Merry Christmas and a catch up on the last few days

Firstly a Merry Christmas to everyone. The last couple of weeks have flown by before the yard winds down for a few days over Christmas and New Year, with most of the horses and therefore the staff on light duties. We always find its good moment to give the yearlings a bit of a freshen up as many of them have been on the go one way or another for quite a while, especially those that came from the sales and had a sales preparation that started in July or August. They receive a lot of the routine treatments, wormers and vaccinations for example that can have an effect on them so its best not to push them too much at this stage. With the older horses we only have a handful doing any serious training with all weather targets in the New Year.

Big Bucks – not entirely convinced about getting into the Christmas Spirit!img_3875-1.jpeg

On the runners front last week on Tuesday Karnage ran a bold race from a very wide draw, finishing third beaten just a half length after being a little free early on and probably not quite having the kick to get away from his rivals after setting a gallop that was probably too steady for his own good. Who’sthesdaddy was slightly disappointing in a hotly contested handicap at Wolverhampton last Friday to finish fifth, it looks although a mile and a half maybe more of his trip on the all weather. He is definitely a horse who has to be in the mood so sometimes its best to just put a line through a run and move on to the next one with him.

We have had plenty of visitors in the last few days as well. It was lovely to take a trip down to Howard Barton Stud in Devon and see their stock on Sunday afternoon followed by an excellent lunch at the Nobody Inn with Viv O’Sullivan and Stuart Lake who are always fun company, Viv raced La Donacella who was beaten a whisker at 66/1 at Goodwood on her seasonal debut and unfortunately picked up an injury on her next start and Wetherby when finishing third in what has worked out a hot race. She has been retired to the paddocks but should make into a fine broodmare as she had lots of talent and is from a lovely Normandy Stud staying family. She goes to Casamento a son of Sharmadal who has his first runners in 2016.
On Tuesday Patrick, Jill and Abigail Whitten came to see there hombred yearling by Kheleyf out of Blane Water out on the gallops. A neat precocious type he is a half brother to Trinity River who we all had a lot of fun with a couple years ago – she won once and was placed in 6 out of 8 starts as a two year old. The last foal out of the mare we are looking forward to a fairly early campaign if all goes well.

JP grabbing a snap shot of his Sepoy colt with his brother Alan and son Jason.

This was followed on Wednesday by a visit from J-P Lim who has been a staunch supporter of ours since we started training and has had shares in quite a few runners. He came to see the three yearling he has taken an interest this year, a strong Sepoy colt out of Violet, an athletic Big Bad Bob filly out of Miracle Steps and Sniper Viper, affectionately known as the one eyed wonder, born with a defect in one eye, we picked her up for a song at Ascot sales one day – she is a Paco Boy filly from a good family and the eye at this stage seems to cause her no trouble whatsoever.

Snipe Viper under Lucy Rourke.