The hard work continues! If moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do then moving house and stables for a team of 35 racehorses has to be at least one up on that!
I’m getting well used to having paint seemingly everywhere, but the new set-up is really starting to take shape, and on Wednesday morning perhaps our best-known inmate, Kalashnikov, got his first taste of his new home when making the short journey there.
I stuck a little video clip of him walking off the horsebox on what was a gorgeous morning on my Twitter account, something that got a great reaction as he looks fantastic and understandably had his followers enquiring as to when they’ll get to see him again-
October is the answer, though at present he’s got a very light schedule, just walking and building back up for a couple of weeks before we begin to do anything quicker with him.
Also well-known is our seven-year-old Robin Des Pres gelding, Mercian King, who had his first outing over hurdles since April 2016 when running at Worcester on Tuesday night.
Mr Consistency, he yet again landed in the money, finishing ahead of everything bar the winner, meaning he’s been in the placed in a stunning 17 of his 26 lifetime starts. I really hope he can win again soon â€“ he’s a star and deserves to.
Another who deserves a positive mention is Ray’s The Money, who had his first run for us on Wednesday night when occupying the runner-up birth at Uttoxeter, a run which I hope will have given this young horse a lot of confidence.
A two-time winner on the Flat in his time here in Newmarket with Michael Bell, he’s only recently joined us after a spell in Lambourn with Charlie Mann, and I’m learning about him all the time.
He’s still only four years of age, but the good thing is he’ll be eligible for handicap hurdles now, so hopefully he can continue to improve as he gains experience.
Runners here in Newmarket as well as at Ripon (a 384-mile round trip!) will ensure we’re kept lively this weekend, but I’ll also be keeping an eye on events across the pond in Ireland, where our home town is represented by Sea Of Class in the Irish Oaks, a race where British runners have historically done extremely well.
Her trainer, William Haggas, has been patient with her, an approach which could well see her run a massive race in the Curragh Classic (Sat, 5.30pm) If you consider that Athena who she beat at Newbury in the first of two victories at that track went on to win the Belmont Oaks in America, it’s not hard to think she must be in with a real shout of winning a big one herself.
My neighbour Mr Haggas chose against running her in the Epsom Oaks last month, instead opting for education at a slightly lower level.
Now, full of confidence, she could be ready to step up in a race where Aidan O’Brien is looking for Irish Classic number 40 of his career! He’s got three of the declared field of seven, including Forever Together who won the Epsom equivalent, plus runaway Royal Ascot winner Magic Wand (the choice of Ryan Moore), but I’m sticking with Sea Of Class to amazingly make it a fourth Newmarket-trained Irish Oaks winner since 2012!
Last and final word this week goes to a story which made me smile, after reading that ex-jockey George Baker is progressing so well in recovering from serious injuries suffered in a fall in 2017, he now has his driving licence back.
George, who has a 100% record when riding for me â€“ one ride, one win â€“ is a lovely bloke who has been extremely brave and determined after his frightening fall in Switzerland. He’s been brilliant when I’ve seen him working as a pundit on one of the dedicated tv racing channels, and this is another step forward for one of the good guys in racing.
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