It is 5:30am on Wednesday morning, I have just walked out of my front door to turn the car on, sadly it is predictably cold, too cold. Four steps later in a slightly sleep-induced state I find myself laid on the drive-way, flat on my backside – at least that answered my question I thought, we do need to salt the roads.
That proved to be rather the theme of the week, plenty of cold weather and hard work at home leading up to a weekend that made every second of it incredibly worthwhile.
I am going to start with my very clear highlight of the week which does not take much working out and that is the lion-hearted Frodon who once again gave his all jumping brilliantly under Bryony to bravely win the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham.
Over the years and certainly this year, Frodon has taken up a huge amount of column inches in my blog, but I honestly think he is incredible. It is so rare in our game to find a horse with the talent like his, but the heart to go with it, while his enthusiasm for his job and work load is remarkable. I if I was here until next week I simply could not say enough good things about him.
Just for the Frodon fans amongst you I would like to share a little story with you. He trains everyday with Holley riding him and she plays a huge part in his success story. However, the day before he runs he does not get ridden, instead doing an hour on the walker in the morning and the same at evening stables.
Such is his love for his training and work Michelle, who looks after him, was about to take him to the walker on Friday evening but she gave me a shout asking could I lead him there as he quite clearly had it about him. Frodon then towed me to the walker head down charging along like he was on some kind of army mission, two days later after a gruelling three mile Grade 2 race he towed Michelle down to the walker with the same vigour he had on Friday. Most horses would pull out and you would know they have had a race, but Frodon is amazing, just amazing.
Frodon is a true warrior and we are so lucky to have him. I was so made up for Mr & Mrs Vogt too who love their horses so much and have had some quite wonderful days with their lad.
Dynamite Doncaster demolition
Elsewhere this week is was a fairly straightforward job for Dynamite Dollars up at Doncaster, but a job he did with the minimum of fuss as he carries on his path to the Arkle while Greaneteen battled hard to win at Fontwell in a slowly-run, muddling race which did not suit him perfectly.
He is a nice horse however and will do much better in a strongly-run race I would think. I must give a shout out to Alex Thorne who rides him most days and does a great job with him. Alex and Greaneteen suit each other really well as they are both not massive, but strong lads and enthusiastic toward their jobs, luckily for Al he is slightly better looking than Greaneteen, but only slightly.
While we had no runners from Monday through to Thursday we had lots on at home with an excellent schooling session taking place on Thursday as we jumped lots of young horses that have not yet run for us, excitingly they will all be out for us in the next few weeks and fingers crossed there will be some winners from the schooling session.
Multi-talented Rob a huge asset
Schooling sessions are always great, but jumping on grass does give us the unenviable job of “treading in” which is basically exactly what that is, treading in the ground so the grass repairs. Now, I will admit this is by no means my favourite job but does need doing so Rob, Natalie and I head up there and do it. It does however always have one upside with Rob, our gallop man, and all round superman demonstrating his unique technique in jumping the hurdles, picture this if you will, a fast but strong guy galloping to a hurdle to cross it to perform a kind of army roll or leap frog jump – a sight which never fails to crack me up.
I have not spoken about Rob much in the blog this year but today I will change that as he’s been really superb. Rob worked very hard on the gallops this summer to make sure that we got everything spot on with them and since then has made sure that they have been in top notch. There literally is not a job that Rob cannot do, be it lifting a house such is his strength to fixing a tractor, drilling something to a wall, making a fire or moving our schooling hurdles single handed.
I have now learnt that Rob has his own style in going about things and rushing him is not to be advised as it is generally met with a smile and ‘please leave me alone Harry’ but if you give him a list of jobs to do they always get down so big thanks to Rob who is doing a great job this year. Our horses have to use our gallops every day and ensuring that they are in such good condition is of great importance to us and Rob is the man who is responsible for that – all that and he bought me a Fredo last week so currently he’s my favourite!
That is just about that for the rest of this week, but before I leave you I promised last week I would give you a horse that I like running this week. Now I have said before I never wanted this blog to be a tipping line and saying I like a horse in this blog is essentially setting myself up for a fall, in fact I have only done it once and thank goodness he won. This week instead of that I am going to present you all with some facts.
Clan Des Obeaux and Cyrname, two of our flagship horses of our yard are ridden every day by a guy called Scott, his third lot everyday is a horse called Eritage who is entered in a bumper at Wincanton on Thursday, he likes him and so do we.
Go well my friends.