping classes.

The chestnut started over some cross-poles before finally jumping an upright.

He needed his mind making up for him on occasions but he showed enough potential to be put over a proper hurdle perhaps next week.

Susi rode him beautifully.   

Click here to watch

Click here to watch

19 June

Whatever the reason for Dan's regression in form shows no sign of abating and his run at Southwell last night was without any doubt the worst of his career to date.

Mentally he has massively grown up and is the thorough professional in everything from travelling to the races to the time spent in the racecourse stables, the lead-up and going to post etc.

In the race though he never took the hold we thought he might after a couple of months absence.

After all it was his first start for over 60 days and you would have expected him to be at least a little fresh and keen but rider Nathan Moscrop had his hands down his neck from the start.

With the low sun, the race was reduced to only four hurdles and Dan was far from fluent at the first of them.

He was good at the second but was already well beaten before the third and he was going so slowly that he was pulled up before the last. He was literally a beaten horse by halfway.

The jockey initially said his breathing was 'rotten' but shortly afterwards was not sure it was his breathing or that he could have bled.

Our previous experience and knowledge with 'bleeders' suggests that he probably hadn't, as there was no evidence of any distress, discharge or coughing. 

Whatever the reason we must get to the bottom of this otherwise it is a waste of time and money taking him to the races.

He will have an endoscope examination done one day next week and hopefully that will help ascertain just what the problem is.

At the very least it will eliminate whether he has a breathing problem or not.  

He was led out into the field this morning and galloped off without a care in the world.  

18 June

It will have been two months since Dan last set foot on a racecourse - when running poorly at Hexham - and this evening he runs at Southwell.

All his previous starts have been in novice hurdles' and tonight is the first time he can contest a handicap, albeit not against fellow novices.

That wouldn't worry me too much as he is pretty efficient in his jumping however, his mark of 99 seems unfair.  

He has been rated on his none completion at Market Rasen two races ago, where he fell at the last.

The handicapper has rated him as if he would have finished third 14l behind the runner up and 2l in front of the eventual third.

I timed him jumping the last, three seconds - equivalent to 18l - behind the winner, who was quickening away from us, so on that basis I reckon we have a few pounds to find.

That's the negative side to his chance but looking at it more positively, he had a breathing operation shortly after Hexham and he will be ridden for speed today rather than dropping him out.

He had a school over a couple of portable fences at Brian Ellision's yesterday and Nathan Moscrop (today's rider) said he was brilliant.

Dan has never been a good workhorse and nothing has changed since his soft palate operation.

All we can do is hope he finishes his race off better than any of his other starts since going over hurdles and at least give us some encouragement for his future. 

Its been said by his previous riders that he wants a longer trip, but he has a high cruising speed and perhaps against these more modest rivals he might be able to boos them from the front.  

He did after all make most of the running when winning his point-to-point last year. 

12 June

Work morning with Dan (Sara) giving Yogi (Annie) a lead up the all-weather gallop.

They worked upsides just after the bend and both went as well as could be expected.

Dan, who has been given an entry for next Wednesday evening at Southwell in a 2m Conditional Riders' race, wasn't equipped with anything to aid his breathing.

Its a couple of months since he last raced and the 0-100 race will be the lowest grade he has contested so far.

Yogi may go to Market Rasen a week tomorrow. 

6 June

Frankie and Chloe have left the yard to go on their summer holidays, joining Rupert and Hugo in Amotherby.

Hugo looks to be thriving and has put on plenty of condition while there looks to be a little more flesh on the bones of Rupert.

Earlier this morning Dan (Sara) and Yogi (Annie) went for a workout up the all-weather gallop.

They both wore a tongue-tie – the first time in Dan's case – and as usual he set the pace.

Annie moved her mount alongside after the first bend and he went much better by the finish.

Sara reported that she heard Dan whistling near the top of the hill and we will experiment with the W Grill next time.

He went no worse than he ever does but hardly fills you with any confidence.

Yogi might go for another bumper this month if he continues to build on this but like his workmate, he would hardly be a betting proposition.

Roo has had a few days out in the field and his foreleg that had been causing a concern seems to have settled down, so retirement for the time being may be put on hold.

He will have a saddle back on him on Monday and we will take it from there. 

2 June 

Having watched Frankie's tame effort at Wetherby again today I think it is almost certainly something bothering him rather than anything else.

He just doesn't have a cut at any of the fences and the one thing he does do is jump.

We contemplated giving him an entry for Hexham at the weekend but chose not to bother and whether he has another run this season or not is still undecided.

He isn't as slow as he looked the other night.

Frankie gave an uncomfortable buck when Sara rode him on the canter track this morning - which is not like him - suggesting he may have problem in his back or that area.

Dan and Yogi also went on the same surface and afterwards Yogi was led by his stablemate over a pole.

The pair are penciled in for Uttoxeter later in the month. 

30 May 

Last night proved a bitter disappointment with Frankie failing to finish in the money in the 2m4f hunter chase at Wetherby.

He was never travelling at any stage and his jumping was not up to his usual standard.

I have to be honest and say that his performances this season have been met with excuses and with a first time tongue-tie and second time visor I am seriously questioning his temperament.

True, the trip was on the short side but he isn't devoured of pace, however he looked as slow as a boat, and he isn't that.

Max reported that he was hanging at various stages of the race and feels Frankie has become 'doggy'.

There has been evidence in all his three previous starts this season and maybe he just doesn't enjoy it anymore.

He ate up this morning and was in good form when he went out into the field morning, so we will look for something in the near future and try a professional on him next time.

Yogi went up the grass gallop with one of Tim's this morning while Dan and Roo had a steady time on the canter track.   

27 May

Work morning for Frankie (Sara) Yogi (Annie) and Dan (Max).

As always Dan jumped off in front and set the pace for Frankie and Yogi but Max had to exercise his arm muscles on the big black horse and Frankie travel led by far the stronger up the final hill.

Frankie wore a tongue-tie for the first time and after having his back looked at yesterday by Angela Moore, he seems in tremendous form.

So much so that despite meeting horses of superior ability on Thursday, we expect him to go very well.

Plenty of rain would be a help to slow some of the other down! 

Last time at Hexham he had a visor on for the first time and the question is, does he wear it again and did it make any difference to his performance last time?

It certainly didn't make him run any faster but it did keep him focused on the fences.

Dan continues to be an enigma and just doesn't seem to work as well as you would expect him to.

He was conceding 28lb to Frankie but his final effort was labored while Yogi went nicely enough and will have an entry just as soon as the ground dries out.

He is drinking in the last chance saloon and will be sold as a riding horse should he disappoint again. 

Roo is back hacking again and it is to be hoped he can take the work thrown at him otherwise he will be joining the ginger horse the for sale list.  

22 May

Work morning for Dan (Max) and Yogi (Annie) with Frankie (Sara) hacking up several lengths behind the pair.

Dan has been very fresh and strong since his work was stepped up, and he was more than ready for this.

He set the pace and was to be joined by Yogi - who was wearing a first time visor and tongue-tie - but his workmate stumbled when about to range upsides.

Fortunately his rider sat tight but once again Yogi showed he is far from straightforward, however he seemed to take more of an interest in the headgear. 

Dan will have Max aboard next Wednesday for his blow out in readiness for his Wetherby engagement next week.

Frankie has taken his Hexham third last Sunday in his stride and will have an entry on the same card, probably in the hunter chase where he will wear a tongue-tie.  

Earlier this morning Rupert and Hugo were taken to Amotherby for their summer holidays, where they  can eat as much grass as their hearts desire.

Above: Rupert (left) and Hugo on holiday

18 May

Frankie failed in his attempt to win the Restricted race at Hexham this afternoon but finished an honorable third.

Soft ground and the testing course were to his advantage and he jumped beautifully in a first time visor.

He was always prominent however Max had drawn the stick with a circuit to go but he plugged on throughout the final circuit eventually finishing a well beaten third.

The rider thought he might have a breathing problem and he will wear a tongue tie next time.

His form figure's since he joined us are 42134233 and despite lacking a turn of pace he is nothing if not consistent.

We might give him a run in a hunter chase next time but he wont be going anywhere unless the ground is no quicker than good.

He was very well ridden today. . 

16 May

With a little uncertainty over the choice of venue, Frankie will take his chance at Hexham on Sunday.

As the ground is likley to be good at Mordon tomorrow it was no easy decision to make, however the greater stamina test should be more in keeping with his style of racing.

The going will be soft at best and the gelding will wear a visor for the first time in a race. 

12 May

After much debating it was decided not to put Roo in a novice hurdle at Market Rasen this coming Sunday.

Not because he isn't well but we are having to sacrifice him for his more experienced and older stablemate Frankie.

With the point-to-point season drawing to an end we are desperate to get a win into him and he has entries at Mordon and Hexham this coming Saturday and Sunday.

The former fixture is the preferred engagement, as it is nearer to home, but with the weather likely to get warmer by the end of the week, the ground is expected to be softer at Hexham.

Frankie will have a gallop on Wednesday but no decision as to where he might go will be made until nearer the end of the week. 

He will wear a visor for the first time at the weekend.  

3 May

After consideration it was decided not to take Frankie to Heslaker today.  

With only a couple ridden this morning things are a little quiet, but although turned out first thing this morning Yogi - who will be ridden tomorrow - was given an entry for Market Rasen next Friday.

He will be tried in either a visor or blinkers this week and might take his chance, as he didn't seem to have too tough a race at Sedgefield the other day.

As far as being a racehorse is concerned he is drinking in the last chance saloon. 

1 May

It was difficult to get too excited by the run of Yogi on his second racecourse appearance at Sedgefield this afternoon.

He ran a similar race to that of his debut, on this course 60 days ago.

On this occasion he was equipped with a tongue tie and had had a soft palate operation in the interim but he was a beaten horse even before he had traveled a full circuit.

He failed to beat a rival and we are none the wiser as to whether he is still struggling with his wind or does he simply not enjoy racing?

He still carries his head awkwardly - something he does in the morning - and that makes it hard to fathom what the problem is.

On the positive side he was a dream to lead up and was the second 'best turned out award' won by the yard.

The first went to Roo, who made his debut for us in the maiden hurdle.

But for a mistake at the first he jumped soundly throughout and rather took us by surprise just how keen he was in the early part of the race.

He came off the bridle midway down the far side and got very tired quickly.

He eventually finished tailed off, but there was some promise and quite simply he just wasn't fit enough and blew for 30 minutes after the race.

He works like a good horse at home and nothing can get him off the bridle, so in hindsight he just hadn't done enough work.

Fingers crossed he will be fine in the morning and then we can make a plan.

Future plans for Yogi are less easy to predict but in all probability he will be tried in a visor at home and then a decision will be made. 

30 April

Max came to ride and school Frankie in a visor this morning, and the pair cantered up the all-weather gallop with tomorrow's Sedgefield runners Yogi (Sara) and Roo (Annie).

None of the trio were asked any questions, however the visor seemed to light Frankie up and he was not too well behaved after the exercise, getting himself into a state.

Just how he will contend with the preliminaries on Saturday hardly thrill me with excitement but there is no doubting they had an effect which is the main thing.

He looks more tucked up after his run last Sunday, so we go there with every chance.

Roo gets his first chance to show his capabilities on the racecourse tomorrow where he will be ridden by Colm McCormack.

He is a beautiful horse to have anything to do with and is not short of ability and a promising performance would be nice.

Yogi is looking very well just now and he will be equipped with a tongue strap despite having his soft palate operated on a month or so ago. Max rides him in the bumper.   

28 April

This morning Yogi and Roo had their final piece of work before Thursday's Sedgefield engagement's.

Annie set the pace with Roo leading until joined by Sara and he partner. Yogi, who when last working was without anything to help his troublesome breathing, wore a tongue tie and that seemed to help him greatly and he matched strides for most of the gallop.

Sara had to push him along to keep tabs with the workmate and it is to be hoped he can build on this, especially when he gets back on the grass.

Roo went nicely without being ask a question and he will school tomorrow with Nathan Moscrop coming to sit on him for the first time.

Frankie seemed to be full of beans when led out into the field early this morning and appears to have taken yesterday's race as you would hope for.

He has been given an entry in the Restricted race at Heslaker on Saturday and will canter and school in a visor on Wednesday morning. 

27 April

Frankie made his belated return to the track at Easingwold this afternoon, when finishing an honorable third, on a track that didn't play to his strengths.

The gelding failed to jump with his usual fluency and was under pressure with a circuit to race.

Frankie finished with his ears pricked and his rider was of the opinion that he was not trying his hardest and that certainly seemed the case.

He will be given an entry for Heslaker next Saturday and all being well will take his chance.

He will school in a visor mid-week in the hope it wakes him up. 

24 April

After his disappointing performance a couple of days ago it seems more than likely than ever that we have seen the last of Rupert for this season.

For the second day on the trot he has enjoyed the summery weather in the field and with him failing to eat up, it looks as though he just isn't man enough yet to play with the big boys.

We picked Dan up from the vets yesterday evening following his soft palate operation and he was quiet when led out this morning, but cantered off when unclipped.

Work day with three going up the all-weather gallop this morning.

Apprentice rider Kevin Lundie rode Yogi in behind Frankie (Sara) and Roo (Annie).

The first named still seems to be struggling with his breathing despite his operation and will be tried again in a tongue strap for his blow out, prior to his Sedgefield engagement at the start of next month.

He was urged along quite firmly to keep up with pacesetter Roo, who was joined by Sundays point-to-point entry Frankie soon after the turn .

Roo continues to progress and will join Yogi on the lorry to County Durham next month for a maiden hurdle.    

22 April

All of Max's hard work to get down to a riding weight of 10.6 was in vain, as Rupert failed to show any of his home ability on the racecourse when finishing tailed off at Wetherby this afternoon.

He took a good hold in the early part of the race and it didn't help when they fanned out across the track and he couldn't get any cover.

By half-way Rupert was one of the first off the bridle and when put under pressure, he looked as green as grass with his rider reporting he hung to his left for the remainder of the race.

Its been two months since he made his debut at Southwell and the way he performed today was as if he had learned nothing from that experience.

He is a weak and green horse and the temptation is to finish him for the season and bring him back after a good summer out in the field.

We will see how he comes out of this race first and make a decision soon afterwards. 

21 April 

Frankie stayed at home yesterday as the ground was considered too fast for him and has been given an entry for Easingwold next weekend. 

19 April 

Frankie (Sara), together with Rupert (Max) and Yogi (Susi) went up the all-weather gallop this morning, with the last named pair working upsides.

With Frankie entered to run at Mordon tomorrow he sat someway adrift as the other two got on with it.

Rupert was very keen and by request of his rider, he will wear a cross noseband in his race next Tuesday.

He set the pace until joined by Yogi, who went every bit as well, after the first bend.

Yogi didn't have anything in his mouth to help his breathing and at long last is starting to please in his work.

A day off tomorrow for all bar Frankie, who goes to Mordon in good health and providing the ground is suitable he might be our first winner of the year. 

18 April 

Up ridiculously early for turning out and meeting Max and Colm for work and a schooling session.

Roo, who will be given an entry for a conditional riders novice hurdle at Sedgefield on the 1st May, was ridden by the latter, while Max (Frankie) teamed up with his ride at Mordon this Sunday.

Frankie set a true pace and was soon joined by Roo shortly after the first bend and they went a very strong clip throughout.

There is nothing to be won on the gallops but on this occasion Roo took the bragging rites and Colm seemed to think there was plenty left in the tank by the end.

The pair jumped upsides over the hurdle and the smaller old fences with Roo showing a better technique when given a lead into them afterwards.

Frankie is ready to rock n' roll this Sunday and only the drying ground could be a stumbling block from him getting back on the score sheet.

If there is any firmness in the ground though he won't be going anywhere.

Rupert and Yogi will work tomorrow.

The former will be partnered by Max and will have a good blow out in preparation for his engagement at Wetherby next Tuesday.

Mondays bitter disappointment Dan, who has been back cantering since Wednesday, is going to Station House Vets for his breathing looking at.

We initially presumed he bled during the race however there were no obvious signs that he had and it might be that he displaces his soft palate.

He will be scoped and then may have the same operation as Yogi but that is all conjecture for the time being.

Chloe was ridden for the first time in a good while around the canter track last lot, and an ARO campaign might be on her agenda later down the line.   

14 April (PM)

Today completed a miserable weekend with Dan performing terribly at Hexham this afternoon.

He failed to beat a single rival after travelling and jumping well for much of the race until nearing the end of the back straight, when he came under pressure and lost his place rapidly.

He had virtually slowed to a trot by the time he climbed the hill into the straight and somehow got over the last to finish a tailed off last.

At present he clearly has something stopping him from running his race and it’s entirely possible he may have bled.

There were no external signs suggesting he had but it looks a distinct possibility.

We will tinker with his wind and perhaps look at his back but its all very baffling.  

14 April

All the inmates are having a day in their boxes and putting their feet up except for Dan, who will be on route to Hexham this morning for his engagement in the 3.00 race.

Its not as if the team are getting an extra days holiday as Roo, together with Frankie enjoyed a good piece of work yesterday.

Roo went the better but is a lazy bugger while Frankie, who has been given an entry for the Cleveland meeting next Sunday, needed to stretch his legs after Saturday's debacle.

Dan and Yogi stayed at home on the canter track, as did Rupert.

The first named did some pole work in readiness fir today and seemed to enjoy himself.

This afternoon's race is probably the hardest contest he has been pitched in and the drying ground and the minimum trip hardly instills confidence, however,on the positive side he is going left-handed again.

He is well in himself and after today he will gain a long overdue handicap mark. 

12 April

A bloody annoying day with Frankie failing to take his chance at Hornby Castle this afternoon, following a bazaar incident on the way to the start.

Everything was going smoothly until he was sent cantering to post.

We were the first to be out on to the track, with the huntsman's horse going to give him a lead, or at least that was what was supposed to happen.

Frankie found himself going to post alone and whether it was an umbrella opening or Frankie just being Frankie, but he dropped his shoulder and unseated Max.

He proceeded to canter loose for several minutes and by the time he was reunited with his rider and was heading back to the start, an announcement he had been withdrawn was made.

I am not saying I was overly happy with him taking his chance after getting loose but I would have liked the option of making the choice to run or not. He certainly wasn't distressed or sweating and didn't seem to have taken much out of himself. 

This was expected to be his last run before going to Hexham for a hunter chase early next month and as he hasn't had a run, he will now head to Morden next Sunday.

Today proved to be a complete and utter waste of time and money.

11 April

A busy morning with tomorrows Hornby Castle runner Frankie (Sara) having a leg stretch, hacking up alongside the wonder kid Rupert (Annie).

Both did no more than canter but they each looked in good nick.

The lot earlier and Yogi, equipped with the W Grill, was having his first serious piece of work since his soft palate operation, going up with Mondays Hexham runner Dan.

The last named, with Sara aboard, took a good hold before needing a little encouragement before the finish.

Yogi and Annie joined their workmate half-way through the exercise and despite still making a noise, went much better than he has previously done.

There were definite signs than he may have a future as a racehorse while stablemate Roo went around the canter track solo first thing.

8 April

Frankie will have a 'blow out' tomorrow in readiness for his engagement at Hornby Castle on Saturday.

There are only 11entries, however there looks to be an above average once raced challenger from the Northern area who might be a major stumbling block.

Our lad is fit and well and hasn't had any interruptions since his second at Whitcliffe Grange and we are more than hopeful the race will have brought him forward.

This morning I gave Dan an entry for a national hunt novices hurdle at Hexham for next Monday.

The handicapper decided he needed more information about him before allotting the best looking horse in Malton a mark and we desperately need a completion next week.

No jockey arrangements have been decided yet.

We were also tempted to put Rupert in the bumper, but as the ground is described as heavy at present it was thought best to wait another week, and maybe Wetherby could be on his agenda.

Roo might go to Hexham on the first day of next month for his debut over jumps.

There isn't too many options as the old season ends and the new one starts and we may have to run him in the selling hurdle as a starting point.

Yogi, who recently underwent a soft palate operation, will have a piece of work tomorrow and we will know more about his plans after that. 

30 Mar 

Frankie made a belated and welcome return to action at Whitcliffe Grange toady.

As I was commentating at the meeting it was left to Sara and Susi to lead-up and look after him.

We were sure that he was probably a gallop short, it not two, of being match fit and his gallant second only underlines just how much progress he has made since last season.

He was under pressure with a circuit to run but showed plenty of courage to chase the eventual winner from three out.

We will give him an easy week and then think about running him again, possibly at Hornby Castle in a fortnight.

He wouldn't want the ground too dry, so at some stage he is likely to go under rules where they water better than in points.

A very promising start to his season. 

To watch the race. Click here

26 Mar

Another week before the official rating for Dan is published and following his last flight fall at Market Rasen, it is difficult to put a figure on what he might be allotted.

I have timed his last hurdle fall at around two-and-a-half seconds behind the eventual winner, and at six lengths a second, and assuming he would be going as fast as the winner on the run-in, then 100 might be the mark.

The Racing Post have given him a rating of 88 and I would be satisfied with that.

Its difficult to make a plan without any knowledge of what it may be and the waiting goes on.

He and Yogi were out trotting on the canter track this morning.

The latter is becoming the source of as much interest as we are all hoping the recent wind operation will make all the difference to his performance.

With Hugo and Chloe out of games for the time being things are a little quieter, with only one load taken up the gallops.

Max came over to sit on Roo - a horse he will ride over hurdles when his schooling is complete – and went up the hill with Rupert (Anne) and Frankie (Sara).

It was never going to be more than a good hack up but all three seem well in themselves.

Frankie will have his blow out for Sunday tomorrow and although Max thinks he is ready to win I am not as confident.

He has been working very well and tanks up the gallop like he has improved since last term, but he still looks on the burly side.

He wouldn't blow a candle out at the top of the hill so that gives me confidence but whatever he achieves at Whitcliffe Grange, he will improve upon next time.

Roo schooled over the tyres before going over the hurdle.

He was absolutely brilliant however the all round opinion was that he must have been schooled previously.

He looks as fit as Frankie and once his vaccinations are complete he will be ready to rock n' roll. 

23 Mar 

Dan blundered third place away at Market Rasen this afternoon when firing Brian Hughes to the ground at the final flight.

After being ridden with restrain for much of the race he made smooth progress and had jumped his way into a ten length third two out.

Despite jumping well for most of the race he saved his least best jump till the last.

We went to get a handicap mark today and hopefully he will have achieved this but in all probability his rating will be much higher than originally hoped for.

I wanted something in the mid-eighties but as the winner and second appear to have run to 115 and 114 I am anticipating 100.

We must go left handed next time as Dan was lugging that way for most of the contest but judged on the way he travel's, a stiff 2m and ridden handier wouldn't be a problem. 

Thankfully he seems none the worse for the mishap but will no more in the morning.

22 Mar

Yesterday Dan was declared to run in the first race at Market Rasen on Sunday with Brian Hughes booked to ride.

The gelding had a gentle lung opener, with Sara in the plate, solo before both Frankie (Max) and Roo (Susi)  went up together.

Tomorrow’s race, over a trip short of his best, will be the third time that he has run over hurdles and this will make him eligible for a handicap rating.

His future will be in that sphere rather than taking on superior rivals off level weights.

Roo continues to progress and joined Frankie halfway through their exercise, at what was a good clip.

Max took his partner over the smaller old fences before jumping the bigger three twice afterwards.

He is unlikely to be schooled again before his possible engagement next Sunday at Whitcliffe Grange.

Frankie is probably a week behind where we would want him to be but will be fit enough to take the beating . 

18 Mar 

We took Yogi to the vets for a soft palate operation this morning. It was all completed before midday and he was back home in his box this evening. Everything seems to have gone well and he will have a easy couple of weeks before resuming full work. 

Chloe was lame after her canter up the grass gallop this morning and might have an abscess in her off-fore. She too is on the easy list for the time being.

15 Mar 

Frankie had his first school of the year after Max took him up the all-weather gallop, in company with Chloe (Sara) and Yogi (Susi).

The gelding jumped the old smaller fences a couple of times each and was inch perfect each time.

Earlier Dan (Sara), wearing a cross noseband and just about under control, led Rupert in no more than a good canter up the same strip.

Plans are beginning to sort themselves out a bit more with Frankie probably going to Whitcliffe Grange at the end of the month for a Restricted race.

The giant that is Dan might have an entry for Market Rasen next Sunday, with a view to him having the required runs to obtain his handicap mark.

Having spoken with the handicapper this morning regarding Chloe, he reckoned that Dan may be given a mark around "eightyish" assuming he doesent improve on his previous two starts.

I can live with that.

Chloe needs to have another run before he will consider her a rating and he would rather she complete the course before assessing her. He did point out that another pulled up wouldn't necessarily rule out a rating though.

Rupert is in good form but will benefit greatly from another run and some summer grass and he might also go to Market Rasen.

Alternatively they both could miss that and go to Wetherby instead.

Hugo is improving physically and all being well might have a saddle back on him some time next week while Yogi will be visiting Station House Vets this coming week for his breathing looked at. .

9 Mar 

Chloe was always going to be up against it this afternoon, taking on some more than useful novices and it came as no surprise that she was pulled up before the second last flight.

They went a good pace from the start and her rider Ryan Winks was nudging her along virtually throughout the race.

Her jumping was good considering she was out of her grade but disappointingly she bled from the nose.

That's the first time she has ever burst a blood vessel while her breathing was as bad as it has ever been.

There is no rush to decide her next move but whatever that is, it will be in her best interest.

Dan was making his return to the racecourse in over 260 days when not unlike Chloe, was taking on some useful types, over 2m1f.

His rider Colm McCormack dropped him out the back and the big gelding was much more relaxed than when he was last at the races.

He cruised into contention shortly before leaving the back straight and it seemed as though fourth place was a possibility.

However, not unlike the Dan of old, his finishing effort was limited and the rider reported he 'blew up'.

His behavior was impeccable in the racecourse stables, in the paddock and throughout the race.

We had requested that he be taken early to post although that was only as a precaution and in the race he took a nice hold.

As he is far more mature now he should be able to fulfill his undoubted potential.

Just what the handicapper makes of his form under rules will be interesting but he still needs another run before gaining his initial mark and we will look for another similar type of race in a couple of weeks time. 

7 Mar 

Hugo had the vet out to him yesterday afternoon after he was found to be very uncomfortable in his backend region.

He may have hurt his stifle or pelvis perhaps after becoming cast.

He seems much better today and was led out into the field for a couple of hours or so. 

Today both entries for Market Rasen on Sunday were declared.

Dan, who takes his chance in the 2m novice hurdle will be ridden by Colm McCormack, who will come over to sit on him first thing tomorrow morning.

Chloe will have Ryan Winks in the plate and runs over 2m3f.
Both are in good form but look up against it. 

5 Mar 

Brian Hughes took Dan up the all-weather gallop in company with Chloe (Sara) and Rupert (Annie) second lot this morning.

I think Brian was rather surprised just how switched off his mount was and the pair sat behind the tough mare.

Hughes had to slap and kick Dan along to join Chloe - who is always a better work horse than on the racecourse - but the little mare sped away from him before the finish.

The professional jockey then schooled Dan over the hurdle afterwards and the gelding paid little respect to it, hitting it all three times he jumped.

Rupert, who made up the trio, bided his time at the back and went nicely.

Max joined us for first lot and he partnered Hugo, who sat in behind the clear pace setter Frankie (Sara) and in front of Yogi (Annie).

The last named was ridden for the first time since his tame effort at Sedgefield and once again gave clear indication that he has a breathing problem.

It looks highly likely that we will take him to Station House vets for a wind op sooner rather than later.

Plans remain fluid for Dan.

Although he has an entry at Market Rasen this Sunday, he may yet bypass it and go point-to-pointing instead.

If he runs on Sunday he will be dropped out as the last thing we want to do is buzz him up and undo all the good work gone into settling him down.

Chloe is in fine form but will almost certainly be outclassed in the race after Dan's at the Lincolnshire track.

However she is as good now as she always has been and will probably take her chance despite not enjoying the grass as much as sand.

Hugo and Frankie are still on the portly side but that will soon shift and will be getting their hunters' certificates before long.

Roo continues to hack alone on the canter track. He has an annoying habit of throwing in some huge buck's when exercised in company so for the time being he goes out by himself.

He will soon be stepping up his work rate though.   

3 Mar 

Yogi made his debut at Sedgefield yesterday afternoon in extremely testing conditions.

He was green in the paddock, whinnying and spooking at most things, and Max said he was having a good look at everything on the way to the start. He was worried he might be dropped cantering down to the 2m start!

The race itself went pretty much how we expected.

More often than not in his work Yogi has shown he suffers with his breathing and he looked to be struggling with his wind after only 6f.

The testing ground would have put more stress on his wind.

He was fully entitled to be green in the race and he was on and off the bridle for most of the contest.

It was noticeable that he was carrying his head awkwardly and that was likely to be him trying to get his breath rather than anything else.

He subsequently beat only one home and we must decide our next move. Do we persist or call time on his brief career?

I think for the time being we will see if there is any improvement in his work and if not then maybe look for a good home for him.

Upon returning home he typically devoured his manger.

Much earlier in the day Chloe and Roo went up the all-weather gallop.

Jack rode both, the latter first and he tracked Sara at just a steady tempo.

The main reason for his trip was for Chloe to have a school over the baby fences and hurdle.

She jumped the old pair of small fences twice and the hurdle the same amount and was super.

She may go to Market Rasen next Sunday with Dan.

