2019-2020 SEASON ROUND UP - IMPROVED RESULTS AGAIN WITH MORE WINNERS & DOUBLE PRIZEMONEY EARNT
Well, it is the time of year again to reflect on how things have gone over the past 12 months and to look for ways to improve our results in the forthcoming new season....whenever that may start.
As with every other season there have been highs and lows. We have had to say untimely goodbyes to some very dear friends, both human and equine, with the loss of James Banks and Fleur Du Weld very hard to bear.
The highs have been good with Richardofdoccombe & Rex Dingle winning in style at Uttoxeter in November; Midnight Sapphire running her heart out for Ben Poste to be 2nd in a big race at Kempton Park at the Christmas meeting; our home bred mare Russian's Legacy winning at Newton Abbot for Ben and thereby giving Philip and Mary Creese their first winner; and new recruit Song of the Hunter winning from the front at Taunton, on what was to be the last day of the season, for David Noonan.
We have built upon our good season last year and have improved our statistics yet again, with a 13% win/run strike rate and 7 of our 8 horses in training (87%) earning prize money. With 62% of runners finishing in the first 6 and 58% of our total of 24 runners finishing in the prize money, we have more than doubled the prize money won by our Owners last season.
As in every yard, the end of the season is a natural time of change and as part of this cycle we have had to say a sad farewell to our team member Sioned Whittle, who has decided to move on to pastures new. Sioned has been a real asset to the yard and has achieved a great deal in her time with us. She has worked hard to gain her Cat A Amateur Licence, and then having gained the extra rides she needed Point to Pointing, upgraded this to a Cat B Licence. Whilst with us Sioned also had her first ride Under Rules on Amour D'Or, where she finished in the prize money and got interviewed for At The Races by the infamous Luke Harvey. We were hoping to give her more rides under rules, but abandoned race meetings and Lockdown put paid to this. We will all miss her and wish her every success in the future.
We have also said "au revoir" to Chica Rapida, who having lost all enthusiasm for racing has been retired from the track. Chica has gone to my friend Ann Tideswell to be a riding horse, which I am sure she will love. We look forward to catching up with her and Ann when lockdown ends.
As well as our familiar equine team members we also have some new recruits who will be making their debuts for us in the coming season. These include Hooper's Legend (Full brother to Midnight Sapphire), Queensland Betty (Russian's Legacy's full sister), Wookey Hole (who has previously been placed Point to Pointing) and the unraced Pol Ma Cree.
All in all there is plenty to look forward to.
The horses are going well at home and we just can't wait to get back on the racecourse.
I look forward to seeing you all in the near future, until then Stay Safe.
SONG OF THE HUNTER MAKES ALL TO WIN AT TAUNTON
Due to the current Corona Virus outbreak and not wanting to be 'fiddling whilst Rome burnt', I have hesitated posting anything about Song of The Hunter's win at Taunton last week. However, I feel the time has come to THANK our hard working team and our loyal Owners for their support.
Purchased by our old friend Manhole Covers Ltd, Hunter came to us, from Tom Malone, in January having won his Maiden Point to Point at Buckfastleigh. He is a super horse and a pleasure to have in the yard, and he rapidly settled into our routine here.
The arrival of Hunter and his subsequent win at Taunton, when expertly ridden by David Noonan, was just the tonic that we needed in the yard, after what had been a very challenging time over and after the Christmas period.
The bleak mid winter, short days and constant rainfall makes the work hard enough, but the team had to dig really deep this winter and work extra hard, when my normal daily input/work at the yard was curtailed by the death of my Mother on Christmas Day.
The girls (Sioned Whittle, Lydia Svensson & Emz Whaling) were amazing and worked extra hard to cover me on the days when I was otherwise engaged organising the funeral, wake and then latterly the probate of my Mother's Estate, as well as trying to offer some support to my Mother's husband.
Midnight Sapphire gave us all a huge lift, literally hours after my Mother's death, by running a blinder, when ridden by Ben Poste, to finish 2nd at Kempton at the Christmas meeting. Massive thanks to her Owner, Rod Harding and her Breeder, Sue Hooper, for supporting me, spurring me on and keeping me focused when I was struggling on a personal level.
Hunter was the fourth winner I have had the privilege to train in the colours of Manhole Covers Ltd, and to win at Taunton last week, on what was effectively the last day of the season was a great reward for the whole team.
Even though our yard is very small it takes a lot of people to keep the show on the road. Without the input of each of these individuals we would not have winners - So MASSIVE THANKS from me to Sioned Whittle, Lydia Svensson, Emz Whaling, Steve Pidgeon, Ash Pidgeon, Amy Cox, Ray Dilliway, Ross Chatfield, Roz Steele, Elaine Mary Tyley....and of course not forgetting our all important jockeys David Noonan, Ben Poste, Rex Dingle & Micheál Nolan, who work so hard to get it right on the day.
Thanks also to ALL my loyal Owners, for their great friendship and support over the past season, especially in my times of struggle. You have all been amazing.
So until the racing recommences lets all stay safe, make our way through the coming storm and look forward to a future that sees us all getting back on the track and back in that Winners Enclosure again.
Much love and thanks to you all for your ongoing support from the bottom of my heart gx
MIDNIGHT SAPPHIRE 2nd WHEN RUNNING A BLINDER IN CLASS 2
MARES HURDLE AT KEMPTON
Midnight Sapphire (Jem) ran an absolute stormer of a race under Ben Poste, to come 2nd in The Ladbrokes Mares' Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) at Kempton Park on Friday.
Turning in she looked like the winner, but got beaten by a horse with obvious talent, who just took a while to get into it's stride.
However, it was a super result for Jem and we were all thrilled with the way she ran.
Ben Poste, who was deputising for David Noonan who was at Wetherby, gave Jem a wonderful ride, especially considering it was the first time he had sat on her.
It was a very big day for us all and I am so pleased for Jem's Owner Rod Harding and her breeder Sue Hooper, both of whom have been so very patient and have nursed her back to full health.
It has been a huge team effort to get her back on the racecourse and running as well as she did, and in such good company.
Massive thanks to all our team - Sioned Whittle, Lydia Svensson, Emz Whaling, Steve Pidgeon, Amy Cox, Ray Dilliway, Ross Chatfield, David Noonan & Ros Steele - without whose hard work none of the horses would run.
Also thanks to Nicky Dunford for the photos and to Nicky & Becky, and Richard & Mandy Hutchings for making the pilgrimage to Kempton to support Jem.
It was very greatly appreciated.
RICHARDOFDOCCOMBE STORMS UP AT UTTOXETER TO WIN BY 9 LENGTHS
Richard of Doccombe ran an absolute stormer of a race on his seasonal debut to win by 9 lengths at Uttoxeter on Saturday 16th November, when superbly ridden by Rex Dingle.
It was an 2am alarm call for us at the yard, as we had to get on the road at 4am, but the early start was so worth it to see Richard run again and with such an enthusiasm and love for his racing, leading from flag fall to winning post against 13 other runners.
Ros Steele did an excellent job, as usual, of looking after the yard whilst we were away.
Richard has been a consistent performer, who more often than not finishes in the prize money, but to be seen at his very best and winning, he needs soft but preferably heavy ground. A couple of dry winters have put paid to his being able to showcase his talents on a racecourse, until his run at Uttoxeter on Saturday, when all the elements came together for him to be able to win again.
He absolutely loves his racing and this was apparent from his front running performance. He literally galloped and jumped the other runners into submission. Richard may not be the fastest horse and is one paced, but his advantage is he can go his one pace from the beginning of a race to the end in a bog, which most horses can’t do.
Richard’s Owners, Philip and Mary Creese, were sadly unable to make the long journey to Uttoxeter, but we were joined by our local supporters Richard, Terry and Dan, who collected the prize, on their behalf from none other than Robbie Williams’ Dad.
