27th March 2023
Plus 3 and dry when driving in..
Newbury on Saturday was not as busy as I expected although the owners and trainers was busy enough.
Huw and Richard Davies and friends looked as they were rather enjoying their day until their horse Moonlighter made one of his characteristic mistakes at the open ditch going away from the stands.
So frustrating that he has to make one mistake a race and depending how bad it is depends on where he finishes!!
Historically he has done this all his life and no matter how many sessions he has with the likes of Laura Collett it seems to make no difference!
Talking Laura, we sent El Rio up there this morning to try and iron out a jumping problem. Grand Escaparde also joined ER
Also talking Laura she had her quad-bike stolen right under he nose and on CCTV on Saturday night!!
Yesterdays point to point at Maisemore Park saw One For Rosie and Another Venture win..
25th March 2023
Plus 8 and dry when driving.
The rain certainly arrived at Newbury, but not at Hereford. One was almost flooded and the other drying..
Phantom Getaway was upped in class and ran well to finish 5th at Newbury..He like the bumper horse Heros de Romay, who was second at Hereford, are both big chasers in the making.
Heros is huge and we needed the rain that Newbury had. He was green and jumped all the road crossing .. not something you need to do, but don’t be fooled this a really exciting horse for next winter and over hurdles/ fences..
Not a spare seat in the church for Andrew Lay’s funeral. Such a lovely service and much talk of his racing enjoyment.. Andrew will be hugely missed, but he loved life and made every minute count.
David Bass and Ciaran Gethings were in this morning.
We have had Dean Billington in with his daughter Jess and her friends Tanya and Connie for a morning on the gallops and breakfast.
Sian Young purchased a morning on the gallops for her boyfriend Derek Eaten for his birthday.
Calum Carter and Vanessa and a friend came to see their KBRS horse Isle Of Gold. Joe Goldring came to visit his KBRS horse Let's Go Amigo. Nick and Shan Cook were also here to see their KBRS horses El Rio and General Hubble.
Just the one runner.. Moonlighter runs at Newbury today.. my thoughts please click here..
The Last Race by Barbara Ogilvie was read by Polly Gundy at Andrew's funeral.. Very Fitting..
I liked a little gamble
A bet I loved to place
A rush of the adrenaline
I loved to watch the race
I studied all the form
Running heavy on the course
Sometimes picking colours
An eye on my favourite horse
For me it wasn’t gambling
It was a treasured way of life
It took my mind so far away
From trouble and from strife
So now it’s time for resting
I’ve passed the winners line
Think of me, a winning ticket
And how I lived this life of mine.
Have a great weekend and don't forget that the clocks go forward tonight.. Just in time for Team Member Kate Paddock's birthday..
24th March 2023
Plus 5 and dry when driving in...
Green shoots of recovery continue?
Imperial Hurricane has shown absolutely nothing in his two runs so far this season.
Yesterday, he jumped off handily and ran almost too well. Jumping for fun on what was his first start over fences. He only weakened coming to the last and finished 5th. You might ask why green shoots, but IH’s attitude and performance that were just so much better yesterday and on that ground he won’t be long until he is in the winners enclosure. He is a huge horse and yesterday’s ground was bottomless after torrential downpours.
Those torrential downpours seemed to be very localised as Hereford apparently missed it..
I love enthusiastic owners and yesterday morning Paul Toplass, who has a share in IH (and others here) called in to see him as he could not make Chepstow..
We have two runners today. Phantom Getaway heads to Newbury while Heros de Romay heads to Hereford and for my thoughts please click here.
I am heading to St Matthews Church in Harwell for Andrew Lay's Funeral service... Andrew had horses with me in Lambourn had just returned to the fold when buying Law of Supply. Andrew never met his new horse..
Andrew was a true countryman and farmer Andrew loved his racing and country persuits....Andrews wife Jane and daughters have taken over LOS who will run under the ownership name of…The Andrew Lay Legacy.
Sean Quinlan had a day to forget yesterday when he fell off his horse after the last when well clear at Sedgefield yesterday.. You can imagine how the average punter reacted?
To finish...Happy birthday to team member Lauren Keen-Hawkins..
23rd March 2023
Plus 5 and dry when driving in.
Dry it was not at Haydock.. if you name was Laws..
What a extraordinary and emotional 24 hours for Mark and Melinda Laws.. 24 hours earlier they lost their lovely grey Grave La Klass at Wetherby and then yesterday they celebrated a winner with Equus Dreamer who they share with Peter and Fiona Woodhall..
ED made virtually made all over 3 and half miles in the Tim Maloney Handicap Chase..It was a ride David Bass loves. Seeing strides and firing at the fences on a horse who enjoyed the thrill as much as the jockey!! (Well that’s what DB said!!?).
Yes the two sides of racing .. the downs and ups?..