Brian Hughes is coming to have a sit on the gelding on Wednesday and we shall know more then but everything hinges on the ground.

1 Mar 

We made a couple of visits to the gallops this morning with Rupert and Frankie walking onto the lorry first.

The former is so grown up for his tender years that he led his workmate, although neither were asked any questions.

Sara rode Frankie, who is back in full work after his recent niggle, while Susi had to flex her arm muscles as her mount to a keen hold.

Second lot comprised of Dan (Max), Chloe (Sara) and Yogi (Susi).

Max sent Dan on at the start and he strode out well all the way to the top of the hill, giving his rider the best feel he has given him for a long time.

Dan really is thriving at the moment and might get an entry this week, perhaps for Market Rasen a week tomorrow. I don't think we have ever had a better looking horse than him and he is maturing all the time.

We have made the decision to abandon running him in points this season and keep him to the higher grade.

After the gallop Max popped him over the old smaller fences and the hurdle and it was not possible to find fault with his jumping.

Yogi was having a leg stretch in readiness for his engagement and racecourse debut at Sedgefield tomorrow and he took Susi all the way to the top of the gallop.

There are no great expectations for him and a promising run will suffice.

Chloe is worth her weight in gold and again went about her work with all the usual enthusiasm she always shows alongside the chestnut.

She and Jack Teal will school first thing over the smaller fences tomorrow morning.   

27 Feb 

With Yogi having an entry at Sedgefield in the bumper on Sunday, it was a work morning for him.

Equipped with the W Grill to aid his troublesome breathing he went up the grass gallop with Chloe and Rupert.

It was never the intention for the last named to do as much as the other two and Annie (rider) sat in behind as the other pair got on with it.

Chloe had her tongue tied down and the mare and Sara set the pace with Max joining her upsides for the second half of the exercise.

By the end of the work, both showed they have breathing issues and in all honesty, with the ground riding heavy, it was difficult to evaluate the whole thing. 

True, Yogi was conceding a couple of stones to his workmate, but she was only toying with him and between now and declaration time we will need to have a think about running him or not.

All I can be sure of is that Chloe is naturally faster than the others at this stage of their careers and that she doesn't enjoy winter ground.

Nothing is going to be impressive going up the hill on that surface but we are still none the wiser about Sunday. 

22 Feb

Rupert was back in exercise after his lameness and hacked up the all-weather gallop behind our new stable star Chloe!

He is ready to continue his work and as they all do, he will let us know when he is ready to race again.

Max cam to ride Yogi for the first time and have a 'pop' over the fences on Dan.

Sara led on the big black gelding and in receipt of a couple of stones, he seemed to enjoy himself.

Max was happy with Yogi and didn't feel as if he was struggling with his breathing. It is worth noting that this wasn't a piece of work though.

The rider will team up again with the ginger monkey in a proper piece next Thursday, when he will go up the grass with one of Lucy Edgerton’s horses.

The schooling afterwards was heart in the mouth stuff.

Dan jumped the old smaller fences and showed little respect for them.

Going through rather than over them.

One in particular he dived through and had to be picked up expertly by the rider.

Max decided despite this, he would take him over the much stiffer obstacles and jumped the two newest fences really well.

The old ditch was the third and he met that on a perfect stride.

He seemed to show a lot more respect for the stiffer fences and will be kept to those in future. 

18 Feb 

Both brave soldiers failed to finish off their breakfast this morning following their trip to Southwell yesterday.

Chloe is a super tough and battled hardened mare and will be ready for exercising again tomorrow but Rupert, who like the mare was turned out in the field first thing today, will need more time.

His colic scare on returning home last night was found to be nothing to worry about but it prolonged a busy day and it was nearly 12.30AM when I had checked him for the last time.

He is lame at present and it was a real tough ordeal for him yesterday.

He will be given sufficient time to get over the race however the experience will bring him on a ton.

Rupert will let us know when he is ready to go again. 

17 Feb

A day off for most of the string with the exceptions being Chloe and Rupert, who both took their chances a Southwell this afternoon.

Chloe sole reason for racing today is as a companion for the youngster.

Today was the first time she has raced on sand - a surface that she works so well on - and she put up a career best.

What she lacks in size is trebled by her attitude.

She was unsuited by the steady pace and was under pressure when the paced lifted coming out of the back straight for the final time.

Her rider gave her a reminder or two and she was able to recover her position and very bravely plugged on to be an honorable third. Her breathing has been an issue in the past but Joshua Newman (rider) didn't think it bothered her, although he said she was making a noise.

Just where we go now is unknown but as we wont run her on the flat in somebody elses name, it might be back over hurdles on nice jumping ground or it might be ARO, but there is no rush to make a decision.

Rupert behaved impeccably prior to running in the maiden bumper.

He will be much better for a summer out at grass, as he is a weak looking four-year-old, but today's race will have taught him plenty.

We expected him to be green but his inexperience rather took us by surprise.

Gerard had to cajole along him along at the start to take hold of the bridle and he raced on an off it for a greater part of the race.

He eventually finished well behind and beat only a couple home.

When we arrived back home he showed signs of having colic and was very quiet.

He was eating his paper bedding in his racecourse stable and that combined with eating very little throughout the day may have clogged him up.

He blew for maybe thirty minutes after the race and I wouldn't be surprised were he to take a while to get over today's experience. Annoyingly, he had to give a urine sample before he was allowed back into his stable.

He is far better than he showed here.

A day off for most of the string with the exceptions being Chloe and Rupert, who both took their chances a Southwell this afternoon. Chloe sole reason for racing today is as a companion for the youngster. Today was the first time she has raced on sand - a surface that she works so well on - and she put up a career best. What she lacks in size is is trebbled by her attitude. She was unsuited by the steady pace and was undeer pressure when the paced lifted coming out of the back straight for the final time. Her rider gave her a reminder or two and she was able to recover her position and very bravely plugged on to be an honourable third. He breathing has been an issue in the past but Joshua Newman (rider) didn't think it bothered her although she was making a noise. Just where we go now is unknown but as we wont run her on the flat in someone elses name it might well be back over hurdles on nice jumping ground or it might be ARO but we are in no rush to make a desision. Rupert behaved immpecably prior to running in the maiden bumper. He will be better for a summer out at grass as he is a weak looking four-year-old b ut todays race will have taught him plenty. We expected him to be gren but his inexperience rather took us by surprise. Gerard had to cajole him at the start to take hold of the bridle and he race on an off it for a greater part of the race. He eventually finished well behind beating only a acouple hiome. When we arrived home he showed signs of having colic and was very quiet. He was eating his Paper bedding at Southwell and that com,bined with eating very little trhroughout the day may have clogged him up. He blew for a good while after the race and I wouldnt be surprised were he to take a wjhile to ghet over the experience. He is much better than he showed here.

16 Feb 

With all their work now completed, next box neighbours Rupert and Chloe have been declared to run at Southwell tomorrow.

Rupert and his workmate had a lung opener up the all-weather gallop this morning and take their chances on the Fibresand.

Chloe will wear a tongue tie and will have the services of amateur rider Joshua Newman.

I have very little idea about the rider but have filled him with plenty of confidence about the mare. He must be thinking I am a lunatic!

Its doubtful whether I will sleep much tonight with our baby Rupert making his second visit to the track but first in a race tomorrow.

He now has a full clip and looks beautiful.

Your uncle Martin would be so proud of you and ironically it was this time last year he was put to sleep.

Also this morning Yogi and Dan both hacked-up the all-weather gallop. 

15 Feb

Its twelve months since Martin was put to sleep and it would be poignant should his nephew Rupert run with distinction at Southwell on Monday.

The original plan was for him was to go to Doncaster on Wednesday, however that looks very competitive and this new option might be more suitable.

Chloe is coming out of her second retirement to run in the opening race on the card.

The mare had a blow out on the all-weather gallop with the enigmatic Yogi first thing this morning and she went as well as she always does.

It goes without saying that there are no great hopes for her but it is the first time on the flat she has raced over 2m and on sand, without any stalls.

Rupert had Max aboard for the first time and with Sara riding Dan, the pair were joined by another from a different yard who has good recent form.

Up the grass gallop they went upsides for most of the journey and with Rupert displaying his inexperience, he still held the edge at the finish.

With Dan receiving plenty of weight from the other pair he can be considered a little disappointing but there is no hiding the fact that Rupert is ready for his racecourse introduction.

Its twelve months since Martin was put to sleep and it would be poingnant should his nephew Rupert run with distinction at Southwell on Monday. 

12 Feb 

It doesn't seem too long ago since Rupert was sent away to Freya and Guy Brewer's to be broken in and now he is about to get his first entry.

Now named Bold Prince Rupert, the well mannered youngster will get an entry in a National Hunt Flat Race at Doncaster next week.

He is still babyish in many ways but his temperament is perfect for a racehorse.

Rupert has yet to work between horses but that will be accomplished, all being well, by the weekend, assuming the grass gallop is suitable.

Quite simply he is ready for a run but he wouldn't go anywhere if the ground was too testing.

Max is coming tomorrow morning to ride Dan up the gallop and either Friday or Saturday jockey Brian Hughes will sit on Yogi.

A decision about his near to hand future will be made following input from the rider.

The sidelined Frankie has been having a quiet week following his sore girth galls.

Its a shame he has had to miss exercise as he was coming along a treat but he might be back in full work by next Monday. 

8 Feb 

Two morning visits to the gallops with Chloe (Sara) and Yogi (Susi) firstly going up the grass gallop.

The mare gave a lead to her chestnut stablemate but she just doesn't seem to enjoy the grass anywhere nearly as much as the all-weather surface.

She hung to her left while Yogi seems the exact opposite.

I have had it on my mind for a while that he doesn't like the sandy surface and he went better today however, he isn't anything out of the ordinary judged on his home work.

Dan (Max) Rupert (Susi) and Frankie (Sara) all went up the all-weather afterwards.

The first two were to do a bit more than the latter and Dan - who seems more settled these days - gave a lead to Rupert.

After the first turn Rupert moved level and was travelling the better up the final hill.

Dan seems to fail to see out the gallop like you would expect and is mirroring his work of last year, even down to his schooling.

Max took him over the old smaller fences, jumping four in total, and Dan was electric. He goes long everytime but is breath taking to watch. 

The one that pleased me as much as anything was Frankie. He was there just for some routine work as sat somewhere off the pair.

Taking a fierce hold he moved as well as the other two under a tight hold and he looks to have come on a ton since last season.

Sara reported he could have gone with them had she wished despite looking twice as fat as them.

4 Feb 

Thankfully all is well with the string despite Yogi getting loose and dumping Suzi the other morning while heading back to the horse box after his morning exercise.

A change of plan though for Hugo, who will now bypass his expected seasonal debut at Duncombe Park in the middle of this month, as he is going on a course of Bleed Block.

The supplement takes around ten days to get into his system and he can only do light work while it takes effect.

At £120 a tub it isn't cheap, but if it does the trick then it has to be worth it.

Yogi and Chloe will do a piece of work together tomorrow morning with the gelding fitted with some cheekpieces as well as the W Grill bit.

He will be allowed to win the gallop in order to build up his confidence.

Rupert looked lazy while doing a routine canter today.

The BHA have denied us the chance to name him Duke Of Bavaria as we need permission from the current Duke, in order to have it.

As a result we will now attempt to give him the name Bold Prince Rupert.

Frankie looks really well in himself and took a fierce hold when he went up the all-weather gallop last week.

Although he still looks a little on the burly side he has done tremendously well from last season and will exercise with Rupert and Hugo tomorrow.

Roo is getting a little sharper but remains in light exercise for the time being.  

30 Jan 

A work morning with Max joining us to partner Dan with Sara on Rupert and Georgia teaming up with Yogi.

Dan is headstrong so it is always the plan to let him jump off ahead of the other pair, with the two unraced geldings working together.

Max did a fine job of restraining the 8yo- who wasn't as keen as he sometimes is - and it was long before Rupert moved to the tail of the big horse.

Rupert was keen and ran past Dan before the final climb and is progressing at a rate that has taken us a little by surprise. The Southwell gallop last week has changed the boy into a man.

He will get his name, Duke Of Bavaria, registered by next week and it shouldn't be too long before he is ready to make his racecourse debut.

Dan isn't as forward in fitness as Rupert and was conceding a couple of stone to his younger rival so unsurprisingly Max was satisfied.

At some stage he will work in a hood in order to try to get him to settle a little more but there is no denying he is much calmer than he was last term.

Yogi traveled the least best.

He wore a W Grill bit to aid his breathing and Georgia reported that he lasted longer up the final hill.

He is looking fitter but there are still no plans for him just yet. 

22 Jan 

Well it finally happened without the dream ending.

Not that we were expecting anything too much from Chloe, who has finally been retired from racing, on her first start for the country s newest trainer.

Sara's first runner as a permit holder was sent off a 100/1 chance, so no real surprises that she was beaten.

We were however hopeful she would run better than having to be pulled up before the seventh flight.

Her jumping was poor, blundering at the second and struggling thereafter and she just didn't enjoy any of it at all.

Her rider Gerard Tumelty was of the opinion that her breathing was one reason for her poor display but also that she hated the bad ground.

She looked very reluctant to do what she was asked to throughout the whole of the contest and carried her head awkwardly.  

As a result we have called time on her racing career and she will be sold as a riding horse.

For the time being though, as she is such a good lead horse for the babies she will continue her day job.   

On a more positive note Rupert, who accompanied the mare in the horse box for an after racing gallop, will have learned plenty.

He was stabled next to Chloe and was taking everything in.

Whinnying intermittently and showing his inexperience, he was walked around the racecourse stables area before being led around the pre-paddock.

Gerard then took him onto the all-weather surface for a racecourse gallop with a sprinter from another yard.

He went nicely, behaved impeccably and his rider thought he was around three weeks from making his debut.

A mixed day but still plenty to be optimistic about despite leaving the colours at the track. 

21 Jan

Chloe has been declared, with a tongue-tie, to run at Southwell tomorrow with Gerard Tumelty riding her for the first time.

She's in good form but her wind problems are likely to be the biggest hurdle she has to overcome.

Just as importantly tomorrow becomes the first day that our string run in Sara's name.

It has been a long and expensive road to get into this position and I suppose it all started when Milo won his maiden at Charm Park nearly two years ago.

The BHA's rules are extremely stringent in getting a permit to train but all boxes are ticked and everything is in place for the start of what could be something very special.

19 Jan 

A day off for most of the team with the exception's being Chloe and Yogi

Sara partnered the mare - who runs on Wednesday at Southwell - and Jack Teal rode the unraced chestnut with Chloe setting the pace and quickening clear up the final hill.

Both wore tongue-ties and once again Yogi gave the impression that he is struggling with his wind.

Whether its a lack of fitness or he needs it looking at we have yet to ascertain fully.

Yogi was put on the box afterwards while Chloe and Jack had a schooling session.

She jumped the two smaller fences twice and was brilliant.

No need for any more practice and if only she was a hand bigger she would be going point-to-pointing this season.

Her run at Wetherby late last year seems to have brought her on a ton jumping wise, and although she has he breathing issues,  she is in the form of her life. 

A decision on who rides has not been made just yet with Brian Hughes Sam Drake or Gerard Tumelty all in the mix. 

18 Jan 

Max came to school Hugo this morning and after leading Chloe (Sara) and Rupert (Susi) up the all-weather gallop, he went over the smaller fences first.

Showing little respect he went through them rather than over, but when he was put over the new stiffer jumps he schooled really well.

He is not the sort of horse that wants over schooling and he will have very little practice from now on. 

17 Jan

Yesterday Chloe was given an entry for Southwell on Wednesday in the Mares Maiden Novices Hurdle over 3m1/2f.

Unlike at Wetherby last time, she will wear a tongue-tie and will be schooled in one on Sunday.

She hasn't missed a single days exercise but heavy ground and her breathing issues makes her chances remote and anything bar a failed completion will be a bonus.

Updates on the other inmates are as follows; Rupert, soon to be named Duke of Bavaria, is coming along nicely.

Yesterday Chloe was given an entry for Southwell on Wednesday in the Mares Maiden Novice Hurdle over 3m1/2f. Unlike at Wetherby last time, she will wear a tongue tie and will be schooled in one on Sunday. She hasn't missed a days exercise but heavy ground and her breathing issues makes her chances remote and anything bar a failed completion will be a bonus.
Updates on the other inmates as follows; Rupert, soon to be named Duke of Bavaria, is coming along nicely. He seems to be getting the hang of going up the gallops and could accompany Chloe to Southwell with a view to walking around the racecourse stableblock, pre-paddock and paddock. It will do him the power of good. Frankie has been back in regular work for a while now and seems to be looking trimmer of late. He isn't far off going up the gallops. Dan is looking well and was clipped a couple of days ago. So far so good after his recent time out and he looked keen when taking Max up the gallops yesterday. The chestnut gelding Yogi looks to be suffering with a breathing problem. We have to make a decision about his next move sooner or later. He is still is carrying condition but is looks fitter than at any other time. Hugo had back-lady Angela Moore check him over a few days ago and he will be schooled by Max on Saturday. He still potters out of his box every morning but looks well in himself and the belly is disapearing rapidly. Our newest recruit Roo is very fat and very hairy but is ridden daily and will do no more than trot until mid February. Finally our favourite patient Nick has passed eight weeks box rest since his horrendus career ending injury and looks well. What a wonderful natured horse he is.

He seems to be getting the hang of going up the gallops and could accompany Chloe to Southwell with a view to walking around the racecourse stable-block, pre-paddock and paddock. It can only do him the power of good.

Frankie has been back in regular work for a while now and seems to be looking trimmer of late. He isn't far off going up the gallops.

Dan is looking well and was clipped a couple of days ago. Its so far so good after his recent time out and he looked keen when taking Max up the gallops yesterday morning.

The chestnut gelding Yogi also looks to be suffering with his breathing.

He is still carrying condition but looks fitter than at any other time, however we have to make a decision about his next move sooner rather than later.

Hugo had back-lady Angela Moore check him over a few days ago and he will be schooled by Max on Saturday.

He still potters out of his box every morning but looks well in himself and the belly is disappearing rapidly.

Our newest recruit Roo is very fat and very hairy but is ridden daily and will do no more than trot until mid-February.

Finally our favourite patient Nick has passed eight weeks box rest since his horrendous career ending injury and looks really well.

What a wonderful natured horse he is.

10 Jan 

After what seems to have been an eternity, the BHA have finally confirmed that Sara has been granted a permit to train.

Chloe will be her first runner at Southwell in a couple of weeks time.

Earlier today both Chloe and Rupert went to the gallops with Georgia partnering the latter and Sara aboard the mare.

With Chloe setting the pace, her workmate kept tabs on her for the duration and he seems to be getting the hang of what the job is all about. 

5 Jan

We took a trio up to the all-weather gallop with Jack and Suzi partnering the unraced pair Yogi and Rupert, with Sara aboard Chloe.

The latter set the pace as per normal, with Jack under instructions to keep the lazy Yogi up to his work, with Suzi sitting out the back. 

Chloe was joined by Yogi after the first turn but had to be kept right up to his work with his rider reporting that he 'chocked' and he appears to have a breathing problem.

Rupert stayed out the back and shapes like a thorough stayer.

Last Thursday Chloe was taken to Rainbow Equine Hospital for her breathing looking at.

Following a scope, which ultimately proved inconclusive, she will be given an entry for the next couple of weeks and will race with a tongue-tie on next time.

Sam Drake will come over to school her with a view to riding her in in her next race.

2013 Diary

31 Dec 

As 2013 draws to an end, upon reflection it has been an extraordinarily up and down year. 

The move in February was a massive upheaval.

From owning a large four bedroom detached property with land an stables to renting a small three bedroom house was a difficult transition. We moved for the horses and not the accommodation though. 

Losing our dear Martin to leukemia the day after the move was dreadful. Not because he was the most talented horse we had. That was enough of a blow, but he was such a kind, happy and loverble person.

I wish he was still here and I wish the dreams that we had for him lived on but shit happens. A special horse who didn't deserve his fate. 
I wish he was still here and I wish the dreams that we had for him lived on but shit happens.
A special horse who didn't deserve his fate.
Our three point-to-point winners were priceless.
The double at Easingwold more than priceless but the injury sustained to Nick last month at Hexham was shattering.
The thought of not having him around would have made it extremely difficult to carry on doing what we came to Malton for.
Thankfully he is recovering and seems to be enjoying his life of a Lord, although he is unlikely to be able to be ridden again.
Only last week poor Jill suffered a broken wrist and elbow, which we now understand needs surgery.
I only hope she will return to ride out again for us when she is able to.
It seems there are so few good days compared to the disappointing ones but we look forward to 2014 with enthusiasm.
The babies Rupert and Yogi have there careers ahead of them and could be anything.
Frankie and Hugo should continue to be in the thick of the action where ever they run while Dan might be the best of the lot if he can only stay sound. So so talented but fragile.
Not forgetting Chloe and Roo who might win, but probably won't.
As long as they all stay healthy that's all we can ask.
Happy birthday for tomorrow buddies!   
Out three point-to-point winners were priceless. The double at Easingwold more than priceless but the injury sustained to Nick last month at Hexham was shattering.  Losing Martin was horrendous and the thought of not having Nick would have made it extremley hard to carry on doing what we came to Malton for. 
Thankfully he is recovering and seems to be enjoying life although he is unlikley to be ridden again. Only last week poor Jill suffered a broken wrist and elbow, which we now understand needs surgery. I hope she will return to ride out again when she is able to. It seems there are so fews good days compared to the disapointing ones but we look forward to 2014 with entghusiasm. The Babies Rupert and Yogi have there careers ahead of them and could be anything. Frankie and Hugo should continue to be in the thick of the action where ever they run while Dan might be the best of the lot if he can stay sound. And there is Chloe and Roo who might win but probably won't. As long as we still have them this time next year then it won't have been too bad a 2014. 

27 Dec 

No matter how Chloe performed at Wetherby today it was always going to be tinged with worry for our work rider Jill. After riding Hugo up the all-weather gallop and then Yogi on the canter track, we headed to the racecourse with the mare and left Jill to exercise Rupert.

The squally weather deemed it appropriate only for her to take the unraced gelding into the indoor barn for some trotting and out from the gale.

Apparently Rupert decided he wanted to head out the bottom exit and despite her sitting a bronch or two, he finally rid his rider and left the barn exiting left. That is almost certainly where she was unseated and Rupert galloped loose around the canter track.

Jill was taken to York hospital where it was discovered she has fractured her wrist and elbow.

Rupert has several cuts on his legs but apart from that seems fine in himself.

We only hope she returns to work when she has fully recovered.

At 12.15 Chloe made her debut over hurdles in what turned out to be a farcical early pace.

She found herself in front at the first and unsurprisingly slowed up going into it.

She remained handy until the pace quickened at around the same spot on the next circuit where her breathing failed her and Brian Hughes (jockey) reported that she chocked. She was soon pulled up afterwards.

Her breathing has always been an issue - although in the past she has always raced in a tongue-tie - however, it was decided that she might jump better without wearing one first time out.

Her jumping was novicey but very safe and we may go again with her, perhaps looking for better ground and using the tongue strap.

She may even have a trip to Rainbow with a view to finding out just how bad her breathing is and if it can be repaired. 

The only real positive point of the day was Sara winning herself £100 for the best turned out award.

It would have been an injustice had it not been given to her as the mare looked gorgeous.

Chloe may be a stress head in her box but I wish they were all as easy to deal with as her at the races and if she doesn't race again, she can at least lead all the babies on the gallops.   

23 Dec 

I have to say that in all the time we have had Chloe and I can't remember exactly how long, around a couple of years I think, she has never looked in better condition.

She was clipped yesterday and her shaven body looks absolutely magnificent.

She will wear a sheepskin noseband on Friday for the first time and with Sara talking about plaiting her up, I think she is after the best turned out award.

Previously when she raced for us under ARO rules she looked fit but very lean, probably too lean when at her lightest and lacked the muscle definition she now carries. She is very well just now.

I am under no illusions about her chances at Wetherby but she went up the all-weather nicely enough this morning with Rupert and will work with Yogi tomorrow.

It has become extremely windy and wet throughout the morning and the forecast for the rest of the week looks likely to remain the same.

As a result it wouldn't be the biggest surprise should an inspection be called before Fridays meeting. 

22 Dec 

This morning Jack Teal came to school Chloe for the final time before her engagement on Friday.

He firstly took her up the all-weather at a good canter before letter her jump the hurdle and the first two fences several times.

She continues to throw her head as if something is irritating her going into jumps, and confidence isn't exactly sky high, however she is clever at her hurdles and jumps very safely.   

19 Dec 

It seems virtually certain that after the meeting with Yvonne Carr from the BHA this morning, the permit to train under rules will be granted.

With the Christmas holiday probably going to hold-up the paperwork, it is highly likely that Chloe will race in Tim's name should she run at Wetherby.

However, as she is already registered with a licensed trainer it means that she only has to be in our care for three days before she can race in our name.

Were all the administration to be completed by Monday then she could be our first runner. 

18 Dec

Brian Hughes came to the gallops for a sit and school on Chloe despite not being able to jump upsides with one of Tim’s.They, along with Jill aboard Yogi, firstly went up the grass gallop.

Chloe gave a lead to the unraced chestnut before she jumped the hurdle and then the first two fences and the hurdle again, on two occasions. 

It’s doubtful that she will be able to have a school upsides before her race on 27th of this month and gives the impression that although she jumps well, she is likely to be hesitant over the opening flights.

Hopefully Jack can give her another pop before Christmas. 

Yogi went nicely and seems to be progressing. 

With Frankie having an easy ten days or so owing to a kerb on a hock and Dan having a week off it makes you realise just how fragile these horses are.

New boy Roo (Irish Review) was shod yesterday and will be ridden from next week.

Having spoken with the vet at Rainbow, it now seems as though he wasn’t scanned to see if he had a ‘leg’ but apparently there was some filling in his off-fore and the previous owner just turned him away. 

13 Dec 

A busy day and an earlier start than usual to the gallops for Chloe and Yogi. They worked up the hill with Sara jumping off in front as per usual on the mare and she was joined after the first turn by Jill and the chestnut gelding.

They worked upsides until Chloe stamped her authority on the gallop before the final climb with Yogi showing his moody side by putting his head in the air and not enjoying it.

Its probably a combination of being unfit and his breathing.

Chloe has never been better in herself and for the first time in her life - well since she has been with us - took a hold.

After returning home it was straight to Rainbow with Dan.

His intermittent lameness needs sorting and we are still unsure why he is not 100%.

He was looked over and it was noticed that he carried his head to one side when trotted up. He was x-rayed on his neck but nothing unusual was found, however, he also had his knee looked at and he may have a stress fracture. Dan was injected with a steroid in the joint and will have a quiet week. 

Whether that is anything to do with the lameness we will soon find out no doubt.

Later Sara purchased a very cheep 6yo gelding named Irish Review. Whether he stands training who knows? but he was virtually for nothing and he was a classy sort when last seen two season ago..

8 Dec 
8 Dec

We took a box full up to the gallops this morning with Jack Teal coming over to give Chloe a school before she went up the hill with Rupert and Yogi.

As the schooling hurdles are limited - just some tyres and something that resembles one - we decided to let Jack take the mare over the fences, providing she jumped the others well.

She was a little fresh to start with but when she concentrates she is very good and she jumped two of the fences twice.

She may be small and has short legs but she has the scope to jump anything.

Afterwards Jack was given the leg up on Rupert while Sara popped on Chloe and Jill was aboard Yogi.

Chloe and Rupert were to work upsides and Yogi to sit in behind.

Rupert proved to be very green and fresh.

He bronched when they jumped off and kept that up for several strides and Jack had to sit very tight.

Rupert was green virtually throughout the exercise and needed to be cajoled along and never got upsides his stablemate.

He became tired - not too surprising considering his earlier exertions - before the final hill and was joined by Yogi until the finish.

Chloe, who worked without her tongue tie, went really well and looks ready to run.

The other pair will improve greatly for the experience and both should be a different proposition next time.  

