Having had a very quiet and relaxing summer, there is no doubt we are now all systems go, with all the old guard back in and plenty of new ones to boot! It really is an exciting period for us looking at the quality and potential of the horses we have. We had such a lovely crop of bumper horses last year that have summered well and will be going novice hurdling, as well as hurdlers going novice chasing, and a lovely bunch of bumper horses coming through.
We are extremely grateful to our fantastic owners, many of whom re-invested as well as some new owners who have bought some outstanding looking store horses. So we really can’t wait for the season to properly get going.
Whilst all the winter horses are now cantering, we have been light on the ground with our summer jumpers, which, judging by the weather has probably not been a bad thing as there hasn’t been much quick ground around! However, with all the rain, we have been able to use the grass gallops, which would not be the norm for this time of year.
Fox Appeal did run for us yesterday (20 August) at Southwell with Nick Scholfield on board. He has been in great form at home and jumped well but the race was run quickly and the two half miles around Southwell was just a bit too sharp for Foxy.
We are taking a big step into the unknown, this week as we have our first runner in America. Casino Markets left for the states last Friday, and is now in Saratoga. There are some very valuable jumps races out there over the next few weeks, the first is the Turf Writers worth $150,000 on Thursday. Next month there is a race at Belmont and with the final option being at Fair Hills in October. He is the most gorgeous horse who has been a fantastic servant, he loves quick ground and has been in tip top form at home. I think he needed his last run at Market Rasen and I could not be happier with him making the trip. Laura who both looks after him and rides him every day at home has travelled out with him, and I think it will be a great experience for her as well. Leighton Aspell is going to ride him, so he and I will head out state-side for a couple of days this week – what a jet-set life style we lead!
The rest of the troop are all looking great and I would imagine that the first of them will be out racing in mid-September, so it is very much exciting times ahead!