It was a magical and somewhat surreal day. We are all so proud of Richard who, to us, is a superstar. He has had a few easy days out in the paddock, when it hasn’t been raining, and is now back cantering and most importantly bouncing.
All things being equal and as long as the ground remains soft, we shall hope to run him again at Uttoxeter on New Years Eve.
Massive thanks must go to the following without whom Richard would not have got to the racecourse, let alone win:- Ray Dilliway – for all his fabulous veterinary work and advice, especially after Richard’s nasty fall 18 mths ago; Amy Cox for all her excellent Vet Physio work, which has got Richard back in winning form; Elaine Mary Tyley who has helped us understand (literally straight from the horse’s mouth) and do what Richard has needed to keep him happy and get him back in the Winner’s Enclosure; and of course David Noonan, who missed out on riding him as he was engaged at Cheltenham, but whose input and recommendation of a replacement jockey has been invaluable.
We hope and think that Richard can win more races, but as long as he continues to enjoy his racing in this fashion that is all that matters to us.
A huge thank you to Nigel Kirby
Photography for the wonderful photographs of our special day.
Thanks to all the team at home (Sioned Whittle, Lydia Svensson, Steve Pidgeon, Ash Pidgeon, Amy Cox & Ros Steele) for another great team effort - another great example of "team work making the dream work".
MIDNIGHT SAPPHIRE 5TH
IN HOT CLASS 2 MARES HURDLE
New recruit Midnight Sapphire (aka Jem) ran an absolute blinder, under David Noonan, after 418 days off the racecourse, to finish a very good 5th of 14 runners in what was a very competitive Class 2, Mares Hurdle at Wincanton.
It was a very big day for our small yard, as it was our first run with Jem and her Connections, our first runner in a Class 2 Race and our first ever runner on ITV4.
All credit must go to Jem's Owner Rod Harding and Breeder Sue Hooper, for being so patient with her and for nursing her back to full health after an injury in 2018. Sue Hooper was with Jem in the parade ring, as she has a reputation for getting quite worked up. Sue's presence and tlc had a great effect on Jem who remained calm and most importantly saved her energy for the race itself.
Jem galloped and jumped well in a race that was run at a good pace. It was a fantastic run after such a long lay off and I am sure we will win races with her in the near future.
Thanks must go to David Noonan who gave Jem a very positive and excellent ride having spent a lot of time coming into the yard to ride her and build a bond with her.
Big thanks also to Amy Cox Vet Physio who has done amazing work with Jem, our Vet Ray Dilliway and of course all the Team at home (Sioned Whittle, Lydia Svensson, Steve Pidgeon, Ash Pidgeon), who work so hard every day to get the horses right and to the course. Also massive thanks to Roz Steel who holds the fort for us when we go racing.
Thanks must also go to our wonderful friend Tracy Roberts at Turf Pix for the amazing photos of Jem and David Noonan in action. They are superb!
All in all it was a very good day and there is a lot to look forward to.
FLEUR DU WELD 2ND AGAIN
Fleur Du Weld ran an absolute blinder under another brilliant ride from Ben Poste, to finish 2nd at Newton Abbot yesterday.
She has been 2nd in her last three runs now and we are confident that she will be winning soon.
She came up against a really classy horse yesterday, who was winning his third race on the bounce, bred by none other than our future King, HRH Prince Charles.
Never one to be intimidated, she gave her all, laying up with the eventual Winner for most of the race before getting outpaced and then battling back up again to regain 2nd at the last hurdle.
Her sheer grit and determination and her excellent jumping, courtesy of her Showjumping past with Professional Showjumper Matthew Hall, shone through and won her that valuable 2nd spot.
We are all so thrilled for her Owner/Breeders Jacquie and David Floyd-Walker, who have stuck by her through thick and thin.
Great credit must go to jockey Ben Poste, who was riding her for the first time ever, as her normal pilot David Noonan was sadly unavailable.
As those of you who know and love Fleur are very aware, she can be a somewhat challenging and a little less than straight forward, especially when someone new rides her. She tends put new riders to the test to make sure they are worthy...(lets face it she has dropped us all).
Bearing this in mind and that Ben had not ridden her prior to yesterday, we made sure they had an introduction in the stables before racing. The meeting went well and she seemed to approve having sniffed him from head to toe more than once.
However, this didn't stop her putting Ben to the test by whipping around, dropping her shoulder and and trying to bury him as they got onto the track.
Ben did very well to stay on board and of course once he had passed ' The Fleur Test' and having proved himself worthy, she behaved impeccably and ran her heart out for him.
She looked magnificent in the paddock thanks to Sioned Whittle's hard work and she won the Best Turned Out Prize, which is always a bonus.
It is so rewarding for our tiny team to see her and the other horses running so well.
It makes all our long hours and hard graft worthwhile and it won't be long before we are having another winner.
Thanks to you all for you wonderful support and kind messages,
it means so much to us. gx
RUSSIAN'S LEGACY WINS AT NEWTON ABBOT, FLEUR DU WELD 2ND &
AMOUR D'OR IN THE PRIZE MONEY
Yesterday was a very, very busy day for us at Newton Abbot Races, with loads to report.
Our homebred mare Russian's Legacy (Leggy) ran an absolute blinder under Ben Poste to win the opening race. She has improved mentally with every run this season and looks to have finally learnt to control her massive frame.
She is a chaser in the making, so to win with her over a reduced trip and over hurdles is a real bonus.
There were still moments in the race where she looked a little unbalanced, but she travelled really strongly and with improved jumping fluency went to run on to win by a nose.
Ben Poste, who rode her in her first race over hurdles, did a wonderful job of riding her and produced her perfectly after the last to win.
Credit must also go to David Noonan, who has ridden her at home and in her previous races and for whom Ben was deputising.
With Ben Poste, David Noonan and our small but great team at home, all working together I am sure this will be the first win of many for Leggy.
It was a particularly special result as it was Phil and Mary Creese's first Winner. We are so thrilled for them as they have been such loyal supporters of our yard.
A truly magical evening at our favourite track.
Fleur Du Weld was our second runner of the evening. This was her first race back after having over 2 years off the track due to injury.
She had shown plenty of promise, before her extended holiday, when finishing 2nd in her last run back in 2017.
We knew she was in good heart and back to her old self, as she had been working well at home, but after such a long time off the racecourse we never expected her to run the absolute blinder she did to finish 2nd, behind a good horse having it's 4th successive win.
David Noonan gave Fleur and excellent and confident ride. She jumped like a stag for him and ran with an exuberance that was clear to see, even from the stands.
I am so pleased for her Owner/ Breeder's Jacquie and David Floyd-Walker, who have been so patient with her and I, whilst we have worked to get her to her peak physically and mentally for her racecourse reappearance.
As with all the horses in our care Fleur has been a real team effort. Great credit must go to Sioned Whittle, who rides her at home and has built up such a great bond with her; Steve Pidgeon & Ashley Pidgeon who have done a wonderful job with her feet; The legend that is Ray Dilliway who has seen to her Veterinary needs whilst injured, Amy Cox who has kept her in tip top shape with her excellent Vet Physio skills; Elaine Mary Tyley who has helped her and us channel her diva attitude in the right direction; and lastly, but by no means least, the horseman that is David Noonan, who has coped with Fleur's very challenging behaviour at home with humility and dignity and has held her hand on race day and given her the confidence to run such great race.
What a star Fleur is for our small yard and we love her!
Our final runner of the evening was Amour D'Or (Amelia) who ran a good race to finish 8th and in the prize money yet again, in the Lady Amateur Riders Race, with Sioned Whittle on board.
This was Sioned's first ride Under Rules, having ridden winners Pony Racing at York, Goodwood and Cheltenham (among other places) and having had 47 rides Point to Pointing (7 on our dear boy Brannoc this season).
Sioned joined GGH RACING in September and is an essential part of our team. She works really hard, rides well and is always cheerful (except perhaps when hungry when her humour has been seen to wane).