There was a box full at the gallops this morning with Jack Teal coming over to give Chloe a school before she went up the hill with Rupoert and Yogi. As the schooling hurdles are limited -just some tyres and a something that resembles one - we decided to ley Jack take the mare over the fences providing she jumped the others well beforehand. She was a little fresh to start with but when she concentrate she is very good and she jumped two of the  fences twice. She may be small and has short legs but she has scope to jump anything. Afterwards Jack was given the leg up on Rupert while Sara popped on Chloe and Jill aboard Yogi. Chloe and Rupert were to work upsides and Yogi yo sit in behind. Rupert was very green and fresh. He bronched when they jumped off and kept that up for several strides and Jack sat tight. Rupert was green virtually throughout and needed to be cajoled along and never got upsides hia stablemate. He got tired before the final hill before Yogi joined him. Chloe,  who was without he tongue tie, went really well and looks ready to run. Yhe other pair will improve greatly for the experience and both should be a different proposition next time. 
There was a box full at the gallops this morning with Jack Teal coming over to give Chloe a school before she went up the hill with Rupoert and Yogi. As the schooling hurdles are limited -just some tyres and a something that resembles one - we decided to ley Jack take the mare over the fences providing she jumped the others well beforehand. She was a little fresh to start with but when she concentrate she is very good and she jumped two of the  fences twice. She may be small and has short legs but she has scope to jump anything. Afterwards Jack was given the leg up on Rupert while Sara popped on Chloe and Jill aboard Yogi. Chloe and Rupert were to work upsides and Yogi yo sit in behind. Rupert was very green and fresh. He bronched when they jumped off and kept that up for several strides and Jack sat tight. Rupert was green virtually throughout and needed to be cajoled along and never got upsides hia stablemate. He got tired before the final hill before Yogi joined him. Chloe,  who was without he tongue tie, went really well and looks ready to run. Yhe other pair will improve greatly for the experience and both should be a different proposition next time. 
8 Dec
There was a box full at the gallops this morning with Jack Teal coming over to give Chloe a school before she went up the hill with Rupoert and Yogi. As the schooling hurdles are limited -just some tyres and a something that resembles one - we decided to ley Jack take the mare over the fences providing she jumped the others well beforehand. She was a little fresh to start with but when she concentrate she is very good and she jumped two of the  fences twice. She may be small and has short legs but she has scope to jump anything. Afterwards Jack was given the leg up on Rupert while Sara popped on Chloe and Jill aboard Yogi. Chloe and Rupert were to work upsides and Yogi yo sit in behind. Rupert was very green and fresh. He bronched when they jumped off and kept that up for several strides and Jack sat tight. Rupert was green virtually throughout and needed to be cajoled along and never got upsides hia stablemate. He got tired before the final hill before Yogi joined him. Chloe,  who was without he tongue tie, went really well and looks ready to run. Yhe other pair will improve greatly for the experience and both should be a different proposition next time. 

6 Dec

All the string stayed at home as the all-weather gallop was unsuitable this morning.

We were able to get all six out on the canter track with very little more than trotting on the partially frosted surface apart from Hugo and Frankie, who were able to hack.

We are meeting Max tomorrow morning weather permitting when he will take Dan up the all-weather and ground permiting he may also have a school.

Sunday is shaping up to be an eventful morning with Rupert, Yogi and Chloe all going to have a piece of work.

Chloe clearly has plenty more experience and fitness on her side than the other pair and she will more than likley be on top by the finish.

Sara will team up with her and work upsides Rupert and Jack.

Jill and Yogi are going to whip in and if Rupert gets left behind, then he can help him get up the hill.

4 Dec
Nick had his stitches removed today and the vet was delighted with his progress. He is still far from out of trouble but is making steady progress.

We took three to the gallops this morning. 

Chloe was partnered by Max before the others were unloaded from the box where she jumped the tyres and the hurdle twice.

She is showing a fine aptitude for jumping and could go to Wetherby on 27 Dec for a mares novice hurdle over 2m4f.

That could be a bit hot for her and nothing has been finalised up just yet.

We just need to get some schooling upsides first before we can be more definite.

Max jumped off the mare and rode Dan in front of Sara, who was legged-up on Chloe soon after, and Jill aboard her favourite horse Yogi.

Dan wore a cross noseband this time and was more manageable and he went pretty much alone some way ahead of the other pair.

He could make his first appearance at North Carlton on 2 February.

The big horse may have a pop over the fences at the weekend and is looking pretty fit already.

Chloe led Yogi and both went up nicely. 

The last named looks every inch a flat horse and he would surprise us were he to stay 2m.
He looks like a sprinter - huge arse and huge chest - and although he has yet to show his true speed, Jill thinks he may have more than most of ours.

He will probably start off in a bumper in the New Year and if he fails to stay then it will be a flat campaign.

29 Nov

After Rupert and Chloe went to the gallops this morning it was decided they are ready to go a little faster next week.

Chloe looks fit and is only two or three pieces of work away from running.

The problem with her is do we give her a run on the flat before she goes over hurdles or do we go straight over them? I don't want to travel all the way to Wolverhampton, so its either Southwell or nowhere on the level.

She doesn't enjoy the stalls and will probably loose ground at the start, as a consequence she will get plenty of muck kicked in her face.

She could do with at least three more schooling sessions before going over the jumps.

If I can find a long distance amateur riders race on the fibresand then we might give it a try firstly.

Rupert is ready to go a bit faster as he seems to be getting a little bored just hacking up behind the mare. He is definitely looking fitter by the day.

Yogi does everything easily but he is still only cantering while the two fatties, Frankie and Hugo, are the least forward and will be prepared for points.

Dan looked tremendous when he went up the all-weather gallop the other day and will be going up again under Max one day next week.

Our wounded and now retired warrior Nick seems to be handling his box rest as expected and is getting spoilt rotten.

Its hard to be certain if he is feeling any pain in the injured leg and I saw him resting it this morning, however he seems quite bright and happy and wants for nothing.

He is eating better than ever and seems to enjoy the lick Sara bought him. He is such a fighter.

28 Nov

Nick spent his first full day back at home after returning yesterday evening from Rainbow Equestrian Hospital.

Its a very long road to recovery and it might be around February when his enforced box rest is completed.

Yogi had his first visit to the gallops this morning when under Jill hacked up behind Sara and Chloe.

Jill noted after the exercise that a whistling sound could be heard and it is to be hoped that its nothing too serious

27 Nov 

We took a box load up to the gallops this morning with Rupert (Jill), Chloe (Sara) and rider Max coming over for the first time in a good while to team up with Dan.

The first named pair hacked up at a considerable distance behind the keen going hairy black horse.

Without his cross noseband - which he will be equipped with next time - Max did a fine job holding Dan and it was hard not to be happy with the way he moved.

Dan seems to have overcome his aversion to loading on the lorry also.

Chloe will have another school at the weekend and might have a run over hurdles before Christmas. 

24 Nov

With the disappointment of Nick still on our minds anything remotely positive from the other inmates is welcome. It came from an unlikely source in the shape of Chloe. 

The mare had been on the easy list for a few weeks following her tame effort at Beverley two months ago but she has been back in work leading Rupert since Flynn was sent back into retirement and she is looking really well. 

Jack Teal came over to the all-weather gallop to give her a good canter up the hill and a pop over the tyres and hurdle.

We wasn't expecting too much but just enough to show she had an aptitude for jumping.

She really took to them exceptionally well and jumped the tyres and hurdle on three separate occasions.

Her technique was very promising, making the right shape, and she might only be three weeks or so off a run. 

More schooling next week but a very encouraging morning. (see video library)

22 Nov

We visited our patient this evening and he seems to be making a very good recovery.

The first ten days are the most crucial, as if he is going to get any infection in the wound, it will be in that period.

He looked really well considering the injury and is now solely on bute as opposed to the morphine and is able to put weight on the injured leg.

Nick, who has never been the best of eaters, was devouring into the apples and carrots we brought him before he had a good go at his tea.

Providing he has a good weekend he could be allowed home by the start of next week.

21 Nov

Nick had a comfortable night following his surgery to tidy up his badly shredded tendon.

The operation involved removing two inches of the tissue in order for the wound to remain free from infection and now, as a result, it will never knit back together.

The best scenario is that he will recover and become yet another field pet to join Maestro, Flynn and Kooks.

He is likely to spend another couple of days at Rainbow Equestrian Hospital as they monitor his progress but the good news is that he has been eating and drinking and we couldn't really ask for any more at this stage.

The road to recovery is going to be slow.

Box rest for three months at best and maybe double that pending his improvement and then short visits to a small paddock.

Twelve months from now looks the target for him making as full a recovery as can be expected.

20 Nov

What a horrendous day.

The horsebox gave us cause for concern on the way to Hexham this morning but that turned out to be the least of the worries.

I wish the box would have broken down and we wouldn't have even made it to the racecourse!

Nick was strongly fancied to win his first race for us but it was soon evident that he wasn't travelling at all well and as they set out onto the final circuit, he quickly lost his place.

He soon lost touch with most of the field half-way down the back straight for the final time.

Although he completed the race, upon coming back to be unsaddled it was obvious he was lame and had sustained a deep wound.

Nick was found to have severed his digital flexor tendon. The tendon was in shreds and it was bad enough for the racecourse vet to suggest putting him down.

The last thing I was going to do was let him suffer but I had to give him every chance of survival.

His temperament is ideal for a horse that would require a long period of box rest and we stopped off at Rainbow Equestrian Hospital on the way home for it scanned. That would enable the vets to ascertain the full extent of his injury .

Infection in the wound is the biggest concern and he was operated on before the end of the evening.

He will never race again and it is likely that he can never been ridden again.

Its hard to take in everything that has happened over the past twelve hours or so and it makes you question whether it is all worth it. 

Both myself and Sara couldn't take too many more blows like today.  


19 Nov

Nick has another attempt at getting off the mark for us at his favourite racecourse tomorrow.

I was hoping that the race would have a single figure field but that was a little optimistic and a maximum of eighteen were declared this morning.

The ground is described as soft with heavy places and that might work in his favour.

Having to shoulder top weight will make life tough but he goes on a slow surface and that might ensure that they don't set off too quickly.

However tough the ground/opposition/pace of the race turns out to be, he goes there in great form and at the very least should be concerned at the business end.

He will wear cheekpieces in a race for the first time and this afternoon had a fresh clip.

14 Nov

Big day for our youngster Rupert who had his first experience of the gallops.

He was accompanied by Chloe (Sara) and the pair trotted for the first third of the work. Before the turn and the rising ground the par broke into a canter and he took it all in his stride.

Both wandered off the track at different stages, Chloe firstly and Rupert near the top but they had their excuses, as they were spooked.

Jill, who partnered the youngest horse in the yard, was adamant he did it all very easily.

At 7 a.m. we met with jockey Brian Hughes for a schooling session for Nick.

The French bred doesn't need much practice but as we are experimenting with cheekpieces for his next start, it was though best to give him a pop.

Firstly the rider took him up the hill at a good canter and Nick took a nice hold.

He winged the two hurdles he was shown and we are full of hope for his next run, where he will go to Hexham in six days time.

10 Nov

It was a rest day for those in training but this morning we said farewell to Milo.

The big American bred lost his way last point-to-point season and as he didn't seem to be enjoying his racing, it was thought best to let him try a different discipline.

He has gone to a lovely home and we wish that his new owner will have plenty of fun with him.

2 Nov

Nick has had a quiet time since his third at Carlisle last month and was ridden for the first time since, on the canter track yesterday.

Sara took him up the all-weather gallop today and he will be seen next back at his beloved Hexham on 20th of this month.

All the others are being ridden on the canter track daily but unfortunately lead horse Flynn will be going back into retirement after he was found to have a little heat in a tendon. Chloe will take up the duties of leading Rupert for the time being.

Frankie will be coming out of the field and into light exercise tomorrow morning.

24 Oct

It was always a worry going right-handed with Nick at Carlisle.

He has often hung to his left on the gallops and he jumped that way when we took him to Dingley point-to-point earlier in the year.

It wasn't a huge surprise that he jumped that way for most of the race this afternoon and despite finishing third we now know never to the run him this way again.

His jockey Brian Hughes said he was looking after himself when coming under pressure and I think the time has come to think about putting some cheekpieces on for his next run.

Its not that he is ungenuine but he is clever enough to remember when he has previously bled and the pain he felt.

He was once again impeccably behaved when saddled up and in the lead up.

A legend of a horse to deal with.

 23 Oct

Nick has been declared for Carlisle tomorrow in the first division of the 2m4f handicap hurdle at 3.55.

We decided that it would be better to keep him fresh and he should do little more that hack on the canter track rather than take him up the all-weather gallop.

As stated in other posts on here there are enough negatives tomorrow, going right-handed, down-in-trip, up in class but there are also some positives.

He is as well as he has ever been and we thought he was well handicapped last time so from the same rating we have to be thinking along similar lines again.

With the race splitting it gives him a better chance to get a soft lead and the recent rain should ensure they won't go too quickly...hopefully.

Hugo, Dan, Rupert (see video) and Yogi were all ridden on the canter track this morning without any hiccups.

22 Oct

This morning Nick had his final piece of work before his run at Carlisle on Thursday.

He looked very keen as he tracked his workmate and joined the pace setter soon after the bend.

Sara wanted to have waited a little longer but Nick wasn't having any of it, despite hanging to his left.

With the weather forecast predicting plenty of rain in the Cumbria area it can only be to his advantage but I am not getting carried away.

He will have to produce something better than last time to finish in the money.

It has been a huge help having Jill working for us and she seems to be getting on well with the unraced Rupert.

He again went around the canter track with his 'nanny' Flynn.

Afterwards she rode Hugo for the second day running and he went around also by himself as did Yogi.

Later in the morning Sara took Dan by himself.

19 Oct

A quiet morning with Yogi and Rupert each having the weekend off.

Dan and Nick were not so lucky with Sara taking the latter up the all-weather surface and Dan around the canter track.

(left: Dan pictured from the saddle)




18 Oct 

Once again this morning Rupert, Yogi, Dan and Nick were all ridden.

Our new team member Jill seems to be getting on well with the first named pair and both, who are still very much going through their early education, are learning every day.

Our lovely old chestnut gelding Flynn kept Rupert company while Dan gave a lead to Yogi.

Nick went up the all-weather gallop someway behind one of Tim's and will have a proper workout next Tuesday.

That will be his first real gallop since his run at Hexham on 12 October but that should still be enough before his forthcoming engagement next Thursday at Carlisle.

There just isn't anything else remotely suitable to put Nick in and Thursday's race looks a good deal tougher than last time.

With the second at Hexham winning yesterday it gives the form a boost but going right-handed, dropping four-furlongs in distance and the better class of race hardly gives me confidence.

He seems really well though.  

15 Oct

A very busy morning with our new member of staff Jill coming for the first time and riding three lots.

Her first mount was on Dan. He was being ridden virtually for the first time since his last race on 10 July and was chilled out. The gelding only walked and trotted around the canter track.

Jill rode the three-year-old Rupert also on the canter track with Sara giving him a lead aboard Flynn.

Rupert's education seems to be going the right way.

The chestnut Europe - pet name Yogi - was ridden for the first time since he came to us and was extremely 'spooky' in the indoor barn.

He only walked, rather than doing anything more at this stage.

Sara later cantered up the all-weather gallop on stable favourite Nick.

(left: Yogi) 

12 Oct

Our beautiful Nick returned to form after a couple of poor efforts recently with a very creditable third at Hexham this afternoon.

His jumping was impeccable but for a modest leap at the last and Brian Hughes gave him a superb front running ride.

He looked the winner for most of the race and the move up to 3m over hurdles was the correct decision.

Hopefully he can build on this as his confidence has been low of late and we will look for something similar in the next three weeks or so.

A stiff 2m4f might be an alternative but Brian thinks that cut in the ground will always suit him best. 

He will surely win over hurdles before much longer.

11 Oct 

Nick had a blow out up the hill this morning and has been declared to run at Hexham tomorrow.

Sara had a job holding him and he seems well in himself but tomorrow will be his first try over hurdles over 3m and he will need to be a bit more tractable if he is to run well. 

Rupert was ridden around the barn again today and is progressing nicely. (see video library)  

10 Oct

A change of plan with Nick not now getting an entry for Uttoxeter next week and he may now take his chance at Hexham on Saturday after all.

He went steadily up the all-weather gallop behind a couple of Tim's this morning and will have a blow-out tomorrow morning and then we will make a decision.

Sara rode Rupert (left) this morning in the barn, walking and trotting and it is noticeable that he has grown up considerably since he went for his three week education at Freya and Guy's.

He, like Nick, is getting hairy and the latter might need to be clipped before his run at the weekend.   

9 Oct

We picked up Rupert from Fraya's this morning and he seems a more mature horse. He looks really well and both Freya and Guy looked to have done a wonderful job on him.

Earlier this morning Nick, together with one of Tim's, went up the all-weather gallop.

Sara and Nick gave their work companion half-a-dozen lengths start and joined them just after the turn.

Nick will have another workout at the weekend and may wear cheekpieces before his next race.


7 Oct

Having finally brought myself to watch that Worcester race Nick contested recently I am now thinking he wasn't fit enough to do himself justice.

They went ridiculously fast from the start and he was beaten before half-way.

As a result I am now thinking Hexham on Saturday will come too soon and we may swerve that and go to Uttoxeter five days later.

That will enable us to get two pieces of work into him.

6 Oct

As there was no chance of Chloe getting balloted out of Catterick on Tuesday I thought it best not to declare her.

She will be rested for a few more days and then a decision as to her short term her plans will be made.

Sara sat and trotted on Rupert (left) for the first time at Freya's today and he will be ready next week to bring home.

She reported him to be very green.



5 Oct

Nick went up the all-weather gallop in his own time this morning behing one of Tim Fitgerald's and will get an entry for Hexham over 3m for a week today.

We have no idea as to why he performed so poorly last time and it will be hard to know what to expect.

Our confidence is low regarding his chance.

Chloe will be declared to run at Catterick on Tuesday but must be considered doubtful to run as she has missed a couple of days work.

1 Oct

Its getting darker for longer in the morning's so I suspect that Jack Teal's riding out for us will become a thing of the past sooner rather than later. 

The amateur joined us first thing this morning to partner Nick, with Sara aboard Chloe, for a gentle canter up the all-weather gallop.

Nick now has a new handicap rating of 100 following his effort at Worcester last week.

As a consequence he will be eligible to be entered for a 3m 0-100 handicap at Hexham on 12th of this month.   

29 Sept

Sara took Chloe for a gentle canter up the all-weather gallop this morning.

The mare will be given an entry for a 2m handicap at Catterick for the second week of next month and in the meantime, she may be popped over some poles with a hurdling career likely.

All we need is a little rain and she can kick-on.

Nick is none the worse for his tame display at Worcester a couple of days ago and was fresh  when led out into the field this morning.

28 Sept 

The four-and-a-half hour journey to Worcester yesterday proved a complete waste of time and money. Nick had appeared to be in great form going into the race, probably better than he had ever been but seemed to reproduce a similar effort to the one he showed at Uttoxeter last time.

He was fine in the racecourse stables,and in the paddock he never got wound up at all.

Even when Brian Hughes got the leg-up he stayed calm.

As expected there was a tear away leader so the plan was to sit just ahead of the others.

Nick was struggling long before the end of the back straight and finished with only the pacemaker behind him.

His rider felt he "curled up when he comes off the bridle". There is little doubt that he is soft when it comes to pressure and its probably down to the fact he used to bleed in his races.

Brian also reported that when he dropped his hands Nick wanted to run on again.

The jockey has always maintained that he is just a galloper and was probably flattered when allowed to get his own way up front when second at Hexham earlier in the year.

We need to up him in trip in order as he can stay on the bridle longer and enjoy himself. He will have another run in the next couple of weeks providing there is a suitable race and then be given a break. 

27 Sept

It a huge day for our precious Nick.

A 185 mile trip down country to Worcester for myself and Sara with our stable star  who is running in the 5.10 race there this afternoon.

The 7yo is and on a recovery mission following his below par effort at Uttoxeter in mid-July however there were signs before that race that he may have not been 100% right going into it

He has  been busy since and has done a lot of work in readiness for today as well as having Angela Moore, our back woman come and massage his muscles last Saturday. He appears fit, healthy and has been working well.

Todays contest is tough, or at least it is in the context of a small stable like ours and we feel the handicapper may have underestimated his ability.

Nothing surprises me in horse racing and you should always expect the unexpected, but if things go to plan and he can get into a nice rhythm in front then he won't be far away.

25 Sept 

Chloe seems fine despite not eating up this morning.

We are none the wiser for her 25l defeat yesterday but are of the opinion that she just doesn't like the stalls.

That might be the sole reason for her tendency to hang throughout the first half of the race.

She will be given a quiet week and then we will make a plan.

Nick showed himself to be in rude health when ridden by Sara this morning.

There might be something lurking in his race at Worcester that is better weighted than him but we are more than happy with our lad. 

24 Sept PM

I shouldn't be too surprised with Chloe's finishing position, beating only two home when sixth of eight at Beverley today.

She sweated up on the way to the track and in the racecourse stables but was fine to lead-up.

Rather bizarrely she showed a little reluctance to go to post, something Harriet put down to greenness. In fact, he rider was of the opinion that she was green throughout the whole of the race.

Chloe went into the stalls well enough but was a fractious just before they were dispatched and not surprisingly was slow to go. The mare then proceeded to throw her head about, something she has always done at home.

Losing half-a-dozen lengths in the process she soon became detached and although she past a coupled of rivals up the home straight, she never really threatened at all.

She appeared to hang - later confirmed by her rider - for the first half of the race, something she did in all her runs for her previous trainer but not for us in ARO.

All rather puzzling and in truth she is probably moderate at best. However, we will have a think what the next move is but although she has been declared for Wolverhampton on Thursday, she won't be going there.

A little disappointing but not totally unexpected.

24 Sept

Brian Hughes took Nick up the straight gallop this morning prior to giving him a pop over a couple of hurdles.

He went a good strong canter and Brian said he quickened well after the first climb and was strong to pull up by the end.

He also stated that he blew for 20 seconds or so, indicating his fitness.

Nick is an habitual worrier and wasn't happy about being asked to school over the hurdles but he flew the first, taking off as stride too soon in truth and was good next time.

Just left a trailing leg behind.

He is ready for Friday and will be kept fresh between now and then.

Chloe is out in the field before she has her bath and a trip to Beverley races this afternoon.

I hope she doesn't finish tailed off!

23 Sept

Just a gentle canter up the hill this morning for Nick (Jack) and Chloe (Sara) in the mist before Jack switched over to put the mare through the stalls in readiness for tomorrows engagement.

I made the mistake of going through all her previous races yesterday, and she showed a distinct dislike for the stalls on her first start.

Today she went in them nicely enough but doesn't seem to enjoy standing in them longer than she has to.

I am far from convinced she will jump out as quickly as some but perhaps with other horses around her she might.

Chloe has also been given another entry.

The 2m handicap for horses rated 46 - 60 at Wolverhampton on Saturday will only be on the agenda should something happen unexpectedly tomorrow.

Brian Hughes is coming to partner Nick tomorrow morning.

Although he is an exceptional jumper he will have a pop over the tyres and hurdle at Tim's after going up the hill.

Busy day tomorrow but that's what we are in the game for! 

22 Sept 

Rather surprisingly Chloe has managed to get into a race!

The first division of the amateur riders' contest at Beverley on Tuesday will be her first run since finishing a gutsy second at Nottingham 13 months previous.

She is rated only 37 under rules and has to race from a mark of 46 next week, added to that the drying ground is likely to be against her as will the 1m2f trip.

On the positive side she is very well in herself and hopefully won't be disgraced. Both her and Nick are having the day off and are enjoying the mild weather out in the field. 

21 Sept 

Nick (Sara) and Chloe (Ashleigh) went up the all-weather gallop this morning at a real good clip.

That was always going to be the plan, proof coming from the fact that Nick had his anti-bleeder and his workmate wore her tongue-tie.

Nick seems better these days when out in front and that had to be the plan as he is some much quicker than the mare.

Chloe was a little behind as they jumped off and got to the girth of Nick by half-way but the gelding was well on top at the finish. That was always going to be the outcome as Chloe was conceding a couple of stone and they both seemed to work well.

Sara reported that her mount showed no tendency to hang whatsoever

Angela Moore, the back specialist came to treat Nick at mid-day and hopefully he should be in good form for his engagement at Worcester next Friday.

Brian Hughes has been booked to ride.  

20 Sept

A gentle hack up the all-weather gallop for Nick (Sara) and Chloe (Ashleigh) ahead of  a proper piece of work tomorrow morning. 

Cloe was given her fourth entry this morning, for a race next week at Wolverhampton, a 1m4f handicap for horses rated 46-60. 

She will only be considered for that should she fail to get into the Beverley contest next Tuesday. 

18 Sept

Chloe (Sara) and Nick (Jack) went up the all-weather gallop first thing this morning with Nick setting the pace.

It was meant to be a good canter but seemed like a piece of work to me.

Nick isn’t far of peak fitness and will have two pieces of work before his engagement at Worcester on 27th of this month.

Chloe has been ready for a while now and got her fourth entry today when she was put in a race at Beverley over a few yards short of 10f.

If she doesn't get a run on Saturday then she will hopefully have a chance of getting in that race but I am not overly hopeful.

Should she fail to get a run in either of those then there are a couple of races at Wolverhampton before the end of the month and failing that it might be hurdling for her.  

17 Sept

Our unbroken 3yo Rupert has gone to boot camp to get broken in. We took him this morning to Freya and Guy Brewer's yard near Malton.

The two in training Nick and Chloe went round the canter track this morning and will do a good canter tomorrow up the all-weather.

Nick's handicap rating has been dropped 1lb to 105.

I did leave a message on the hurdles handicappers' phone last week asking if he could be dropped to accommodate his getting into 0-105 races but I wish I had asked for 100 now.  

16 Sept - update

Having looked at the entries there is very little hope of Chloe getting a run on Saturday.

As she is just about the lowest rated in the race she will need at least 30 to not declare.

Beverley here we come.

16 Sept 

Two important milestones happened on this date 25 years ago.

Firstly I bought my very first car, an Austin Allegro, which turned out to be one of the least best purchases I have made, although the seller would probably beg to differ.

The car was soon to be renamed Austin Allagro, while the other landmark was named Sara, a moniker that so far has not been altered. 

And on this very special day, another moody mare has been given her third entry in a short space of time.

Chloe (Sara), who went with Nick (Jack) for a gentle canter up the all-weather surface first thing this morning, has been given the option to run over 1m6f at Catterick on Saturday.

The long distance handicap is for horses rated between 46-65, so I would imagine that a similar scenario that occurred at Newcastle and Wolverhampton will happen again.

Failing to get a run, Plan D is to go to for a amateur riders' handicap at Beverley four days later.

That has a rating band between 46-60 so gives her more chance of making the cut.

On the down side it is over 1m2f but you can't have everything in your favour with lowly rated horses and Jack Teal has been offered the ride.  

15 Sept

As expected Chloe didn't get into her race at Wolverhampton tomorrow and will be given an entry for Catterick for this coming Saturday.

I don't hold out much more hope that she will get a run there either but we will live in hope.

13 Sept

Nick seems to have overcome his lethargy from his vaccination earlier in the week and both he and Chloe had a piece of work up the all-weather gallop this morning.

Chloe isn't the quickest so it was decided to let Jack and Nick set the tempo.

Sara had to niggle the mare for a little after a furlong or so but she soon came back on the bridle and was stronger at the finish.

Nick blew up and is probably a couple of gallops short of being ready to meet his Worcester engagement towards the end of the month. 

Chloe is doubtful to get in at Wolverhanpton but she will be declared tomorrow, although no jockey has even been discussed yet and we will worry about that should she make the cut.

11 Sept

Nick had his vaccination the day before yesterday and seemed to be under the weather this morning.

He didn't eat up his breakfast and seemed a little stiff in his neck and as a result he wasn't exercised today.

Our guest from Mauritius Jel Lina  - helping out for more work experience - rode Chloe well on the canter track this morning.

10 Sept

Jack and Nick again sat in behind Chloe and Sara on the all-weather surface first thing morning. Nothing more than a gentle hack but Friday they will have a proper workout.

Chloe has been given an entry for Wolverhampton on the 16th of this month, a 1m4f handicap for horses rated 46-60.

There are 24 entered and the chances of her getting a run are higher than last time but I would still expect the race to over subscribe.

Plan C will be Catterick a few days later.  

6 Sept

Nick (Jack) and Chloe, with Merryn aboard, who has come for a couple of days trial, hacked up the all-weather gallop first thing this morning.

The main purposes of the exercise was firstly to get Chloe through the stalls and secondly to see how Merryn rode. The answer to both was good.

The mare walked three times through the starting stalls and three times locked in and jumped out well each time.

She doesn't need any more practice in them again.

I fully expect Chloe to get balloted out of her engagement on Tuesday at Redcar but there are a couple of races at Wolverhampton a week later that she may get an entry for. 

5 Sept

Chloe, with her tongue-tie on and with Sara aboard went up the all-weather gallop with two of Brian Rothwell’s team this morning, Tinseltown and the two-year-old Petergate.  

Our mares rider reported that she was a little unruly at the start and lost a few lengths on her new workmates but soon caught them up.

With the mist making life difficult for viewing, Sara also reported that her mount traveled well until getting left behind going up the second hill.

They went a real good clip and we were satisfied with the exercise and Chloe will be put through the stalls tomorrow morning. 

4 Sept

Nothing much different to report on the gallops front with Jack coming at 6.10 am to partner Nick up the all-weather gallop, just staying behind Sara and Chloe throughout.

Later this morning I put Chloe in the 1m6f handicap at Redcar, for horses rated 46-55.

There are no fewer than 40 entries and it looks extremely doubtful she will get a run. Jack is coming on Friday to put her through the stalls in the hope she will.

Regarding Nick, I have it on my mind that he needs to get back on the racecourse sooner than the end of the month as he is so well in himself.

I have been trying to get in touch with the handicapper who does the hurdlers, with a request to drop him 1lb, which would enable him to get into a 0-105 novices handicap at Bangor on 16th of this month.

3 Sept

Chloe and Sara went up the all-weather gallop this morning solo.

Having looked through the programme book the 10 September could be a starting point for the mare as she should be fit enough to go to Redcar over 1m6f.

As that race is for horses rated 45-65 it would offer her a chance to race from near her handicap mark.

These races are sometimes over subscribed and as a result those rated lowest are the first to be eliminated so all we can do is hope.

She will have to go through the stalls before then to refresh her of what to do when they open.

She will hopefully work with a couple of Brian’s tomorrow instead of yesterday when she and Nick had a day off.

