Monday, 28 March 2016

Double delight in a week of mixed emotions

The strange thing about horse racing, and life in general, is that you wake up each morning and you do not have a clue what the day is going to bring. Lady luck could shine on you or misfortune could hang over you like a cloud.
Monday was one of those days. My Norfolk Terrier Oscar had been a part of the furniture here at Harraton Stud for all of his 13 years. He had reached a ripe old age yet still seemed in fine health and hadn't suffered any of the usual ailments veterans of his breed usual do. He had got a bit slow on his legs though and unfortunately he got in the way of a car when the staff were leaving last Monday. I took him to the vets straight away and scans revealed he had broken his leg but also that he had a big tumour in his abdomen. The vet was amazed that Oscar hadn't been ill at all but, probably due to the shock, he passed away on the vet's table. Considering I had bought Roy the rat catcher as Oscar's replacement and Roy is almost two years old, he didn't do too badly!
Oscar grafting as usual
Like the horses, the dogs are part of the family so, naturally, I was a bit down in the dumps. However, just a couple of hours later, Sue from Northmore Stud rang me to say Emma's Gift had just had her foal, three weeks overdue! It seemed very appropriate and it didn't take too much imagination to name the foal Oscar!
Emma's Gift and her colt foal 'Oscar'
Whilst checking out the new arrival, I popped in to see how Bavarica was getting on with her filly. Both have blossomed since the birth three weeks ago and will be back with us soon.
Bavarica and her Cityscape filly

On the track there was plenty to cheer me up too as Southwell on Wednesday saw us have a magnificent double.
Dark Diamond started odds-on favourite for a claimer and duly won like a whopping 22 lengths! Unsurprisingly, others were impressed and he was bought after the race. It was a shame to lose him as he was a lovely, kind character but the money for him was good and we had got the best out of him with two wins this winter.
Completing the double was Star Of The Stage. He has taken a while to come to the boil but Adam gave him a lovely ride to fend off his rivals. Owner George Bhatti has had to be patient but I'm glad he could be there to cheer on his winner.
Dark Diamond & Star Of The Stage victorious at Southwell

The double made it eight winners for the year so far - the best start to a year we've ever made. It would be fantastic to keep the momentum going although spring time is usually a bit quieter for us.
Wednesday will be a busy one with four runners at two different meetings.
Over at Southwell, Kemsing will be trying to make his brilliant winter even better by adding a fourth win to his CV. He is up in grade now and needs to prove himself but he has come out of his short break in rude health and I hope he can continue his progression back at his favourite course.
Kemsing (Ross) & Go  On Gal (Chloe)

One horse I'm sure everyone will be glad to see back in action is The Ducking Stool. She too goes to Southwell on Wednesday but her record at the track isn't very good and she usually needs a run or two to get back race-fit so it is likely that she will improve for the run.
Attain (Mark) & The Ducking Stool (Nick)

Over at Southwell, we have Serendib's Glory bidding to lose her maiden tag. She ran well last time and drops into 0-60 grade for the first time so I think she should be thereabouts with Milly Naseb claiming a useful 7lbs.
Serendib's Glory (Tess)

Accompanying her will be Little Orchid. She was weak last year and has needed time to strengthen up. This will be her third run to qualify for handicaps but I think the distance will suit her and I hope she can run respectably.
Duke Of Diamonds (Caitlin) & Little Orchid (Sam)

Sunday sees the return of out highest rated horse, Sabre Rock, at Doncaster. He has had well over a year off through injury but has come back stronger than before and I can't wait to get him back, providing the ground isn't too soft. He isn't fully wound up as it was more important to keep him sound than fully fit first time but I hope he can show us he still has that spark which saw him win all his five races for us last winter.
Handheld (Liam) & Sabre Rock (Shelley)

I know many of you enjoy reading the blog and it is a great way to keep everyone updated on all the week's events. However, Ross has started to put together a monthly newsletter which will give you a good look behind the scenes of life here at Harraton Stud. It should be in all owners' inboxes on Tuesday but, with over 1200 email addresses in my contacts, he may have missed some of you so, if you don't receive one, let him know on
The newsletter is available to anyone, so if you're not an owner but would like a copy, let him know.


The plaudits this week go to Annette Hall who was also cheering on Wednesday as both her selections won and she now moves into the lead.

Annette Hall 21
Paul Matthews 16
Pauline Kennedy 12
Jonathan Kinge 12
Dudley Lever 12
Jean Allen 12
Sam Feilden 11
Ivan Gibbs 11
Barbara Walton 11
David Haddrell 11
John Chalkin 10
Michael Buckley 7
Jane Shirran 6
Dee Clarke 6
George Hall 6
Nick Feilden 3
Mason Brown 3
Clare Peacock 3
Gordon Hill 3
Kelly O'Boyle 3
Finley Lawson 3
Dave Morris 2
Linda Wright 2
Dave Barnett 2
Dominic Lisle 2
Trevor Fuller 2
Margaret Buckley 2
PLUS 38 on 1 point
PLUS 25 on 0 points

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