We are weaning another batch today ....
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A very happy birthday Wendy

Monday, 22 August 2016

"Every one of us has in him a continent of undiscovered character. Blessed is he who acts the Columbus to his own soul."


The morning sky over Newmarket

Although the temperature is 18-19 degrees this morning there is a good breeze and we have had some heavy rain showers blowing across, which will certainly help the ground. I hope it goes towards Yarmouth as we have some runners there tomorrow. With my head lad having a couple of days off, I was in the yard at 4.30 feeding the horses. I always love that time of the morning and being with the horses as you soon find out the ones that are on good form. If they are trying to eat the feed out of the bucket before you get to the manger, it is always a good sign. The exercise has been a good six furlong canter on the Rubbing House polytrack and everything has gone well so far. We could still do with a couple of full time staff and let’s hope they turn up in the near future.

Velvet Voice


Our runners over the weekend did not sparkle to say the least and it has been a disappointing few days. Dot Green got very upset walking across the Knaivemire and had lost her race before going in to the main ring. She was in the stalls early and that didn’t help in the slightest. Horses can get very upset at this track, but at least we have found out and can do something about it in the future. It also poured with rain, which didn’t help either.

Our Saturday runners didn’t fare much better with Topalova performing very poorly once again. It could be that she just hates the all-weather, but I think there might me something more with her. She will be having a few tests done today. Mr Turner was slowly away and six furlongs is too sharp for him, but at least he ran on and beat a few and it could be that seven furlongs or a mile, held up like that with blinkers on, could see the best of him. A magnificent specimen of a horse, I still don’t believe we have seen anywhere near what he is capable of.

Peeps completely missed the break at Chelmsford on Sunday when certainly sulking in the blinkers and she will be having plenty of practice before her next outing. In fact she did remarkably well to finish where she did.

Peeps at Chelmsford yesterday

Our diet for charity is not going too badly with all the players reporting in with their weight loss on a weekly basis. Once again there are one or two classic types, but the handicappers and the sellers have got to start improving quickly. Both charities are a fantastic cause and we want to raise as much money as possible for them both. If anybody has ever seen what Riding for the Disabled does for both children and adults, how it can change their lives and give them so much pleasure, you would understand what I am talking about. The riding school in Derbyshire, which will be our main benefactor of that charity, needs so much tack and if at all possible we can start them on their way to an indoor school so they can ride in the winter as well. So, all participants start saying no to cakes, potatoes and chips and get out walking.

Visitors to the yard on Saturday

Everybody at Frankland Lodge and Dullingham Park Stud, and I am sure all my owners that know her, would wish Wendy Marriott a very happy birthday. I don’t know anybody that deserves it more.


Dot Green runs today at York

Friday, 19 August 2016

"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."

G.K. Chesterton.

Cantering up Hamilton Hill

It’s a very warm, overcast morning which I am sure is just the edge of the rain belt that is coming our way. It has been a hectic morning already with the York runner going off early, a load of hay arriving before breakfast and horses going out in all directions. We have kept very close to home this morning on Hamilton Hill and everything has moved very well and seems in good form. As I said we will be having plenty of runners from now on and let’s hope plenty of winners. 

Dot Green has arrived safely at York

We have several runners this weekend, starting today at York with Dot Green. This is always a very competitive race and there have been plenty of top horses come out of this contest. Last year’s winner won a very good race this year. Dot Green would want the ground to be on the fast side, so any rain would temper my enthusiasm, but she is a good traveller in her races, the course will suit, she has a good draw and there looks like being plenty of pace. I am sure she won’t disgrace herself and let’s hope the rain stays away and she can perform to her maximum.

We then have two runners tomorrow at Chelmsford. Topalova runs in the 5.45, the apprentice handicap. I have fitted blinkers for the first time, which should help, and I am sure she will run well, although the trip might just be on the short side. Mr Turner is our other runner at ten to nine when the lights will be on. He also has blinkers for the first time and we will see what he thinks to the all-weather and going back in trip. He is drawn well and it will be interesting to see how he performs.

On Sunday we go back to Chelmsford with one runner in the one mile six furlong race at 4.40. Peeps is our competitor. She should love the track and trip, Darryll knows her well and let’s hope she can get her head in front for the first time this year. All in all an interesting weekend. That, along with the final day at York and the Ebor, which is always the climax of the meeting.



I see Mark Johnston is complaining that his stable staff had a problem gaining access at Newmarket last Friday to see the concert, which was a sell-out. He is not the only one to have this problem as I have heard of several people being stopped, even with runners on the night. The Newmarket executive always say that they allocate 50 tickets to stable staff who don’t have runners on the night and on non-sell out days, those tickets are unlimited. This is an agreement with the stable staff association, but there is a problem here as I know the stalls handlers couldn’t get in to see the concert either. This, to me, is crackers as they do a great job on the night and there are only a few of them. It all must go down to health and safety matters and let’s hope now we have had the referendum, some of these silly rules will be rescinded. All stable staff with an identity card should be allowed in to any race meeting as they are the back bone of the industry and deserve all of the perks we can give them.

Maintaining the gallop between lots

We are starting the weaning process on Monday at the stud. It is amazing how quickly this comes around as it only seems like yesterday we were doing last years. The first batch of foals are very independent now and the way we do it, just taking the odd mare out, seems to work very well. The foal is helped by his contemporaries.


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