You may think I am crazy, well those of you who know me already know that, but it is at this time of year I start to really look forward to next season.
The reason being for our owner’s day brochure held at the start of September, I do a write up on each of our horses for it. This requires an extensive amount of research of all our new arrivals comprising of hours of watching replays and reading form and that is the reason for my excitement. Getting to know our team of new horses, plenty of them already purchased, is extremely exciting.
From new point to pointers, French recruits or three-year-olds off the flat, there any many sources of new talent and I thoroughly enjoy getting to know them in person by watching their replays and reading their form. That is a process I start now with a long list of our horses in front of me; a job which will run all summer and hopefully, by the end of the summer, I will have a good knowledge of all our team new and old.
Just as an example, we have just received a good looking son of Kapgarde last week called Cap Du Mathan who has twice raced at Auteuil for Armand Chaille-Chaille, finsihing placed on both occasions. He is a lovely horse and is settling in nicely.
Another example is an individual called Kapital Du Mesnil, a three-year-old Kapgarde from the family of Politologue who is currently being broken in by Will Biddick, he is a beautiful horse who Paul will bring along really slowly with a view of creating a star of the future.
Latest training milestone a memorable achievement
Back to the present and last week was a really special one for us all in Ditcheat, in particular Paul, who brought up his 3000th British National Hunt winner in some style at Cheltenham courtesy of Kupatana, the front-running mare who has finally got her jumping together and, in receipt of an excellent ride from Harry, stayed on powerfully up the hill to record a memorable win for Paul.
Kupatana has not been the easiest project we have ever had join us, but David Rochester deserves enormous credit for the work he has done with her. He feeds her every day, rides her and does everything in between with her and David is the reason she has really got her act together and Paul believes this talented mare will keep getting better.
It was a bizarre weekend with no racing, so much so that Nutty (our beloved travelling head girl) and I were almost pleading with Paul to run something just so we could go racing. We worked out that it was the first weekend since October we had not had runners, but made up for it with a nice double yesterday courtesy of Friend Or Foe and the progressive Southfield Harvest who in winning his bumper delighted our head lad Clifford.
Harvest has been fairly backwards since he joined us in the summer but slowly but surely he has mentally understood what it is we are wanting from him and is really getting his act together. His schooling at the start of the season was interesting to say the least, but throughout the season his jumping skills have improved and we are now really looking forward to him going hurdling over a trip after his summer holidays.
Sandown finale promises to be spectacular
With the bank holiday Monday you will notice that the blog is a day late, but that is not bad news this week as it gives me chance to tell you all about our schooling this morning. We have lots of entries on Saturday at Sandown with some really nice horses potentially racing and we gave them all a jump this morning.
Cyrname, Give Me A Copper, Adrien Du Pont, Diego Du Charmil,Present Man, Christopher Wood, Old Guard along with plenty of others could be bound for Sandown and they all seem in good fettle for the time of year so we are hoping for a memorable day to cap off what has been a truly remarkable season.
I am genuinely finding it hard to believe there is only a matter of days left this season and, as Paul, Clifford and I watched last Saturday’s work I think we were all a bit gutted we won’t have those exciting mornings through the summer. Sure there is plenty to do all summer, but a nice work morning with good horses having their final preparations is absolutely magic.
I am going to do my final blog next Monday with some seasonal highlights and my account of this Saturday at Sandown, a day that I simply cannot wait for. I am going to be an exceptionally proud assistant trainer watching Paul collect the champion trainer’s trophy, a prize that he has won before but for me this year is as fine as an achievement as any of his previous wins.
He’s no Sheeran, but Ed’s acoustic set brings the house down
That just leaves my highlight for this week and it stands out as I have not laughed so much as I did on Wednesday night for a long time. A big group of us celebrated Paul’s birthday in a Cheltenham hotel and throughout the week it had been rumoured that one of our owners and great friends of the yard Ed Seyfried was in line to bring his guitar.
Little did we know we were about to be treated to some brilliant songs, tales and hilarious moments when he had to stop as the words he had written to his own tunes had escaped him. He told us that if slightly less wine consumption may have aided his memory and then maybe the lyrics might have remained with him but we were unsure and it did not really matter.
By the time Ed was singing it was fair to say the group was fairly well hydrated and the musical hour we had around that table was lots and lots of fun, well done Ed, you were great.
Chat next week. Go well.