Velvet Vista runs at 5.45 followed by Astrojewel in the 8.45 ...

Neil has returned from his few days off

Tuesday, 30 November 2010



At the top of Long Hill in the semi-darkness of first lot

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." 
 - Anne Bradstreet



Dictate, who runs today, leads the string around the indoor ride

Neil has returned from his few days off, so normal service has now been resumed. Putting the site up is too technical for me, so I am sorry if you have missed your daily fix of the website. I am sure there is plenty to interest you today. We have had a bit of snow here in Newmarket but only about an inch or so, not like most of the country, who have had plenty. At Garrowby they have got well over a foot and my mother told me yesterday that it had not stopped snowing all day; she only lives about half an hour from Garrowby. I had a text this morning from Scotland to tell me that there was two feet in Glasgow, so I think we have been quite lucky so far. There is plenty more forecast but the Heathmen are doing a sterling job here and the all-weather canters are well harrowed and in very good condition. We have been able to get everything out for a canter and with the indoor school we have been able to keep everything really on the go.  


Kinsya gives the yearlings a lead 

It was supposed to be a jumps meeting today at Southwell but because of the weather they issued a flat programme and it gave us chance to run the two today. Dictate was very slowly away last time but he still ran with credit to finish fourth and if he gets away anywhere near them today, he must be in the shake-up. The mile will help and he should develop into a useful staying horse next year. Watch Chain won well here last time and his record at Southwell is two from three. He is running further than he has done before and is four pounds higher for his last win but with Ashley taking five off, if he stays the trip, he must take a hand in the finish. I am sure there will not be many people there today and I just hope the Pantry is open, so I can have fish pie for lunch - it is the highlight of the day!  


The sheep on the stud pose to have their photograph taken

We have had some of Johnny Johnson's, Newmarket Lamb Company's, sheep on the stud for the last month. They are fantastic for the land and clear up all the rough stuff, while putting natural fertiliser down. The grass in the spring will grow fantastically well but you can't keep them on the fields too long - about a month is perfect. The ones we have had look pictures in their condition and, I am sure, they will have some cracking lambs in the spring.  


David attachs the jump leads

A bit of box trouble at the weekend, when we wanted to go somewhere and a flat battery was the problem, so the jump leads came into play; the cold weather combined with standing still was the main cause. The three boxes we have do sterling work throughout the year, going racing, moving horses between the yard and studs and taking mares and foals to be covered . They are also brilliant in emergencies, when needed at any time of day or night. Both Iain and David , my travelling lads, are marvellous and drive them with great care. Anybody nowadays, who drives livestock, has to have certain qualifications and these two passed it with flying colours, as did David, our stud groom at Dullingham. He usually takes the mares for the coverings and Steve Avery, my assistant trainer, also has the qualification. It is all jobs for the boys and more paperwork and cost but if you haven't got it, they will soon fine you, if you are stopped.