Half an hour later David repeated the exercise on Broomfield Present who wearing a visor for the first time really did win impressively for two very lovely owners! KCB and the Turf Club..
The Turf Club's sole representative was Edward Cookson.
Ed not only rides 'his horse' in all his work but Ed being a part owner was able to pick up the trophy.
The tieless Ed was forgiven for not wearing one as he gave his tie to Mat who would not have popular with either John Perriss or Mark Laws for not wearing one.. standards..
Penny Perriss’s Hurlerontheditch was marginally disappointing when finishing third although a week ago we might have been pleased!!
Down at Ffos Las Galante De Romay should have won but her jumping lacked experience when put under pressure .. having said that she ran well and once she understands and connects to her jumping technique she should win …
Party Fuzz might have finished 4th but it was a run so like last weeks. Going well and stopping quickly 3 furlongs from home.
From the cold list to almost being on the hot list in 4 days. Bizarre as we have found nothing wrong with the horses and have not changed anything. Warmer weather?
Who knows why suddenly it all changes and I have said to Mat many times, you must stick to the routine you know and not change anything. It will come right, but if you change something you might never know what was wrong?!
The post script on the day.. It was good to see Mat smiling and David Bass riding with confidence.. from the front! And a huge thanks for all the text, emails and WhatsApps messages of support..
Thursday..an easy day for most although an away day for Espoir De Romay, The Kemble Brewery, Duke Of Earl and Law Of Supply.
We have one runner today at Chepstow. Imperial Hurricane heads there and for my thoughts please click here
To finish.. Happy birthday to my old Essex mate Oli Sherwood.
22nd March 2023
Plus 10 and dry when driving in.
Percy Veering finally finished in the first three when second in the last at Market Rasen. He jumped well and for a moment I thought he might get up to win. Back over hurdles suited.
Lady Of The Night’s wind is stopping her so we need to discuss her future.
Blimey things are not going well, and although there have been some green shoots of form from the horses, Grave La Klass who had just run a race of potential in his first handicap collapsed and died of a heart attack just after finishing his race when walking back to the unsaddling area.
So terribly sad for his owners Mark and Melinda Laws who just loved their grey horse and Lauren Hawkins who looked after. Leigh was with him yesterday.. God this sport can be tough at times..
The racecourse staff and especially the jockeys were brilliant..
Wednesday morning brings in David Bass and Ciaran Gething to ride out
We have five runners today. Hurlerontheditch, Equus Dreamer and Broomfield Present head to Haydock while Party Fuzz and Galante De Romay head to Ffos Las. For my thoughts please click here..
Happy birthday to KBR owner John Garrett..
21st March 2023
Plus 9 and damp when driving in.
We were not expecting a winner yesterday but all the horses ran as we hoped bar Pay The Pilot who pulled up.
Poor PTP has had a tough time with his eye and one has wonder what all the treatment has done to him.
Tuesday morning brings in our weekly vet visit..
This weeks movers and shakers in the weekly BHA handicap charts were..Getaweapon down 3 to 111, Happygolucky down 3 to 149, Starvoski down 5 to 95, Two For Gold down 6 to 150 and Trelawne goes up 6 to 136.
We have three runners today.
Mat heads to Market Rasen to saddle Lady Of The Night and Percy Veering while Mrs B heads to Wetherby to saddle Gave La Klass . For my thoughts on their chances please click here
We can look back to last Tuesday and the start of the Cheltenham Festival.
We all marched in on Tuesday full of excitement expecting to see a masterclass from Constitution Hill. The shortest priced favourite just did not disappoint.
We all stood in awe as this equine dynamo frankly won the Champion Hurdle without coming off the bridle.
Hats in the air and as he returned to the winners enclosure, the crowds clapped and cheered with appreciation of what they had just witnessed.. Constitution Hill just walked through the throng like he was off on a Sunday afternoon stroll, totally unfazed by what he had just achieved..
Just over half an hour later we were treated to an even greater result when Honeysuckle got up to win the Mares Hurdle.
It was not the performance of old, but even so she returned to a hugely emotional reception. Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore adore this mare and what she has achieved on the racecourse is quite staggering.
The Cheltenham fans could not get enough and poured down to the winners enclosure to witness their return.. not since Dawn Run have I seen scenes like that in the hallowed winners enclosure.
It was magical, emotional and how on earth did Henry de Bromhead hold the tears back with so many interviews. ‘Jack was riding on Rachael’s shoulders’
20th March 2023
Plus 8 and dry when driving in.
What a bloody relief.. A winner after what has been the longest period of having no winners in many years.
Trelawne has been a horse with huge promise from the day he won so impressively at Exeter late last season, so winning in such impressive fashion on Saturday at Uttoxeter was a great result for The Real Partnership and more especially for his breeder and owner Sandra Steer-Fowler.
Trewlane should be unbeaten but whatever he is a horse with talent and a chaser in the making.. exciting.
