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20th December 2022

Plus 7 and dry when driving in.

Christmas is always a busy time for us and for all with staff and animals to look after and it is on that note that I have to say it is time to say goodbye to some dear old friends.

Firstly it is time for Imperial Aura to say goodbye to Thorndale Farm and racing..

Imperial Aura sadly broke a blood vessel when he ran at Haydock last month.. It is something he did last season and although we have looked at all sorts of ways to try and help him we have not succeeded, and the last thing any of us, including his loyal band of owners wanted to do was to keep trying and putting the poor chap through stress while doing so..

Imperial Aura gave us one of our best days racing when winning the Northern Trust Company Novices' Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and the following season he was majestic at Carlisle and Ascot, but the wheels started to fall off when he unseated David Bass at Kempton.. he was never the same horse after..

A magnificent animal who will always be fondly remembered, as any horse, who wins at the great festival of racing, The Cheltenham Festival. His huge potential was sadly never fully revealed, but then he enlivened the lives of all those who either owned, trained, looked after, rode or just backed him.. Lauren Jack looked after him all his time here and just loved him..

He was a giant of a horse who will now return to Ireland and live out his life away from the bright lights with Kevin Ross.. A huge thanks to Ian Robinson and his team of Imperial Racing for allowing us the honour of training him and there will now be a special place on my office wall for the photos of smiles..

Secondly and one that has already been mentioned is Rocky Treasure. Rocky won at Doncaster last week under a great ride from Kai Lenihan and so leaves racing on a cracking note..

Bought by John Perriss at The Cheltenham sales after Rocky had won an Irish point to point.. Rocky went on to win 2 hurdle races, but it was when he went chasing that his life was transformed.. Although not a big horse (especially by John’s standards) he had a fabulous first season over fences winning 4 races including when breaking the 3 mile track record at Doncaster (still stands I believe).. For some reason he loved Doncaster and he won there 4 times in all..

He ran all his races, bar his first, left handed as on his first run at Hereford if the outside fencing had not been there he would have ended up in the town.. shopping!..

He is, and still is John’s favourite horse, a character and not many win in England, Wales, Scotland and Norfolk!!. Mrs B will now be rehoming him and I am sure that between Mrs B and John Rocky will end up in a very suitable and loveable home for a gent on four legs.. Sound as the day he arrived..

Big Suze is the other end of the spectrum. Homebred and loved by Elizabeth Kellar. This fine big mare jumps well, but her wind will not stand racing .. Again Mrs B will looking for a suitable home for BS.. She is a lovely mare, but not a racehorse.. she too will have a great life to look forward to..

It is so important that all three horses have a great life after their racing careers..

Lastly on the good bye list is Maddie Webster.. Maddie has been my long suffering PA for 4 years and frankly she has had enough of me.. Joking..( I hope)  

Maddie has her own business Personal Touch which is thriving and she is also engaged to be married to Ben, so sadly (for us) it is time for her to start thinking of her new life.. We will miss her, but she will still be on hand if needed..(that’s what she says!)   

We or rather Maddie has sourced a very capable replacement in Maya Quist who starts in January.. Maya has been filling a similar role for Ben Pauling..

David Bass and Ciaran Gething were in this morning.. we jumped a few..

Mary Dulverton was here second lot to see their horses Kyntara, Artic Saint, Idamix, Sandmartin, Happygolucky and Sayadam.

We have four runners today at Ludlow..Getaweapon, Bobhopeornohope, Lots Of Luck and Picks Lad and for my thoughts on their chances please click here.