25/09/2014 9:53am

The New Yard Opens Its Doors to the Public

It has been a quiet week for the yard, and with only two runners over the weekend, it meant all focus was on the Newmarket Open Day. On Saturday we sent BOARDING PARTY to Newbury for his first visit to a racecourse and I was delighted with his performance. He was the consummate professional before, during and after the race. Both myself and Martin Lane were worried about what he would think of the soft ground, and it therefore came as no surprise when Martin concluded that although he travelled very well through the race, he just struggled to pick up when the pace quickened. The racecourse exp...
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15/09/2014 4:55pm

Wet Sail to Run For New Owners at Ayr & Newmarket Open Day

Well it has been an interesting weekend and a slight bump back to earth. I thought I would have two big chances in Channel 4 races on Friday and Saturday but it turned out to be anything but. BUCKLAND ran on Friday in the Mallard Stakes at Doncaster, and after his brilliant second in the Shergar Cup at Ascot, I really felt he would go into the race with a squeak. We were dropping back in trip by a furlong and a half but I was confident that if he could get to the front and was allowed and easy lead then he would stay on better than anything else. Sadly it didn’t work out that way. Although h...
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09/09/2014 10:51am

Life In The New Yard

Life in the new yard seems to be going from strength to strength. Having registered our first 2yr old winner with WET SAIL and our first big Saturday winner with ACCESSION, we had by far in a way our most important runner to date this Saturday when EPSOM HILL ran in the Old Borough Cup at Haydock. To even have a runner in such a prestigious handicap in our first year training is pretty special, but to finish second is exceptional. EPSOM HILL has improved beyond all recognition this year, to the extent that for a fleeting second we had mulled over supplementing for the St Ledger, however I love...
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01/09/2014 5:06pm

What A Fortnight!

What a fantastic couple of weeks! Whenever the horses are subjected to a change of scenery, it is always a trainer’s first concern as to whether the horses will settle into their new surroundings. Well, I think I can resoundingly suggest that my horses have thrived since moving to St Gatien Cottage Stables. It is nearly two weeks since EPSOM HILL and ACCESSION provided me with my two biggest winners to date and I still don’t think that the events of a fortnight ago have sunk in.   EPSOM HILL made it two wins in a row with an effortless performance in a solid class 3 handicap. Beautifully ...
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11/08/2014 11:53am

A Good Week And a Good Omen

The move to the new yard seems to have gone down very well with the horses, as the yards’ solid form continued uninterrupted, despite the change of scenery. The first runner to run from St Gatien Stables was EPSOM HILL, who demolished his opposition up at Thirsk. Once again the ground was very soft as a downpour drenched the track as the horses made their way to the start, and EPSOM HILL took full advantage to come home ten lengths clear of his nearest challenger, having been given a phenomenal ride but Paul Mulrennan. He is due to go up ten pounds by the handicapper, but on very soft ground...
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29/07/2014 10:36am

Weather playing havoc with our runners

The last few weeks have been a real test of a new trainer’s patience as the continuous heat has provided fast ground at most tracks. Just to rub salt into the wound when you finally do get some rain, the unrelenting heat dries the ground up so quickly that it is impossible to know what you will get on race day. I have been waiting for some cut in the ground for BOMBAY MIX since she ran first time out at Lingfield. We were very lucky at Newmarket because the heavens opened just before the race and I thought I had got lucky once again when I was able to declare on good to soft ground at Catter...
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17/07/2014 9:51am

Saying Goodbye To Old Friends Never Gets Easier

Rather a lot has happened since my last blog and it was with a heavy heart that the team said goodbye to a horse that has become a real part of the family. When MINLEY arrived at Saffron House Stables we knew from day one that he would be entered in the July sales at Tattersalls, and our instructions were to run him as much as we wanted and do as well as we possibly could. As you know MINLEY won his final start for me at Lingfield and in return we were rewarded with a fantastic result at the sales, where he sold for £18,000 having been bought for just £10,000 last October. I am so extremely ...
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30/06/2014 2:18pm

Minley Gets That All Important Win Before His Trip To The Sales

So winner number three is up on the board, and I don’t think I could have timed it better. It has been a huge privilege to train a horse for Mr Julian Richmond Watson, however I always knew that come the July sales at Tattersalls, MINLEY would be leaving my yard. It was, therefore, a fantastic bonus that this gutsy little sprinter got his head in front before he departed for good. I felt at Brighton last time out, that he was running out of stamina and so decided that a drop back to five furlongs would suit him better. He can be quite lazy at home so I put a visor on him just to sharpen him ...
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10/06/2014 3:24pm

Not So Lucky…

Everyone says that when you set up training, the most important thing you need is a bit of luck.   Well… Seven months in and it would be wrong of me to complain about absence of luck - I have more horses than I could have dreamed of and have had two winners. Last week, however, not so much of it about!   EPSOM HILL ran very well, but he broke slowly from the stalls, and in bottomless ground you simply can’t make that mistake. I think he did very well to get as close to the front two as he did because he was the only one to make up any ground from the back of the field. He has now been gi...
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29/05/2014 1:52pm

Back On The Winners Board - Accession

The last month has been particularly stressful but it was all very much worth it at Kempton on Wednesday evening as Accession provided me with my second winner. I wasn't entirely convinced that seven furlongs would suit him but Martin Lane and I hatched a plan to ride him closer to the pace and use his stamina. It worked perfectly.   The Carlisle Bell over a mile next month is now very much on my radar as I am sure he will be better over the longer trip and with a hefty pot on offer, it would be a lovely race to win. It was also a particularly satisfying victory for me because it was my first...
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