We ran Amelia in the Ladies race purposely so that Sioned could have a spin Under Rules. Hopefully, this will be first of many rides for her. She rides well, to instruction and deserves the opportunities.
Amelia did her usual and didn't make life easy for her jockey. We knew the trip would be a bit too short for her on fast ground and they all went like bats out of hell from the start. Amelia plugged on, in her usual fashion, to run into the prize money. The race took very little out of her and she will run again soon over further, which should help her cause.
All in all a magical and memorable day at our favourite track, with so much to look forward to in the future for all of us. I am so lucky to have such wonderful Owners, a great support team and great jockeys (David Noonan, Ben Poste & Sioned Whittle) behind me, without whom none of this would be possible. Thank you all gx
AN IMPROVED RUN FROM RUSSIAN'S LEGACY TO FINISH 6th.
Russian's Legacy (Leggy) ran an improved race at Newton Abbot on Wednesday in the very skilful hands of David Noonan, to finish 6th, in the colours of Philip and Mary Creese and sponsored by Combined Building and Electrical Services Ltd.
She was running over 2m 1f, which is probably too short for her, but we felt she just needed a reduction in trip to help her get around and therefore boost her confidence.
She is a very large unit of a horse and she is still very green and backwards, and has desperately needed the racecourse experience.
It is great to see the improvement in her runs, from her first outing over hurdles to her second. This time, although the bends are probably a bit tight for her, she handled them much better and she also jumped more fluently.
What has been really interesting is the complete change in her attitude in the racecourse stables before the race. She used to get very wound up pre race and would weave and neigh in her stable, but now she has had more positive experiences at the races she stands as cool as a cucumber and is completely relaxed. I am sure she is reassured by the constant attention from Sioned Whittle, who stays by her side throughout the day. Yet again, Sioned did us proud by turning her out so beautifully.
I am sure Leggy's future will be over fences, but we will stick to hurdles for the time being. There is a lot to look forward to with her.
Newton Abbot Racecourse photographer, Fiona Crawford, did us proud again with some wonderful images.
ZULU 3rd AT NEWTON
& OUR OTHER HORSES RUN WELL TOO
Wednesday was a very busy day for us, with 3 runners at Newton Abbot.
Our homebred, Kayf Tara mare, Russian's Legacy (Leggy), had her first ever run over hurdles and was given a great ride by Ben Poste, who was deputising for David Noonan who was riding at Fontwell.
Leggy ran very green, which was to be expected as she is a very large backward type. But on the whole she jumped well and galloped on, just tiring before the last where Ben very sensibly pulled up as he had no company.
You can see by the Fiona Crawford's photos of her that she is a chaser in the making. However, we will continue to run her over hurdles for the time being to get her some very valuable racecourse experience. She has come out of her race fit and well, ate up when she got home and we will now aim her for a Mares race at Newton Abbot in June.
Sioned Whittle did a great job, as always, turning her out and she won the Best Turned Out prize.
In the third race Zulu ran a much improved race, to finish 3rd in what was a hot enough Class 3 Novice Hurdle. He galloped, travelled and jumped really well in his race and again Ben Poste gave him a super ride.
He just tired mentally as much as anything when they quickened, but plugged on to be 3rd, still jumping well enough to get home.
He has come on a stack mentally since his last run and we are all very excited about his future over hurdles. If he keeps on improving like he has he could be anything.
Again, Sioned did a great job and won another Best Turned Out prize.
Finally, we had Amour D'Or (Amelia) run in the last under Tom Scudamore. He gave Amelia a great ride and she finished 8th in a race that wasn't run to suit her.
She had also been jumped into by another horse, which was unruly when leaving the parade ring, and although we could see no marks at the time, after the race it became apparent that she had a cut to her hock. Knowing Amelia, as we do, this would have been enough to put her off her 'A' game. However, she still ran well enough and we will look to run her again at the end of the month.
All in all a good day at the races and a lot to look forward to with our horses.
ZULU FIRST RUN OVER HURDLES
Zulu had his first run over hurdles at Newton Abbot on Saturday, with Kieron Edgar on board, after having been placed on the Flat as a 4 year old.
He has taken a lot of time to mature mentally and physically, but bit by bit we are getting there.
He looked magnificent in the paddock, winning the Best Turned Out Prize for Sioned Whittle, and took it all the pre race proceedings in his stride.
He has schooled very well at home, but just looked at the first hurdle on raceday and as he was at the back found himself detached and having to always play catch up from there on in.
His immaturity showed again as he came past the packed stands and literally gorped at the crowd.
He will certainly come on mentally for the racecourse experience and may well have been more suited to a larger field, as then he would have had more company to help him along.
We have done everything we can to educate him at home and now all he needs is for the penny to drop properly at the races.
We will look to run him again in 3 weeks or so over a similar trip and will look for the improvement he is capable of, as he certainly has a engine, jumps well and is a super type of horse.
There is a lot to look forward to with him, and we believe that eventually he could be a bit special, as both his sisters are NH winners (Hija & Apache Song).
We decided to withdraw our other runner Russian's Legacy as the ground was very quick and the jockeys came back from the first race saying it was a least Good to Firm. She is in good heart and we will look for another race for her.
Like everyone we are praying for a bit of rain after what has been a very dry winter.
MORE RAIN NEEDED FOR RICHARDOFDOCCOMBE TO BE WINNING AGAIN
A rather cold, wet and windy day at Wincanton Races for Richardofdoccombe when finishing 7th.
It literally hailed and blew a hooley for our race, which made being in the paddock rather unpleasant for all concerned.
The ground was unpleasant also and very sticky, and sadly not soft enough for our boy, but he came home in one piece and in the prize money again.
We will look for a race over a shorter trip, possibly Uttoxeter at the end of March, and will be praying for rain.
The cold day aside, the new Owners and Trainers facility at the course was very nice, very warm and very welcoming, so all in all not a bad day.
GREAT COMEBACK RUN FROM RICHARDOFDOCCOMBE AT UTTOXETER
Richardofdoccombe had a cracking run today at Uttoxeter, when finishing 5th, only 1 length off the 2nd horse, in what was a tight finish for the placings. He ran a blinder in what was a competitive 15 runner Handicap Hurdle, with Kieron Edgar on board.
Despite the ground not really being soft enough for him and the trip of 1m 7f 168yds being too short for him, he ran a great race. He got outpaced when they quickened, but then rallied on the run in to finish with a wet sail. He just needed a few extra yards, which were not there on this minimum trip, to nab 2nd place.
This was his first proper run after having a summer on easier duties, after having an horrific fall at Taunton over fences. It was so wonderful to see him back running a great race again, and with his usual enthusiasm. He is fit, well, bouncing and very pleased with himself this morning, so we will look for another race for him shortly. It is so great to see that he still loves his racing so much.
It was another long day for our small team, with another 2.30am start and another late finish, but it was so worth the 4.5 hour journey in the lorry to see Richard run so well. We are confident that given the right conditions that he will win again.
We are so looking forward to our other forthcoming runners in 2019, with Chica Rapida, Dancing Grey, Amour D'Or, Secret Palace, Russian's Legacy, Zulu, Fleur Du Weld, Milburn, Brannoc and Queensland Betty all timetabled to run in the coming weeks/months.
2019 is going to be a busy one.
DANCING GREY A CLOSE 3RD AT WORCESTER
Dancing Grey had her third run in a Bumper at Worcester yesterday and finished a very good 3rd.
She was only 7 lengths off the winner, with the first 5 home being some 63 lengths plus in front of the remainder of the 10 runner field. The horse she beat for 3rd was a previous Bumper Winner.
David Noonan gave her another superb ride and always had her in the right place at the right time, despite her still running with some considerable signs of greenness.
The application of cheekpieces has certainly helped her concentration.
Again, she looked absolutely tiny against a field of giant National Hunt horses, but she held her own, rallied and ran on well.
It is taking a while for her to hone her raceday skills, but she is learning from every run and obviously has ability.
