9th February 2016

09-February-2016 22:01
in General
by Admin

Five weeks today will be the start of the Cheltenham Festival, the four days in Jump Racing that means so much to us. It is the big stage where everyone wants to be involved and wants results, and thankfully we have some lovely horses to take to the festival this year. I am asked on an hourly basis where will Shantou Village run, the answer is we won’t know until closer to the time as we will have to see what the ground is like. As you are aware he ran on very soft ground on Trials Day where he finished 2nd in the Grade 2 Neptune Trial, this was a very good run as he was 10 lengths clear of the 3rd and he absolutely hated the soft ground. He has come out of that race in great form and we have our fingers crossed that this rain will have hopefully moved on shortly. Thankfully it is not just about Shantou Village we have several other horses going there that you would like to think can run big races. Southfield Royale looks to be a big player in the National Hunt Chase if he lines up there, he has taken to fences really well and he will stay all day. Minella Present looks to have a great chance in the Grand Annual after he ran a great race last time out at Cheltenham at the November meeting. I think The Young Master can make his presence felt on the first day in The Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase, the race that we won last year with The Druids Nephew. Hopefully we will have several other runners at the Festival and we can talk about them closer to the time when we see the weights. Thankfully the winners are still coming in. We had two runners at Fakenham yesterday where we had a 1st and a 2nd. The 2nd was Leeside Lady who got beaten by a head which was a bit unlucky but half an hour earlier Halo Moon crossed the line eased down to land his 3rd win in the space of a fortnight which was fantastic. A few days earlier Harley Rebel won at Chepstow, he had to work hard for it but he is a little star. He will always give you what you ask for and more, he loves racing and thankfully he has an engine as well so that is a good combination. We have had 5 winners in the last fortnight which is great. Plenty of other horses ran well in the past fortnight like Bishops Court and Baltimore Rock. Pass The Time also ran well at Doncaster and we would be hopeful of a big run from her tomorrow in the 13:40 at Southwell where she has won before over course and distance. We had a new 6 stall lorry made that was exceptionally well built in Northern Ireland by Annard who I must say designed a racing lorry exactly how we wanted it. The lorry had it’s first day on the road at Chepstow last Friday where it carried a 1st and a 2nd so it got off to a good start and hopefully it brings us more luck. The summer horses are now back in training and will be getting prepared for the faster ground if it ever comes. Thankfully all is well around the yard, horses and staff all seem happy. The staff have all been fantastic, Saturday and Monday of this week it never stopped raining but they just put their heads down and got on with what had to be done. I am very lucky to have a good team behind me. Becky, Patrick and Conor are all keeping very well, the two boys are growing up very quickly and are great fun. Patrick is full of energy and Conor is full of smiles, they are a full time job though and I don’t plan on swapping roles with Becky she has her hands full keeping her eyes on the both of them. Thankfully she is a fantastic Mother and the boys are her world.