I really shouldnt have left it quite so long to do this blog, it could be a long one!
Starting with some sad news for the yard, Stephen Hero headed to Taunton and headed there with top weight on soft ground, not ideal, but with the new best thing Dave Noonan on board he jumped fantastic and travelled like a dream, only just to be headed going to the last he veered badly right but stuck on to finish a close 5th but as soon as he pulled up it was evident he was clearly injured. Dave hopped off and the ambulance took him back to the stables. Once wrapped up and filled with painkillers we headed home with him. Unfortunately he has broken down very badly, but with the love, attention and expert care he will now recieve I am sure he will mend well, he is only young and still has plenty left to give. Its a real shame as he was going so well.
Another bit of news....the last time I updated we said goodbye to Tuffstuff, well he is now back! Under new ownership he was bought back to Tall Trees. He has also since run to give our young amateur his first ride under rules, he gave him a cracking ride and had him jumping great but he got very tired and unfortunately took a tired fall at the last. Both horse and jockey were fine, just one of those things. Not sure on his next plans.
We had Gavin Sheehan & Dave Crosse in schooling with Ed last week, all went very nicely. Shanandoa & Follow The Tracks had an away weekend to Fakenham at the weekend, both making their hurdle and chase debuts. Both we thought had solid chances, although it wasnt quite to be, to be perfectly honest we expected Shanandoa to win, her jumping at home has been very good and her bumper form is solid, the ground was also ideal. Unfortunately she ran very flat and finished fourth, two starts before this she beat the winner 8 lengths at Lingfield, so we know that wasnt her true running, she is only a young filly and has had three quite quick runs, so now she will have an easyish few weeks to freshen up and enjoy some grass before she will hopefully go and win her novice, no faith has been lost, we all know she is very good. Similar story with Spike, last season he did not take two runs without at least 2/3 weeks in between, this season is no different. It was only 10 days since he ran at Taunton and he didnt have his normal sparkle and flare with his jumping, although jumping respectably for his chase debut Dave wasnt happy with him so bought him back safely. He will go again end of Jan.
We also said we were heading to Ascot sales, their last one of 2015. We managed to pick up Head Space, a little sprinter who we were very keen to get. He had shown no form for several months and was well beaten the week before the sale, Daisy was very confident we could do well with this chap, and after riding him myself and getting to know him at home we headed to Kempton, we declared him with no headgear, this was the first time in nearly 3 years he was going to run without headgear. His previous owner and trainer said he has to be help up and brought wide with one run in his races, so ideally he should be drawn wide, so you can imagine our dismay when we saw he was drawn one!! Typical. Not a problem we thought, just because they said he has to be held up, they also said he needed a visor. Dougie Costello rode him, we decided to jump handy and go for the split when the rail falls away at the 2 marker at Kempton, and wow did he fly! He hit the front with 100yrds to run only just to be outstayed in the last stride! beaten a nose....gutted, 33-1! We love it here when we can get a horse like him, that has lost his way, change everything and it pays off, there is no better feeling. Obviously it would have been better if he won, but his turn is just around the corner, he is also looking for a new owner to stay in the yard, so do get in touch!
Talking about new owners, we can now welcome yet another new owner to the yard, Mr Kevin Radcliffe, (National Drainage Solutions), he came to purchase his first racehorse, something he has always wanted to do, so we were delighted to be able to sell him Jopaan, who I am sure will be a very fun handicapper for him in the coming months. It had only been two or three days and he was back again to buy his second, the bug has clearly got him like it has the rest of us. So, he has bought part of the furniture here at Tall Trees, the legend himself, Castlemorris King. If you know us, then you know Morris. Daisy was telling him that he doesnt know how lucky he is to have secured him. Delighted to be able to train them both for him, and very proud he came to us in the first place. Here is to having many winners with him with both Jo & Morris.
Now I want to wish you all a lovely Christmas and a great New Year, we wont be stopping much for Christmas, an easy day or two for a couple of the horses but back in full swing come the 28th, we will be having plenty of runners in Jan so hopefully we can get the New Year off to a flyer!