Firstly I must apologise for not updating for so long! Not only have we been very busy, we also managed to squeeze in a two week holiday, which was brilliant! Everyone needs a chance to recharge their batteries so it was good for Daisy and I to get away and get some sun for a couple of weeks.
Back home Katrina was in charge and everything carried on as normal, although a little quieter as some of the horses also had a 'mini' summer break and enjoyed some grass and chill out time of their own.
Before we went away we headed over on the ferry from Poole to Guernsey for their annual race meeting with one runner, Ballyheigue. He ran well there last year to only be beaten a head, we were very confident of a good run. Hattie Heal, his regular jockey was due to ride him and all was going well...until....firstly the horse arrived at Poole to be turned down to travel due to rough waters. So, much to everyones dismay most of us headed over as foot passengers, leaving poor Tim to travel on the next ferry at 3am the next day with Bally, also giving Simon Hodgsons runner a lift. He arrived safe and well and we were looking forward to the days racing, then the heavens opened, the course is known to get slippery when wet so this was not good news, by the time Ballyheigues race came it had been torrential for a few hours, a horse in the previous race had come down on the bend. Hattie had her instructions and headed out onto the course. Travelling well at the front of the pack on the second bend another horse came down and unseated his rider, slightly hampering Bally, then just under 5f from home Bally stumbled and unshipped Hattie in a very nasty looking fall. After much concern and worry Hattie was taken to hospital with a broken nose, missing teeth and a shoulder injury. Bally was eventually caught and he was fine, just to top the day off the ferry was delayed for over an hour meaning we all returned home in the early hours! Thank goodnes we were going on holiday the next day! Delighted to report Hattie is well on the mend and will be back riding soon.
Meanwhile I am sure you all remember our gallant old grey that recently went into retirement, well Green Du Ciel 'George' didn't fancy giving up just yet and he is back with us ready for round two! He was delighted to be back, as were we all as he is such a massive character and we were sad to see him go. He came back to his old box, all his rugs still on his door! He is back in work now and looks brilliant, the little break would have done him the world of good anyway as he had been rather busy.
The girls headed to Newton Abbot with Tuffstuff for a novice hurdle over 2m3f, a trip still on the short side but the ground was right, soft! Gavin was back on board which was great as he knows him very well and has done most of the schooling on him at home. He ran a cracker having jumped much better and wasn't beaten far to finish 3rd, beating some nice horses. He is still a little green and learning about the game but its getting there slowly, we know the potential he has and we can't wait for him to fulfil that! It was great for his new owner, Mr Aplin to have him placed at Newton Abbot as that is one of his favourite courses. He is ready to go again and we are just waiting for his ground.
On our return we headed to Chelmsford City, our first time there, with Ballyheigue, unfortunately as Hattie is out injured grand national winning jockey Timmy Murphy stepped in, we were sure he would run well and so he did, finishing 3rd, giving over a stone to the two in front of him. He is in a good frame of mind and looks a million and will be out again soon.
Follow The Tracks headed to Southwell yesterday, nothing worked out for him at all. His biggest asset is his jumping and because of the low sun they only had 6 to jump. The ground had gone fairly quick throughout the day and there were several that wanted to make the running, so we figured we would drop in, something that also didnt work as nothing came from behind. Gavin looked after him and he was out in the paddock this morning with Bally rearing and charging about!
The barn is nearly complete and we can't wait as that will then give us 30 boxes to fill! Ascot Derby sale is next month and looks a great sale. We will be attending and would be delighted to hear from any of you if you would be looking to purchase something.
A few runners coming up in the next couple of weeks and I will make sure I update a little sooner next time.