The horses have continued in relatively good form with a couple of winners as well as a series of placed efforts in the last two weeks or so. Starting at Worcester, where we were happy with Mac Tottie's display on debut to finish a close forth at Worcester under Tom Scudamore. He's made a lot of progress at home in a relatively short space of time, though still showed signs of greenness throughout. Despite this, he looked the winner at the furlong pole but just got tired up the run in to only be beaten three lengths. He was in front for a long way so he is sure to have learnt from that experience and we'll look to find a race for him in the next few weeks.
At Fontwell, Willyegolassiego ran a cracker to only be beaten half a length into second. It's always very frustrating to finish a close second but there was a good way back to the third and her jumping seemed to significantly improve as the race went on, so there are plenty of positives to take from that run. She is still lightly raced over hurdles and judging by her progress on the flat, she could hopefully be well treated in that code.
Code Of Law ran another solid race and a bad blunder at the third last as they quickened certainly didn't help his chances. He seems to always run a good race but it's just a case of managing to put it all together on the day, but we will keep tweaking things here and there to try and get his head in front. He's come out of his race fine and continues to show up well at home so he could be out again in the next few weeks to try and gain that elusive first win.
Billy's alarm went off in the very early hours of Saturday morning as Catterick was the port of call for Collodi. It's not a place we often visit with only a handful of runners there over jumps in the last five years, but it looked a good opportunity and thankfully it proved worth the early start and the long drive. We kept it simple tactically and he won really nicely for the Neil Mulholland Racing Club making it three wins from three starts on the flat for us. He should improve for that too as it was his first start for six months so we may keep him on the level for now and I'm looking forward to running him again.
Elsewhere, Rossetti showed his resilience under a typically well-judged ride from Noel. He's not the biggest horse in the world, but what he lacks in size, he more than makes up for in heart and he's been a little star for us over the last year or so. That was his sixth win in his last nine runs and he just seems to keep finding improvement from somewhere. His rating has already gone up by around two stone since he joined us last Summer and it just seems to be his time of the year. Stratford is his favourite hunting ground with four wins from five starts there and he really thrives on good ground. Hopefully he hasn't done all his winning just yet but he will now likely be competing off a career-high mark next time out, though we couldn't be happier with him in his current form.
Finally, I was happy to see Vexillum run a much improved race at our local track, finishing well for third. He was very fresh and ran freely on seasonal debut but it seemed to suit him being held up this time around and hopefully we can win a little race with him on the flat before he goes jumping again over the Summer.
On the yard itself, everyone is keeping busy. We have made some new walkways on the grounds around the yard with new fencing that all needs to be painted, so that's being done after riding out every morning, while empty stables need gutting, power-hosing and painting before being bedded down again. As well as this, there is plenty of strimming to do as well as general aesthetic maintenance and these kind of jobs are always easier in the good weather we are currently experiencing. I'm constantly looking to make improvements to the yard when and where I can and hopefully once all the work is carried out, we will have a state of the art facility to be very proud of.
Many of the horses are out enjoying their holidays and it's great to see them all out together in the big paddocks, especially when it's a lovely sunny day like today. They are so relaxed, their coats look great and they all look to be putting on a bit of condition ahead of their return to work later this Summer. The staff are all taking turns to enjoy holidays of their own and it's important for both the horses and the staff to get a good bit of time off to recharge and refresh ahead of what will be a long and hopefully very successful season ahead.