The summer is almost over so the winter jumpers are back in and on with their training. They are all coming on well, showing signs of improvement. It's great to have them all back in work. We are all getting very excited for the season ahead!
We had our annual owner's do at the beginning of September. A fantastic opportunity for all of our owners to get together, see the horses training down the gallops and share a few racing stories over a cup of coffee or glass of wine. We were once again lucky enough to have Paddy Brennan come down for the morning to ride out a couple of horses and chat to the owners.
It’s another lovely day here at Whitsbury.
The horses are going up the long gallop again this morning, as you can see in the pictures of them galloping, from thy're muscle definition , they are beginning to look pretty well. All The horses are coping well with everything we asked them to do so they are good and forward for the time of year and well on target for the start of the season.
This year we have another two arrivals from our trip to Ireland in May, Maasai Warrior and Larcadio. Maasai is our first four-year-old pointer from Ireland, although he was only third in his point, he’s a lovely big horse that I’m looking forward to seeing him on the track. Larcadio falls into the mould of a six year old winning pointer, he’s another big, good looking, chasing type.
We also have two three year olds starting their lives as racehorses, Jose, by Norse Dancer, and Tzunami, by Gentle Wave. Tzunami is out of Kylenoe Fairy. They are both starting to knuckle down to their training.
We all had a great time up at Aintree and Doit was the first English horse home in the Topham when finishing third, a great performance. He jumped the first two and then he just looked a little unsettled at the size of the grand national fences, before he jumped another couple going through them. He seemed to gain his confidence back and then began again to power over the fences another great performance by Doitfrorthevillage.
Last week we went up to Lambourn to try schooling Doitforthevillage over the adapted National fences as he is running in the Topham chase on Friday 5th April. Tom O`Brian, who rode him on Thursday, was very pleased with the way he jumped and is looking forward to riding him in the race.
Whilst we were there, we had a laugh with Brendan Powell, who won the 1988 Grand National on Rhyme `n' Reason.
Doitforthevillage goes to the Cheltenham Festival today in the 4.10 Brown Advisory Handicap Chase 2 mile 4f.
The whole team are heading up to the festival and we’re all hoping he runs his usual consistent race and are looking forward to it being on ITV.
Ted Bach wins the Starsport.bet Handicap Hurdle(Class 4) (0-105, 4yo+) (2m3f49yds) 2m3f at Fontwell for some delighted owners.
Aidan Kennedy, my bloodstock agent in Ireland, rang me a few weeks before about Ted Bach, he then rang again a couple of days later asking if I had seen the horse as he was going to look at it that afternoon. Attheraces had taken all their old races of Irish races off the Internet, and so all I could do was take a look on YouTube to see the horse jumping the last when he won. I wasn’t that impressed as he looked a bit green and when he hit the front pricked his ears. Aiden rang me the next day asking me about Ted Bach. I told him that I didn’t like him and was worried about his attitude. “Oh” Said Aiden “I’ve bought him“. “Oh, Who for? “ I said. “You and I’m coming over tonight can you meet me in the morning to pick him up! “Ehh... okay I’ll have him then” I said.
Needless to say, a couple of days on watching him as he went up the long gallop I'd changed my mind and was pleased with my purchase. He apparently had the right attitude and some good speed.
Before he ran Attheraces.com reinstated his races, and after watching them, it was clear that I'd better telephone, Paddy, to give him the heads up on how he races. From the footage, he looked as if he didn’t like to hit the front too soon.
Ted went on to prove his ability and impress me and his connections when he won his race at Fontwell. Afterwards, as we walk back in, Paddy leaned over and said I knew you fancied him you don’t usually ring me.
Duarigle wins the Take "Em On With 888Sport Novices" Handicap Hurdle(Class 3) (0-125, 4yo+) (2m3f173yds) 2m4f.
Winners at Sandown are a bit like buses we have none then two come along together. Just before Christmas Shaws Cross won and our next runner, Duarigle won as well, Great performance by both of them.
Doitforthevillage follows up his win at Chepstow over Christmas with an amazing run to finish 2nd to Cyrname at Ascot.
Ridden by Paddy Brennan, he was held up, slowly moving into position as they turned into the home straight and then making his final effort to second in the last 100 yds.
The third horse , Happy Diva went on to win a listed race on the Thursday and weeks later Cyrname became the top rated chaser in the country. So all in all not a bad run.
Paul Henderson & Jane Patten