Nick’s only realistic entry in the near future – providing we want to take advantage of his handicap mark of 106 – is at Worcester on 27th of this month. There is a weeks break in the summer jumping season mid-way through this month so we will just have to wait. 

1 Sept

Jack Teal teamed up with Nick again this morning and sat in behind Chloe and Sara on the all-weather surface this morning.

Unlike on Friday when Jack only had the snaffle to help him, the gag was employed and he was more amenable this time. They just hacked up.

Chloe may go up the same gallop with one of Brian Rothwell's tomorrow.

31 August

Chloe and Sara went solo up the straight gallop this morning and they will be joined by Nick, when Jack Teal comes to ride out tomorrow.

The rider reported that she again made a noise.

30 August

Nick and Chloe continued there fitness regime with another early visit to the all-weather gallop and with Jack Teal coming to ride Nick, it was a 6.15 am start.

Sara jumped off and gave a lead aboard her mount but Nick was super keen and eventually got the better of his rider climbing the final hill.

He is just so keen that he makes it difficult for his rider to hold him, however they are both very well in themselves.

We know Nick's capabilities but just don’t have any idea how much ability Chloe possesses and judged on her final ARO rating last season, no too much.

On a more positive note she is a lot lot stronger this year and I will have a look through the programme book to decide her starting point.

Nick would be a couple of weeks off the racecourse also.

Our latest recruit Europe – still to be given a pet name – is settling in well and he and Rupert seem to be good friend already. 

The Yorkshire press came the other morning to speak with Sara and the full page interview in today's edition is excellent.

(Cut and Paste)www.yorkpress.co.uk/sport/horseracing/turftalk/10644348.Pointing_the_way_to_crest_of_success_in_racing/

28 August

The two that are in training at present Nick (Sara) and Chloe (Ashleigh) went steadily up the all-weather gallop this morning.

Last night the new purchase arrived back from Ascot.

Europe, formerly owner by Darley, spent his first night with us and was turned out with Rupert this morning and they seem to like each other.

He is carrying plenty of condition but looks strong and chunky.

27 August

First think this morning Nick (Sara) and Chloe (Ashleigh) went up the straight gallop, a stride faster than of late.

The latter had her tongue tied down for the first time since last year and got a little tired by the end of the gallop while Nick, who Sara reported hung to his left, sat in behind until drawing level at halfway.

The other news to report was that we have a new addition to the team.

Bought over the phone from the Ascot sales and arriving this evening he is a four-year-old gelding named Europe and stands at 16.1hh.

I have been told he is very fat so don't know exactly what the expect.

He has a mixture of speed in his pedigree, by Manduro out of a useful 7f winner. Much too early to think about his future but all being well he may go down the bumper route.

26 August 

A bit more civilized this morning but with a few more boxes to muck out following yesterday's  visitors.

Nick (Sara) and Chloe (Ashleigh) went to the gallops first thing this morning for a hack up the all-weather.

Although they won't work as such, they will go a stride faster tomorrow. 

25 August

It was a pleasure to be part of the Malton open day.

In all we had ten on show and they all behaved impeccably. Kooks received plenty of attention being in the first box of our in door stables and the carrots being nearest to him also helped.

Chloe was moody and spent most of her time with her ears pinned back.

Milo seemed to enjoy all the attention, even when one child had his hands pressed against both his cheeks.

Maestro was in his element and Nick was Nick, standing there as if he hadn't a care in the world. A thorough professional in everything he does.

Dan was a little shy, but that's just him, and in contrast to how he was 12 months ago he has come a long way.

Flynn was hollowing very loudly and I reckon will be glad to get back out in the field tonight.

The three in the outside boxes seemed to also love all the attention as well.

I think Rupert caught more eyes than the others.

Considering his inexperience with people, his behaviour was faultless while Frankie and Hugo took it all in their stride. 

It is much appreciated when people tell you how well your horses look and we are so proud of them all.

This time next year we might be the reason why people come to the yard rather than making up the numbers and I even had my photo taken with the great Monet's Garden (picture above).     

24 August

Nick (Sara) and Chloe (Ashleigh) went up the straight gallop again first thing this morning.

They didn't work more than a hack but will almost certainly have more to do either on Monday or Tuesday.

23 August

With the Malton Open Day  on Sunday, its worth mentioning that everybody would be welcome to our small area inside Norton Grange Stables.

All our stars will be on show although I doubt whether we will be attracting the core interest with Fahey, O' Meara et al also opening their yards.

Monet's Garden will be on Tim's yard, so that should help, but regular readers of the blog can, if they wish, put a face to the names of NIck, Dan, Frankie, Hugo, Milo, Rupert, Maestro, Chloe, Flynn and Kooks.

They will all be happy to see you!

22 August

Chloe (Hazel) and Nick (Sara) are becoming an item first thing in the morning and the pair went to the gallops again first thing. At this rate Maestro is going to get jealous with his bitch cheating with one of his stable mates!

Chloe led the pair at just a sedate pace and they will be doing something more adventurous at the weekend.

21 August

With Hazel unable to come this morning Sara and Chloe went up the straight gallop solo.

The mare went up a little quicker than her previous visits and continues to progress.

Nick was ridden in the field.

19 August

Once again it was a trip, first thing this morning to the all-weather gallop with Chloe and Nick.

Hazel rode the filly for the first time and gave a lead to Sara, going nothing more than a hack. 

The pair will be going another couple of times before they do a proper piece of work on Saturday.

17 August

Another morning with Nick (Sara) and Chloe (Ashleigh) hacking up the weather gallop. Nothing other to report other than both seem to be in good form and although we have yet to decide just where Nick will reappear, Chloe is likely to run at Newcastle in the first week of next month over 2m in a 45-55 handicap.

16 August 

A change of plan resulted in Chloe (Ashleigh) and Nick (Sara) going to the gallops first thing this morning. They did little more than hack up with Chloe - around three weeks off a run - giving a lead to the stable star. 

15 August 

Things have been relativity quiet on the 'latest info' page recently but I am happy to report both Chloe and Nick are back in full work.

Nick has not really had that long a break although he has had an easy time since his poor effort at Uttoxeter last month.

Chloe on the other hand has been out on the canter track for several weeks and paid her first visit to the gallops this morning.

With Ashleigh riding she went solo the straight gallop.

She is no superstar and Hugo would have been able to keep tabs on her were he back in full work!

She went up without the usual tongue tie on and not surprisingly sounded like she has breathing difficulties. It doesn't really seem to hinder her in any way but when she does some faster work she will be equipped with it back on.

Nick, who looks better and stronger than ever, will have his first morning back on the gallops this Saturday and will be accompanied by Chloe.

Doubtless he will be ultra keen. 

1 August

The start of a new and busy month.

The August sales next week at Doncaster should be exciting and the Malton open day later in the month should also be interesting.

Hope we get some people coming to see us but not sure we will!

I would like to get a syndicate together to race maybe three or four horses in points next season but not sure how to implement it.

Any ideas would be welcome.

On another subject, Nick’s form from Hexham has been boosted a couple of times recently and I was pleasantly surprised to see he has been dropped to a new rating of 106 from an 8lb higher figure.

He may be targeting handicap company next time but he hasn't done much since the Uttoxeter flop.

We are steadily approaching the first six months since the move from Moss and I can’t mention that without also thinking about our lost but never to be forgotten Martin.

Without doubt the most talented horse in the yard and he was cruelly taken from us after suffering with leukaemia, the day after we relocated. 

17 July

Nick finished a well beaten sixth at Uttoxeter this afternoon.

Jockey Brian Hughes jumped him off in front but he never took a hold and was being niggled at leaving the back straight, before weakening to eventually finish 34l behind the winner.

It appears he hasn't recovered from what was ailing him less than two weeks ago and he will have a break before making future plans.

Nick again jumped beautifully and when he comes right he should leave this tame effort behind.

Brian is adamant he wants further than two miles, probably because he settled so well, but a decision about his next move will be taken at a later date.

16 July 

Nick has been declared to run in the novice hurdle at Uttoxeter tomorrow.

If you had witnessed his work with Dan a week last Saturday you would have never expected him to be racing so soon.

He worked miserably that morning and the following day had four swollen legs and was off his feed.

He hasn't done any serious fast work since but has been kept on the go and seems in good order.

Dan looks likely to be off for the remainder of the summer and will probably be coming back for the next point-to-point season, although nothing has been confirmed just yet.  

13 July 

What a difference a week makes.

This time last Saturday Nick had worked badly and despite his blood coming back clear, he was lethargic and off his food.

Today he finished his breakfast without leaving a scrap and went for a canter up the all-weather gallop with one of Tim's.

Sara jumped off at least 15l adrift and stayed there but he now seems in good health and all being well he will take his chance at Uttoxeter on Wednesday, ground permitting.

11 July

Although he could be backed at big prices last night, we went to Worcester with high expectations of a win at the first time of asking over hurdles with Dan.

Sara had him looking spectacular, helped doubtless by the fact there was £50 for the best turned out prize, which he duly won.

The race itself went less to plan.

In the paddock prior to the race he was strong, although not enough for him to warrant too handlers. However, by the time Brian Hughes had been given the leg up I was knackered, as he was continually forcing me towards the outside of the  parade ring.

Once the jockey was aboard, Dan became too switched on and was somewhere between only just manageable and ready to lose the plot.

His rider kept him on the move at the start, as he had unseated Max on his previous run at Garthorpe, and the last thing we wanted was a replica occurrence, and he jumped off at the head of the field.

Dan flew the first and led soon afterwards, but he reverted to his awkward looking jumping at several if not all the other brush hurdles.

He was almost carried out at the third by a riderless horse and was lit up thereafter.

Brian said he would have been placed were it not for the riderless horse lighting him up and he never gave him anything more than a slap down the shoulder, save for a smack at the top of the home straight.

Dan eventually finished sixth and beaten 40l.

He is just too keen in his present state of mind to be competitive over any trip and needs to learn to relax. He was rushing his hurdles, contributing to his many errors although his back issues might be just as big a factor.

The jockey advised that he should work and be raced in a hood next time.

The jury is out as to whether he will be kept on the go or turned away for the summer but my gut feeling is that he needs his back sorting out as he just doesn't make a good shape over hurdles or fences.    

Nick accompanied Dan to the races as a companion and like everything else he does in his life, he was faultless.

He spent nine hours on the lorry just to stand in a stable for five hours. 

Nick is without doubt the perfect horse to have around or have anything to do with and will forever be treated as such.   

9 July 

Dan has been declared for the last race at Worcester tomorrow night.

The maiden hurdle has 13 runners but in all honesty if he can show what he does on the gallops, then he should be thereabouts.

Nick, who seems to back to where we want him following his laboured effort on Saturday up the Langton Wold gallops, would be favourite to win tomorrow night were he eligible.

As Dan is of similar ability, I think it is fair to say he goes there with every chance.

The ground rather than the 2m trip is the biggest negative as he is a big horse but I am told there is plenty of water being put on the course and all being well he might be up to the task.   

6 July 

Nick won't be taking chance next week at Uttoxeter after he worked moderately with Dan on the Langton Wold gallops this morning.

He had a filling on a front leg yesterday and by this morning all four had a similar look to them.

It was still decided to take him for a good canter as his temperature was good and he was eating but something is clearly not right.

Jake Greenall came to ride him and along with Brian Hughes, who partnered his stable mate, they schooled over a row of three hurdles and then had a good canter on the all-weather.

Brian was very pleased with Dan, who goes to Worcester for a novice hurdle on Wednesday evening.

Nick subsequently went to Rainbow vets for his blood tested, which came back as in the parameters of a healthy horse. No doubt something will come to light in the next day or so. 

4 July (PM)

Brian Toomey took a fall at Perth today so it looks as though he won't be riding Nick after all. Busily trying to get things sorted for work morning tomorrow.   

4 July 

Dan was given entries in the 2m4f novice and 2m maiden hurdle races at Worcester for Wednesday. Both look winnable but we still don't know how he will handle timber instead of the larger obstacles.

He and Nick will school over the brush hurdles tomorrow, although Nick doesn't need any practice but he will jump upsides his companion. Brian Hughes will sit on Dan for the first time and Brian Toomey will do likewise on Nick.

I still have in my mind Jack Teal reporting that Dan made a whistling noise the previous time he went to the Langton Wold gallops so that might be something we need to address at some point.

Dan will have Angela Moore, the back lady to massage him, tomorrow afternoon. 

3 July

Nick was given his second entry for next week, a novice hurdle for conditional jockeys at Uttoxeter over 2m on Tuesday.

There are twenty in but I have a feeling that it could cut up more than the race he is entered in at Market Rasen. 

There are pro's and con's for each race, the move up to 2m3f at Market Rasen will enable him to get an easier lead but that is on a right-handed course and that might not suit as well at going the other way round.

Two miles and the prospect of going unpenalised if he wins at Uttoxeter is tempting but we will make a decision soon after he has worked on Friday morning.  

1 July

Dan isn't quite right and as a result he won't be getting his entry for Market Rasen on Sunday. He is likely to go to either Worcester or Stratford later in the month all being well.

Nick has been put in the race his stable mate was due to be entered in.

Originally Nick was heading to Uttoxeter for a conditional jockey's novice hurdle but although he will be entered for that, he may pass that over in favour of the Lincolnshire track. It all depends which looks the easier.

The 2m3f trip ought to bring about a little more improvement and as he didn't show a tendency to go to his left, he may well take his chance. 

29 June

Max and Dan, together with Sara and Nick went up the all-weather gallop this morning.

Dan surprisingly showed a little reluctance to jump off but when he did he settled nicely around a dozen lengths in front of Nick, who as usual was keen.

Max took things leisurely and on meeting the rising ground Nick took hold of the bit and by the start of the second hill they had drawn upsides.

Nick has never been in better shape since he came to us and the Hexham run seems to have brought him forward and he is in great shape.

He  will be given an entry for Uttoxeter, a week on Tuesday, a conditional jockeys hurdle over 2m while Dan will be entered for a Market Rasen 2m3f novice hurdle, a week on Sunday.

27 June 

Dan's entry for Stratford on 2 July looks money badly spent.

The maiden hurdle with 41 entries and made up of winning flat racers and bumpers horses amongst others, looks just too difficult.

I was under the impression that if you ran in a maiden hurdle, you had to be a maiden under all codes, except point-to-point races but oddly not.

If you have won over fences you are deemed not eligible but you can have won on the flat and NH flat races and still be qualified!

I was able to speak with the handicapper today and he is going to give Nick between 114 and 116 following his great effort the other day.  

I would rather he was 107 - the rating the Racing Post gave him - but I can't change what they think of him and will take it as a complement that they have him that high.

I remember the much missed Martin earning an official mark of 114 after his win at Sedgefield a year ago last March and now following very little racing Nick has at least equalled him.

Martin was very talented and I don't believe Nick would have had the pace that he possessed.

All the same, we simply don't know how far Nick can go in terms of handicap ratings but a step up to 2m4f will almost certainly bring about more improvement.

And that's before fences. 

23 June

Its taken a long time but finally we saw the real Nick today.

He has thrived since the treatment for his ulcers and he ran a cracker to be beaten just a length-and-a-quarter when runner-up at Hexham.

The switch from fences to hurdles and the drop of a mile in trip proved a transformation.

He hurdled beautifully and Brian Hughes jumped him off in front and it wasn't until the turn into the straight and approaching the last that he was headed.

He rather lost momentum at the final flight, but the winner wasn't extending his advantage on the flat, and he ran as though a move up in trip wouldn't be a problem.

I am so pleased for Nick that he has finally been able to show just how much ability he does posses and it will be very interesting to see what the handicapper makes of this performance.

Whatever his mark, unless ridiculously lenient, he will try again in another novice hurdle in around a fortnights time.

Although he had to run in Tim Fitzgerald's name, he is still very much trained by team Ender.

20 June

Nick and Dan, the two that remain on the go while the other jumpers are on their holidays, went to the Langton Wold gallops with schooling and work on their minds. 

All being well, Nick will be declared to run at Hexham on Sunday in the 2m novice hurdle with Brian Hughes aboard.

Sunday’s rider teamed up with his mount this morning with Jack Teal pairing up with Dan.

They cantered up before their schooling session and Nick gave Dan a lead first time over the row of three hurdles and both jumped impeccably.

Next time they schooled upsides and again they were both spot on.

Afterwards they worked and without us wanting them off the bridle, Jack did have to niggle Dan nearing the final couple of furlongs.

He reported that mount had made a whistling noise, suggesting that he might wear a tongue tie next time.

That would explain why he sometimes has finished his gallops weakly.

He ran as if he was struggling with something at Dingley last time when passed for third on the run-in.

That day Max thought he may have picked up again at the second last when pressed and maybe he was struggling with his breathing that day.

Brian was happy with Nick today and there was no sign of his tendency to hang left-handed, all the more puzzling because he had done so at Dingley recently. 

15 June 

Nick (Jack) and Dan (Max) had a trip to the gallops this morning with a schooling session the primary reason.

Dan is notoriously strong but his rider soon had him under control and he had a good canter without doing too much.

The pair set off two hundred yards ahead of Nick ,who  once again hung to his left.

There are only tyres and a hurdle to school over at Tim’s but the pair went over them on three occasions.

Dan is very good when meeting them on the right stride but is not so good when he has to fiddle however we were satisfied with him.

Nick gave the jumps a lot of respect the first couple of times he went up but the last time he was brilliant. Fast and clean.

He is on course for Hexham next Sunday all being well. 

12 June 

Both Nick and Dan will race in trainer Tim Fitzgerald's name when they have a couple of outings under rules in the next few weeks.

Nick has come out of his seventh fence mishap well and will likely be entered for a novice's hurdle at Hexham on 23 June.

Dan, who was sore following his last run at Garthorpe, seems to be returning to where he was prior to that race and will start his build up to a hurdle campaign shortly.

8 June

The drive down to Dingley proved an anticlimax with Nick, reappearing after a break of over five months, failing to get further than the fifth fence.

As expected he took the travelling and the preliminaries brilliantly and the tactics were to sit handy, however if he failed to settle, then to put him in front. 

Jack jumped hum off in fourth but such was the leap that Nick threw in at the first, he was in front immediately afterwards. 

He settled soon after and put in the biggest jump imaginable at the next. Frighteningly too long.

He continued to jump ridiculously bravely and was still in front when jumping left-handed at the second down the back. He repeated this at the next - the seventh - but pecked on landing and unseated his rider. 

Nick continued to run lose in front of the field for the remainder of the race and came back fine except for a cut or two.

With the point-to-point season over he will now run under rules and I will look for a novices hurdle on a left handed track. 

View Race

6 June 

While Milo’s season has come to an end he still has duties to fulfill as workmate to Nick, whose season has never really got underway. 

It was late last year when Nick was last seen and his absence has been due to niggly problems rather than anything majorly wrong with him.

He hold’s an entry in the Novice Riders’ Race at Dingley on Saturday evening and as Max isn't qualified to ride, Jack Teal will have his first ride in public for us. 

Max is a proper team member and rode Milo this morning while Jack rode his weekend mount and the pair went up the all-weather gallop virtually upsides with Nick, as per usual, taking a strong hold. 

The French-bred finished in front by the top of the hill and afterwards the stablemates jumped six fences and Nick impressed with his fast jumping technique. 

Jack reported that his mount hung left but that is not unusual for Nick and it is to be hoped he doesn't repeat this at the weekend. 

I really don’t know what to expect but on the figures there is no reason why he shouldn't go well. 

He certainly won’t lack for any fitness. 

2 June

Dan had his second run of the season today at Garthorpe and lost very little in defeat.

His fourth placed finish in a hot Restricted race doesn't do him justice and had things panned out differently, then he may have gone much closer to winning.

His behavior in the preliminaries was excellent but when he went to post he took a strong hold and as they lined up he reared and unseated Max.

Fortunately he didn't get loose but following that there was a false start.

When they eventually jumped off Dan took a hold before settling and went several lengths ahead.

Blundering at the second fence, he led and was clear for much of the race before being tackled and headed at the second last.

He finished disappointingly weakly and despite being third over the last he was passed by another rival on the run-in. 

His jumping was far from fluent at number of the fences, leaving his back end behind and not looking like he can shorten up when he needs to.

He also showed his greenness passing the winning line for the second time, edging to his left and looking for the exit back to the paddock.

He lost two shoes in the race and one afterwards when being cooled off and all things considered this was an excellent effort for a horse of his limited experience. 

Plans for the future will include a run over hurdles when he gets over today’s exertions. 

Nick has been given an entry for Dingley next Saturday in the Novice Riders Race. 

1 June

Nick continues his preparation for an end of season run at Dingley, with a schooling session and gallop with Milo.

Max partnered Nick in behind Jack Teal and the recent Wetherby runner until meeting him past half-way of the work, and although Milo seemed to have his measure up the hill, it was encouraging.

The schooling went well with Nick enjoying being led of the fences and he seemed to jump far better than at any other time this season.

Sara and Dan had some gentle exercise on the canter track and its all systems go for his second run for us at Garthorpe tomorrow.  

30 May

Milo had what I believe will be his final start for us at Wetherby this evening when pulling up four from home.

There was none of his hideous wide running antics that he displayed at Southwell last time and he was kept to the inside throughout by Max.

Jumping safe and well, he took a nice hold before becoming outpaced three-quarters of the way down the far side.

He failed to respond to the whip and was pulled up after the turn into the straight and Max reported that as soon as he pulled him up, he decided that he wanted to run on again. This suggesting that he only does what he wants to do and when he wants to.

The original mission of running him in hunter chases was to show that our horses are not a danger to others and are well schooled.

That was proven tonight, so in a way he has done the job asked, although it was a little disappointing that he didn't show what we know he is capable of.

He will be advertised and sold privately and could be a cheap buy if someone can find the key to unlocking his undoubted ability. 

30 May

Jack Teal rode Dan first thing this morning, in his lung opener for the weekend, with Nick and Sara just hacking at their own speed a considerable distance behind. 

Dan has become very headstrong the fitter he has become and went a stride faster than we would had wished and as a consequence he was weary before the top of the final hill.

He will take his chance at Garthorpe on Sunday and is likely to be ridden from the front.

Nick continues to progress and he may have an evening out to Wetherby as a companion for Milo, who runs in the hunter chase tonight.

This will be Milo’s final run for us unless he behaves impeccably and/or performs better than he has ever done previously. 

It's a tough contest for a horse who has yet to finish within the same furlong as the winner in any of his races this season and who ran amok at Southwell last time. 

The blinkers have been dispensed with and he will wear first time cheekpieces and a pricker on his off-side.

His chances will increase with the ground turning soft but he is likely to be out of his depth in all probability.

Max had the choice of Bear Witness and Milo and I think it was the fact we would struggle to get a rider for ours that tipped the scales in his favour, rather than him wanting to ride the hooded warrior.

I am not convinced the pricker will be a huge help if Milo is in one of those Southwell moods but if he doesn't pull like he did there, that alone should be more of a help for the rider than anything else. 

25 May

With Milo having a day off it was Dan and Nick that had a morning at the gallops.

As per usual Sara dropped Nick in behind his head strong workmate and her mount once again hung left throughout. He traveled strongly but doesn't make life easy for his rider.

Max had a very difficult job holding Dan and was virtually a passenger for most of the work.

Not too surprisingly Dan was getting weary by the end and needed a little encouragement from the saddle but finished in front of his companion.

Max schooled him over six fences afterwards and he has his own way of getting from A-to-B – flat and quick- but looks fitter than any other time he has been here.

We have abandoned plans to drop him in at Garthorpe and unless they go a silly gallop he will jump off and make it.

His cruising speed will be too much for most and he did settle when going to the front at Easingwold previously. 

Nick needs a change of scenery so he and Dan will go to the Langton Wold gallops on Wednesday morning.

His left handed hanging is getting a real annoyance now though. 

I did contemplate giving him an entry at Garthorpe but decided against it and he will have a run or too under rules when he eventually comes right.

He still retains all the speed he showed last season and it just a question of working out how to get him to use it correctly.

However, both he and Dan do seem in great form just now. 

23 May 

Milo will be given his second hunter chase entry this season tomorrow, when he will more than likely take his chance at Wetherby towards the end of the month.

He seems in good form but the trip of a little over 2m4f might be on the short side.

We have yet to decide on his headgear, with a visor just preferred to cheekpieces and the blinkers he wore, when disgracing himself at Southwell last time.

Whatever the choice he will race with a pricker on his off-side.

He, along with Nick went to the gallops this morning and had a good leg stretch on the grass.

Hazel set the pace and before halfway Milo was being urged along.

Max was happy enough with Nick, who was sat half-a-dozen lengths adrift and felt he was better today than he had been in a while. 

Dan and Nick will have a proper piece of work on Saturday morning and as the fences have been moved to some fresher ground, they each will have a school. 

20 May 

Dan had the back woman out to him this morning and she worked on his pelvic area. He needs to build up muscle behind as he is uneven in his hind quarters.

Long steady work and trotting poles will aid this.

There is no reason why he couldn't race this weekend but for the fact that after this session he will need a couple of easy days, so it made sense to not to even give him an entry.

The season is all but over now and Garthorpe on 2 June is his final option and he will go there all being well. A win would keep all options open regarding racing him under rules afterwards.   

We may have underestimated Hugo's recent victory at Easingwold, as the second that day won easily at Hexham yesterday.

He is out in the field now so won't attempt to become the leading novice horse in the area and he remains on the market.

19 May 

Milo (Jack) and Nick (Sara) went for a leg stretch up the all-weather gallop this morning.

Both went virtually solo with Nick setting off well adrift of his companion. Milo's rider let him stride on and was happy with the recent errant Southwell runner who took him to the summit of the hill easily enough.

Nick did very little in comparison but will have a piece of work later in the week with Dan, who may run at Hexham a week today.

His plans are fluid for the time being as he is having the back woman to look at him tomorrow morning.

The new boy has been given the name Rupert and was turned out with Hugo, Frankie and Nick for the first time today. 

16 May

We bought Lot 765 at the Doncaster sales this afternoon. The unraced three-year-old gelding is by Royal Anthem and is from the family of our beautifull but illfaited Martin.

He would be around 16.1hh and hopefully we can crack on with him.

 (left: The new recruit)


15 May

After the wonderful weekend we experienced it was back down to earth with a thud. Milo has proved difficult at best this season but he topped it all last night at Southwell by proving unsteerable.

He was taken to post early rather than getting involved in the paddock and went down to post in Max's words "like an angel".

The race proved completely the opposite with the jockey unable to steer him around the bends and he lost many lengths racing very wide and at times off the track.

He was so strong throughout his escapade that he went a circuit further than his rider wanted before he was brought under control.

It was a combination of the blinkers lighting him up and his wooden mouth that proved his undoing.

We were called before the stewards for failing to go into the paddock prior to the race but as this was a misunderstanding they looked on it with leniency.

I can’t take anything positive from last night’s debacle only that Milo did show he had an engine inside his giant frame but he needs an animal psychiatrist as well as a racehorse trainer.

Last night’s aim was solely to prove that our horses are not a danger to others and are well behaved but I think it was more than a step in the wrong direction with his hideous display.

He has loads of ability but it can be for someone else to find the key to him.


13 May

You just couldn't make it up.

Two runners and two winners and one of them first time out!

We have been adamant all along that Dan had more talent that most maiden point to pointers. His work has been brilliant on occasions and less good on others so it really was a learning curve yesterday as much as anything else.

He was either going to piss up or pull up.

Making his debut for us after a two year absence since a down the field run in a bumper for Alan King, he was literally unstoppable.

The idea of dropping him out and letting him creep into the race was history soon after he took a fierce hold as soon as the race started.

He was green in the paddock and showed immaturity before going to post but in the race he just galloped them silly.

With the game plan out of the window he jumped his way to the front after the second and was never headed.

We were all waiting for him to empty sooner rather than later but fortunately that never happened and Max needed only  to shake the reins on the run-in for him to score by 6l.

The rider reported that he settled better when in front and it was noticeable that he had his ears pricked throughout the whole of the race.  

Dan got low at some of the fences but his jumping was quick and he could be every bit as good as we initially thought.

Hugo won the other maiden on the card but unlike Dan, he had to work hard for his first success.

Perhaps he wasn't at his best today but he got the job done after leading over the second last and grinding out a 1l victory.

In the past he has usually ‘missed’ one or two out along the way but his jumping seemed faultless this time and he ends the season now as simply not the best maiden in Yorkshire but due reward for his consistent efforts.

I really love this horse and for the past four years we have enjoyed him around the place but things move on and he will probably go to the sales or be sold privately.

Whatever his future he will give somebody else great fun as he is so reliable in his races. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hugo Hugo was dropped in early but went to the front at the eighth. He was headed before three from home but Max was saving something for the final straight and a huge jump at the last sealed victory.

He knocked himself and has a deep wound on a heel as well as scraping a strip of skin from a hind leg but hopefully this is only superficial.

Both winners were tired this morning and Hugo was laid down after mucking out had even been completed!

So Frankie and Hugo’s season finishes but we still have Milo, Nick and Dan for a week or two yet.

Milo has been declared for a hunter chase tomorrow at Southwell wearing first time blinkers, although he is only running in aid of helping Sara achieve her permit and not because he is ready for this grade.

Nick's plans remain fluid but it’s a possibility that Dan could go to Hexham in a fortnight.

Our first double and a day never to be forgotten.

11 May

Nick (Max) and Milo (Ashleigh) went up the all-weather gallop this morning, with the latter having a blow-out in preparation for his engagement at Southwell on Tuesday.