We are really thrilled for her Owners Jacquie Floyd-Walker (Philippa Floyd-Walker) and Jane Oliver, who have been wonderful supporters of our tiny yard.
Massive thanks to Ros Steele for holding the fort for us on what was an 18hr working day and to Ray Dilliway & Steve Pidgeon for all their expert and invaluable work.
Really looking forward to the future with our pocket rocket.
Thank you to Sarah-Jane Matthews for the wonderful photographs.
THINGS DON'T QUITE GO TO PLAN AT NEWTON ABBOT
As the saying goes "Horse's can make fools of us all".....and yesterday was certainly one of those days, when Dancing Grey (Gracie) had her second outing at Newton Abbot in the Bumper.
She has improved a stack at home, both mentally and physically, since her racecourse debut a fortnight ago, and we went to Newton quietly confident that she could run a big race in what was a good quality Mares Bumper.
All looked well early on with Gracie running far less greenly than last time, until going out on the second circuit, when turning away from home, on the bend, she veered violently off to the right and almost pulled herself up.
Thankfully, the wonderful, David Noonan was able to get her going again, but she then found herself something like 30 lengths or more behind the then quickening pack. Talk about making it hard work for yourself!
Anyhow, David kept pushing and she picked up again and again, to finish with lightening speed to be 8th, only a quarter of a length off being 7th.
It is obvious that she has ability and that she enjoys her racing, but it looks like we need to work on building up her concentration levels and are hoping that a set of cheek pieces next time out will help her.
We got home a bit disheartened, but when we watched the recording it was a real lift that 'At The Races' Luke Harvey had given us a huge mention and that Gracie was his pick to win. I hope that with work from our great team at home that we can repay his, and her Owners, faith in us and come back with a more positive run next time out.
Onwards and upwards...again!
ps: I must give Trainer Martin Hill a massive THANK YOU for helping us saddle up. Just the two of us were really struggling with a bit of a Madam in a packed stable yard. It was absolutely wonderful to see his homebred 'Fs Lola' run a cracking race to finish 3rd.
DANCING GREY A CREDITABLE 5TH ON HER RACECOURSE DEBUT
Dancing Grey (Gracie) had her racecourse debut yesterday at Newton Abbot and ran on very strongly in the closing stages to finish a creditable 5th.
She was given an absolutely superb ride by David Noonan, who never gave up on her and it was great to see his efforts pay off.
She was very green in the early stages of the race, disliking the kick back and wandering around, but as the race unfolded and under David's expert hand she gained confidence and the penny began to drop.
As they turned for home she passed another horse and then seemed to just take off. Running on like a steam train in the closing stages to pass another horse, she came very close to nabbing 4th on the line and was only 7 lengths off the Winner.
She isn't the biggest of fillies, but she has the heart of a lion and her Grand Dam was a 7 time Winner for Champion Trainer Martin Pipe.
Gracie has taken a long time to come right physically and mentally and her Owners, Jacquie Floyd-Walker and Jane Oliver, have been so very patient and very understanding, and luckily for me have always wanted to do what was best for Gracie.
It is so wonderful to see their belief and trust rewarded with a very promising first run and hopefully it won't be long until the colours carried by Fleur Du Weld will be back in the Winners enclosure.
SECRET PALACE HAS A SUCCESSFUL DEBUT OVER HURDLES
Secret Palace had her very first run over hurdles on Friday at Newton Abbot Racecourse and we were really pleased that she came 6th.
Having come off the flat she used to have a tendency to become very buzzy and worried, and we were concerned that she may boil over pre-race and then pull too hard in the race itself.
We have been working really hard at home to build her confidence and to get her to relax and thankfully all the hard work paid off on Friday.
Despite the 40 degree heat in the parade ring, Secret never turned a hair and David Noonan did a fantastic job in getting her to settle in her race.
Having only ever raced over a mile, or shorter prior to this run, we were very concerned that if she pulled too hard she would burn herself out over the 2m 5f trip, but thankfully David got her beautifully relaxed.
She jumped really well and all in all it was a great start to her hurdling career. She will have a few easy days now and then we will look for a similar race at Newton Abbot and we will hope to continue her good progress.
It was a wonderful day, if a bit nerve wracking day for us and for Secret's Owners, Philip and Mary Tutton Creese, who have been so patient and who love her to bits. We are all looking forward to her next run.
AMOUR D'OR WINS AGAIN
Well, what can I say?.....The gorgeous girl that is Amour D'Or (Amelia) did us proud again at Newton Abbot by winning for Haywood's Heroes for the second time in three weeks.
It was a very competitive 17 runner race and she won under another wonderful, confidence giving and very positive ride from David Noonan.
The race was run at a frenetic pace and yet again she couldn't lay up, but she and David battled back and turning for home she ran on like a steam train and finished with a little bit in hand.
She came back into the winners enclosure looking really pleased with herself and she definitely knows she has won again.
We were the last the leave the racecourse stables last night, as we wanted to give her plenty of time to cool down before the journey home, in what were very muggy conditions. She came off the box with a spring in her step and went straight in and ate her dinner like a very hungry horse. So it would appear the race has taken very little out of her.
She has been out for a short canter this morning and has now been turned out in the paddock.
I am sure her confidence will improve again for this second win.
Thank you to every single person in our team who contributes to Amelia's well being. It takes every single one of us to be on their A game to get her to win like that.
Thanks again to Fiona Crawford for the wonderful photos and to everybody at Newton Abbot Racecourse who work so hard to maintain what was beautiful ground.
And many thanks to everyone who has sent us well wishes...it means a lot.
AMOUR D'OR WINS AT NEWTON ABBOT
Amour D'Or ran a super race at Newton Abbot to win a competitive Handicap Hurdle under a great ride from David Noonan.
I can't tell you how proud we all are of her. She has really grown in confidence over her last few runs.
She joined us 8 months ago, having somewhat lost her way and had been written off. Although she obviously had talent as she was the winner of a Newbury Bumper and a Hurdle Race in France.
Previous to joining us, she had been no closer than 30 lengths to a winner in the past two years.
Our specialist team have worked hard on her mental and physical well being and have literally left no stone unturned...and they have worked a minor miracle.
It has been so rewarding for us all to see her confidence growing from race to race in recent months, and at Newton Abbot all the jigsaw pieces slotted together and she won.
It was so great to see her grit her teeth and want to win after some early and very much needed encouragement and a "Come on you can do it!" from David Noonan.
I am sure her confidence will grow again after this run, as you could see in her face afterwards that she knew she had won.
Thanks to all our team for their work. It takes the contribution and dedication of every single one of us in our small yard to get into the Winners Enclosure, let alone to WIN and I am truly grateful.
We were so pleased for her Breeder Tom Chadney who had never lost faith in her ability to win again and who trusted me when I said I thought we could get her back into the Winners Enclosure.
What a day!...and I am sure there is more to look forward to.
AMOUR D'OR A GOOD 4TH AT CHEPSTOW WHEN UP IN GRADE
Amour D'Or ran another cracking race last night at Chepstow to finish 4th, when up in Grade and distance.
She runs with more confidence and enthusiasm every time she goes to the track and as always David Noonan gave her a fantastic ride.
Her future will lay over fences, but we will aim for a few more hurdle races before tackling the bigger obstacles.
It was great to see her back in the Winners Enclosure in the placings again and we are more confident than ever that it would be long until she is back in her Winning ways.
I am confident that she will continue to improve and am looking forward to running her again.
There are still shares avalable in her, on a free lease basis. Please contact [email protected] for details.
A GREATLY IMPROVED RUN FROM AMOUR D'OR TO FINISH A CLOSE 3RD AT TAUNTON
Amour D'Or ran an absolutely fantastic race to finish 3rd at Taunton Racecourse yesterday.
David Noonan gave her a great ride and we couldn't be more thrilled. It was her first run for the 'Haywood's Heroes' Syndicate and it was wonderful that she ran so well for them.
