Wednesday, 5 February 2014


On Friday we took Duke Of Monmouth all the way to Catterick,  he was very disappointing. I cannot for the life of me understand why as he has won a race this season where he battled on gamely and has not run up to his mark since. It is a very frustrating as he loves this ground and all appears normal at home, I don't understand what his problem is.

On Saturday we went backup north to Weatherby with Who Owns Me, I did think Wetherby would be called off but they managed to race, which was lucky for us as he won fairly convincingly with blinkers on for the first time which was a nice surprise. I went to Sandown with Fine Parchment who jumped well as usual, when he was taken on he didn't enjoy it and subsequently a few things have come to light after the race.

I had Nigel and Ros Kempner to stay on Saturday night, then I cooked lunch for 14 of us on Sunday for their benefit! It turned out to be a very late affair!

I jumped out of bed at 4.30am on Monday and drove to Birmingham airport where I flew to Dublin, I was picked up by James Toole and went back to his house for a superb breakfast cooked by Fidelma Toole. I then got dressed into my hunting kit and taken to Fairyhouse racecourse for the Ward Union Hunt meet. I was leant a lovely horse called Henry who is owned by Kathleen Byrne, he was an absolute saint. We jumped drains and ditches that did not look passable, I have come back looking as if I have done three rounds with Frank Bruno! We then had a very good night out in a pub nearby, Pete was on excellent form.

On Tuesday James, Fidelma and Myself drove to Dublin where we had a very amusing lunch with John Heron at the Four Seasons Hotel, John Heron is Pete Tooles uncle and owns Seventh Sky (pictured below this morning)

I flew back to Birmingham later that day and drove home to Lambourn only to discover I had no heating oil - AGAIN!

This morning we had Harry Bannister, Mark Grant and Tom Garner in to ride work. Lord Of House worked really well and is in on Saturday in both the Game Spirit at Newbury and the Kingmaker at Warwick. On his work this morning he may well run in one. Verano went really well with him, he is just waiting for some better ground.

Dragon City, Portmonarch and Almost Gemini went nicely together, they are all again looking for a bit of better ground. Sureness impressed me with her gallop round back of the hill, she is a big strong filly and coped with is very well. I also worked Seventh Sky who flew up the gallop, he will either run next week at Cheptsow or Musselburgh.

1st lot on way back from the gallops.


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