Nick seems to have grown in appetite since the Gastro Guard kicked-in but he was not helping his rider by hanging virtually throughout the exercise.

Just what the problem is has yet to be ascertained but he has so much ability that we must get to the bottom of it.

The point-to-point season hasn’t much life left in it and if he comes right sooner rather than later he might still run in a point otherwise he will be campaigned under rules.

Milo was Milo, not going particularly quickly but he wore the hood and not the blinkers so he can be forgiven.  


10 May

With the rain coming I should think there will be little doubt that Hugo and Dan will head to Easingwold on Sunday for an assault on the maiden races.

Both had a quiet day today while Nick and Milo will head to the gallops tomorrow.

Nick has been on Gastro Guard for the past week and it is to be hoped that it has the desire effect. 

 He will canter up behind his stablemate, who has the daunting task of running in an Open hunter chase on Tuesday at Southwell.

9 May


Having looked through the entries for the second of the two hunter chases at Southwell next Tuesday, I hope Milo isn't hopelessly outclassed, although I think he will be.

He just isn't up to the quality of the likely opposition but it has to be remembered that he is there solely to prove at point and another step towards helping Sara get her permit.

I doubt very much if he will complete the 3m but he should jump round before becoming out of his depth and will wear first time blinkers.

He, along with Hugo (Jack) and Dan (Max) had a work morning on the grass.

The all-weather surface is riding too deep at present and we desperately want rain to help the surface.

The trio all went upsides with Ashleigh and Milo taking a good hold early on.

Jack doesn't know Hugo but said he felt in good form and we go to Easingwold on Sunday - ground permitting – more than hopeful.

Dan is due to make his debut in the first maiden but Max was a little disappointed with him.

The rider felt he was just coming off the bridle near the end of the gallop and he really should have been still travelling.

Dan will be ridden in stark contrast to Hugo at the weekend and will be dropped right out and Max will try to creep into the race.

Any encouragement from him will be handy though.  

Dan and Hugo had a school before we departed and both jumped well. 

4 May

It was decided that Milo would be too wound up to travel for the best part of two hours to Heslaker today.

As a result he will spend the day in his box and wait for a hunter chase at Southwell a week on Tuesday.

The other four all went to the gallops with firstly Dan (Max) and Nick (Sara) pairing up.

Dan worked virtually solo and went a good pace up the hill while Nick, who got himself wound up beforehand, wasn’t asked any questions.

Dan will be given his first entry for Easingwold next Sunday.

Frankie (Sara) and Hugo (Max) had a good canter up the hill and both look in tremendous form.

Hugo set the pace and delighted his rider and he seems to have taken last week’s race surprisingly well.

He will have a school one day next week just to make sure he knows that he will be jumping in his next race!

Frankie took a hold and again his partner was very happy with him and like Dan, they both will be given entries for next week.

1 May

Milo (Hazel) and Nick (Sara) went up the gallops this morning.

Nick again took a very strong hold behind his workmate, who was doing the exact opposite. 

Milo has a history of working lazily and hopefully that was the reason for his laboured exercise.

Having looked closer at the planner I now find out that Dan won’t be going to Garthorpe for his debut as he is a year too old for the 2m4f maiden. Maybe Hexham could be an option around the same time.


30 April


Frankie appears to have come out of his race at Kelso yesterday in good shape.

No firm plans for his immediate future have been made just yet but all being well he will probably have another run before his summer holidays.

Milo has been given an entry for Heslaker on Saturday in the Restricted Championship. I think it’s just about the most valuable race in the Yorkshire area or a least on a par with the Grimthorpe Gold Cup money wise, however our lad has yet to be competitive in his three races this season.

It’s a shot in the dark to say the least but he will wear first time blinkers to go with his hood and when he worked in them recently he did seem to be more switched on.

He’s bloody hard work at the races so we are not overly excited about the weekend.

On a more positive note Hugo has come out of his race at Easingwold in great form and may accompany Dan in the lorry to Garthorpe in a couple of weeks’ time.

29 April

The long journey to Kelso was rewarded with an excellent fourth for Frankie in the Hunters chase.

The 340 odd mile round trip might have been enough to worry some of his stable mates but he took the travelling without a bother and jumped and behaved impeccably.

The move out of Restricted company was always going to be a big ask but he acquitted himself superbly.

He takes his racing so well that he may yet have another crack at winning his Restriced before the end of the season.

We need to have runners under rules to satisfy the BHA that our horses are well schooled and this was the first part of the mission accomplished.

28 April

Following his short break, Hugo was sent off favourite for his next attempt at getting off the mark, at Easingwold today.

He hadn't jumped a fence since his last run and possibly a lack of schooling may have been his downfall as he jumped the first three fences badly.

His fencing improved afterwards and he was ridden prominently throughout, leading for most of the final circuit.

Perhaps those early errors took their toll and he was headed after the last and for the third consecutive time filled the runner up berth.

If he comes out of the race well then he may go to Heslaker next Saturday but plans remain fluid.

Tomorrow we take Frankie up to Kelso for a hunter chase but realistically he has little chance of winning. 

27 April

We had two trips to the gallops this morning with Frankie (Sara) and Dan (Max) going up first lot.

Dan jumped off half a dozen lengths ahead of his workmate but needed some assistance from the saddle nearing the end of the gallop and his rider reported that he was just lacking peak fitness rather than any of his previous problems.

He remains the most exciting prospect we have and ideally a two-and-a-half-mile maiden will suit better than going further at this stage.

Frankie was never asked to go past as he has his engagement on Monday at Kelso and despite him probably punching out of his class there, he will go in good form.

Nick will be on a course to aid his gastro ulcers next week but was full of beans when tanking up the hill under Sara and behind Milo.

He was originally only going for a canter but did plenty more than required.

Max was happy with Milo and the big gelding strode out fifteen lengths ahead of his stablemate although that margin was reduced before the pull up.


25 April

Not for the first time Nick (Ashleigh) disappointed with his finishing effort up the hill while his jumping also left something to be desired.

Max couldn’t believe how regressive his jumping has become and it is to be hoped that the problem can be identified sooner rather than later.

Nick tracked Max and Hugo until drawing level about half way but he couldn’t get past and there was little left when stamina became the issue.

Clearly there is something amiss with him and he will have all the necessary tests to get to the bottom of it.

On a positive note Hugo is in magnificent form going in to Sunday’s race and we go there with plenty of confidence.

23 April

With the boss away Ashleigh, Hazel and Jess were entrusted with the riding of the pointers.

Dan (Ashleigh) and Frankie (Jess) had a nice hack around the canter track as did the hooded Milo (Hazel) earlier, who not for the first time looked lazy.

Nick (Ashleigh)  and Hugo (Hazel) went to the gallops and went a good canter up the hill and both seem in good shape.

Our first entry was made under rules this morning with Frankie’s name appearing in the last race at Kelso on Monday.

It’s reads like very good Open Race at entry stage but he won’t disgrace himself.


21 April

A busy work morning with Frankie (Sara) and Milo (Max) firstly going up the all-weather gallop.

Milo wore blinkers for the first time and worked a lot more enthusiastically with Max reporting that he took him all the way to the top of the hill.

Its not beyond comprehension that he might be able to redeem himself before the season ends.

Frankie worked like he normally does and pleased his rider once again.

Second lot saw Dan (Max) and Nick (Sara) going up the stiff gallop. Both worked with the mojo paste and Dan set the gallop and despite conceding at least two stones to his workmate, stayed in front.

He had been failing to reach the top without getting very weary previously, but there were no indications that he was struggling this morning. 

Nick is puzzling and maybe isn't at his best and judged on this effort, it’s a good job he didn't go to Mordon yesterday.

Dan schooled afterwards and was his ebullient best while Nick had a pop and was good also.

Earlier Milo schooled in his now hood/blinkers and jumped as well as always.

The dream lives on with Dan and he might yet be the star we thought he could be. 

20 April 

We made the decision first thing this morning not to take either Hugo or Nick to Mordon. Both want good ground at the very fastest, so in the end it was a no brainer.

Entries for Easingwold next Sunday will be made tomorrow evening for both.   

Milo will work and school in blinkers tomorrow morning under Max with a view to making a plan for the big horse.  Dan will also be given a blow up the hill.

19 April

With the ground drying out at Mordon there is a shadow cast over whether Hugo and indeed Nick will take their chances tomorrow.

The predicted rain hasn't so far materialised to any great effect and the conditions will be closely monitored this evening and first thing tomorrow.

Anything faster than good and Hugo won’t be travelling anywhere and it is likely to be the same scenario for Nick.

Frankie (Sara) and Milo (Hazel) went for a good canter up the hill this morning and the latter behaved himself impeccably.

He will be tried and schooled in blinkers this week in the hope that it sparks a bit of life into him.

17 April


Nick (Sara) and Hugo (Hazel) had there final piece of work before the weekend, going up the straight gallop this morning.

Both had their anti-bleeder and Hugo set off steadily in front while his workmate took his usual keen hold in behind.

Sara moved Nick along side halfway up the hill but the pair finished alongside one another.

Maybe Nick isn't at his best just yet but there was nothing wrong with the way Hugo kept his head down and galloped all the way to the finish.

He has in the past put his his head in the air suggesting he was in some discomfort.

Nick is puzzling and we will learn more about just where we are with him after Mordon.

Clearly Hazel is a good bit lighter than Ashleigh, who has been Hugo’s regular partner until recently, but we have this inkling that with the mojo paste taking effect, he felt a lot more comfortable.

He should take all the beating on Saturday.

Now all we need is some rain or he won’t be going anywhere. 

13 April

A very disappointing start to the day with both Dan (Max) and Nick (Sara) working over the mile gallop and both almost certainly bleeding following their exercise.

Nick tanked along behind his workmate until going past going up the hill while Dan failed to show any of his previous ability and emptied quickly upon meeting  rising ground.

Dan had a school after his work and was adequate but he wont be getting an entry next week and there is a question mark regarding his racecourse debut.

The was blood showing from one of Nick’s nostril’s but he may still get an entry next week at Mordon.

The Day got better when Frankie, our only runner of the day at Hornby Castle, finished a good third after finding the modest pace and the loss of a shoe against him.

He was beaten  4l and is clearly still on the upgrade but future plans have yet to be finalised.

Regarding the earlier bleeding episode, we changed the mojo paste for a stronger type but it obviously failed to do what it should and that was the reason not taking Hugo to the races. 

12 April

We have decided that Hugo is showing enough spark to take his chance tomorrow at Hornby castle and will join Frankie on the lorry.

He will be raced for the first time on an anti-bleeder and looked in good form on the canter track this morning.

Frankie has it all to do now stepping out of maiden company but he seems very well in himself and it really is all down to how much ability he possesses.

Before racing there is a big work morning with Dan and Nick due to show where they stand in terms of fitness. Both will work on the anti-bleeder and each will school afterwards.

Tomorrow sees our first and maybe last 500 word piece in tomorrow’s  Racing Plus newspaper.

I wrote it so there shouldn’t be any surprises in there.


10 April

Max worked Frankie with Hugo (Ashleigh) up the mile gallop while Nick (Sara) sat in behind the pair.

Hugo joined his stablemate halfway up but it was the latter that impressed ahead of his Restricted engagement on Saturday.

Nick wasn't asked any questions but is coming to hand and may get an entry at Mordon for the weekend after next.

Hugo seemed to get upset prior to his work and it only confirms that he is worrying about bleeding again.

He bled through his nostril’s the last time he raced but it is highly likely that he has done it on previous occasions without it showing.

He is obviously ground dependant and we will have a long hard think about whether he joins Frankie on the lorry for Hornby Castle this Saturday. 

7 April


 (Left: Sara stood in the Whitwell-on-the-Hill open ditch) 





Following his unforgivable behaviour at Dalton Park last month, today Milo returned to the racecourse, when he took his chance in the Restricted race at Whitwell-on-the-Hill.


We purposely left it as late as possible to head to the track, with Milo bridled up at home, and we only made declaration time with minutes to spare.


In his defence he was much better behaved this time and but for a little rear when Sara tightened his girth, he was fine.


He was a little more buzzed up in the paddock when Harriet was legged up but in truth he was many times better than previously.


The race was less convincing and after settling mid-pack, he was ridden throughout the last circuit and eventually finished last.


His rider was of the opinion that he wasn’t trying at all and that he needs blinkers. He will wear them in his next proper piece of work and if he takes to them he will have one last chance to prove he has what it takes to be a racehorse.


With Ashleigh ill, earlier in the day we used Jack Teal, a young lad who works for Malcolm Jefferson, to ride Dan up the mile gallop.


Teal set the pace with Nick and Sara dropping in about half a dozen lengths behind. They went just a nice pace and Nick seemed to take more of an interest than the previous day.


Hugo (Maiden) and Frankie (Restricted) have been given entries at Hornby Castle next Saturday.


6 April

Max sat on Nick while Sara and Frankie teamed up for a piece of work up the mile all-weather gallop this morning.

Frankie set the tempo and always had the measure of his workmate and disappointingly Max’s partner never took  the hold he normally does.

He looked flat and despite conceding 28lb to our recent winner he looked well below par. 

Frankie however did impress and looks to be on the upgrade. 

He takes his racing and work so well that we have no qualms about turning him out for the fourth time since our move from Moss next Saturday. 

Nick schooled well subsequently, but the fact he was disappointing almost certainly confirms he is unlikely to get an entry at Hornby Castle next weekend.

Dan worked solo with Max afterwards and went a good pace up the hill.

He schooled after and the final three fences he jumped were much better than the first six he took.

Max has decided not the ride Milo in the Restricted tomorrow at Whitwell-on-tthe-Hill so Harriet will be reunited with him for the first time since their victory 12 months ago.


4 April

Max and Milo teamed up first thing this morning for pre race blow out, setting off some way in front of Frankie (Ashleigh) and Nick (Sara).

Milo didn't exactly set the pulse racing with his rather labored effort and it is to be hoped that working virtually solo was the reason for this performance.

He looks very lazy these days and a below par run on Sunday will result in the hood being swapped for something stronger.

Horses have a knack of making us all look foolish at times and it is to be hoped that that will be the case at Whitwell-on-the-Hill and we go there will little in the way of confidence.

Sara reported Nick very keen and he will have a proper piece of work on Saturday morning with Max aboard while Frankie took a nice hold and seems to have recovered from his victory last Saturday.

Dan went on the canter track and will do something stronger at the weekend but Hugo is still a little quiet and was only lunged.






3 April

Milo will have his ‘blow-out’ first thing tomorrow morning with Max coming over to sit on the hooded warrior.

After he disgraced himself at Dalton Park last time he has been equipped with a black hood for all his exercise, while also having a daily calmer.

Max will give him a pop over the fences afterwards and that should put him straight for Whitwell-on-the-Hill on Sunday.

He wouldn’t necessarily want the ground to dry out too much but the staying nature of the track ought to be in his favour.

Other plans include Nick, possibly getting a belated entry at Hornby Castle the following week, with Frankie now having to move up a division into Restricted Company, at the same meeting.

Hugo could also go there but he is having a quiet time after his very brave second last weekend.

Dan is ready to go back into maximum work again and Mordon in three week’s time might be a good starting point for him.


30 March

The day started how it continued with Nick having a super school this morning with Max popping him over a dozen fences. He seems back to his best and we can now make a plan for the second half of the season.

Frankie went one better than his second at Charm Park last time, when staying on too well for his three challenging rivals up the run in, in part one of the maiden race.

His jumping was spot on again although he will now have to progress again as he moves into Restricted waters.


Hugo was a thoroughly good runner-up in the second division of the maiden.

The winner was in a different league to the others but Hugo was many lengths clear of the third and confirmed without any shadow of a doubt he is the best maiden in the area.

Disappointingly he discharged blood from the nose and he must be treated as a bleeder.

Max was not totally happy with his jumping today and we are of the opinion that this wasn't the first time he has bled.

He was a little distressed last time and this only goes to confirm what a good horse he is and will win sooner rather than later.

So the fine start since we moved to Malton continues and there is plenty more to come.

30 March

The waiting is over and racing returns after the recent cold spell.

Hugo seems to have been on the verge of running for what seems like an eternity since his excellent second at Whitcliffe Grange over today's C & D at the last meeting almost four weeks ago.

His jumping remains a concern as he has just about made a blunder in at some stage in each of his previous runs save for his latest start, and he now appears to have become a little lazier in his work.

Without the luxuries of scoping and blood tests prior to raceday you can only go on what you see and he seems very well in himself.

Frankie takes his chance in the first division of the maiden and on his recent homework he looks to be getting more professional.

He will again have two handlers in the lead-up and getting Max aboard can be no easy task.

For whatever reason he gets himself wound up and wont let the rider mount and it will be like his being broken-in all over again when the signal is made.

As long as both run to their best that is all I can ask.

If they find something with more ability than them, then so be it, but luck in running and back in their own box this evening will be good enough for me.

27 March

The weather is the biggest concern for Saturday’s two runners but everything has been done to give both Hugo and Frankie a winning chance in their respective maiden races.

Each enjoyed the straight mile gallop with Sara making it at a good clip aboard Frankie until joined by Ashleigh and Hugo.

When asked to go fasterr, Frankie very quickly settled it and was striding out well up the hill.

He was also lumbered with a stone of lead under the saddle,  so there wouldn’t be a huge amount of weight between them, and all the signs suggest that he is improving.

Hugo seldom excels in his work and again looked one paced.

The good thing is that we know he has some of the best maiden form on offer in the area and appears in good health. 


25 March


The start of another week and both Hugo (Ashleigh) and Frankie (Sara) had a good canter up the straight mile gallop.


No questions were asked and they will return on Wednesday for a more demanding piece.


Dan had an early start on the canter track under Ashleigh, who later rode Milo before her lunch.


Nick was lunged as he is a little sore just where his girth sits.


Having looked through the entries for Whitcliffe Grange on Saturday, both maiden races look decidedly competitive.


I am still to be totally convinced with the value of Frankie’s form. I do not doubt his ability to jump and gallop but I have a feeling he may need to have progressed again in order to get off the mark.


His jumping is his strong point and that is always a huge bonus in these types of races.


On the form book Hugo has very few superiors in maiden company.


When he pushed Tippering to a length over the course and distance here last time, it clearly showed he was improving and I think I am speaking factually when I say that is as good a piece of maiden form around, in the Yorkshire area.


HeIts accepted that he lacks a turn of foot however, he shouldn’t be too far away.


Both seem in good health but we will know more mid-week.


23 March


With Hutton Rudby abandoned all five pointers went to the mile straight gallop.


First lot were boxed over with Milo (Max), Hugo (Ashleigh) and Nick (Sara) going a steady but not break- neck pace up the hill.


Hugo set the gallop but was joined by Milo before the top with Sara having her arms pulled out by her very keen ex-French partner.


We were slightly disappointed with Hugo so perhaps it was best Hutton Rudby was abandoned or maybe he was just looking after himself. Not sure which.


Hugo will be given entries at the forthcoming Whitcliffe Grange and Charm Park meetings later this evening. 


Milo may run at the Middleton meeting  in early April while Nick isn’t far of a run but needs schooling and a few bits of fast work first.


Dan (Max) and Frankie (Ashleigh) hacked over and once again Dan emptied before getting to the end of the gallop.


Max thought he went better than last Wednesday but he isn’t pleasing us at all.


Todays work was principally given as a help to ascertain as to whether he was is ‘bleeder’. The vet came shortly after his return to the yard to scope him and not surprisingly it revealed there were traces of blood in his lungs.


He was said by the vet to be a grade one bleeder, which is the best news we could have hoped for, however he will now have to have a quiet couple of weeks and then be treated like the other bleeders in the yard.


His programme remains on hold but all being well something in the middle of April is a possibility.


Finally I must confess to not realising that, as Hugo wasn’t able to race last week owing to the last to races being abandoned at Dallton Park, I was pleasantly surprised to find I was reimbursed with the entry fee.


I think the Hurworth will also be returning entry fees so apologies to them for my earlier ranting.


20 March (PM)

Bloody meeting abandoned.

Hardly any rain since the weekend so they must have known it had no chance of going ahead.

Entry fee £30 per horse and no refunds

20 March


Dan, along with Frankie and Hugo, were all boxed over to the straight mile gallop where we were joined by Max for a morning's workout.


It has been well documented that Dan isn’t the easiest to encourage onto the lorry and Ashleigh again kept him company while we made the short journey.


With Hugo (Ashleigh) and Frankie (Sara) both running on Saturday it was a proper piece of work and Max set the pace on Dan until joined shortly after half-way by Frankie.


Hugo isn’t the quickest and surprisingly was able to keep tabs on his workmates four or five lengths adrift.


Sara sent Frankie clear before the finish and reported he felt better than ever.


Hugo wasn’t far behind his rivals by the end and on this evidence he seems to have worked as well as ever but its was disappointingly tame from Dan.


Not for the first time he has failed to finish his gallop without much zest and there may be something not right with him.


We are going to have him scoped after he next work's, as Max felt he could have been a little distressed shortly afterwards.


Putting the gallop firmly into context Sara goes to scale at around 8.12, Max 11.2 and Ashleigh 10.10.


This would indicate that Frankie was fully entitled to have worked as well as he did and that Hugo may surpassed his previous homework.


The only certain thing to draw from this morning is that both of Saturday’s runners will go there in excellent health, fit and fancied.


We just need no further rain in the Stokesley area as from what I have been told the course wouldn’t take a great deal more.


19 March

Nick (Sara) followed Frankie (Ashleigh) up the straight gallop with the other pointers going on the canter track today.

Tomorrow Dan, Frankie and Hugo will all work and the latter named pair have both been given entries in the maiden races at Hutton Rudby on Saturday.

Dan is likley to make his debut in the non-rules maiden at Charm Park on Easter Monday.

All three have proved they can jump and wont be schooling.

17 March (PM)

Milo was not in the best frame of mind and got himself wound up before his run in the Restricted race.


Despite jumping well in the main he eventually pulled up before the second last, after hitting the third of the fences down the back straight for the final time.


Max was desperate to get some cover on him but the way the race panned out he was given no opportunity but to make it.


The rain never ceased and the meeting was abandoned after the race so Hugo never even ran.


A horrible day.


17 March


Thankfully the Holderness meeting passed its early inspection so both Hugo and Milo will take their chances this afternoon.


Soft ground shouldn’t be a problem for Hugo who has the best form in the book but not totally I'm not totally convinced that the other fella will want in too slow.

Nick (Sara) and Frankie (Ashleigh) both did as steady canter up the straight gallop while Dan went by himself on the canter track.


16 March

All five pointers went up the straight mile gallop with tomorrow’s runners Hugo (Ashleigh) and Milo (Max) both hacking up together.

Hugo gave a lead to his workmate and Max thought that his partner took more of a hold when given a lead.  

The first two were boxed up while the others hacked over. Nick (Sara) was never going to do any more than go up in his own time while the other pair Dan (Max) and Frankie (Ashleigh) worked together.

Max was delighted with Dan who easily held the call over his rival and the rider was pleased that he had learned plenty from last week.

Dan schooled over the three fences afterwards and was brilliant and may be given his first entry of the season, at Hutton Rudby next Saturday.

He is not 100% fit by any means and he needs racecourse experience however, he will go there doing his best but if he can’t win then he will be kept out of the first three.

Charm Park on Easter Monday and the non-placed maiden race being the obvious target.

14 March

The frost proved too heavy for a mornings work on the all-weather strip

Hugo (Ashleigh) and Milo (Max) had a blow out in preparation for their engagements this Sunday but had to switch to the grass.

Max was a little disappointed with Milo’s attitude as he needs a good deal of pushing to exert himself these days, and after setting the pace, Hugo joined him just after half way and the latter seems in good spirits.

The ground is soft for Sunday which should prove no hindrance for Hugo but it may be against his workmate.

Max will take a lead on Milo on Sunday but we don’t go into the race with any huge expectations.

The other three pointers, Dan, Nick and Frankie will all have a morning on the gallops on Saturday.

Dan will school after working with Frankie, who will have his first piece since his good second the other day.

They will work up the hill and that ought to give us a better idea as to where we are with Dan.

Nick will hack up behind the other two.  


12 March

Having looked through the entries for Sunday we are very hopeful of getting off the mark for the season with Hugo.

The course at Dalton Park should be right up his street as he wants a good galloping track and the ground is likley to be ideal.

He isn't the quickest in the yard and at eight years of age most horses are peaking, but he has such low milage that I think there is little doubt he is and will continue to progress this season. 

We have had favourites in ARO races before but I don't think we have had a potential, if not a hotpot, then a strongly fancied runner in a point-to-point so far.

He will have a blow out on Thursday along with Milo, who has also has been given an entry in the Restricted.

Milo was disapointing but should be sharper for the run and will be dropped in a little more than he was the other day. Nick was turned out with Kooks and Flynn today and is ready to start being ridden again.

10 March

Charm Park became our second days racing since the move from Moss to Malton.


After encouraging work on the stiff mile gallop we were hopeful that Milo might be good enough to make his presence felt in the Restricted race.


Its never an easy time with Milo at the races. He is a monster on the lorry, probably because finds it claustrophobic, and in the lead up he needs both myself and Sara as he can be so strong.


In the race he never travelled at all and Max had to give him a smack after the first fence and he again needed slapping down the shoulder to get around the first bend.


His jumping was good until he hit one of the three fences on the side of the track after the winning line second time around, and that ended his chance.


He pulled up four out and blew for a long time afterwards, suggesting that he badly needed the race.


Just why he never travelled is baffling but we are convinced that he will always need a race or two to get him match fit.


He will be ridden with a little more restrain next time and along with Hugo, will get an entry at Dalton Park next week.


Frankie made a quick return following his excellent debut for us last Sunday at Whitcliffe Grange.


He jumped to his right last week and that along with his keenness that day was enough to question whether going up four furlongs and racing left-handed would suit.


In the race his jumping was straight and despite being a little keen,he saw the trip out well.


He raced up with the pace throughout and when headed between the last two fences he stayed on well to be a length second.


He is clearly improving and we are confident that he won’t remain a maiden for much longer.


Like Milo he was a bugger in the lead up and like that big horse needed both of us to walk him around the paddock and he clearly has his issues.


He is becoming a real handful at the races and it is hoped that he will mellow with experience.


9 March



Dan and Frankie went up the mile gallop with two of Tim’s this morning.

Ashleigh just cantered up on the latter with a workmate while Max and Dan were teamed up with Acre Rua.

Dan matched strides with Fitzgerald’s horse until ‘blowing up’ before the finish.

He again showed his inexperience and will go up the gallops again on Wednesday and Saturday.

There was a huge weight concession from our lad, an estimate of around three stones, and we are delighted with him.

He may make his debut at Hutton Rudby in a couple of weeks’ time for experience.


6 March

Milo had his final piece of schooling before his seasonal reappearance at Charm Park this Sunday.

His jumping has improved each time he has been over the fences and has clearly gained in confidence since last season. 

He has been going up the mile gallop twice to the others once for the past couple of times, and Max is happy enough that his fitness won’t be a problem.

Frankie joined him with Ashleigh aboard first time up the gallop and he is a probable to join Milo on the lorry come the weekend.

Hugo has come out of his recent race well and although he hasn't had a saddle on his back since, he has been lunged and will be ridden again before the end of the week. 

Nick is being turned out and lunged since his sore back was discovered a week ago and is still on the easy list while trying to find an opening for Dan is proving more difficult than expected.

He would be a couple of weeks from making his debut for us but where is the conundrum.

Hutton Rudby is a possible, two weeks on Saturday, but ideally we were looking to start him over 21/2m.

There is a race over that trip at Garthorpe on 24 March but their fences take some jumping and it might be over facing him first time up.

He will have a good piece of work on Saturday morning and we will see where we are with him after that. 

3 March


Today was the start of our new adventure since relocating to Malton, with Hugo and Frankie representing us in the two maiden races, at Whitcliffe Grange.
Hugo has been schooling beautifully since his unseated rider calamity at Sheriff Hutton a few weeks ago and a good run was not unexpected.
He didn't let us down and having raced handily throughout, led six fences from home and remained in front until near the finish.
He needed plenty of persuasion from rider Max Johnson climbing the hill for the final time and still seemed to be racing rather greenly.
He had a tremendous tussle with the eventual winner and went down by only a nod of the head.
There is little doubt that he and his four stable mates are thriving since their move to North Yorkshire. 
Max got every last once out of Hugo and he went down with all guns blazing however, we are desperately hoping that his fragile legs are fine in the morning.
He blew for what seemed an eternity afterwards and after such a hard race there will be no entry for him next week and he will wait until Dalton Park in a  fortnights time.
Frankie didn't disappoint either on his first start for us and also won the best turned out award. Sara collecting £25 for her efforts thank you very much!.
He got revved up in the paddock and down at the start - he wouldn't even have a look at the first fence with Max -  and during the early part of the race was racing with the choke firmly out. 
He disputed second place for much of the race and not surprisingly got tired and faded from the second last to finish fourth.
There was plenty to like about his performance although Max said that he was 'lugging' to the right throughout the race.
He has been given an entry for Charm Park next Sunday but that is a left-handed track and might be totally against him.
We will have a good think before making a any firm decisions.
The thug that is Milo has been given an entry for the Restricted race the same day and will more than likely take his chance with one eye on the following weeks meeting where he will join Hugo at the Beverley track.
We are extremely proud of today's boys.

2 March

A very busy morning with firstly tomorrows runner Hugo (Ashleigh) and Milo (Max) going up the straight gallop. The latter went up again solo afterwards prior to both schooling.