Amour D'Or was only just beaten for 2nd place and was only 2 1/2 lengths off the Winner, who was carrying considerably less weight than her.
I must thank our amazing specialist support team, without whom Amour D'Or would not have made it back into the places in the Winners Enclosure.
Amy Cox has done a wonderful job, as always, getting her right and keeping her right physically, with her regular Physio visits.
The legend that is Ray Dilliway has given us the confidence to push on with her, with his thorough examinations and excellent well founded and wise veterinary advice.
And lastly, but no means least, Elaine Mary Tyley, who has helped Amour D'Or come out of her shell and regain her confidence beyond belief with her monthly visits.
I am sure that Amour D'Or will improve again and that she will be back in her Winning Ways in the coming months. It is so wonderful to see her blossoming and hopefully realising her potential. She is very pleased with herself this morning and quite rightly so. We are so proud of her.
There are still shares available in Amour D'Or (Amelia) - if you fancy some great days out at the races with a winning prospect, who has already won twice, make contact with Gail Haywood by emailling [email protected]
EXCITING DAYS AHEAD!
ANOTHER SOLID PERFORMANCE FROM RICHARDOFDOCCOMBE TO FINISH A CLOSE 4TH AT LINGFIELD
Richardofdoccombe ran well again, finishing 4th, at Lingfield, when given another great ride by Kieron Edgar.
He looked like the winner at the top of the hill, but 2 out he made a mistake when coming under pressure.
It would appear that on proper Heavy ground he doesn't quite get the 2m 4f trip.
So we will drop him back in distance again whilst the ground is really testing.
We are not disappointed as Richard always tries his heart out and that is all you can ask of anybody really.
It was really lovely to get a super message from his connections, Philip and Mary Tutton Creese, saying that they had watched the race online and were really proud of him. That alone made the long journey worthwhile .
I am truly lucky to have such a great bunch wonderful and caring Owners in our yard, not to mention Rebecca Lucy Rose Smith and Harry Rogers who held the fort for us at home so well.
Looking forward we are hoping to run Amour D'Or, Secret Palace and Chica Rapida in the coming weeks. They are all capable of winning so there is a lot to look forward to.
RICHARDOFDOCCOMBE 2ND AT UTTOXETER IN A TRILLING FINISH
What a great run from Richardofdoccombe and Kieron Edgar at Uttoxeter on New Years Eve, to finish a very close 2nd, over the minimum trip of 2 miles.
It is a minor miracle that Richard finished so close, only beaten 1/2 a length over a trip that is nearly half a mile too short for him and Kieron gave him another great ride. If the post had been 50 yards further on he would have won.
It was a really emotional experience for Bill and I, to stand by the rail, surrounded by literally thousands of people who were all screaming "Come on Richard'. It was hard for us to comprehend that, as well as us thinking he had a chance, that he was the on course favourite.... most of our horses normally are rank outsiders!
It was a very early start and long journey made worth while by a good run and the confirmation of our belief in him.
Richard also won Best Turned Out, which was fabulous.....an honour he undid the very next morning by rolling in the biggest muddy puddle he could find in the paddock!!!!! From Best Turned Out Horse to Muddiest Horse in 5 seconds flat!....love him!
It's great that the horses are in good form and running well and we look forward to running some of the others in the New Year and hope to have some winners.
RICHARDOFDOCCOMBE A VERY CREDITABLE 3RD AT WINCANTON
Richardofdoccombe had his first run of the season over hurdles at Wincanton yesterday and was a very creditable 3rd.
He made most, if not all, of the running, getting collared at the last.
It was a fantastic run from him considering he hasn't run for nearly 9 months, especially as the first 3 were miles in front of the other 13 runners.
Kieron Edgar, who was riding him for the first time, gave him an absolutely brilliant ride.
We are so thrilled for Richard's connections, Philip and Mary Tutton Creese for whom he was their first runner to get into the Winner's Enclosure.
It was a glorious day and hopefully we will have more like that to come....with Richard hopefully destined to make more returns to the Winners Enclosure and the Number 1 spot.
We will look for more suitable races, where the ground is Soft or Heavy, for him in the coming weeks.
CHICA RAPIDA DOESN'T COPE WITH THE HEAVY GROUND AT NEWTON ABBOT, BUT FINISHES 6TH.
Chica Rapida finished 6th at Newton Abbot yesterday.
She ran another good race, but absolutely hated the heavy ground, which blunted her speed and her ability to jump with her usual fluency.
Alice Mills gave her a fantastic ride as always.
Chica will definitely improve for the experience and we won't be running her on ground that heavy again for the time being.
It is apparent from yesterdays run that she does stay 2m plus, which opens up a whole gamut of race options for us. So we will be looking for another race for her towards the end of the month.
Chica is well and happy this morning and came back from the races to eat her dinner like a ravenous horse, which is always a good sign that she didn't find raceday traumatic in any way. This despite being random pre-race blood tested, along with a lot of other horses, by the BHA 40 minutes prior to her race ( I am not sure I would like someone taking my blood just before I was about to go out and compete).
However, hopefully we will now get a handicap mark which will open up our choice of races even further.
In the meantime, as always, it's back to nose to the grindstone and onwards and upwards.
Many thanks to Fiona Crawford for the wonderful photographs and to Chica's sponsors Mangos Cafe Bar on Exeter Quay for their support.
CHICA RAPIDA 3RD AT NEWTON ABBOT
We are all really pleased with Chica Rapida finishing 3rd yesterday at Newton Abbot, on only her third outing over hurdles.
It was a strangely run race, with the market leaders tearing off in front at a million miles an hour from the flag fall.
Chica was left leading the remaining pack of 6 horses, which was great to see from her as a Novice.
She jumped her hurdles with confidence and fluency, and although tired and headed at the last she rallied back to run on for 3rd.
It was great to not only see how she has improved in confidence and that she settled well in the race, but also that she obviously stays 2m 1f, even on softer ground.
Alice Mills gave her a superbly intelligent ride as always. She is a great horsewoman and tactician who deserves to get more rides and more credit.
We are so thrilled for Chica's Owner Mrs Jo Bland, who has been so patient, while we have waited for Chica to grow and strengthen, both physically and mentally, since buying her in December 2015 from Tattersalls Newmarket.
I am not sure who was more nervous before the race, Jo or I, and it was so wonderful to see Jo's & Chica's faces as she welcomed her back into the 3rd spot in the Winners Enclosure.
Thanks to everyone who came to support us, including our new team member Rebecca Lucy Rose Smith who was having her first day at the races with us.
Chica will improve for the run and hopefully we will soon be in the Winners Enclosure again, maybe in the number 1 spot!
A NEW ARRIVAL AT THE YARD
We have had a new arrival at the yard.
'Gracie' is a stunning 4 year old filly, by Dream Eater out of State of Grace.
State of Grace was unraced, but her Dam 'Vent d'Aout' was a seven time winner for Champion Trainer Martin Pipe.
Gracie has come to us beautifully broken in and ridden on by Jessica Westwood.
We have started cantering her already and she is a lovely mover, who is really enjoying her work.
We are really looking forward to running her, in the coming months, in a few Bumpers for her lovely new Owners, Jacquie Floyd Walker and Jane Oliver, who also run our special girl, Fleur Du Weld.
I will keep you all posted on the progress of this exciting new addition to our team.
HIJA 5th AT WORCESTER
AND NEWTON ABBOT
Hija ran at Worcester yesterday and was 5th in a 14 runner Handicap Hurdle.
It was another good consistent run from her, especially seeing as we had a scare last time we ran her. She jumped and galloped well and was given another great ride by Alice Mills.
We have long since thought her future looked brightest over fences, and having been schooling really well at home she will now make the switch.
Thanks to Sarah Jane Matthews for the fantastic photographs of Hija in the Paddock and racing.
It was great to see our friends from Three Oaks Racing, whose horse, Dropzone, finished 4th.