There were tears of joy at Uttoxeter after his race and rightly so..
That winner gave us all an unbelievable kick as we so needed it, but one bright bud does not mean that the flowers were going to open and bloom as we soon found out yesterday at Chepstow when, bar a far better run from Isle Of Gold who finished 4th and without a mistake at the would have finished second, the two others ran disappointingly. Head scratching stuff to say the least.
Talk about frustration is an understatement but it will turn and we have 6 runners today to see if we can move on.
We run Faerie Cutlass, Mr Grey Sky and I Got Stung at Taunton and Brendas Asking, Pay The Pilot and Picks Lad at Southwell and for my thoughts please click here..
Six weeks in from my knee operation and at last I feel that I have turned a corner..More physio and being sensible..but at least it feels like it is improving..
Can you imagine this advert being allowed today..
18th March 2023
Plus 9 and dry when driving in.
Well that was some 4 days racing. Tuesday will never be forgotten..
The Festival really did live up to its billing..yes Irish dominance, but plenty of English green shoots for the future.
Willie Mullins won yesterday’s Gold Cup with Galopin Des Champs. What a ride from Paul Townsend..
Our day nearly started well when Flirtatious Girl was second at Doncaster. Unlucky not to win. And ended with Destroytheevidence was third in the bumper.
But in between Chianti Classico pulled up in the Albert Bartlett. He suffered heat stroke post race and the team at Cheltenham, including vets, were excellent and after a worrying 15 minutes he was led away fine..
not so fine was the mistake by Weatherbys printing team for producing the wrong colours for CC on the race card ..
it was a great 4 days although crowds were down which is hardly surprising when the press have been slating the costs of attending The Festival, and let’s not forget last year was the first year of being back racing after Covid..
Whatever, those who went won’t forget it!
Saturday morning and we have two runners today at Uttoxeter and tomorrow we have three at Chepstow.
Big day of Rugby. Ireland take on England in Dublin..
Trelawne and Starvoski head to Uttoxeter while tomorrow Kyntara, Isle Of Gold and Grand Escaparde head to Chepstow. For my thoughts please click here…
Have a great weekend and those with Mothers, treat them with love and respect tomorrow..Mothers Day..
17th March 2023
Plus 9 and dry when driving in..
Tough racing again and another good day for the Irish!..
Two For Gold was always going to find carrying nearly top weight a struggle and a standing start might not have helped. Poor old boy struggled.. whatever it was good to see his great team of owners enjoying the day. You can’t best the atmosphere of cheltenham.
Last night’s sale after racing was predictably strong! Infact record breaking!!
John and Mandy Battershall were here third lot to see their KBRS horse General Hubble..
We have three runners today.
Mat is heading North to saddle Flirtatious Girl and Destroytheevidence at Doncaster while I am heading closer to home to saddle Chianti Classico at Cheltenham. For my thoughts on their chances please click here
The last day of the Cheltenham Festival and Gold Cup Day Mat and my thoughts
Mat's.. Lossiemouth, Hunters Yarn, Seabank Bistro ew, Galopin des Champs, Chris Dream, Allegory des Vassy, Spanish Harlem
Kim's.. Blood Destiny, First Street, Three Card Brag, A Plus Tard, Famouis Clermont, Impervious, Irish Hill.
To finish.. Happy birthday to Patrick Bailey.. no relation!
16th March 2023
The Plus 8 and dry when driving in.
Wet at Cheltenham yesterday and a few more Irish trained winners!
Energumene made it back to back Champion Chase wins.
This impressive former English point to pointer is now 11 wins out of 14 starts since he won his point at Larkhill…yesterday he won almost as impressively as Constitution Hill..
Thursday morning brings Keith and Liz Ellis for first lot to see their two homebreds Thruthelookinglass and Behindtheveil.
Third lot Huw Davies brought a couple of his Irish partners Michael Sweeney and Mike Durkin (JP McManus and Michael O'Leary) to see Huw's homebred and their partnership horse Moonlighter..
Robert and Nicola Baillie were here third lot to see their KBRS horses Isle Of Gold, Mikhailovich and Magical Escape.
Dick and Anne Bradford called up mid morning to see his KBRS Starvoski.
We have just the one runner at Cheltenham today when one of the yard favourites Two For Gold heads there and for my thoughts please click here
There will be the usual huge prices for Irish point to pointers when they sell in the parade ring after races.. Tattersalls Cheltenham sales...Do ring if you would like to be involved..
Again Mat and my selections for todays winners. Mat happier after a far better day than mine!!
Mats selections ..Mighty Potter, Maxum, Blue Lord, Flooring Porter, Haut en Coleurs, Lot of Joy, Stumptown
Kim's.. Appreciate It, Coltor (ew), Envoi Allen, Home By The Lee, So Scottish, Luccia, Rapper..