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Very sad news today

Monday, 11 December 2017

"Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem."

William Hamilton Gibson.

Guv_with_fillies

The Guv'nor with the weanling colts in Sunday's snow

It was a very sad day yesterday when the news came through to us that Pauline Rickett, one of the most marvellous people you could ever meet in this world, and have as an friend and owner, had died. Pauline was like another granny to Angie and I and it was always a pleasure whenever we were with her. I first met her out with her dogs with her late husband Pat and we quickly became firm friends as we had so much in common. She was brought up in the old school way from a farming family. She had ponies from a very early age and she loved and understood horses inside out. She had a constant stream of stories and you would never tire of hearing them. She was the most marvellous judge of a horse, in fact of any animal, and she knew exactly what she wanted when seeing the horses with me. We had countless winners together and other owners would love to have a share in a horse that Pauline was involved with. There will be a lot of happy memories being thought of today. Our condolences go to all her family. She will now be looking down on us and I'm sure we shall have so many winners all pushed home by her.

heath1

Freezing conditions yesterday across the Heath

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The wind was coming from the Arctic at Dullingham

There is still snow lying but it is wet and mushy and now we have some rain which will soon clear it all away. It's not a bad morning staff wise with only one non runner and we have been getting the horses out well this morning. It's quite difficult getting to the gallops, but with our position on Hamilton Hill we can get straight out and give them a good canter on the polytrack.

roof_2

Roof Garden

It was freezing as anticipated at Chelmsford on Friday night. Astrofire walked straight into the stalls on her stalls test and passed with flying colours. We shall be entering her up as soon as possible. Astrobreeze was quite keen on leaving the stalls and ran a bit with the choke out. She also went wide on the bend but, as I said on Friday, she will benefit from this run and next time we shall ride her differently.

    Four_fifty

Four Fifty Three

It was very sad to hear of the death of Peter Walwyn at the weekend. He was Mr. Lambourn and everything that happened in the "Valley of the Horse" was shouted to the roof tops by him. He was champion trainer twice, a great character, strong with his opinions, loyal to a fault and they won't make anymore like him. He single handedly put Lambourn on the map, and his dedication and hard work with their open days produced enough money to build several houses for stable staff. He will be very sadly missed by everybody in the profession.      Azure_1

The Azure Mist yearling with Tim and below being lunged

                                                                                               azure_mist
 

We have one runner tonight at Chelmsford

Friday, 08 December 2017

"Dreams are today’s answers to tomorrow’s questions."

Edgar Cayce.

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TTMAB, Topapinion and Rum Ration on the Cambridge Road Poly

It feels to be the coldest morning of the year, but it is dry and bright, which is quite off-putting. The wind is strong and is making the cold go right through you. It is typical this morning as I have two lots on the Cambridge Road polytrack, which must be the widest open expanse of heath I can find. There is no shelter for man or beast and the brave ones, like us, were keeping moving just to stay warm. All went well though and with Joey Haynes in helping out, we have had a good morning. A few more staff are back in today and it looks like we should have a bigger team from next week onwards, but don’t hold your breath.

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The schooling grounds this morning

We have one runner today at Chelmsford and we also have a stalls tester going there. Astrobreeze is our runner at 6.15. She has got all on to be competitive in this contest, but will benefit from it and it will be another one towards here experience. Astrofire is our stalls tester. She is not difficult at all, but just needed six people to push her in last time, which the starter didn’t like. Let’s hope she passes with flying colours and we can enter her to run next week. If anybody is thinking of going to Chelmsford tonight, do take plenty of warm clothing as I can assure you it will be brass monkey weather. I look forward to seeing you there. I will be the one in the gorilla suit.

09_Sky
The sun breaking through

The news this morning is all about Ladbrokes, Coral and a group called GVC Holdings that are based in the Isle of Man proposing a mammoth merger. Now my mind works strangely sometimes, but why would a successful on line group like GVC, want to purchase, or merger, with Ladbrokes with their 15,000 plus high street shops. If this goes ahead it will make it a massive group.  With the new government and levy tax implications on bookmakers, especially on bets made on the internet and telephones, tax implications will be playing a big part in this merger.

02_Pageant_Master
Pageant Master - Chesnut Yearling by Casamento ex Skiphall

If you are having problems finding a Christmas present for someone special why not consider a share in a racehorse. They are not as expensive as you may think and you can either purchase a share outright, or lease a share. Either way you do it there is a monthly training cost, which is all you need to pay, and the excitement and fun you will get in the involvement of a racehorse is beyond comprehension. It is one of those experiences that can’t be described when your horse shows ability on the track and if you are lucky to walk into the winner’s enclosure with it, those moments are completely magical. The horse above is one of our new syndicates this year and is highly recommended, but we have several others and I would be delighted to show them to you personally when you visit the yard.

Phil on Friday
phil

“They don’t make them like that any more” wrote the Guvnor this week, recalling how, when he was a pupil of Ryan Jarvis, the head lad rode out in a plaster cast after breaking his ankle.

There have been many instances over the years of jockeys riding in races with injuries which these days would mean being ‘stood down’.  Fair enough, in this enlightened age, but you cannot help but admire those who in the past defied the laws of medicine, and sometimes common sense, and carried on regardless.

Let’s go right back to the mighty Fred Archer, said by many to have been the greatest flat jockey of them all. He went through incredible privations to control his weight but still won the Derby five times and was champion 13 times before, with his brain unhinged through wasting and the death of his wife in childbirth, he shot himself aged 29.

He shouldn’t even have attended the Derby he was to win on Bend Or. A month before the race Archer was savaged to the ground by a bad-tempered horse which sunk its teeth into his arm. Despite advice to the contrary – one specialist said he could attend the Derby but only if he was driven there – Archer  rode Bend Or with his arm bound up, virtually in a sling, and won by a head.

Then there was the Duke of Albuquerque. We have written about him before but it’s worth recalling what he went through in his insatiable efforts to win the Grand National. He made his first attempt in 1952 and emerged with a broken leg and cracked vertebrae. Subsequently he had 16 screws removed from a leg he had broken earlier so he could compete again in the National. Then, in training for another tilt at Aintree, he fell and broke his collarbone but took part in the big race wearing a plaster cast. That was the only time he got round. Twenty-four years after his first attempt he returned but fell and was trampled by other horses, suffering seven broken ribs, broken vertebrae, broken wrist and thigh, and concussion which put him into a coma for two days. Undeterred, back he came the following year for another go, but mercifully his licence had been taken away by then ‘for his own safety.’

These are just a couple of examples, among hundreds probably, of sheer guts, determination, some would say foolhardiness, of the iron men of the turf who carried on regardless. 

 
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