Thanks to all those who support us and to Hija's fan club, and of course to Stephen Turner who held the fort at home whilst we went racing. It is much appreciated I can tell you.
I am going to have to have a quiet work with the Raceday Commentators though....We have had various incarnations of her name.....Hija... Hika....and now Hehaw (not good!). Just for the record we pronounce it as it is spelt HIJA, despite how it should be said in Spanish. I do feel for the Commentators though..what a nightmare job!
Good Luck also to Alice Mills who has a ride at Epsom tonight! Worcester one day - Epsom the next!
We were all really thrilled when Brannoc finished 4th today, giving his young Amateur Jockey, Stephen Turner, his first taste of the winners enclosure, on only his thrid race ride ever.
Stephen rides out for us in the afternoons, after going to Flat Trainer Rod Millman's each morning, where he is a Work Rider.
He has been desperate to get a chance to ride racing and we are lucky enough to have Brannoc in the yard who is an excellent Schoolmaster.
I am sure that you will be seeing more of Stephen in the future, as he is loving his experience as a jockey. Brannoc (aka Ned) is also loving his new role as Schoolmaster for Steve, as is clear on his face as he canters down to the start each time he runs.
It's really great for us to be able to give a young person a chance and to put something back into the sport we love so much.
Many thanks to JW Photography for the amazing photographs. More of which can be found at jeffwelchphotography.com
HIJA 3RD AT WORCESTER
We are all really pleased with Hija's run at Worcester yesterday where she finished 3rd.
It was her first time racing over the Fixed Brush Hurdles and she jumped them really well.
We thought she might like them as she has jumped ours at home so well, but you never know until you get to the races.
Alice Mills gave her a fab ride and she was just scuppered by the ground which had gone to Good to Soft from Good to Firm, after hours and hours of rain.
All in all a very good run and hopefully we will all be able to dry out over the next few days.
Another good result for the Haywood's Heroes Syndicate.
Many thanks to Sarah-Jane Matthews, whose horse Theatre Rouge ran in the same race, for the wonderful photographs of our girl.
FLEUR DU WELD 2ND
AT NEWTON ABBOT
We are so proud of Fleur Du Weld being 2nd on her Handicap debut at Newton Abbot yesterday, in what was a tough and competitive race.
She ran a brilliant race and just couldn't quite get to the winner, despite being given a fantastic ride by Alice Mills.
There was a heart stopping moment at the last when the eventual winner blundered and nearly unseated Richard Johnson.
We are absolutely thrilled with 2nd, as this is only Fleur's 6th run ever.
It is quite staggering how she continues to improve with every run.
We shouted her home and celebrated like she had won. We are so pleased for Fleur's Owner/Breeders. They are the nicest people in the world and so deserve the success for keeping the faith with Fleur and believing in us.
It was great that a lot of our other Owners and Friends support us all and it made the celebration even better.
A really great day at the races.
That number 1 spot is getting closer for Fleur!
HIJA WINS AT TAUNTON!!!
What a night we had last night at Taunton Racecourse when HIJA won The Bathwick Tyres Midsomer Norton Mares' Handicap Hurdle over 2m 7f 198y!
Alice Mills gave Hija (aka Moppy) a fantastic ride and although she looked under pressure and slightly outpaced 4 out, she ran on like a steam train, at a million miles an hour, to get up on the line by a neck, in typical tough, ears flatback, get out of my way, 'Moppy' style.
It is hard to believe that only 3 years ago Hija was running on the flat over 6 furlongs and has progressed to winning over 2m1f, let alone 3 miles.
What a wonderful, tough, game and genuine horse she continues to be for our tiny yard and the Haywood's Heroes Syndicate.
Her win comes as an early birthday present for Syndicate Member Martin Haywood, which makes it even more special.
It was also a very special coincidence to be presented the Winners Trophy by my dear friend, and long time supporter Ian Gosden from Higos Insurance.
I must also apologise to anyone in the paddock who may have been temporarily deafened by my screaming her home...no doubt they were wondering which horse was 'Moppy' and why I was getting so animated. No doubt they will be glad to know that I am voiceless this morning.
Again, I must thank everyone who is a part of our team. We are a tiny yard, but it takes a lot of people to get the horses right. Without these guys the horses wouldn't get on the track, let alone win. MASSIVE thanks to Bill Mccoll, Stephen Turner, Alice Mills, Kathryn Mitchell, Amy Cox, Ray Dilliway, Colin Bland, Jo Bland, Elaine Mary Tyley, Steve Pidgeon, Ashley Pidgeon, Ros Steele and to Moorpark Garage, Dunsford who literally got us to the races last night, when the lorry had a last minute malfunction!
WHAT A NIGHT!
FLEUR DU WELD A GOOD 3RD AT
Fleur Du Weld did us all proud yesterday by finishing 3rd in the 2m 2f Mares Novices Hurdle at Newton Abbot Racecourse.
With nobody wanting to make it, Alice popped Fleur out in front. She led for most of the way and jumped and travelled like a more experienced horse than she actually is.
She just got a bit tapped for toe when the market leaders quickened around the back on the last circuit.
Fleur stayed on well and ran on gamely to finish a good 3rd.
I am sure she will improve again, as she has for all her runs, for this positive experience.
Alice Mills gave her a superb confident ride.
I am so thrilled for Fleur's lovely Owner/Breeders, as it was like having a winner, to see her coming back into the 3rd spot in the Winners Enclosure.
It was particularly great to see their faith in Fleur and in us rewarded.
We now aim to work our way up the Winners Enclosure to the No1 spot!
Big thanks to all the team at home, without whom we wouldn't have even got Fleur to the races and a special thank you to Fiona Crawford for the wonderful photographs.
RICHARDOFDOCCOMBE AT CHEPSTOW
Richardofdoccombe ran at Chepstow on Thursday over fences for the first time in quite a while.
He was rather over enthusiastic and made a blunder at the second fence, which saw Alice Mills loose both her irons. Alice did an amazing job of getting them back, whilst Richard took full advantage of the 'no pedals' situation, and ran from the back of the field, where we had been tactically dropped him out to settle, to the front...and at a million miles an hour down hill to boot.
Anyhow, that was his race over and he pulled up on the last circuit, having stopped quite quickly after the hill.
He is fine after his race, but further investigation has highlighted a minor issue, which we will be looking to resolve before he runs again.
Richard and Bill Mccoll did win best turned out, which is always great. Many thanks to race sponsors ECIC for picking him. It made our day.
FLEUR DU WELD 6TH AT TAUNTON
Fleur Du Weld ran at Taunton yesterday in the 2m Novices Hurdle. She was up against very stiff competition from various horses from the top yards, most of which had run on the flat with success.
She ran and jumped really well and finished 6th, running on at the end after getting outpaced after 3 out.
She will no doubt benefit from a longer trip and a drop in class, but we will now get a handicap mark and will be able to find more suitable races for her.
It's great to see a horse that was so lost find a purpose in life that she absolutely loves. Fleur has taken a huge team effort just to get this far. Thanks to everyone involved.
I am sure she can improve on yesterdays performance and give her wonderful Owner/Breeders some more great days out.
RICHARDOFDOCCOMBE AT EXETER
We had a lovely day yesterday with Philip and Mary Tutton Creese, when Richardofdoccombe ran in the Handicap Hurdle to finish 9th.
Richard was given a great ride by Graham Watters and we are really pleased with the way he ran, after a long time off the track.
Sadly, the ground was just too quick for him, he really needs a lot of rain and after a drying couple of days it was the quicker side of Good/Soft.
He and Bill looked wonderful in their CBES Sponsored rug and jacket.
We shall be looking for another race for him shortly and if you see a seemly deranged woman on the moors leaping about...it will be me doing a rain dance.
RIchard will now probaly head back over fences where his real potential lies.
In other news, Fleur Du Weld has an entry for the Mare's Novices Hurdle at Wincanton on Wednesday and Hija has come out of her race well and may head for Exeter on March 8th.
