Any NH trainer loves this time of year, only two weeks until the Cheltenham Festival, even if you dont have any runners its still something to look forward to, seeing so many top quality horses competing against each other at a place like Cheltenham is quite special. Luckily for us we have an entry in both the County Hurdle and the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys handicap, hopeful he can get in one of them, Tara River. He had a spin round at Chepstow the other day and although burdened with top weight he ran ok after some time off the track. He has come back a lot sharper and will be ready to go on the big day. Hopefully he can give his owners a good day out on what is one of the best days racing of the year.
Some other runners in the last week, Toolatetodelegate had her second run for us, after running very green first time out she improved a huge amount to finish fourth in a maiden at Lingfield last week. Eddie Greatrex on board, he was delighted with her and assures us she is a winner in waiting. She is a lovely little filly and really well related. She will learn again from her third run before hopefully getting a mark and making an impact in handicaps.
Black Anthem, he is turning out to be quite smart, very babyish and still very green but he still run two very good horses close at Exeter last week, finishing only a head third to one of Paul Nicholls that had won two bumpers including at Cheltenham and another of Harry Frys that has an official rating of 144. He jumps great and will improve again for a step up in trip, he is a really, really smart horse for the future and will make a lovely novice chaser next season, I best just mention, he is for sale!!
Hurry Henry had a good run at Ffos Las the other day, only his second start for us, he has now been placed both times, he is a smashing jumper, he jumps fences so well, loves heavy ground, and those horses are hard to find. He will carry on while he has his ground , although I think he will also handle better ground when stepped up in trip. He is also for sale to stay in the yard.
Our very own Mitch Bastyan has been granted his conditional jockeys license, something he has worked hard towards, with his fitness and dedication as well as natural riding ability he should be ok! We will support him as best we can and his 10lb claim I am sure will be very valuable to us in the coming months, so best of luck Mitch!
We had a goodbye this week as well, Catriona was having a second stint with us, having worked for us for a year before, she came back for another 5 months but I think home back in Ireland was calling! She was a great girl and worked well within the team. Best of luck in the future and she promises to come back to see her favourite old boy, Follow The Tracks, whom she always looked after.