Happily, there is plenty to be cheery about as I sit here on another Sunday evening in Ditcheat. Three nice winners on the weekend once again confirmed the horses are in good order and, despite Somerset being drier than the Sahara, all is well with the world.
There are certain horses in a yard of our size that occasionally slip under the radar through no fault of their own and I would say that is exactly what has happened in the case of Dynamite Dollars.
A dual-winning novice hurdler at the start of last term, he then ran with plenty of credit in a Listed race before we probably got things wrong with him. Therefore, it was great to see him win so nicely at Market Rasen on Saturday having put in a sure-footed round of jumping.
As I mentioned in last week’s blog, the dry ground has made it incredibly difficult to school our novice chasers to the standard we would like, so to see him do jump in that manner was brilliant. Dynamite is a thoroughly professional and likeable horse who I think will make up into a well-above average chaser during his career with us. He has a good bit of scope and I would imagine he would stay further so he provided the highlight of my weekend.
Elsewhere on track, a flat winner ridden by Megan at Bath in the shape of Divin Bere was another highlight and was swiftly followed by an excellent seasonal reappearance from the wonderful Le Prezien who claimed a creditable second in the Welsh Champion hurdle.
Sunday brought a double at Kempton courtesy of Quel Destin and Copain De Classe which made for an excellent day with both Old Guard and Grand Sancy putting in good efforts to both finish second.
Obviously all our horses have riders that work with them every day, but a special mention must go to Hannah and Rose who ride Copain and Quel respectively and both do excellent jobs. Hannah has quite literally worshipped the ground Copain has walked on ever since he arrived at our yard so she deserves special praise!
Away from the racetrack I have had a typically busy week working on all manner of things from preparing our outdoor schooling field to writing copy for the website. This is something that requires updating on an almost daily basis and is brilliantly handled by Lina our accounts manager who is always the first reader of my blog every week and without her, it would not end up on our website.
An owners’ group visit of 250 took up most of my morning on Sunday, but these visits always give me a great chance to catch up with top mate Ryan Bliss who works as a manager to the syndicate. Ryan is a brilliant guy who has an amazing knowledge of racing and any chance I have to chat with him is one I never waste.
My Way a dream to ride
Two weeks ago I mentioned the horses I am lucky enough to ride in the mornings and talked about the lovable Politologue, well today I thought I would touch on the second of my rides, a chestnut four-year-old called My Way.
Bought from France in the spring, I got to know him as soon as he came off the lorry and rode him for a month of steady work before he was turned out in the field for his summer holiday. I was immediately taken by him, his character, presence and unflappable nature.
Every rider lucky enough to sit on a horse that just suits them perfectly in whatever discipline will know exactly what I mean and My Way is just that for me. For whatever reason we get on well and I love the hour that I am on his back every morning.
Rarely is a young horse so focused on his work and not interested in anything else that goes on, My Way just does exactly what is required of him every day. He is not far off a run now and I am looking forward to everyone seeing him race.
Jayne’s return a welcome one
I believe I chatted about my final talking point in the blog last season so forgive me, but the changing of the seasons in Ditcheat marks one occasion everyone that is part of the team loves and that is the return of our resident clipping supremo Jayne Shrimpton.
Jayne is a woman of Keira Knightly beauty, James Bond strength and Peter Kay wit and she is just about everyone’s favourite in the yard so, with the horses now sporting longer winter coats, Jayne and the clippers are at work once again.
To give you a brief idea of what kind of lady Jayne is, she will frequently be found in her wellies, shorts and a rain mac (that I think hails from the early two thousands), with head phones in wandering around the yard singing perfectly out of tune to some eighties hit. On a rainy morning if Jayne does not make you smile then frankly nothing will.
I will leave you with the quite wonderful news that Friday marks the wedding day of good friend Will Biddick to his lovely fiancé Harriet Nuttall. They are two thoroughly decent and kind people who I want to wish a perfect wedding day and an even better life together thereafter. Good luck guys.
It is later than I care to mention now and as another big week beckons I am going to get some sleep so for now I will say goodbye and thank you once again for reading.