More news to come as and when.
HIJA AT TAUNTON
Hija ran at Taunton yesterday, in the Mares Hurdle over 2m7f with Alice Mills on board and ran a very pleasing race.
We thought 2m7f was going to be a stretch for her stamina as she by the Flat Sire Avonbridge. So when the rails were moved and the course was extended to 3m and nearly 1 furlong I was having kittens.
Having been ridden to conserve her energy for a late run, Hija surprised us all by running on strongly in the closing stages and finished 8th of 17 runners.
This opens up a whole host of race options for her now, which is very pleasing.
She enjoyed her race and jumped well, so we will be looking for other races shortly.
Richardofdoccombe will run either Friday at Exeter or Saturday at Chepstow, depending on the weather forecast and rainfall.
So all in all it's a busy week for our small outfit.
FINALLY WE ARE BACK ONLINE
Finally we are back online with our website after a long time struggling with broadband issues. Hopefully BT have now fixed this and I will be able to update the site on a regular basis once more.
The horses are very well at present. Whilst we have been offline Hija has run some very solid races having finished in the frame on most of her outings. Surely she should be winning again soon...we hope so anyway.
Russian's Legacy has had two bumper runs and after a very green performance first time out, she ran a great race to finish 4th at Worcester on her second run.
Milburn had his first run over regulation fences and finshed 6th, which was pleasing after a long lay off.
The youngsters are coming on well and should run soon.
Richardofdoccombe is in fine form and should run over fences at the end of the month.
It's very busy here, but I will post regular updates as well as keeping up our Facebook and twitter pages. You can see all that is going on at the yard on the Facebook group GGH Racing and follow us on twitter @gailgghracing
4TH TWICE IN 5 DAYS
Richardofdoccombe has had a busy 6 weeks or so, with his first racecourse exploits over regulation fences.
Richard had his first run at Taunton over fences at the end of January, having in a prevoius life finished fourth on his maiden start Point to Pointing. He ran very well, if a little free at times, but on the whole it was a pleasing enough start, even though he ran out of petrol 3 out.
We then went to Wincanton and ran in a very small field of good horses, but hoped we could run into the prizemoney, as he is such a good jumper and anything can happen jumping. What we didn't expect was that the 'Anything can happen' would apply to us, when he had a crashing 'never saw the fence fall' at the first, normally second as the usual first fence had been ommitted. Thankfully he and Alice Mills were none the worse for wear after their fall, with Richard carrying on to jump the next loose and Alice fit to ride in the Bumper.
Richard came out of the race bouncing, and after some precautionary Physio Therapy work and a thorough Vet examination, we took him to Leicetser, where he finished 4th. Alice Mills couldn't ride him on this occassion, so Denis O'Regan kindly stepped into the breach and gave him super ride.
Again he came out of his race bouncing so as we had an entry for Taunton, we ran again and he finished 4th again, agaist some good horses.
He will now have a few easy days, before reverting to hurdles for a few spins at his winning track of Newton Abbot, prior to loosing his Novice Status at the end of this season.
In other news we look forward to running our Bumper Horse Russian's Legacy in April. A full insight into her pedigree, her progress and our plans for her are on our GGH RACING FACEBOOK page. Do have a look!
HIJA - 3RD AT EXETER
We were absolutely thrilled with Hija's run yesterday at Exeter against 'The Big Boys', when she ran an absolute blinder to finish 3rd, beating the 4th horse by 23 lengths, and only finishing 20 lengths off the winner who is a good horse being rated 135.
Alice Mills gave her a super ride and she jumped really well. We weren't sure if Exeter would suit her, especially with it being a very testing track with a long uphill run to the line, but she seemed to handle it well enough and had a good positive run. She absolutely pinged off the Good to Firm ground.
Hija's syndicate 'Haywood's Heroes' had another super days racing, bagged some prizemoney and Hija won Best Turned Out for the 4th time in 5 runs.
She has come out of the race well and we will aim her for a Handicap Hurdle now possibly at Taunton in November.
In other news we have had a new recruit to the yard today, in Fleur Du Weld. She has been sent to us by her Owner Breeder. She jumps like a stag and has been well prepared by Matthew Hall and his team at Matthew Hall Equestrian, and she has all the muscle and strength in the right places to go into Training.
We will see how we progress with her in the coming weeks, but whatever the outcome it's a real joy to welcome to the yard and to train for such lovely new Owners .
HIJA - NEWTON ABBOT
Hija ran at Newton Abbot on Friday and finished 7th. We were not dissapointed with her run and felt that it was an improvement on her previous effort at Uttoxeter. It was her first time out over 2m5 fulongs and to be honest the trip was a bit far for her.
She jumped well and she is gaining confidence and racecourse experience all the time. I am sure there is more to come from her. We will step her back in trip now and will probabaly run again at Exeter in a Novice Hurdle later on this month.
Bill was thrilled to win Best Turned Out again.
It's great as he puts a lot of effort into making sure the horses and himself look thier best for thier Owners and the yard as a whole.
In other news, Richardofdoccombe is working well and has schooled impressively over fences. We will be waiting for proper winter ground for him.
Milburn has had pus in the foot, which has taken an age to come right, but he should run again soon and is well.
We have reently joined Twitter, so you can keep uptodate with our news on our Twitter page which is Gail Haywood @gailgghracing
We have been very busy over the summer, what with runners and our annual top to bottom deep cleanse and repaint of the yard.
We are hoping to run our July Sales purchase, Magnus Romeo, shortly. He is a stunning 4 year old by Manduro, who is from the family of the great Camelot. He has taken a while to strengthen up and grow, both mentaly and physically, but we now feel he is ready for a run.
Hija will run at Newton Abbot later this month in a Mare's Handicap Hurdle. This will be a step up in trip for her, which we think should suit her now. She is fit and working well and at only 4 years old has it all to look forward to.
In other news we have decided to send Brannoc Point to Pointing. He has had three runs under rules and has, shall we say, declined to put his best foot forward. We think a spin pointing where it all happens a stride slower should relight his enthusiasm. He is more than capable of winning races.
In other news we have had several enquiries from new owners and hope to be welcoming some new horses to our small but select team in the future. With an intentionally small licence to train 7 and 2 empty boxes at present, we could soon be full up.
Happy days and exciting times ahead !!!
NEW HORSE FOR HAYWOOD"S HEROES SYNDICATE
We have been having a busy tiime of it lately hence my not updating the news.
Hija ran a cracking race at Stratford to finish 4th in a very hot race. We were thrilled with her effort as she is only a baby and is still learning. We went to Newton Abbot at the end of June with the hope of building upon this, but things just weren't meant to be. It was very hot in the racecourse stables, compounded by a hot journey from home. Our girl got bumped at the first and just never ran her race. Later we found that she had come into season, for the first time, so it all made sense really. She has come home fit and well, and is working brillliantly at home, so we will wait for the right opportunity to run again and hope for a run which reflects her true talent.
We have several others to run, with these being Brannoc, Richardofdoccombe & Milburn, and we are just waiting for the right opportunity on the right ground for them.
Brannoc has just been made available to be to run under the Haywood's Heroes banner. He is a super horse, who has come on leaps and bounds and we absolutely love him. He is sure to provide plenty of fun for anyone wishing to enjoy days at the races at an affordable flat monthly fee, from as little as £150 per month all in. Details are on our Horses for Sale page. Do email me if you are interested.
We are continuing to improve our facilities having recently had some super fixed brush hurdles made for us. Our next big improvement will be the building of a new yard, which we hope to commence shortly. It's all go and there is so much to look forward to.
WINS AT NEWTON ABBOT
What a day we had today when Richardofdoccombe won for us at
It was fantastic to see him jump superbly and gallop on to win the Maiden Hurdle with Alice Mills giving him a great ride.
It was especially wonderful as he is owned by our Sponsor Roly Stuart-Jervis the MD of MANHOLE COVERS LTD.