Milo’s schooling was erratic to say the least when he was put over the obstacles for the first time but was better the next time and good for the final three fences.

He seems to be braver than he was last season, has any amount of scope and is going to be some horse when he gets going properly.

Hugo jumped three fences and was faultless and cleverly sorted himself out at the ditch.

The first two were boxed up but Ashleigh and Max hacked over on Frankie and Dan.

The pair were a little keen when stretching their legs up the mile strip, with Max having to give Dan a  slap to keep his concentration shortly before the first bend.

Dan’s schooling was exemplary.

It really couldn’t have been any better and despite him a little behind the others in terms of fitness, he really is one to look forward to.

Frankie showed a tendency to go to his right over the first three fences but was better the next time when Max made his mind up for him.  

All being well and ground permitting both Hugo and Frankie will take their chance at Whitcliffe Grange tomorrow.

28 February

Frankie and Hugo had a workout on the one mile straight gallop in preparation for their races on Sunday.

With Ashers riding Hugo, Sara put a weight cloth with 14lb in to reduce the weight difference.

Hugo jumped off with a five-length advantage but was readily joined and picked off by his workmate up the hill, who increased his advantage readily enough by the finish. 

Both missed valuable schooling owing to the frozen ground and will have a ‘pop’ on Saturday morning.  

Nick will miss his engagement on Sunday.


27 February

We have potentially our busiest weekend since we stated training, at Whitcliffe Grange on Sunday, with Nick, Hugo and Frankie all set to take their chance. 

There is a mornings schooling planned for first thing tomorrow where Frankie will gain some much required experience.

His jumping has been good without being spectacular and his engagement in the 21/2m maiden isn’t likely to be strongest of races.

He certainly isn’t without ability and both physically and temperamentally he ticks the boxes. A clear round would suffice but he isn’t there just to make up the numbers.

Nick in the conditions race – the first on the card – is able to get into that contest without carrying a penalty.

His work on the flat is electric but his jumping isn’t flawless by any means and is lacking a little in confidence.

Ideally I would like him dropped in on Sunday but his free going nature might render that too difficult to employ.

In my opinion and pre-empting tomorrows  schooling session Hugo represents our best chance of a winner in the older horse maiden.

He is fitter than the other pair and his last piece of schooling went really well.

Dan and Milo are around three weeks away from running and from this weekend onwards things are likely to get very busy.

24 February (PM)

Having listened to the clerk of the courses' going report it was decided to wait another week with Hugo.

He is a big horse who hits the ground hard and anything faster than good and it becomes a risk not worth taking.  

Not a great start to the day with the errant going report and while out on the canter track, Sara was unseated from Milo.

The big horse was hacking when spooking and when free from his partner proceeded to trot up the road.

Fortunately he came to no harm but Sara is feeling sore and might not ride for a few days.

24 February

A good schooling session yesterday morning with Nick, (Sara) Frankie (Ashleigh) and  Milo all juming.

The last named was very deliberate each time he went over them and will need to sharpen up while the other pair were better.

Milo went up the straight gallop several lenghts ahead of the others with Max niggling from half way. He looked lethargic and needs to get more switched on but he was working solo while the other two just hacked up.

Today we race Hugo at North Carlton in the 4.05.

He was full of himself yesterday morning when Ashleigh took him around the canter track and I have no doubt that physically and mentally he is better than ever.

It really is whether he is up to the task but we don't have too many excuses should he not be good enough. A big run expected.

Annoyingly I woke up this morning to check the latest going report from the track and they are reporting some good to firm places.

He has history of racing on that kind of surface and If thats an acurate description then he won't run.

20 February

Max joined us at the gallops this morning for a schooling session.

With Hugo a probable for Sunday at North Carlton, Max teamed up with his intended ride while Ashers and Frankie sat upsides with Sara sitting in behind on Nick.

Hugo and Frankie did a little more than their stable mate and finished a few lengths ahead of the French bred.

Sara was at pains not to release the handbrake on her partner and reported that he went really well.

She spent the whole time pulling his back teeth out and he hasn't lost any of his natural pace.

The schooling followed and Hugo was spot on at all the three fences he took on.

Frankie was next and he popped the hurdles prior to jumping four fences and pleased.

Nick resented the gag when asked to school first time over and it was eased to a snaffle when he jumped six more fences.

His jumping isn't quite so flamboyant as last year but he has all the scope in the world and it will doubtless return.  

17 February

A day after the loss of Martin, the key member of the racing squad, and it will seem easier to write my update without having to explain his condition.

He will not be forgotten and when the right horse comes along he will be remembered in name.

Milo had a morning on the crispy canter track with Ashleigh riding whilst Julie and Sara finished the mucking out. He is such a bugger that when he is exercising alone he needs some supervision from the ground incase he gets rid of his rider and I was in charge of watching  duties.

Sara and Ashleigh took Hugo and Frankie up the straight gallop and Hugo, who is normally Ashers ride, was being Hugo.

Showing a little reluctance he eventually led his workmate but Sara was not overly complimentary and Frankie worked the better.

Hugo may run at North Carlton next Sunday.

Dan and Nick had a steady canter up the same strip of ground and the latter nearly pulled Ashleigh’s arms out and will have some different gear in his mouth next time.

Sara and Nick just hacked along in behind.


16 February

The day after the move to Norton in Malton and we had to make the difficult decision about the future of Martin.

Difficult because we would never see him again although easy in as much as he would be free from the cancer.

He was to be put to sleep this afternoon.

He has had the drains in him since he went to Rainbow Equine Hospital several days ago and the constant build-up of fluid confirmed he had more than just a tumour on his chest.  

The vets sent a sample of his blood yesterday to a laboratory unaware of his condition, taken from his abdomen and their results confirmed he had lymphoma in other organs.

Despite being on strong steroids the fluid continued to be produced, a sure sign of just how bad it had become. There was really very little hope of any quality of life for him anymore.

He looked poorly this morning but perked up when we offered him polo’s.

I really couldn’t praise the Rainbow staff enough, they did everything possible for him but what they can’t do is produce miracles.

We have kept some of his tail and are getting one of his shoes.

A beautiful horse in every way.


14 February

Martin had a comfortable night and the vet said that he was eating and bright this morning.

He still has the drains in and the fluid continues to drip. Just how far the cancer has progressed only time will tell but the vet reported we would have a better idea once the drugs kick in.

He was led out for the first time yesterday and we call only hope and pray for the best.

It doesn’t seem fair that all his stable mates have been transported to their new home in Malton without him but they all went this morning. The good thing is that we will only be a few minutes away from him when we home tomorrow.

Dan had his first encounter with the lorry since his accident a couple of months ago and thought about walking on before consenting to. Ashleigh had the pleasure of standing with him throughout the 90 minute journey.

Hugo and Frankie accompanied him while Maestro, Chloe, Kooks, Milo, Nick and Flynn arrived by transporter.


12 February

Martin spent his first full day at Rainbow Vets and had an incredible thirty-five litres of fluid drained out of his body. That will have a huge bearing on his breathing and will also make him far more comfortable.

As a result of having tubes inserted into his chest he is now on antibiotics and had a steroid injection as part of his early chemotherapy treatment.

It is far too early to predict his outcome and if the fluid returns then that is a strong indication that the cancer is at a more advanced stage

That would be the worst scenario and make recovery all the more unlikely.

He will be scanned again tomorrow morning, as the fluid was obscuring the vet from seeing other vital information.

Martin is viewed throughout the night by CCTV cameras in his stable and is in the best of hands, that I have no doubt whatsoever. 

If all goes well then he will have a couple more days at Rainbow before returning back to us.

His chemotherapy treatment will be inserted orally while he will have an injection once a week for four weeks, which will have to be supervised by the vet.

All we can do is hope against the odds.

11 February

We were unable to load Martin onto the lorry owing to the build up of fluid in his legs, and the vet had to come out to him as opposed to him going to Moorhouse, this morning.

As Martin has an excessive amount of fluid throughout his whole body it was not possible for the vet the ascertain just far the cancer has spread.

In order to determine this, we drove him up to Rainbow vets in Malton this evening to have the fluid drained.


The fluid contains protein and it will have to be drained over a period of time so he will spend a few days there.


He is an extremley poorly horse and his life remains very much in the balance. 



10 February (PM)

Sunday evening with nothing on the TV to take my mind off tomorrow's visit back to Moorhouse vets.

All our dreams of taking the Yorkshire point season by storm with Bellapais Abbey are long forgotten and just to have him alive is more than enough now.

Is it really only last Sunday that he had his fit? It was originally  thought that he may have a heart condition and that would have been bad enough but to be diagnosed with leukemia is just unthinkable.

So much has happened between then and now and this is easily the hardest part of owning horses.

We sadly lost our old Peter (Sir Peter Lely) around ten months ago and that was heartbreaking enough but he had had a long life compared with Martin, who isn't even seven until June for heavens sake.

No matter how much success we have I don't ever want to forget what we have and are going through. I never want to lose sight that the horses health is first and foremost the most important part of training thoroughbreds.

Success is very important but the horses will always come first.

I am extremely lucky to have a fantastic partner in Martin who is fully behind his future and all we can hope for is some positive news tomorrow. 

10 February


With Max unavailable Sara and Ashleigh partnered Nick and Frankie at the college this morning.


Pretty routine really and both had a good leg stretch for the last circuit.


This represented our final visit to the college as we move to Malton at the end of the week and to be honest I won’t miss the 19 mile trip one iota.


More pressing than the move is the well being of Martin, who has a date at the vets tomorrow.


It can’t come soon enough and we remain in limbo until we know his future.


9 February

After speaking with the vet yesterday he raised the possibility, providing the cancer hasn't spread, of treating Martin with chemotherapy.

Our stable star will return to Moorhouse on Monday to access how bad his condition has got and we will take all the advice given as to whether is fair on putting him through the treatment.

It goes without say that his well-being will be put before our own feelings.

He is in such a sorry state and I only wish it was Monday now so we could get an answer either way .

My gut feeling is that it is too late but any glimmer of hope is better than none.

7 February

It was a really nice gesture of the Badsworth & Bramham Moor Hunt to let us have the fee for Martin’s hunt certificate back.

All horse owners will experience what we are going through as some stage in their life and in this difficult time it meant a lot.

Martin was pretty much the same today but is eating and although I accept his health problems, I still live in hope.

On a happier note we are going to get Frankie’s certificate lodged with Weatherby’s tomorrow so he can get an entry for Morden on 23 February.     

6 February

We went to collect Martin from the vets first thing this morning for his few days back at home, armed with steroids to help keep him comfortable, while we await his final results.

He can eat as much non racehorse food as he likes and has a new lick, plenty of hay, polo’s and carrots all ready for consumption.

Just last week we were contemplating his future and when and where he may start his pointing career and literally days later, saving him would be like winning a Gold Cup and more.

The only positive I can take from this experience is that he is totally unaware what the future holds for him.

5 February

Although yet to be confirmed completely, it does seem as though Martin has leukemia. He spent the previous night at Moorhouse Vets and was scanned this morning and our brave lad will spend another night at the equine hospital.

His earlier blood tests strongly indicated that he has a tumour in his chest and he is likely to deteriorate fairly quickly.

Martin is coming home prior to going back into hospital at the start of next week and will be on steroids while he is back here. 

He is the most wonderful patient and was eating happily enough when we saw him this evening and I am so grateful that he doesn’t know what we do.

 If I were allowed one miracle in my lifetime then I would like to use it now.

4 February 

We are hoping and praying that our much loved Martin is able to overcome his biggest fight of his career so far.

The blood tests today revealed that he may have cancer rather than a heart complaint and he will be scoped tomorrow morning.

We took him to the vets hospital late this afternoon and we should know more in the next 24 hours.


3 February

We had hoped that the New Year would signal some better luck than that experienced in 2012 but it seems that is not to be the case.

Prior to our visit to the college with Nick, Hugo and Frankie, our beautiful Martin suffered what appears to be an end to the dreams we had hoped for him.

For the past couple of weeks he has been under the weather and following his treatment with antibiotics and what seemed a return to a normal temperature, he looks to now have a serious heart condition.

He looked punch drunk as he dangerously stumbled and staggered out of his paddock while we were mucking out first thing this morning.

He then continued to thrash around on the concrete while trying to regain his composure before staying down for several minutes.

His breathing was heavy, frighteningly abnormal, while we had no idea if he had done any serious damage to himself.

When he returned to his feet, despite some cuts and grazes and biting through his bottom lip which will never heal like it was before, he is a least still with us.

The vet reported that he may have a serious heart condition and sent his blood tests to the  laboratory as an emergency. We hope to have those results back by end of tomorrow afternoon.

Our mood was subdued when we went to the college; however the three that went all pleased.

Nick and Sara just hacked away throughout the whole exercise while Ashleigh and Frankie and Max aboard Hugo worked for a circuit-and-a-half.  

Ashleigh was adamant that there was plenty in the locker aboard her mount who finished upsides his rival.

Max schooled Hugo and he jumped indifferently over the first six fences but was back to his old self for the final three. Having thought about entering him for the Sinnington meeting next week I have decided not to bother after-all.

Frankie had a ‘pop’ over the hurdles and was slow and deliberate first time up but was brilliant the second time.

Still a day to forget though.

31 January

Hopefully the worst of the weather is now behind rather than in front of us and we can crack on with the pointers.

Martin’s antibiotics seem to be working as his temperature is down although he is still not fully back to himself just yet.

Dan was clipped for the first time today and he looks a picture.

The injury to his off-fore is on the mend and is now just superficial. Providing the are no similar hiccups then he may make his debut for us at the first Mordon meeting, three weeks on Sunday, over 2m4f.

Frankie, Nick and Hugo will all go to the college this weekend and the last named could get an entry for the Sinnington meeting on Sunday week.

The Maiden race on that card is for sponsored horses only so he is ineligible for that and the only real option is the Restricted.

Hardly the ideal race for a maiden but he may still go there providing he shows his well being between now and entry time.

Frankie isn't a million miles off a run and could accompany Dan to Mordon as also could Nick.

Assuming the last named is pleasing then he seems to have a race made to measure for him at the Durham track.

The race is open for horses that haven’t won since November 2010 and has his name written all over it.

There are no firm plans for Milo just yet but he is well and should be out in the next four or five weeks. 

Finally the move to Malton will go ahead on 15 February although the horses will travel a day earlier 

28 January 

Its been a really quiet week with the gallops out of bounds due to the freezing conditions, so everything only ticking over rather than moving forward.

However, with the weather changing, the best news of the week is that Dan is back being ridden


The injury to a foreleg in the horse box about six weeks ago is healing and Ashleigh rode him yesterday for the first time since.

He has been on the walker for a couple of weeks but now we can start making some plans again.  

22 January 

Having thought about it, I decided yesterday that Hugo would not be getting an entry at North Carlton for this weekend after-all.

Reason being that it will probably be abandoned and if it is rearranged then we probably couldn't take up the option as it would likely clash will something else.

Another reason and probably more importantly, Hugo has missed intended work owing to the weather and he wouldn't be a hundred per cent race fit. 

Annoyingly Martin was a little under the weather today. He showed little interest when on the walker and he wasn't eating up as well as normal.

From what Sara has been told by others, with the volatile weather there is a virus going around and other people have expressed similar symptoms.  

19 January

As the weather continues to ruin plans for next week I have decided to abandon Martin’s reappearance at North Carlton.

Firstly he needed at least two more schooling sessions and secondly, another couple of pieces of work.

Having spoken with Max last night I have decided that I will only give Hugo an entry at the Lincolnshire track while Nick, who knocked himself on the walker the other day, will have another week at least before he races again.

It must be odds against that North Carlton will even take place but we live in hope.

Finally, mid February looks the likely date for the move to Malton and it can’t come soon enough.


16 January

This is not a good start to the week with Hugo's UR on Sunday and the exhaust on the wagon making a noise synonymous with that of a need for replaceemet on the way home.

The bleak weather forecast is going to get worse before it improves and the horses are as fresh as f**k and nowhere to exercise them.

I had the pleasure of taking the horsebox to get repaired this morning and they found not only the exhaust knackered but another fault and the bill amounting to £400.

The farrier came to shoe all six pointers this morning to relieve us of some more cash and it seemed as if the wagon bill was beggining to look a bargain after all.

The boys had their exercise limited to walking round in a circle on the walker, so very little to report today except I managed to get Martin's hunter certificate lodged.

It has to be in Weatherby's posession before mid-day on Friday if we want to give him an entry for North Carlton on 27th.

He hasn't schooled as much as I would have liked and the chances that he will jump a fence on Sunday areis looking remote.

If the weather shows no sign of improvement then Sara will pop him over some cross poles in the indoor arena instead.

13 January

As we are racing this afternoon at Sheriff Hutton, it was a very early start with a trip to the college for Martin, Nick and Frankie.


With Max riding in the first race at mid-day it was decided to get the early start so we could give Martin a 'pop' over the hurdles and fences.


Max jumped him over six of each and he was good each time he left the ground. He seems best when getting in close rather than going in too long and is on course for North Carlton at the end of the month.

On the flat Max teamed up with Nick who was keen despite wearing a cross-nose band, although he didn’t have the usual gag on, while Sara reported that Martin was a little stronger than he had been recently.


Frankie and Ashleigh whipped in behind the other two and despite been a little keener than normal, he went nicely enough and it shouldn’t be too long before he has a look at some obstacles.


The afternoon however proved to be a disappointment.


Hugo went into the race in good form, fitter for his run at Chaddesley Corbet and although he hadn 't schooled since his latest run, his jumping wasn 't going to be a problem. That’s what we though anyway.


He jumped of handy and after the leading trio went far too quickly in the testing ground, he was settled mid-division.


He was travelling easily without any question asked of him and in a nice rhythm until the fence after the open ditch. Max said Hugo wasn 't sure if to go long or short into the eighth and jumped it at an angle.


The rider went on to say he had little chance of keeping them together and he was unseated.

Hugo was none the worse for the mishap and galloped off riderless until caught by the huntsmen outriders and seemed very happy in himself when returned.


He would have done more on a work morning and this is so frustrating.


There will be other days and having thought about giving him an entry for Thorpe Lodge next Sunday; I have decided that we will wait for a maiden at North Carlton a week later.


Hugo has made the odd error now and again and you can’t keep getting away with these.


He did an similar thing to today at Hutton Rudby in his first season and more recently earlier this month but on those occasions he and Max stayed as one..


10 January






Hugo (Ashleigh) and Martin (Sara) both went for a spin at the college this afternoon.

They worked for a circuit and a half with Hugo setting a good gallop and he does seem in top form for his Sherriff Hutton engagement this weekend.


Martin, who Sara reported had loads in the locker and could have gone many lengths ahead if she wanted, went clear nearing the end of the work and is coming along nicely.


Hugo is expected to improve a bundle for his recent run at Chaddesley Corbett and weather permitting, might hit the frame.

7 January

Hugo had his entry for Sherriff Hutton made this morning in the now divided maiden.

Not sure as yet if it is in the first or second part of the race but it might be more beneficial were it to be the second.

We have a very busy schedule on Sunday as we are also planning on taking a couple to the college prior to going racing.

Yesterdays workmates all failed to eat up this morning which was a little surprising.  

6 January

Following six laps of the wood chip surface this morning at the college, Max schooled Martin over the hurdles and fences.

The gelding, jumping solo, was a little rusty to start with over the smaller obstacles and was again novicey in his technique over the fences.

He jumped well in the main and when he gets more practise in he will be very good.

All in all he jumped six of each and when he meets them on a good stride he shows loads of scope. 

Sara rode Nick and he had just a steady morning’s work while for the last lap-and-a-half of the work Hugo and Ashleigh set the fractions with Martin joining him at the end.

Hugo was a real handful afterwards and seems in particularly good health at present.


5 January

We accepted the offer made on Sawley House recently but finding somewhere  to move to has been proving harder than we imagined.

We have looked at a number of property’s including Neville Bycroft’s yard in Malton and Richard Perkins breath taking estate in Derbyshire.

There were pros and cons for both but in the end neither got the vote and after much thought we decided on renting ten boxes and a house at Tim Fitzgerald’s Malton Yard.

The prospect of moving is daunting but in order to get the horses fitter it is the only way forward and it’s going to be challenging.

Tomorrow we take three to the college with Max coming to school Martin over hurdles and along with Hugo and Nick it should be an interesting morning.

Martin has a potential entry at the end of the month so really needs to acquit himself well with the smaller obstacles before having a school over  fences the following weekend. 

2 January 

A new year and the whole of the point-to-point season to look forward to. 

With Nick running like he wasn’t right and Hugo performing like he desperately need the run at Chaddesley Corbet last week, things will only get better.

We have six to run but already Dan is on the sidelines having hurt himself in the lorry and is now on enforced box rest. So for the moment his plans are on hold.

Hugo is the fittest of the squad and he will be going to the college this Sunday with any two from Martin, Nick  and Milo making up the numbers.

Sherriff Hutton on the thirteenth of this month is his next probable start and he will attempt to put his now fitness advantage to good use.

We have North Carlton a fortnight later in mind for Nick and Martin while Milo is a little further behind those mentioned as is Frankie.


2012 Diary

31 December

We may have identified the reason for Nick's moderate display last Friday as he has a huge splint on his near-fore. Sara noticed that he had developed a boney mass a while back and it has doubled in size since the other day.

Hopefully it will settle down in the next week or so but if it dosen't then the vet may have to come and have a look.

Hugo seems in rude form following his promising start that same day.

A very happy new year to all our inmates and that they all have a trouble free 2013. 

Prediction for 2013, the nightmare that is Dan will win three races this coming year, if staying healthy.  

30 December

With both Hugo and Nick having an ‘easy’ after their race the other day we took Martin and Frankie to the college for a hack and a little bit more this morning. 

Martin’s reputation as a keen so and so proceeds him while Frankie’s previous rider wasn’t exactly offering too many positive platitudes, so all-in-all we didn’t really know what to expect.  

Sara, who rode Martin (pictured right), was delighted with him and his relaxed attitude and he led Ashleigh.

Frankie was also as good as gold and both six year olds had a good morning out, hacking for six circuits of the woodchip.

North Carlton could be a starting point for Martin at the end of January but everything is still an option for him, decent ground permitting.

Frankie remains an unknown entity but the feeling is that he will need a good stamina test.

28 December

Surprisingly today’s meeting at Chaddesley Corbett went ahead despite the ground being described as heavy and the horse boxes needing to be towed in and out of the track.

We had an early start to the day, mucking out in the dark at 6.15 am and by a little after eight we were on our way with runners Nick and Hugo, while Flynn made a return to the lorry for companion duties.

With the races being brought forward by thirty-minutes and no splits, things were tight and it was left for rider Max Johnson to declare both runners.

Nick ran virtually ‘off the box’ and ran a baffling race. He is normally the best jumper and the keenest horse in the yard, but he never picked up the bit or jumped with any of his typical exuberance.

After racing towards the rear in a very slowly run affair he lost his place and was tailed off when pulling up three-quarters-of-the-way down the far side.

His performance can’t be put down to the ground, as he never travelled throughout the race, and perhaps he is better racing slightly underdone rather than super fit.

Just a possible explanation but at this moment in time the jury remains out and we will see if anything materialises. This run was too bad to be true and we are completely flummoxed by this performance.

Despite a blunder with a circuit to go, Hugo jumped super in the main. He travelled really well in his maiden race and went within a length or so of the leader prior to that error.

Fitness was always going to be important in these conditions and he weakened soon after and was pulled up before leaving the back straight for the final time.

The result doesn’t bare any resemblance to the promise he showed and providing his previous problems fail to resurface he ought to soon win his maiden. We were absolutely delighted with him.

Fingers tightly crossed his legs are cold in the morning. 

24 December

The constant rain hardly sent confidence soaring that Friday’s meeting at Chaddesley Corbett will get the go ahead.

With Hugo and Nick both engaged they had to have a blow out if they are to take their chance and we had an early afternoon at the college.

Both had their usual partners and for a change Hugo was on his best behaviour.

Their work was similar to the other day and nothing changed when the pace quickened up for the last circuit.

Hugo looks really well and muscled up for his first start in twenty-months and will doubtless improve for the run and the more I see of him, the more I am convinced he wants extreme trips.

He looks fitter than I had given him credit for in earlier posts but I think he will still need it.

Nick is a joy to have around the place and his good ground action concern’s me should it to get extremely testing.

On the positive side, the flat track will suit him but on the other side of the coin, freshness, heavy conditions and strong oppositions scares the hell out of me.  

20 December

The bloody weather continues to make life harder than it should be with overflowing in the yard.

After all the rain we have had I am now getting concerned that Chaddesley Corbett could be in some doubt and after all the hard work that has gone into getting Nick and Hugo fit enough to do themselves justice, it better be on.

We had an 'early' at the college and arrived before eight o' clock. Nick and Sara and Hugo and Ashleigh teamed up and after hacking they did a solid piece of work for a curcuit and a half.

Nick was pulling his trainers arms out throughout the gallop and seems in very good form.

His entry in the Mens Open looks particulaly competitive and a personal best is needed for him to hit the frame.

That's not to say he will be outclassed because he has all the ability in the world but it is his first start of the season and he won't be knocked around. It's still a confidence booster but also we are going there to do our best.

Hugo is getting there but he still looks a little tubby and I think he will improve greatly for the run.  

Nick easily left him behind in their work today and they will each go to the college again on Monday for a good blow out.

18 December

There is a huge entry at Chaddesley Corbett for a week on Friday.

Nick, who has an entry in the Mens Open is one of 45 in the day's main event.

The quality is every bit as strong as the numbers and I doubt that he will be as sharp as some of them, but I hope he won't let us down.

It will do him good to get on the racecourse again as we are still in the process of building up his confidence.

Hugo's race looks certain to be divided on the day with him and another 40 making up the list.

Sara thinks he looks fitter than I do and I will happily concede being wrong were he to run well. He has schooled well but like Nick, he won't be jumping any more fences between now and the day of the race as Max is unavailable until after Christmas.

17 December

As expected Dan still looked a little uncomfortable after yesterday's accident but he is eating.

We only just made the entries deadline for The Hawkaway Club meeting with Nick going for the Mens Open and Hugo in the non-rules Maiden race.

16 December 

We had a very early start this morning, travelling the fifty-odd miles to Tim Fitzgerald’s yard in Malton to school Dan, Nick and Hugo.

Dan (Harriet) and Nick (Sara) finished the gallop several lengths clear of Hugo (Max) after the pair had gone off pretty quickly from the start. Taking the riders body weights into account all three pleased, none more so than Dan who looks the equal of Nick in terms of natural speed.

Hugo labored on but was conceding plenty of weight.

Next up the schooling fences with Max taking Hugo solo and he jumped six fences beautifully.

He is still carrying plenty in the way of condition but he will still more than likely take his chance towards the end of this month.

Harriet and Nick gave Dan and Max a lead and the last named jumped superb. He looks to have a very bright future and might just be a star for us this season.

That set us up for a good journey home; however, what we didn't expect was what we found upon arrival.

There had been some banging and kicking from the back of the box , not unusual as the three of them had been in there a good while. We had look around Fitzgerald’s place for a good thirty minutes after exercise which had delayed things.

When the ramp came down Dan was laid under Hugo’s feet and the partition separating the pair had come down.

Poor Dan was in a state of shock and there was a huge gash on his off-fore. We couldn't ascertain just how the other legs were but luckily for us and Dan, that appears the full extent of the damage.

We really thought he had done something more serious such was the state he was in and another inch and he would have required surgery or worse still.

The vet came and stitched and stapled him up and he will now have box rest for twelve days.

Just how he will react to going on the horsebox after this is anyone’s guess but the main thing is that we still have our beautiful Dan to nurse back to health.

(Above left) Dan's stitched and stapled off-fore and (left) bandaged and back in his box.



14 December

After much expense the Hunter Certificates for Dan, Nick and Hugo were confirmed.

Its been a difficult week weather wise but we will make our usual venture to the college on Sunday for more schooling.

9 December (PM)

Watching the X Factor but can't help thinking about Chaddesley Corbett, three days after Christmas day.

In all honesty Dan is unlikley to make his engagement in one of the maiden races unless he really takes to jumping fences quickly.

Hugo will run in the Non-Rules Runners Maiden race all being well and as the race title implies, its for horses that haven't run in anything other that point-to-points, and that is a massive help for him. 

What do we make of his recent quirky traits? Possibly he is getting bored going to the college so often and needs a change or maybe he is getting a bit too clever for his own good.

Max had to give him a 'proper' slap down the shoulder this morning to just get him going forward as he was backing off going to the fences. The rider knows that we don't like our horses hit, so clearly it was done for a reason.

I truly hope he goes the right way because he is too good to remain a maiden.

Sara likened Nick to Styleyf in the way he worked today.

Styleyf was a 6f-10f flat racer who always worked well and although she never won for us, she always showed tons of speed.

Nick would be burdened with a 7lb penalty if he contests the Mens Open but wouldn't have one if he were to run in the Ladies Open.

I think I know which race Max will want to start him off in though.

9 December

At long last we made it to the college after a couple of abortive attempts recently.

Nick (Sara) Hugo (Ashleigh) and Dan (Max) all went through their paces after Max had given them a pop over the obstacles.

Dan was the first to go and as he hasn’t jumped fences with us it was always the plan to send him over the hurdles.

As he has always schooled well when given a lead, it wasn’t too much of a shock to see him wavering going into them. He looks very green and will have to show marked improvement if he is to make his 28 December engagement.

