Sunday, 19 June 2016

So near yet so far for Valley

It was a quiet week with just two runners but we went a lot closer than we thought we would to winning with Valley Lodge on Saturday night. The trip up to Haydock was a long one but we thought it'd be worth it as the ground was soft and that's just what the horse needs. He started as the 14/1 outsider of the lot but we knew he would out-run those odds on this going and he did just that, only losing out by a head in a photo finish. It was a shame to get beaten as the race also carried the 'Plus 10' £10,000 bonus if he had won but it was a step in the right direction for the horse and gave owner Dick Creese plenty to look forward to.
Valley Lodge just misses out at Haydock

The coming week will be a much busier one, despite our two jumpers not going to Southwell on Monday due to the soft ground.
So starting on Tuesday we will be heading up the A1 to Beverley. Spirit Of Sarwan improved to win on just his second career start at Brighton last time and he has come out of that win full of beans. He is stepping up to seven furlongs but that looks ideal for him and I really hope he can win another race before we start thinking about some better races.
Accompanying him will be Star Of The Stage. He won last time out but there haven't been any races for him since and he had a little back issue, hence the time off. He is now fighting fit and could run well, even though I think he is a better horse on the all-weather.
Spirit Of Sarwan (Adam) & Star Of The Stage (Sarah)

Dakota City has had some time off to freshen up after a successful winter campaign but he is fully fit again now and goes up the road to Newmarket on Thursday. He has shown very little on the turf so far but he gallops well on it at home and I hope that now he is a bit more mature, he can start to translate his all-weather form to the green stuff.
Meanwhile, Handheld will be going to Nottingham that day. He loves soft ground and it is just that there at the moment so I wouldn't be surprised if he bounces back to form. He has good form in apprentice riders' races so that shouldn't be a worry.
Sabre Rock (Mark) & Dakota City (Chelsea)

As Harry Bosch looked likely to miss his hurdles run on Monday, I had a back-up plan of Yarmouth on Friday so that's where he goes now. He was a bit too keen in the blinkers last time so I may leave them off and hope he can finally get back into some form as he is very well handicapped now.
Harry Bosch (Tess) & Limerick Lord (Ross)

Rounding off the week, Sabre Rock will be our first runner at Newcastle's new all-weather track. He hasn't shone in a few turf runs since returning from injury and I hope it is just a case that he is better on the all-weather. He still seems to have plenty of ability at home but he needs to be showing us some racetrack form soon.
I'll also enter Valley Lodge at Lingfield that day as the soft ground is key to him and he needs to make the most of it before the weather improves. I'll see how he recovers from this weekend's exertions before making any solid plans.

Our two-year olds are already doing great on the racecourse but we also have some lovely unraced ones at home. The Requinto gelding I bought at the Guineas Breeze-Up is absolutely flying and I cannot wait to get him started over seven furlongs soon. He is still unnamed and there are a couple of shares left in him so as soon as he is ready, he will be racing...don't miss out!
Mungo Madness has really improved recently and won't be far off running either. He has a great attitude towards his work now and I know it will give his owner/breeder Emma Raffan lots of pleasure to see him in action.
Requinto gelding (Adam), Serendib's Glory (Chloe) & Mungo Madness (Liam)
Moment To Dream (Chelsea)
The Ducking Stool (Sarah)
Little Orchid (Chloe)

We've had a hell of a lot of rain recently but it has also been very localised. On Thursday night, we had 16mm of rain at the stud and got pretty flooded whilst just a stone's throw away, the July Course only had 8mm of rain and raced on good to soft ground the following day! Our mares are teaching their foals all about the weather and managed to herd them into the field shelter to keep dry.
Emma's Gift babysitting


Annette Hall 45
Jonathan Kinge 41
David Haddrell 37
Barbara Walton 36
Maureen Case 34
Anthea Telford 34
Pauline Kennedy 31
Jean Allen 29
Chris Shirran 29
Gay Chalklin 29

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