When I set a target of 20 winners for the season by the start of October I didn’t really expect to achieve it as early as mid July.
So we had plenty to celebrate at Newton Abbot on Sunday after the comfortable success of Bagad Bihoue took us to a score of winners in this country for the new campaign.
The horses have earned in excess of £160,000 in prize money, and that is before you take into account Ptit Zig’s (pictured) brilliant victory in the French Champion Hurdle.
The team I kept for summer jumping have certainly excelled themselves with the best start we have ever made to a season though I have only seven or eight more to run before early October.
I am tickled pink that they have also helped to give Sam Twiston-Davies a flying start to his bid to become champion jockey for the first time. It is great to see him heading the jockeys’ table and you can be sure I will be doing my best to provide him with the ammunition to stay there over the next nine months.
July is the month when most of our horses return to Dicheat after a break at summer’s grass and we will have around 100 in training by the end of this week.
We have not been idle while they have been away. I’ve been busy shopping for fresh recruits to the yard and believe we have bought some really nice young horses for the future.
Meanwhile all the boxes at the two main yards have been steam cleaned, disinfected and rested. As well as resurfacing the gallops, I have also added a new 400-metre deep, soft sand canter which we will use for the first time this week.
It lies just inside the round gallop we put in a couple of years ago and adds another string to our bow by offering further variety to the type of exercise we can give the horses each morning.
I can’t wait to see how the horses go on it. Roll on October!