Hugo went three times over the row of fences after showing a reluctance at first. He wasn’t spectacular but eventually got the job done.

Nick was also far from fluent but he knows everything about jumping and his fencing isn’t an issue.

After showing his quirky side again when being reluctant to jump off with his stablemates and nearly dislodging his rider, he worked the least best of the three.  

He looked the fattest of the trio and was about 12-15 lengths behind the other pair when the pace increased.

Sara had her arms pulled virtually throughout the work and she thinks he has grown in confidence since the use of the mojo paste.

Max wasn’t hard on Dan and was happy enough and thinks he is more forward at this stage than Milo was twelve months ago.


25 November

Nothing to report as the gallops at the college were too wet to work the pointers on.

As a consequence we had a morning raking the sand at home before the horses could be exercisced.

18 November

Dan, Nick and Hugo went for their Sunday morning workout with Harriet and Max joining Sara and Ashleigh for the exercise.

Sara rode Nick for his final three laps and went as well as he ever does after Max had partnered him, prior to giving Dan (Harriet) a lead over the hurdles.

They each went up the row of three on four occasions and both riders were happy with the morning’s schooling.

Hugo, warmed up by Ashleigh for three circuit’s, again showed that his temperament may becoming an issue and after not wanting to go over the fences he was eventually encouraged by Max to go solo over the row of three thrice.

The ditch proving to be his biggest obstacle on each occasion.

It is to be hoped that his waywardness won’t become a problem, however on a brighter note Dan loaded the horsebox beautifully with the help of the Monty Robert halter.

All in all a good mornings work.

11 November 

We took a box load to the college this morning with both Max and Harriet coming from Malton to school.

With Dan, Hugo and Nick in the wagon it was always going to be an eventful time, particularly as the first named beast has a significant aversion for loading onto the lorry.

There has been a lot of time and patience spent on Dan encouraging him to climb the ramp but it was always going to be a different scenario away from the comfort of home and the different things to see and hear.

So it proved and with the best part of three-quarters-of-an-hour spent after his morning exercise trying to get him to load, he really is trying our patience to the very limit.  

To add to the morning’s entertainment, Hugo (Max) had got out of the wrong side of his bed and was in a foul mood. Very much out of character he soon showed his disdain when asked to trot with the other pair and again later on in the exercise.

When shown the hurdles he virtually refused to go near them and got himself into a real muck sweat and as a consequence it was left to Nick to lead Dan over the smaller obstacles.

After going over them several times Harriet was happy with Dan, who jumped pretty well in the main, and should soon be going over the fences while Nick was “rusty” according to Max, but good by the end.

Nick and Sara set the pace after the schooling and the best behaved of the three went really well.

Too rub salt into the already open wounds of a difficult morning, the lorry ramp wouldn’t open on arrival back at Sawley House and needed plenty of prizing before the boys could get back to their rooms.

Back to square one with Dan while Hugo needs to put today’s deplorable behaviour firmly behind him next time he goes for a gallop.

4 November

A cold morning at the college with usual suspects Hugo (Ashleigh) and Nick (Sara).

Both went a stridw faster throughout the final lap or so and my inkling is that Hugo will probably no be ready for his pencilled in engagement at Cottenham three weeks today.

Nick is coming along really well and could go there but plans still very much up in the air.

28 Oct

Max, teaming up with Hugo for the first time since he came back into fulll work, joined us for a morning at the college with Nick (Sara).

Nick, who was clipped first thing this morning, lobbed along behind Hugo for most of the morning and after Max had popped his mount over six hurdles, did the same over the fences.

Understandably Hugo was a little rusty as it was his first school since much earlier in the year and Max was more than satisfied.

Hugo was allowed to stride clear for his final circuit with his workmate and is getting fitter.

24 Oct

We went to the college this lunch time with both Nick (Sara) and Hugo (Ashleigh).

Both have yet to be clipped and were very sweaty by the the end of their seven laps.

As of the previous trips to the college, they did little more than hack canter, but may be stepped up a little more next Sunday morning with Hugo due to have a look at the fences.  

21 Oct

Nick (Sara) and Hugo (Ashleigh) went to the college this morning for a canter.

Both did pretty much similar to what they had done earlier in the week although very little was seen owing to the heavy fog.

18 Oct

With Dan proving difficult to load onto the wagon it was decided that he wouldn’t be making the journey to the college today as he still needs some more practise getting into the horsebox.

Super sub Nick (Sara) had his first canter on the wood chip surface with his neighbour Hugo (Ashleigh).

Both were very sweaty afterwards and are due to be clipped very soon.


14 Oct

After weeks of road work and cantering in the ring at home, Hugo (Sara) and Dan Ashleigh) were on the woodchip round gallop at the college this morning. Both did six laps and went nicely.

23 Sept

Today the other four point-to-pointers, Milo, Nick, Martin and Frankie all came back into training. Great to see their heads peering over the doors and loads to look forward to.

14 Sept 

With little over two months until the first meeting of the season at Cottenham, it has just dawned on me that we need to kick-on with Hugo and Dan if they are to make the line up.

With Sara away on holiday the pointers are also having their mini break but it will be full speed ahead from the middle of next week. 

11 Sept

We had a trip out to Barnsley this morning and privately bought a 6yo bay with a couple of runs in point-to-points and a down the field finish in a bumper to his credit. 

The gelding, who stands at around 16.2hh and named Castley Lane, will be given the chance to prove himself as a point-to-pointer or just a trusty riding horse.

Its anyone's guess as to how much ability he has but I am old enough to remember the Dickinson family buying horses on looks rather than pedigrees and having a huge amount of sucess. 

8 Sept

The three ARO horses, Maestro, Chloe and Styleyf enjoyed their first all night out in a long while.

They are being roughed off and with the disapointing Styleyf the only one of the trio up for sale, the other pair will return for more racing next season.

6 Sept 

After a long debate we finally made the decision to declared Chloe for the 0-180 handicap at Salisbury, for Sunday.

The discussion proved to be all in vain as she needed three to come out for her to get a run, and with only two not accepting, the long journey to Wiltshire will not now be taken.   

Although she has only reached a low level so far, we have decided that she will return for us again next season.

There are many variables that make up a racehorse but the one ingredient that  you can't train into them is already in there, her willingness to do her best.

So the flat horses are about to be roughed off and the pointers ready to come back in. 

3 Sept

With just one meeting of the ARO season remaining and Chloe our only entry, it was a quietish evening at the college.

Sara took the filly for a piece of work for just over a curcuit and although difficult to judge just how well she went, she seemed in good form and ready for Salisbury. 

The drop in trip to 1m is against her and the drying ground another negative but she looks well handicapped and we expect her to be in the money.

31 August

On Wednesday we gave Chloe and entry for the 0-180 1m handicap at Salisbury for a week on Sunday.

As she has been given a new mark of 148 she will creep in exactly at the bottom of the weights and with her running so well from that rating last week, she has to be considered fairly treated despite the huge drop in  trip.

There were 17 entries and three have to come out for her to get a run so things very much up in the air.

She will go to the college on Sunday morning for a solo piece of work and seems to have taken her hard race at Nottingham really well.

25 August 

In what has been a season of disappointments, this ARO campaign had an exciting end to it despite coming away without victory at Nottinham today.

Sara partnered Styleyf over 1m2f and the filly looked like she might get involved at the business end only to fade from 2f out and finish slightly worse than mid pack.

We have yet to decide if that's her racing career over with but it looks more than a possibility.

Both Maestro, ridden by Rachael King and Chloe, with Phil Collington on top, both took their chance in the 1m6f handicap.

The old boy was racing over a trip way past his best and he finished tailed off and King reported that he blew-up at half way.

He is none the worse for his run and will be back next season and will start with an enviable handicap rating.

Chloe was having her fourth race of the season and she gets better and better. We thought the step up in trip would suit and as her home work has been good, there would have been some long faces had she not been in the money.

With the front two going clear mid- way down the back straight, Collington was soon making progress on the filly. As one of the pacesetters dropped away it was left for Chloe to challenge from three out.

The pair raced well ahead of the others and with our filly hitting the front inside the last furlong it look as though she would win. Racing greenly she soon wavered  and was headed soon after but was an honourable runner up.

The front two finishing a good 20l clear of the rest. 

Phil Collington said that she wants soft ground and at least 1m4f. 

23 August

After yesterday's debacle and being relieved of £300 for my mistake, we finally got to the college this evening with Saturday' runners.

Sara took Styleyf solo before she got the leg up on Chloe and with Maestro and Ashleigh, they went upsides for their leg stretcher.

All three are in great health at present but the way the season has gone we are not getting carried away.

Rachel King has been booked to ride Maestro while Phil Collington switches to Chloe in the 1m6f race.

22 August

Just when you think this week couldn't get any worse and it found a way of doing so.

We had an early afternoon booked in at the college to give Styleyf, Maestro and Chloe their final blow-out before the weekend, but never made it to the gallops.

I did the unthinkable and filled the wagon with unleaded instead of diesel.

We had to wait for the best part of three hours in total until the horses were transported home and you can bet that the costly exersise will never be repeated.

19 August

The three ARO racers went to the college this morning for a good work out.

As she is so good in her work, Styleyf (Sara), worked by herself prior to Maestro (Ashleigh) and Chloe (Sara) having their own private race.

With the weight difference similar to what they will carry next week it was Chloe that stamped her authority and scooted 6l clear by the finish.

Both had a good blow afterwards but I got the impression that Maestro might be a little short of peak fitness for his final race of the season.

We go with plenty of optimism for Chloe and only in hope for Styleyf.

15 August

The three ARO entries for Nottingham went for an early afternoon at the college.

Styleyf (Ashleigh), Chloe (Hannah) and Maestro (Sara) all hacked together until Sara let Maestro quicken up solo for a circuit and a half.

The gelding seems in good form but his final start of the season is over 1m6f, so confidence not sky high by any means.

11 August

We went to Uttoxeter today with little in the way of confidence considering the moderate way the horses have been performing this season.

Styleyf, partnered by Steven Harrison for the first time, travelled in the front rank for half the 6f trip but faded tamely when headed and her new rider was of the opinion that she probably needs a drop in grade and a move up in distance. She isn't the bravest either.

Chloe ran far better despite an horrific start to the 1m2f contest.

The filly was cannoned into by a rival at the start and as a result Sara lost an iron and for the first furlong was struggling to get it back. When she eventually did, Chloe made up ground comfortably and moved into the mid division.

Without seeing the extended distances I reckon she was beaten around eight lengths and its more than possible she could have had a big say in to outcome had she had a trouble free start.

She will go to Nottingham in a couple of week’s time and could well get us off the mark before the end of the season.

9 August 

Both fillies were declared to run this weekend with Sara riding Chloe and Steven Harrison booked to ride Styleyf.

In other news Hugo - racing name Never Forget Poppy - had his shoes on this morning and returned to work this afternoon. (see below)

He is a million miles from even thinking about going to the gallops, as he has the fattest belly you could imagine.

He hasn't raced for a long while but lets hope for the best because he is too good a horse not to go point-to-pointing.

Last week we sold Joey and Lucas, thinking they were going to people that understood about thoroughbreds.

This proved not the be the case as we were incredulously reported to the RSPCA by their new owners for having sold them in a malnourished state.

They also reported to the RSPCA that our other horses were intentionally rugged up so that they couldn't see just what a poor state they were in!!!

We have the utmost respect for the job the RSPCA have to do and understandably they came round to Sawley House to inspect our horses.

What they found were all the inmates in wonderful health, with their representative Inspector Gibson expressing that they all looked fabulous, and was even smiling when sarcastically saying " there's another one that looks underweight" after viewing fat Flynn.

I can only presume that these people can't differentiate between a thoroughbred and a stoutly built cob.

Just to make matters worse, the new owners of Joey and Lucas have also been spreading their vile rumours on the Internet and they should really hang their heads in shame.

8 August 

With Styleyf and Chloe both racing at Uttoxeter on Saturday, it was their final blow out this afternoon.

Sara rode each and she felt the first named worked as well if not better than ever.

Styleyf has a long history of working far better than she ever performs on the track, so we are not getting too carried away, but she does seem in good heart at present.

Chloe, again wearing a tongue tie, also went well and from he low weight might have a squeak however, her breathing is always going to be an issue. 

5 August


With Maestro unlikely to run again this season owing to his ongoing sarcoid problem it was just Styleyf (Sara) and Chloe (Hannah) who went on the wood chip surface at the college this morning.

Chloe just cantered and will have a full scale work out on Wednesday while Styleyf – equipped with a visor for the first time – worked solo and unsurprisingly went well.


She remains an enigma but will take her chance at Uttoxeter next Saturday with Sara aboard.

1 August

We were able to take Maestro (Ashleigh) and Styleyf (Sara) to the college for a mid-day workout.

Maestro, who only raced last Saturday, didn't need that much work and he did little more than canter, however it was a different story for the filly.

Styleyf worked solo and was given a few stern 'backhanders' to make her mind up for her. She wasn't ridden in her usual cross noseband and there wasn't any sign that she was making a noise.

As a consequence she may race without the noseband at Uttoxeter next time.

31 July

Chloe given her first ARO handicap rating and her assesment of 145 appears fair enough. 

She will be targetted at a 0-175 handicap at Uttoxeter and Sara will have to be very nearly at her lightest to do the correct weight.

Maestro and Styleyf will contest the 6f Open handicap on the same card.

28 July

This ARO season has been an utter disappointment from start to finish and it continued with Maestro, who had shown he was on his way back last Sunday at Hereford, missing the break and never getting into contention at Huntingdon this afternoon. 

We have been at pains to tell Anna Wallace that the start is the most important factor in Maestro’s amoury, as he has so much early pace, but following a false start - that he wasn’t best away in either – the pair missed the kick.

To make matter's worse and as she was jumping him off, they were hampered and he never ever got out of the rear group.

Sara rode Chloe and she ran creditably, her second start inside a week and now qualifies for a handicap rating.

Despite beating only one home she showed a lot more promise than the previous time.

Racing from an automatic handicap rating of 190, she stayed with the field until turning for home but worryingly she was making a noise and her breathing is going to be a problem.

July 25


Both this Saturday’s runners went to the college tonight but as they both ran 72 hours ago it was never going to be much more than a gentle stroll for them.


Sara reported that Chloe wasn’t making as much noise as she had done previously while Ashleigh and Maestro looked a little keen in behind his stable mate.


With Anna Wallace accepting another ride in Chloe’s race Sara will partner the filly at Huntingdon but from a mark of 190 her chance looks remote. 


Maestro, who runs over 7f for the first time this season, should be spot on after his run at Hereford, and the drying ground should be another positive.


22 July

An indifferent afternoon with the long trek to Hereford resulting in a couple of last places for Styleyf and Classical Chloe while Maestro fared better finishing eighth .

Anna Wallace partnered Classical Chloe on her first start for us and the filly, despite winning the best turned out award, never got out of last place.

The jockey commentated that she is “just a galloper”.

We have her in at Huntingdon next Saturday in an Open race, solely to get her qualified for a handicap mark , and another modest finish wouldn't be a total surprise.

Styleyf made things even worse for our rider’s afternoon.  She was one of the first off the bridle and the rider reported the “she is taking the piss, is a dog and doesn't want to know”.

There really is very little we can do with her other than to keep persevering until the end of the season and then sell her as a riding horse.

There was much more encouragement from Maestro, who raced from 7lb out of the handicap, and running over at least a furlong further than his best trip.

Sara only gave him a couple of smacks and was adamant that he was back to his best. He will go the Huntingdon with first rate credentials next weekend. 

19 July 

The trio that are running at Hereford on Sunday were out in force, this time staying put on the bridle but having a good work out.

As is the norm of late Styleyf (Sara) worked solo before the other two Chloe (Sara) and Maestro (Ashleigh) moved together.

Styleyf went from hacking to 5f pace in no time and it wasn't totally surprising that the rev's were dipping nearing the end of her spin.

The mile on Sunday will help her chances but she really doesn't inspire confidence in her finishing efforts and Anna Wallace will be under orders to keep her on the bit as long as possible.

The other two worked upsides. Chloe set the pace and despite giving a couple of stone, Maestro seemed in control throughout the piece. 

What to expect from Chloe in the 1m4f contest I just wouldn’t know, but she is competitive in her work and the tongue tie that she wore again seems to be helping.

Maestro will be partnered by Sara on Sunday and is looking less fat than he did but although he will be doing his best, and the rider doing her best to make the weight (around 8st 10lb), Huntingdon the following week is his main priority. 

15 July 

The three that have entries next weekend at Hereford all went to the college for their penultimate piece of work.

Sara took Styleyf solo before the other two and as per usual she showed her speed.

Styleyf will wear cheekpieces on Sunday to ensure her concentration in the latter stages and I am convinced that although she will be ridden prominently, she needs holding onto as long as possible, as she rarely finds much when let down.

She is so quick over a short distance that is is baffling that she ran far and away her best race over 12 furlongs

Soon after Ashley teamed up with Maestro while Sara rode Chloe, the latter wearing a tongue-tie for the first time after she had previously made a noise.

It was a fact finding mission really with the filly but she was quieter in her wind and it also showed in her work.

Maestro was held up a little further than required until he easily moved along side but couldn't or couldn't be bothered to get passed and in the end Chloe was getting the better of the handsome one.

In receipt of a stone it was still an encouraging effort and she might go better than we initially though.

Maestro has an entry in the same race as Styleyf but is probably going to need the run.

12 July 

We took the three that had an entry at Hereford a week on Sunday to the college this evening.

Sara partnered Styleyf as usual and the filly left her rivals well behind, as she once again worked like a good animal.

Maestro (Ashleigh) did the donkey work but he was easily brushed aside, although he worked as well as could be expected at the weights and seems over the problems he suffered at Fakenham last time, while Paul Howard sat on Classical Chloe.

Chloe wore a cross nose band for the first time but she was still sounding as though she has a wind problem.

We will dispense with that piece of equipment next time and try her in a tounge tie . 

9 July

We took three to the college this afternoon with Sara riding each solo.

Styleyf started procedings and worked well without coming off the bridle. She blew for a longer period than we thought but there is another three trips to DRC before her run at Hereford two weeks yesterday.

Next was Maestro and he probably did a little less than the filly but went well enough while Classical Chloe went nicely and seems to be getting there.

All three will go to Hereford with Chloe going for the 1m4f Conditions race.

4 July

We took a wagon load to the college this evening with Maestro (Ashleigh) ,Styleyf (Sara) and Cloe filling up the lorry to capacity.

After the other two had canterd for around five laps of the round gallop Sara took Chloe solo and kicked her on a little and she went quite nicely.

Far too early to make any predictions about what ability she has but so far so good.

Hereford remains on the agenda for the other two and possibly Huntingdon for Chloe.  

27 June

Took both Styleyf and Cloe to the college this evening. As always Sara rode the black filly and with Dannielle on "Slowy" and the pair cantered for three circuits.

Styleyf did her serious work on the straight gallop but proved a little disappointing when seemingly getting a bit weary upon meeting the stiff climb. She is very fit but not firing. 

There was some unwanted white discharge around her nostrils during the earlier cantering and it has been decided that a trip to Wolverhampton this Saturday is now off the agenda.  

This was to have been her race and months of planning has been wasted. 

Our bad luck continues to haunt us and it is to be hoped that after a break we can have a successful second half to the season. 

24 June 

Styleyf (Sara) was accompanied to the college this morning with Classical Cloe (Danielle)

An all girls outing saw the pair hack round for a couple of circuits and as this was the first time for the last named, that was deemed enough.

Styleyf had more to do and worked for a lap-and-a-half solo and wearing cheekpieces for the first time. Its always difficult to judge how well she worked when going it alone and she went hard enough for the first part and either idled or got tired before the end.

She will wear the head gear again later in the week and for her next race, this coming Saturday, at Wolverhampton.

She will also race with the help of a mojo paste and although we have no reason to believe she is a bleeder, we are preparded to run her as if she is one.  

17 June 

Not a good day at Fakenham with Styleyf, getting herself wound up in the racecourse stables and up to her old tricks of double-barreling the walls of her box, prior to racing with the choke out throughout the race.

The bucking in the box was brought on by the noise of the racecourse PA system and she seemed to settle down when it went quiet.

As expected she found the 2m trip too far. She raced much too keenly and was never going to last home and eventually was eased down before the home straight to come home in her own time, last of the four.

Back down in trip at Wolverhampton over 7f on the last day of this month and riding her more positively is the next move.

Over further she is getting continually disappointed by repeatedly reigned back and she will use her speed next time. That could be the key to her. 

That pailed into insignificance as to what was about to happen 90 minutes later.

Maestro, who normally gets on his toes prior to a race and buzzed up when the jockey mounts was almost half asleep before being led out onto the track.

He took very little interest in the race itself and Anna Wallace said ”he never took hold of the bridle” and "felt like he was gasping for breath and wobbling” during the race.

She eased him down 2f out and pulled him up inside the last furlong.

He was fine after the race and tucked into his feed when we arrived home and have no idea why he performed the way he did.

The biggest headache is why he was so quiet in the lead up to the race and why he never took a hold at any stage.

He is keen over 6f so over a mile he should have been pulling his riders arms out.

Swallowing his tongue or bleeding during the race would have been a possible explanation for his display but for him to have been so quiet before and during the race almost certainly rules those out. 

14 June 

Both Maestro (Sara) and Styleyf (Ashleigh) went for their final piece before their reappearance at Fakenham on Sunday.  

It was a proper workout with the filly giving around 20lb to her workmate and set of around 8l behind when the pace increased.

Maestro seemed to go particulaly well, although he is probably one gallop short of peak fitness, but might get away with it this weekend.

Styleyf is going to find the 2m trip stretching her but if ridden with restraint she could be concerned however, the race at Wolverhampton two weeks later is her main priority.  

10 June

In the build up to Maestro (Sara) and Styleyf's (Ashleigh) return to action at Fakenham a week today, both went for a piece of work at the college this evening.

As on their last work day there was a stone of lead on the filly's back just to try and even things out and the pair worked for a curcuit and a half.

It was a slightly lack lustre effort by Maestro while Styleyf ran all over him.

Whether it was an off day for him or he is just getting a little more lazy only time will tell but he still looks a little on the burly side and might just be a gallop short come the weekend.

Styleyf has so much toe that she can't stay 2m on Sunday can she? but it should put her spot on for Wolverhampton a fortnight later over a trip that will suit her better.

6 June 

A morning at the college with Maestro (Ashleigh) and Styleyf (Sara, carrying 14lb lead) and the pair working for a circuit and a half.  

Maestro led for the first half of the work but when the filly moved upsides she started to work a little lazily and Sara had to give her a couple of smacks to ensure she went past.

Both worked well and another two pieces will hopefully bring them to a level so they can do justice to themselves at Fakenham a week on Sunday.  

31 May

We took Styleyf (Sara) and Maestro (Ashleigh) to Oak Farm Stables for the first time today. Its a shame that the flat horses arn't able to do any fast wotk there as the bends are tight but it could be okay for the jumpers.

Both cantered a few circuits in the rain and will go to the college for some quicker work on Sunday.

29 May

We spent what seemed like the whole day at the Doncaster sales and after becoming under bidder on two, we sucessfully bid for a once raced 6yo gelding called Sedano.

He is a big, handsome and white blazed beauty who spent his first day at Sawley House in the box next door to Nick.

Roll on early August when he will start his training for a maiden point-to-point at Cottenham!

27 May

Things have been very quiet with the cold outbreak but both Styleyf (Sara) and Maestro (Alsheigh) had their first visit to the college in a good while for a canter. Nothing more and nothing less.

10 May

We have kept the flat racers and Nick isolated from the others owing to the prevailing cough but in the end it has been decided to abort plans for his this point-to-point season and hope he can have an uninterumped campaign next time. 

He has been working better than ever and mentally he is in a great frame of mind but its all irrelevent now.  

7 May  

Nick had a solo around the college this evening working for a couple of circuits and he seemed to go well.

He blew a little but seems pretty fit and was full of it afterwards, pulling me around and although it could be competitive, he looks sure to go close at Easingwold.  

We will probably take him for his blow out on Thursday and let him go with Maestro.

Just how we will pair them up will take some thinking but he is fit and ready to rock n' roll.   

5 May


We went to Wolverhampton with plenty of hope that Styleyf would go very well in the 1m4f handicap with Anna Wallace riding her for the first time.


Sara rode Maestro but to be honest there were no great expectations regarding his chance. Just a nice day out and if we are going all that way we may as well take two.

Styleyf travelled like she would be concerned until leaving the back straight where Anna said “she just emptied”.

I am now convinced that she doesn’t get the trip and her run over this distance last season where she ran out of her skin looks suspect.


She will now head to Hereford for a 7f  open handicap at the end of the month. Accompanying her will be Maestro who was dropped out last and detached today and plugged on to run past a few at the end, including his stablemate.


Sara though he stayed well enough and as there isn’t much for him in the early part of the season he will have another go at this trip, also at Hereford but in a 0-180 handicap.


He will be ridden a little handier next time but does he really stay this trip?, maybe but I think he can only run to a lower level at it.

3 May 

 Maestro, Styleyf and Nick went to the college for a night out. Sara rode Nick solo and he did four circuits at just a leisurely pace.  

She then got on the filly while Asleigh rode Maestro and they each did a proper piece ahead of their engagement at Wolverhampton this Saturday.

Styleyf gave Maestro a furlong start and closed the gap to a couple of lengths before being eased off. The weights were firmly in her favour, as she was receiving around a stone from the old stalwart. Both should run well this weekend. 

30 Apr 

Maestro (Ashleigh) and Styleyf (Sara) both had an evening at the college with the latter looking very quick and in receipt of plenty of weight from her companion, made the old boy look slow.

Still unsure as to which race the filly will run in on Saturday but the handicap is looking favourite. 

29 Apr 

There couldn't have been a worse start to the day and the filthy weather made things even harder than they were going to be.

We had planned to finish the mucking out early and then take a trip to the college to work both Maestro and Styleyf for their penultimate piece before Wolverhampton next Saturday.

With Nick running this afternoon at Whitcliffe Grange it would have to be done with military precision and everything looked to be going fine until, in the field over the road, Sara and Ashleigh noticed Peter not coming over for the hay

The old lad couldn't move and it was soon discovered, after the vet had arrived about an hour later, that he had probably fractured his pelvis. Had we been able to get him out of the field and into his box then there may have been a chance of saving him but he couldn't even take a step.

Very sadly it was accepted that there was to be only one outcome and around three hours later he was humanly put to sleep.

The vet thought it was the fairest thing to have him shot rather than injected however, the annoying part about it was that the gentleman that came to do the job seemed to take an age to get to us. The poor old lad was stood for around ninety minutes in the freezing cold and heavy rain. 

Sara made him a feed before his end which he loved.

We all said goodbye to Peter and headed back over the road, however, the sound of the shot was something that we will never forget. So long old Peter,  we were the privileged ones to have known you.

We soon made the decision that we were to run Nick in the third race at Ripon despite not giving him his ant-bleeder until mid-day.

We reached the rain drenched track around seventy-five minutes before he was due to run and I was regretting bring him with the incessant rain and the ground surley riding too soft. 

I instructed Max to drop Nick out at the start as if he were a non-trier and not to even think about riding a race until the final circuit. He followed the instructions to the letter and Nick ran really well to finish third, beaten around 10l.

A great effort considering he forfitted ground at the start, wasn't put into the race and almost certainly found the trip and ground against him. His jumping was quick and sometimes a little "frightening" according to his rider.

He has barely had a race this season and can only improve so we will target Easingwold in a couple of weeks and see what he can do when things are in his favour.

A very sad day but a little happier by the end of it.  

26 Apr 

Horrendous rain made conditions at the college difficult with Nick having his final piece of work in his build up to a return to the track this Sunday.

Sara worked him solo and he did plenty, going a couple of circuits of the round gallop and he was full of himself afterwards. He wore the Australian noseband for the first time but it is debatable as to whether than made any real difference as Sara reported him be his usual keen self.

He didn’t blow much after so all being well and ground permitting he will go to Whitcliffe Grange.

Maestro (Ashleigh) and Styleyf (Sara) worked for a circuit with the latter doing more and showing plenty of speed as usual.

Ashleigh will be able to ride work on Maestro sooner rather than later if she can keep progressing and both horses have entries at Wolverhampton the weekend after next. 

23 Apr 

Took a full wagon to the college with Maestro (Sagar), Nick (Max) and Styleyf (Sara) all working and all performing creditably. Sagar was for him in a complimentary mood calling Maestro a 'legend' after he worked nicely.

Max gave Nick a pop over six fences and the 6yo was keen to say the least. In their work Styleyf went very fast and soon went clear as Maestro bided his time until picking up late to finish just behing the filly.

Max never let Nick off the bridle and despite being very fresh he worked well with no signs of the unwanted nasal discharge appearing.

Although Sara rides Nick in a gag, he will race in it for the first time on Sunday as we have fears that he will be a little too fresh for his first start since 4 March.

22 Apr

Milo had his fifth start of the season at a very wet Corbridge this afternoon.

The paddock in the lead-up was horrendous and trying to stay on two feet was a feat in itself but for the first time he needed just one handler.

Immediately Max was legged up he was very excited and Sara’s help was greatly appreciated. Milo repeatedly tossed his head from side to side at a remarkable speed and seems to have a talent for head throwing.

The race itself didn’t go to plan as he was unable to go the strong pace and with a circuit to go was niggled and received his first reminder shortly afterwards.

