Only one mare left to foal ...


More foals are imminent

Wednesday, 03 April 2019

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."

Thornton Wilder.

A nice steady canter

Break Cover

It’s another bright cold morning but showers are once again on the agenda. It did rain yesterday afternoon for quite a while, but we could still do with a lot more. It was a hectic day yesterday with horses going in every direction, both in the training yard and at the stud, and we are covering another mare today. Two of the mares that are hanging on are imminent, fully waxed up and they must foal either today or tonight. All the horses are getting a good exercise although we are one down in the yard and one down on the riding front. I have been using the Farm canter mainly but have also sent a couple of horses over to the Bury Side gallops.

Walking back to the yard with Belle Bayeux leading the way

I see the BHA has picked a new chairman. Annamarie Phelps has been appointed the permanent successor to Steve Harman. I can honestly say I have never heard of this lady but according to the paper she has got a depth of experience in sport regulations, including five years as chairman of British Rowing, so at least she will know all about horse racing and how it all works. She was also in charge of the investigation of bullying in the British cycling team. She was evidently a unanimous choice of the nomination committee, whose chairman said ‘we are delighted to appoint a candidate of such high calibre’. We will all have to watch with interest and hope that it works out, but I have my doubts as somebody with no knowledge of racing, in my opinion, is not what we want. I don’t mind somebody who understood it and is a business person, i.e., Peter Savill, but we will just have to wait and see.

Information board

It is the start of the Grand National meeting tomorrow and Richard and I will be having our tipping competition once again. After his lucky win at Cheltenham I will be trying my best to square it all up this week. With the National full of Gordon Elliott runners, I think it is 12 at the last count, the main prize looks destined to go back to Ireland. The Grand National has always been a race that anybody, including the minnows, had a chance to win, but now it just seems that we may as well give it to the big battalions. To me, racing is going completely the wrong way, both on the flat and over jumps, with the big getting much bigger. Horse prices are being inflated by the agents, pushing them out of the reach of normal people. If the authorities don’t watch out the smaller owners and trainers will leave the sport in their droves as they are starting to do now. We will still get the crowds who just go to drink and have a bet, but the professionals who earn their living, especially in the lower to middle range, are being pushed out very quickly.


Happy Birthday Richard

Tuesday, 02 April 2019

"When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them."

Chinese Proverb.

A good canter

It's not very windy or wet yet but the forecast is for it to come here mid morning and then continue on through the whole week. If we do have the rain they are forecasting it will do nothing but good. The yard is ticking over well this morning with everything having a good exercise using both sides of the heath.

Working well

It was a mixed day with the runners yesterday. Roof Garden looks as if he needs a mile and a quarter and he took a good blow a furlong out. Velvet Vision ran a sound race to be third and once again she didn't have all the luck go her way. I was very pleased how she settled and there will be plenty of improvement yet in her. Pageant Master needed the race but ran creditably for a long way and will strip a lot fitter next time. Quanah looks as if he needs a mile and he will be much straighter after this first outing of the year. I'm sure all four will be winning races this season. We were going to have another runner today but unfortunately had a problem overnight which I'm sure we can sort out quickly and it won't be long before she'll be seen in public.

Cantering on Racecourse Side

It's a busy morning on the stud with two coverings again today, one down at Whitsbury and the other one much closer to home at Cheveley Park. We have not had any more foals still. One mare has nearly gone a year but she is now well waxed up though and let's hope the foaling is imminent. We have heard other studs saying their mares are foaling late beyond their due dates this year. 


Everyone at the yard and at the stud wish Richard Marriott a very "Happy Birthday", and good luck at his flower show today!

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