We hope everyone is having a very Happy Easter. It was fresh this morning but the skies were blue and it was a joy to get a rare chance to ride London Eye out. He always has a pop over a couple of hurdles the day before he runs and one day we may actually have to run him over hurdles as he is electric over them.
It has been a long time since we last did a blog, there are a lot of half written ones that have ended up being deleted, so inevitably there have been a lot of ups and downs since. It was great to win with Capla Crusader but very sad to see him then be sold, he has contributed to our good start but his owner Strawberry Fields Stud have a number of horses in training and as he is not a breeding prospect he unfortunately had to be moved on.
The Spring Mile is usually a strongly run race on soft ground but a prevailing headwind and a dry spell meant we got the opposite. Global Esteem was disappointing but he was very keen fighting against Tom Eaves and I am convinced we will have some fun with him later in the year. He will drop back to six furlongs again next time and we will work from there. Epic Express finished tamely at Wolverhampton, he will be freshened up and ridden differently next time, that was not his true running. Global Warning ran a respectable 5th at Newcastle but we were disappointed as we felt he would win, he returned lame and it is an issue with his foot that is easily fixed, so that was a relief. Helian ran a blinder last night at Wolverhampton and with a better draw he would have likely won, he was 2nd beaten a neck but it was pleasing to see him finish his race strongly and he is capable of winning a race.
We have three runners this week. Sir Oliver and London Eye head to Redcar tomorrow. Both are in A1 form, Sir Oliver has to prove himself on turf but lurks on a very workable mark and London Eye steps up to 2m for the first time which should be a positive on everything we have seen. Marco Ghiani rides them both. I just hope they do not water again given the low temperatures with some rain forecast tomorrow, as nobody wants false ground. Global Prospector runs at Chelmford on Thursday in wht looks like a trappy 5f handicap.
It is lovely to see people popping their heads out on the heath again. As we ease out of lockdown it is important that those that are passionate about racing get to see the horses exercising, be that Owners or those who are just interested in the sport. We will be offering yard visits later in the year once we work out the logistics.
Congratulations to Mick Appleby for winning the All-weather Trainers Championship and Richard Kingscote on winning the All-weather Jockeys Championship. Also a very well done to Marco Ghiani for bagging the Apprentice title and Godolphin who took the Owners trophy home. Phil McEntee always finds the key and some to a horse each year, congratulations to the whole team on a job well done with Nortonthorpe Boy who took home the winning most horse prize. He started winning off 58 and won off of 84 to clinch the title.
Today marks the return of my brother in law Sean Woods to a UK racecourse as a Trainer. I am sure he will do well and whatever he achieves this year, next year will be when he really starts to make his mark once he has a group of older horses and two-year olds. He has done an incredible job at Shalfleet in making the place fit for Kings and I am sure there will be a lot of happy horses there, hopefully he will have some luck and a lot of success.
Not long until the Craven meeting now, one of my favourite meetings of the year. There is a chance we may have a runner there but a week is a long time in racing, so we will have to see. Everyone involved in the sport needs to remember we have a fantastic product, it should be something that people are positive about and this is a sport that should absolutely work, it does need fixing though and I just pray that someone high up stops trying to stick plasters on and gets the operating scalpel out, sharpens it up and gets to work, quickly!!