At one stage I thought he may even be pulled up but he plugged on and even though he was knackered, his jumping was safe and confident and he stayed on all the way up the hill to finish  an honorable sixth of 15.

The big lad was mud splattered and his white blaze barley visible.  

I would estimate he was beaten around 12l and it really is amazing just how far he has come since his introduction to racing at Morden earlier in the year.

Sixth in a race that featured every other horse as a previous winner was very satisfying and he will be some horse next season.

A decision as to whether we call time on this season or try again will be made in the next day or so but he has been a wonderful horse to have and deserves a break, probably sooner rather than later. 

Right: Milo looking muddy after his slog at Corbridge

19 Apr 

Horrible weather has made it very wet at Sawley House for the past couple of days and getting exercise into those in training is proving difficult.

Both Milo and Nick went to the college this evening with work on their mind. Sara had the job of partnering both and wisely took Milo first.

She let him hack for three circuits before allowing him his head and for around a mile-and-a-quarter he strode out well. He seems in good form but the step up to Restricted class and the probability of very testing ground on Sunday is a huge worry.

Nick was given his anti-bleeder early afternoon and did pretty much the same as his companion and again showed a lot of 'toe'.

He has so much natural speed that 3m in points is always going to stretch him. He will have two more pieces of work before his probable race at Whitcliffe Grange a week on Sunday. Easingwold two weeks later is his main objective.

He also seems in good form and touch wood, no sign of any nasal discharge.  

14 Apr 

An evening at the college with Nick, Styleyf (Sara) and Maestro (Ashleigh) with Sara taking Nick on a solo for around four-and-a-half circuits, striding out nicely in the final mile or so.

We are treating him as a bleeder and the Mojo Paste that he is given a few hours before his work is expensive but seems to be doing the job.

There was no sign of the dreaded cough or any blood in his nostril's afterwards so for the time being all is well.

He again showed plenty of speed, although its hard to judge just how much when working by himself.

Nick blew for a longer than ideal and hopefully his three pieces of work between now and Whitcliffe Grange on 29 April will be sufficient to make him competitive there.

That race should tee him up for Easingwold two weeks later.   

The other two did less although Styleyf, after hacking for a few circuits with Maestro, worked solo at a good pace afterwards and both seem to be in good order.  

Milo will go to the college either on Wednesday or Thursday for a blow out prior to his expected return to action at Corbridge a week tomorrow.  He needs to step up on his Charm Park performance but might well do and seems happy with life at the momemt. 

10 Apr 

Milo ate up and there was not a bother on him this morning following his victory yesterday.

A peruse through the race planner tonight will reveal where his next move will be.


What a day.

Commentating at Charm Park as per usual this Easter Monday but with the added distraction of Milo, running in the conditions maiden, for the fourth time in his career.

After Miles Seston had got off him to ride another and Max otherwise engaged ,we were without a rider but after taking Max's advice, we booked Harriet Bethall.

Harriet rode exactly to instructions, keeping Milo in the leading four throughout and she had the bottle to give him a 'lung filler' between the last two fences and a good jump took him to the front over the final obstacle, going on to record Sara's first success as a point-to-point trainer.

The winning margin of half-a-length would have been greater had the rider not lost her stick a good way out and the pace not been so pedestrian.

It has taken a while to get the big lad fit and providing we get suitable conditions and the right track then he will be kept on the go.

Life will be a good deal tougher next time for him but he is progressing and his jumping was superb.


 Race Video

5 Apr 

One of my least favourite journey's is to Malton as it is expensive with the cost of the diesel, gallop fees and it is always very time consuming.

But with the college not opening their gallops today there wasn't really any alternative as Milo needed a blow out as he runs at Charm Park on Monday.

As Max is committed to another runner in the race we have booked Miles Seston and met the rider there for a pop over the point-to-point fences and a getting to know you session.

Nick (Sara) also popped along for the ride and a canter twice up the 7f gallop.

Milo only jumped three fences but was spot on at each and delighted Miles and had a good blow when nearing the top of the gallop afterwards. All systems go for Easter Monday. 

4 Apr

Joey and Nick had their legs scanned by Peter the Vet this morning and both were given the all clear.

Nick will start cantering from tomorrow but it has been decided to retire Joey and he will be put up for sale and sold as a riding horse.

Evening at the college with Milo (Sara) hacking round for four curcuits solo and then Maestro (Ashleigh) and Styleyf (he first day back under Sara) both having a canter of five laps.

Nothing too taxing but another step on their road to Wolverhampton  for their engagement in the first week of May.  

1 Apr

Milo hasn't been pleasing us, in as much as he has been a little bit stiff for the past week, and we deliberated long and hard as to whether we would go to Whitwell this afternoon.

The decision to go was made but after checking him over after he was unloaded from the wagon, there was a concern that there was a little more heat in the leg that had been causing the headaches.

I had already declaired him to run but less than an hour before the race he was withdrawn and we came home.

The ground was far better than expected but the open ditch was huge and you need a good jumper to take that baby on.

We live to fight another day but stupidly I have missed getting an entry in for Whittington next Saturday  - as the entries closed yesterday - so have decided to put him in at Charm Park on Easter Monday, despite commentating there.

Max has accepted another ride in the non-placed maiden so there might have to be a change of rider but we will wait a day or so before making further plans.

Happy seventh birthday beautiful Hugo

30 Mar

Went to the college for Milo's (Sagar) blow out before his run on Sunday at Whitwell-on-the-Hill. Joey (Sara) and Maestro (Ashleigh) helped fill up the wagon and the last named pair just had an easy time hacking for four circuit's.

Milo went solo for a 1m4f and Sagar asked him to work and he went as expected. Slightly worrying was the fact that he was blowing a little harder than we had hoped and Sagar also felt he was making a noise in his wind.  

24 Mar 

An early evening at the college to give Milo (Sagar) and Joey (Sara) some excerise.

Milo has not stopped improving since his educational run at Morden three races ago and he now understands what the whole thing is about.

He worked solo for a circuit and a half and looked better than ever.

Its difficult to know exactly how good the piece of work was but visually it seemed very pleasing and even Sagar was complimentary about the horse he doesn’t really enjoy riding.

Milo is far from easy in as much as he throw’s his head about continuously when there is any contact made with his mouth but even he said he worked well.

Joey is still very much on the fat side but had a nice evening out cantering and we are thinking about running him over long distances on the flat (ARO) as the point to point ground will be ‘gone’ by the time he is ready for a run. 

Still a day-to-day thing with him.

Still no good news to report about NIck as he has yet to come right and the season is ticking away. May have to get him scanned if there is no improvement in the next week or so.  

17 Mar 

We were delighted with Milo's effort in finishing fifth of a big field in the second division of the maiden at Hutton Rudby today.

His jumping was excellent and but for a couple of minor mistakes, he put in a solid round.

Max always had him in the leading group and although he was ultimatley outpaced, he kept on well to finish his race out well.

Milo is improving and is better than I gave him credit for.

We decided to give the Mens Open a miss with Nick as he was not quite right. 

14 Mar 

We had an early evening at the college to put the finishing touch's to Nick (Saraand Milo (Sagar) for their challenges at Hutton Rudby this Saturday. 

After Nick's bleed on Sunday he was given a Mojo Paste to try to eliminate it happening again.

There were no signs of blood this time but he did give a cough or two after his work. Sara was easy enough on him throughout his work and he went for the last circuit almost by himself as Sagar gave Milo plenty to do.

To Milo's credit he picked up really well and, making up all of fifteen lengths, joined his workmate before the end of the gallop. Sunday's piece appears to have brought him on and he might just surprise some of his rivals at the weekend.  

11    Mar

Both Nick (Sara) and Milo (Sagar) went for a piece of work at the college this morning.


The usual trotting and cantering before a circuit and a half’s proper work.


Milo needed plenty of encouragement from the saddle and looks a thoroughly lazy sort and at some stage might benefit from some headgear, however, we will let him race without any for the time being.


He has an entry at Hutton Rudby in the Maiden next Saturday.


Both finished pretty much upsides although Nick showed a tendency to hang in the latter stages (not for the first time) and finished distressed. He will now work for the time being with the aid of a Mojo Stick and has an entry in the Mens Open this weekend.   

4 Mar

We wanted some rain as the ground had been bordering on the fast side of good for Charm Park today but it never stopped throughout the day, mixed with some sleet for good measure. The going had changed to soft soon after the start of racing.

Nick , equipped with a cross noseband took his chance in the Veterans and Novice Riders Race, the first on the card, and again raced far too keenly. Max had a job to get some cover and found himself in front by the back straight for the first time.

As a result he struggled to get home and was pulled up before the last. He really needs to settle in his races and hopefully the freshness won't be there next time, when he may go to Hutton Rudby on 17 March.

Milo had his second start of his career in the Maiden. Max put him into the race this time and he jumped well for a novice but he has yet to convice that he has too much ability.

He works really well but until he shows it on the racecourse he remains disappointing.

Maybe I am being too dismisive of him too soon and he will continue to race until the end of the season before we make a decision as to where his future will be.

He had his arse smacked for the first time today but was toiling when he wasy pulled up three out.

Things can only get better.   

1 Mar

Very early start with Nick going to the college for a blow before his race on Sunday. 

We set off early, at a little after 6.15 am, and Sara let him go at full stretch for a circuit and a half and he seems in really great form.

26 Feb 

A massive day with both Nick and Milo racing for the first time for us.

After Milo’s fall when schooling at Malton the other day it was always going to be a nail biting time seeing how he would cope with the racecourse but to be fair to him, he jumped safely and although he was never put into the race with a chance, he jumped sixteen of the twenty fences well. 

Max pulled him up four from the finish but he was never touched with the stick and he should come on plenty for his first experience.  

As expected he was difficult to lead up in the paddock and it is to be hoped that he will be a little more manageable in future.   
As expected he was difficult to lead up in the paddock and it is to be hoped that he will be a little more manageable in future.   

As expected he was difficult to lead up in the paddock and it is to be hoped that he will be a little more manageable in future.   
Nick’s chance in the Mens Open lasted all of four fences. He took his customary strong hold and after winging the first two fences he was very lit him up. So much so that his saddle slipped badly forward and after jumping the next he was in front and Max very wisely took him out of the race soon after. 

Both have been given entries for Charm Park next Sunday and all being well will take their chances. 

We are toying with the idea of sitting closer to the pace with Nick and utilising his jumping, the only problem is that it will put a little extra pressure on his stamina.  
As expected he was difficult to lead up in the paddock and it is to be hoped that he will be a little more manageable next time.
Nick’s chance in the Mens Open lasted all of four fences. He took his customary strong hold and after winging the first two fences he became ever more lit up. 
So much so that his saddle slipped badly forward and after jumping the next he was in front and Max very wisely took him out of the race soon after. 

Both have been given entries for Charm Park next Sunday and all being well will take their chances. 

We are toying with the idea of sitting closer to the pace with Nick and utilising his jumping, the only problem is that it will put a little extra pressure on his stamina.  
Left: Nick and Max with a slipped saddle at Mordon.
As expected he was difficult to lead up in the paddock and it is to be hoped that he will be a little more manageable in future.   
Nick’s chance in the Mens Open lasted all of four fences. He took his customary strong hold and after winging the first two fences he was very lit him up. So much so that his saddle slipped badly forward and after jumping the next he was in front and Max very wisely took him out of the race soon after. 

Both have been given entries for Charm Park next Sunday and all being well will take their chances. 

We are toying with the idea of sitting closer to the pace with Nick and utilising his jumping, the only problem is that it will put a little extra pressure on his stamina.  
Nick’s chance in the Mens Open lasted all of four fences. He took his customary strong hold and after winging the first two fences he was very lit him up. So much so that his saddle slipped badly forward and after jumping the next he was in front and Max very wisely took him out of the race soon after. 

23 Feb

Disastrous afternoon at Malton with Milo and Max crashing down at the open ditch. He hasn't ever looked like falling in his schooling at home but his inexperience clearly showed today.

He appears fine with the exception of a bloodied nose and may suffer some stiffness in the morning. However, one positive to take is that he may respect the fences a little more in future.

Thankfully Max was also fine and proving what a brave rider he is, he took him over three hurdles and three more fences afterwards. Max wants him to still run on Sunday for the experience and we will decide in a day or too as to whether he accompanies Nick.  

The pair breezed together prior to the schooling and also worked with one another up the 7f all-weather gallop ahead of us coming back home.

With the weight firmly in Nick's favour, it was always going to be a one sided affair. Nick, who jumped six fences without any fireworks and to be honest, he didn't really sparkle, despite winning the gallop by a couple of lengths under Sara.

19 Feb 

Max joined us at the college for a morning's schooling with Nick and Joey (Sara).

The last named only came for a canter but he seemed to enjoy himself and our fingers remain crossed that he stands this remedial work.  

Sagar rode Nick while Max and Milo teamed up and they each jumped fifteen fences.

Milo got more proficient as the schooling progressed and is just one more schooling session away from his debut at Morden in the 3m maiden next Sunday.

Nick was his usual exemplary self and looks really happy with life just now.

They completed their mornings exercise with a circuit-and-a-half piece of work with Nick much the best. Milo wants a good stamina test to bring out the best in him 

Nick will go in the Mens Open, all being well and will accompany Milo to Malton on Thursday.  


15 Feb

Very busy morning as we were up early to muck out and then a trip to Newark to give Milo and Nick a blast up Brownies gallop.

Sagar set the pace aboard Milo with Nick (Sara)  and an unraced in behind and Bellapais Abbey waiting at the back.

Bellapais Abbey easily went past them all with our pair of pointers both finishing alongside one another.

Milo will have found the 7f gallop very much on the short side and he was also giving the best part of a stone away.

View gallop

We still have Nick in the rearranged meeting at Duncombe Park on Saturday but will probably wait until Morden the following week for them to make their point debut's. 

12 Feb 

A morning at the college in the indoor arena with our own fence accompanying Nick (Sara), Milo (Sagar) and Joey (Ashleigh) in the horsebox . 

Plenty of trotting and cantering for the trio with Milo being a difficult bugger as always.

Sagar jumped him about ten times over the home made fence and he jumped well while he also gave Nick a pop before we left.

Joey had his first day at the college in what is probably heading on now for a year and behaved impeccably .  

9 Feb

We set off to the college with Milo and Nick and our schooling fence but were forced to turn back owing to the persistent snow.

Really is p*@#ing me off this weather and plans are to attemp to go this coming Sunday.

Although entered for the Sinnington this Sunday, Nick wouldn't be going as he has missed too much work.

8 Feb 

With the weather unrelenting we have decided not to run Nick over the weekend. He hasn't had a gallop since last Thursday (2nd) and would more than likely need the run were we to take him.

Plan C about to be wheeled out but not sure exactly what that is. Might take Nick and Milo to the indoor at the college for a canter and some schooling tomorrow.  

Big fat Joey (Buchanty Spout) now ready to start cantering. Anyone want to come and help out!

4 Feb

Another wasted entry fee with Witton Castle off tomorrow and we now have to switch to Plan B.

Nick will get an entry at Duncombe Park next weekend in the Novice Riders Race and at least we will have the best rider in the race.

3 Feb 

Milo had his name confirmed as Tegenaria Atrica at a cost of £335. The BHA really do their best not to encourage owners into racehorse ownership.

How can they justify that ridiculous amount just to give a name to a horse? This is the last time that I will buy a none UK/Irish bred horse that is unnamed. Utter utter disgrace. 

2 Feb 

A sad day for personnel reasons but on a brighter note - weather permitting - Nick will make his debut for us in the Mens Open at Witton Castle on Sunday. We took him to the college for a blow out with Sara letting him stride on for the last lap. He seems on really good terms with himself. 

We just don't know how he will go but as he is fit and healthy he may as well take his chance as we can only learn more about him.

A good run wouldn't surprise me at all but there is a slight question mark as to him getting the trip. He does tend to take a good hold in his races and he will be ridden to get home. 

30 Jan

Nick and Milo both had a journey to Sheriff Hutton point-to-point course for a morning's schooling with Max aboard. Both went solo with each jumping well.

Nick has an entry at Witton Castle on Sunday in the Mens Open and all being well will take his chance. Milo has yet to be registered with Weatherbys with a name or Hunters certificate but may go to Morden at the end of next month.

27 Jan 

Booked the indoor arena at the college for some schooling over hurdles but when your luck is out nothing seems to go as you want it. There were no hurdles to be seen so after trotting and cantering with Nick (Sara) and Milo (Ashleigh), Sara jumped both over cross poles and an upright. Nick was electric while Milo was pretty good and should get quicker as he gains experience.

We are hopefully going to Malton for a school over the big fences first thing tomorrow morning providing the ground is suitable with the same two guys.

Witton Castle on 5 February and the Mens Open a likely starting point now for Nick while tentatively Morden on 26 February for Milo.

25 Jan 

Having not been happy with Hugo for the past few weeks it was judgement day for the big lad with Peter the Vet coming to scan his troublesome leg.

Sadly he needs six-to-eight weeks of very light exercise and then another scan to see if he will be able to do anything more strenuous. That will take things towards the end of March and with the prospect of the ground drying out it doesn't seem worth persevering this season.

The Yorkshire area hasn't even started yet and we are looking at Hugo missing the whole campaign and returning as an 8yo.  I can't help thinking that he will never show what he is capable of.

Just as much a pain-in-the-backside for us as for him as he loves his jumping and racing and perhaps it will never be proven, but I promise you he is a good horse. Too good to stay a maiden! 

Having digested the entries for Sunday at Thorpe Lodge it was decided that taking on some top class rivals first time out wouldn't do Nick any good and we have aborted the idea of running.

Where to go next? Maybe Witton Castle with Nick in the Mens Open and Milo in the Maiden. 

Bad day all round really.

22 Jan  

Update to earlier today and after speaking with Max it seems he will be going to the rescheduled Sherriff Hutton meeting so as a consequence, we are on the look out for a jockey.

I decided that it is best to put Nick in the Mens Open as there is unlikely to be a suitable jockey in the Novice riders race while Sam Drake isn't available for the Ladies Open. 

22 Jan

Sunday at the college and Nick (Sara) and Milo (Sagar) had a good test without leaving the ground as that will come later in the week for both.

Puzzling mornings work as Milo went every bit as well, if not better, than his workmate and I am inclined to think that Nick wasn't at his best.

Whatever the conclusion Milo is going the right way. Nick will get an entry for Thorpe Lodge next Sunday in the Novice Riders race while Milo is a good schooling session or two away from a run.  

13 Jan

Took  Milo (Sagar) to Moorhouse for a showjumping school as to further his education.

He had a pop round after the show had finished and jumped well in the main but for a couple of mistakes.

He is looking quite fit and I was only thinking that when Hugo made his debut at North Carlton last year, Milo looks fitter than he did. It really is just getting some schooling over the big fences into him before he can have an entry. However, he still has to work off the bridle yet!.

We are due to take Milo and Nick to Sherriff Hutton on Monday for a schooling session with Max over their point-to-point fences, but with the weather as it is we could be in for a change of plan. 

9 Jan

Nick (Sara) and Milo (Paige) had a morning at David Brown's Newark yard with Sara making plenty of use of her mount and kicking on while Bellapais Abbey sat in behind under Paul Nolan.

Nick disapointed with his tame finishing effort while Milo, who was allowed to do his own thing, looks a stayer and things are starting to sink in as to what is required of him.

Running plans still up in the air though.     

8 Jan

Both Nick and Milo along with the pony Tess had a morning at Escrick Cross Country course with Nick (Sara) keeping his feet firmly on the ground but Milo (Sagar) jumping around thirty different obsticles.

The experience will bring Milo on a bundle and as he jumped really well. The pair are going to David Brown's yard for a gallop tomorrow on the 7f all-weather surface.

1 Jan 

A morning at the college with Sara partnering both Nick and Milo. Both guys went solo with Nick tanking off for his first circuit and the fitter he gets, the more difficult he is to restrain. We have no doubts that when he is racing fit he is going to have to be ridden with 'balls of steel'

Milo went nicely and he seems to be learning more about what his job is going to be. Seems more relaxed than he was earlier on his visits here and the donkey's at the college don't seem too be as much of a worry for him as they used to be.   

Might be that we go to North Carlton with Nick three weeks today for the Men's Open where the course and ground should be suitable for him.  

2011 Diary 

24 Dec 

Christmas Eve at the college with Milo and Saint Nick. Max came down to school both although Nick doesn't require much practice as he is simply the best when faced with some birch and he jumped six fences brilliantly.

Sara rode him on the gallops and he was allowed his head for the last lap and a half and strode out well clear of a hard held Milo.

The last named schooled over nine hurdles and got better each time. He probably won't be the quickest but he is getting more clued up as to what his job is, although still green.

The donkey's in the nearby paddock were a little less intimidating for him than previously also. 

23 Dec 

Cottenham now out of the question for Hugo as the entry deadline has passed and he still isn't right. Still experiencing a little heat in a tendon and it is really depressing.

We will get it scanned if no better after Christmas.

Max coming to the college tomorrow to ride school Milo and Nick providing the ground is not too soft.

Joey (Buchanty Spout) doing his roadwork but we will stop if there is any occurrence of his old leg problems. 

18 Dec

A morning at the college with Nick (Sara) but in all honesty a waste of time. The surface was still covered in frost, especially where the tree's covered any sun and after a couple of hacks around, it was decided to call it a day.

Hugo's near fore colder than of late and a little we are a bit more optimistic but Cotternham looks doubtful now.

13 Dec

Took both Hugo and Nick to David Brown's yard  - near Southwell - this morning with the pair working up the 7f gallop with Bellapais Abbey.  

The latter is looking like a different horse to the one that arrived there earlier in the year, he has grown and looks well muscled up now following his enforced break, and might make his reapearence at Sedgefield or Doncaster later in the month.

Nick (Paul Nolan) and Bellapais Abbey (Phil Varley) paired up with Hugo (Sara) - who wouldn't have the 'toe' of the others -  sat in behind.

As expected Hugo was off the bridle and left behind when the other two quickened and Bellapais Abbey won the gallop by a couple of lengths.

That was the first time we have done anything more than a good canter with Nick and I was delighted with him. Hugo finished about a dozen lengths behind but 7f isn't his game and he is in great form.

The 6yo jig-jogged all the way back from the gallop and is in a good place with himself just now. He is likely to take up an engagement at Cottenham at the end of the month providing all the paperwork can be sorted out .

A good mornings work by all three. 

11 Dec 

Our usual Sunday at the college and with the frost going as fast as it arrived the day before, Max came down to school both Nick and Hugo. Both schooled well and each jumped nine fences solo. The rest of the morning was pretty steady with Hugo (Kate having her first day on the gallops) Nick (Sara) and Milo (Max) cantering six circuits of the all-weather.

Tuesday we are taking Nick and Hugo to David Brown's to work with Bellapais Abbey.

6 Dec

Spoke with trainer David Brown today regarding future racing plans for Bellapais Abbey.

We contemplated pointing him ourselves but in the end decided that he will race on for his present handler. The son of Shernazar is probably a couple of weeks from gaining an entry and less than a month off racing.

Plans still in the air but I am still anticipating going for a bumper. We are going to take Nick and Hugo to work with him  - probably in the new year - and that will tell plenty about where we stand with Nick in particular.

4 Dec

Hugo (Sara) and Nick (Sagar)  had a morning at the college. No schooling but a good workout of six times around the 6f circuit.

Hugo did his normal steady canter until working faster for the final lap and for the first time Nick was allowed to stride on with his stablemate. Sara seemed to think there was some but not a massive amount left in the locker on Hugo, while Sagar was impressed with Nick.

The French bred took a good hold of the bridle when allowed to stay upsides Hugo and barley came out of second gear.

Given the fact that he jumps so well he naturally has us excited.

27 Nov 

Our usual schooling morning was blighted with Max unable to attend owing to visiting his mother on her birthday and Sagar also in-disposable at David Brown's.

Just as well really as the very windy conditions would have made it difficult so Sara had the ride on both with Hugo going round the circuit five times - the last when being aloud to stride on - and finishing a little tired. Sara made Nick work hard as he did - we calculated around six miles - more than usual although he did everything without her ever letting go of his head.

We had planned to take Hugo to Cottenham today had he been fit enough, however that plan was shelved a while back, just as well as there were only 24 runners due to the firm ground and he definitely would not have run on that surface after Hornby Castle last season.

20 Nov

A schooling morning at the College for Hugo and Nick. Max and Sagar sat on both but for the jumping practice Hugo and Sagar teamed up and so did the other pair. Nick is very very good and very very brave almost too brave while Hugo is a pro after his introduction to pointing last term.

Hugo strode on by himself for the final lap while Nick just cantered throughout but they jumped upsides for the schooling. Both are in good form and we can't wait to get Nick into full swing.

13 Nov

First trip to the gallops this month tells it all. Horsebox at long last fixed and took both Hugo (Sara) and Nick (Max) for a schooling session at the College. Both jumped well with Hugo jumping nine fences and was brilliant each time. Max then had the leg up on Nick and he jumped six hurdles and the same amount of fences without any problem. Cottenham's second meeting in December is the possible starting point for Hugo.

11 Nov

Nick (Sara) and Hugo (Sagar) went showjumping this evening. Hugo performing slightly better than his companion but a good night for the boys who were enjoying something a little different.

30 Oct

We had arranged for Max to come and school Hugo at the Racing College only for the horsebox failing to start. Poor Max almost made the trip over from Malton before I had been able to tell him the problems we were having. Need to get the wagon fixed.

23 Oct

Took Milo (Sagar) and Hugo (Sara) to the college for a canter and a little bit extra after deciding not to school owing to the lack of recent rain. Max was cancelled. 

Hugo looks a picture and is on course to make his debut on 27 November while Milo might join him for an educational run although he is as green as grass.

Both will have a 'pop' at the Iron Horse this week - maybe Wednesday evening - and over the big fence that we made.

17 Oct 

Nick was clipped and behaved impeccably. His manners are just out of this world! View Clipping

16 Oct 

We took three to the gallops today with Milo having his second visit accompanied by  Hugo and Nick (Symphonick).

Just a routine canter four times around the 6f all-weather surface and a schooling session with Milo proving the most difficult. He jumped four hurdles but Sagar (rider) was less than complementary about the giant roan - effing wooden mouthed, no steering and no brakes were mentioned -  and he will have a few trips elsewhere before jumping the hurdles again.

Sara rode Nick and reports him to be the nicest ride she has ever had and was tempted to let him stride on to see what the engine is like but resisted the urge. Hugo was schooled by Max over the fences and was v. good with a capital V.  Cottenham is six weeks away but I haven't seen anything yet to change those plans. 

13 Oct

Never Forget Poppy and Milo both had an evening at the gallops.

NFP or Hugo as we call him was brilliant. Max Johnson took him over two plain fences and the ditch twice and was near perfect each time. Milo is a huge green elephant and had his first taste of the hurdles there, jumping the first from virtually a standing position but was much better the second time. In the fading light we thought it best to call time on his jumping practice afterwards. Hugo, who reared and unseated Sara prior to going on the gallops although through no fault of his own, did a bit more than Milo who was held together throughout by Max. 

12 Oct

Buchanty Spout had fifty minutes on the walker in the rain while we all enjoyed mucking out. We have got to keep a close eye on his off-fore as that was the one that caused him all his troubles last season.

11 Oct

We have decided to take both Never Forget Poppy and Milo to the gallops on Thursday. The former has been there many times and loves the place but it will be the first time for the big guy. With Max Johnson  attending the college this week, we thought it would be a good opportunity for them to have a school providing there is enough juice in the ground.   

9 Oct

Styleyf has retired for the season after finishing sixth at Warwick last Saturday. With the ground turning soft by the end of the afternoon (officially good to firm!) coupled with her running too freely, in the circumstances ran pretty well. She is for sale at the right price as we have others coming through.

8 Oct

We had some excellent news this week with Joey ( Buchanty Spout) given the all clear after being scanned following his tendon problem of earlier in the year.

He is very fat and will take some getting ready for the upcoming point-to-point season and as a consequence his campaign will begin later than the other three. 

Earlier news

Mandy's Maestro ran right up to his best with a game second at Stratford on 24 September.  View Race

He was in the front two throughout but couldn't get to the winner and although he didn't add to his Huntingdon win last season, he has paid his way with three seconds and a fourth from six starts.

We have decided that he has done enough for the season and is living out for the time being.

Straffan Cyclone finished third over 1m6f and has been retired as there isn't sufficient races for him this season and the 9yo will have a retirement with us for the rest of his life.

Never Forget Poppy has been back in work since the start of August and is ahead of the other point-to-pointers in terms of fitness.

The 6yo is now making regular trips to the gallops and early signs are positive. He looks stronger and more mature than the baby he was, of last season.

Symphonick is a joy to have around the place with his impeccable manners and his chilled out way of doing things.

Its early days for him at the moment and he is going on the horse-walker for an hour each morning as well as ridden or lunged in the menage.

Like Hugo, he will be making regular trips to the gallops from now on and we love him to bits. 

Unamed (Pet name Milo) has been over trotting poles and is ridden and lunged daily but just what there is lurking in his huge frame is still anyone's guess.

At 17.1hh he is still going to need time but we are going to press on with his education and hopefully things will click into place. 

Bellapais Abbey has undergone a successful knee operation and is back in light work with David Brown. His trainer and everyone who has ridden him are convinced that he is smart and the plan remains to win a bumper before mulling over future options.