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27th September 2022

Plus 7 and dry when driving in.. Rain desperately needed?

Alnitak did not disgrace by any means... It was a good first run to finish 3rd. He was green and will improve for the experience.

Tuesday morning..

Phil Andrews called in mid morning to discuss running plans and thoughts on his horses..rain important..

and on that note..

Our Five to Follow competition is now open for Entries this week and will go live on Monday 3rd October. This years prize is just being finalised but get your selections in because you won't want to miss out. 

Mat was keen to say a few words on Higgs and his retirement..

I worked with Liam at Thorndale for 14 years and he’s been a massive part of my life whilst there.

I remember my very first morning at the yard, I went around introducing myself to all the staff, slightly nervous as Higgy was an older more experienced member of the team I went into the stable he was mucking out..” Hi Liam, I’m Mat, nice to meet you” without speaking he turned around, removed the horses rug and said “ this will never win a race, he’s far too fat.”

“Well it is July, we will do something about that over the next few weeks”

“No you wont” he said and walked off.

I went down to the office and Kim asked if all was ok, I told him that I’d had an interesting encounter with Liam and I really didn’t want any hassle with older staff who didn’t want to work with me, he assured me Higgs wouldn’t be a problem and how right he was..

It was during times when he was away that we noticed how much he did… I often saw something that wanted fixing and thought Higgy will sort that later and of course he did, usually with a bit of bailing twine and a story about how Pat Hogan would have done it.

He was a brilliant horsemen in his younger days and the job he used to do on the young horses was exceptional, always patient and understanding with them. Latterly he was a huge help around the place, and he was a man I always spoke to when I needed a bit of advice on a horse or what to do with a staff problem.

Always popular, on our regular Lambourn or racing trips I barely went a day without somebody asking after him, he was well liked in the yard too, always handing out chocolate to the lads and accompanying it with a story we had all heard a hundred times before but that’s Higgs and why we love him.

We miss him around the yard but it’s great that he has retired and is now back in Ireland with his family, he obviously struggled with lockdown and the last couple of seasons have been tough on him. I speak to him on the phone most weeks and he follows the horses religiously, always knowing who has run where.

We miss him at Thorndale and look forward to him visiting in the near future