Richard has been with us a long time and has had various issues, which have precluded him from running. His owner Roly deserves a medal for his patience and his belief in Richard and in us, and it is so nice that after such a long wait things have come right for us all.
There are more photographs and the video of the race on our GGH RACING Facebook group page.
In other news we are hoping to offer another couple of horses on a syndicate basis for groups of up to 10 people. The idea is to provide some affordable fun for groups of friends to go summer jumping. We aim to have a great day/night out at the races offering a real personal interest. Shares will be on a 10% basis costing £150 per month. More details will be posted on the Horses for Sale page shortly. Please do contact me via email at [email protected] if you or your friends may be interested.
FIRST TIME OVER HURDLES
After what has been a miserable winter for us with the horses being under the weather.....What an amazing day we had on Saturday when we had our first runner and winner as Professionals at our home track of Newton Abbot.
It was a big day of firsts - Hija's first run for us, her first time over a distance anything further than 8f, her first run over hurdles, Alice Mill's first winner for us, Our first winner Under Rules, my brothers first time racing as an Owner & my great supporters Pete & Di, at Wastenage Farms Ltd, first ever share in a horse.
Hija was offered to us on a free lease, from Howard Barton Stud, in November having been running on the flat. It was very kind of them to offer us the opprtunity of having her, a gesture which I am sure was done to give us a chance to get going Under Rules, having supported us when we started out Point to Pointing with the giant Tullow Boy.
Hija's previous Trainer Rod Millman was such a gentleman and so supportive of us and encouraging when we went to collect her. He was confident that had he had the chance she would have won over 1m4f. This gave us the confidence to invest our time and money into her over the past 4 months to get her jumping and to give her a run.
Still there were so many questions: Will she stay 2 miles, will she jump ok at the track, will she be able to act on the softer ground?, will she like Newton Abbot, Will she enjoy it?...all questions to which she responded with an emphatic YES!
Alice Mill's gave Hija an excellent ride, having spent a lot of her own time coming down to the yard to school her on a regular basis and to get to know her. Alice is a proper horsewoman, who loves these babies and as such she gave Hija a wonderful and sensitive ride, conserving her energy and getting her jumping, giving her confidence and then producing her for a run around the home turn.
We knew she had a turn of foot as Rod Millman had really taught her to gallop and Alice was amazed at how many gears she had and how she had quickened even on ground which would not have best suited her.
For anyone unfortunate enough to be standing in the Owners and Trainers stand...I appolgise....as when they turned in I was literally screaming at the top of my voice!!!!
In honesty we would have been happy to complete, thrilled to run into a minor place...but to win.....well it is the stuff that dreams are made of.
We are a tiny team but there are so many people upon whom we rely on to get the job done...without them we couldn't train. There are so many that the list is huge, but you know who you are and thank you all....we can't do it without you.
Hija has come out of her race bouncing, but with a little cut behind, where some on has clipped heels with her. We will wait for this to heel fully and then hopefully return to Newton Abbot again.
Thankyou for looking at our website and if you are intersted in joining our small friendly syndicate "Haywood's Heroes" for some fun summer jumping with our girl Hija do contact me on [email protected] for further details.
EXCITING TIMES AHEAD!!!!
WE ARE BUSY & LIZZIE IS ON THE MORNING LINE!
It's has been rather busy of late, hence my having not been able to update the news.
Richardofdoccombe was running a good race, first time out over hurdles, at Ffos Las with Lizzie Kelly riding, when fading tamely before 3 out. We have since found a minor issue, which we are correcting and he will run again when we are happy with him.
We have also been sent a smashing 3 year old filly who has been running on the flat. Her Owners/Breeders wish to offer her on a free lease. So we will be setting up a syndicate for her. She only ran 3 weeks ago and we have already got her jumping on the grass. She is a very athlectic type, as brave as a lion and absolutely loves jumping. Futher details will be added in the near future, but if you are interested in being part of this exciting syndicate do email me on [email protected]
In other news it is great to see our regular pilot Lizzie Kelly doing so well. She won the Fixed Brush Hurdle at Haydock a few weeks ago, a winner at Exeter on Thursday and today is on the Morning Line. She has a ride on Aubusson in the Long Walk Hurdle today and we wish her well and look forward to seeing her here soon for some schooling work.
Lizzie has also just been sponsored by our sponsor, Manole Covers Ltd , so we look forward to seeing her wearing thier corporate logo.
May I take this opportunity to thank everyone for thier support and interest in 2014 and I would like to send my very best wishes to you all for Christmas and the New Year. Here's to 2015 and some winners!
A BUSY MONTH
We have had a busy month and I can't believe that it is October tomorrow.
As I mentioned in my last post the horses are back in work now, with Richardofdoccombe (pictured) and Milburn looking bigger and stronger than ever.
Brannoc has joined us as a new recruit, having had 12ths off due to injury. He is having plenty of work on the roads and hills, before cantering and we will see where we go from there.
Magnus Romeo has grown and strengthened up well over the past 8 weeks. His jumping has greatly improved and I am hopeful we can start to look for races for him shortly.
The gorgeous Russian's Legacy is going well. She is such a lovely quality filly by Kayf Tara, although I may be accused of being biased as I bred her with my friend and owner Ian Gosden.
There is a lot to look forward to.
I have produced a leaflet which explains what we do and our set up. If you would like one please email me at [email protected] with your name and address and I will pop one in the post to you.
MORE JUMPING FOR ROMEO
We decided not to run Magnus Romeo at Newton Abbot on Saturday, as we felt he needed more experience jumping. He has only been with us 6 weeks, having come from running on the Flat, and although fit to run we thought he had not had enough time jumping.
As you can see from the picture he jumps well and with more practice at home, we are confident he will make a very nice juvenile hurdler.
To this end we have been showjumping in the school twice a week and he is getting more confident with every session.
We will look for a race for him in a few weeks time.
I have a video of him jumping and will post it to our facebook group page - GGH RACING.
In other news, more horses are coming into work daily. Brannoc, who is new to us, comes in today, having been on the sidelines for 12 months. He is a lovely horse and I am excited about riding him for the first time, as I am part owner.
Richardofdoccombe is going particulary well at the moment. He is such an exciting horse and the most athletic horse I have ever ridden. I am really looking forward to running him on proper winter ground and his future untimately lies over fences.
GLORIOUS DAY SCHOOLING
We had a glorious day for schooling Magnus Romeo on Friday. The sun shone and you couldn't have been in a better place or doing a better thing....it was wonderful and a privilege to be doing what I love most.
Magnus Romeo is jumping really well at home. He is a little professional and very grown up for a three year old.
We are hoping to get a run into him at Newton Abbot on August 30th, but there is still some way to go and we will have to see how we progress between now and then.
We are so lucky to have our own fantastic private schooling facilities. It means that when the babies learn to jump they can be introduced to the obstacles slowly and get to jump every day with trotting poles, cross poles, barrels, logs, nursery hurdles, full size hurdles and then fences. It's also great for the older horses who may need a refresher course to build their confidence or re-enthuse their interest.
We have recently taken a roadtrip up to Nick & Jane Williams' to give the horses and us a valuable day out.
I have posted the video of Magnus Romeo and Batu working on their fab gallops to our GGH RACING GROUP FACEBOOK page. So do have a look.
Russian's Legacy is a 4 year old filly by leading National Hunt sire Kayf Tara.
She was bred by myself and my friend and owner Ian Gosden, and is named in honour of Sussex National winner 'Russian Trigger'.
Ian owns Higos Insurance Services, who are regulars at the races, sponsoring meetings at Exeter, Wincanton and Salisbury racecourses.
We use Higos as our insurance brokers, as do many other Equine establishments. Here is a link to a suitably horsey promo video they have produced. http://youtu.be/xIT9Bjuds98?rel=0
In other news, Batu & Magnus Romeo are progressing well with thier jumping, with both having a great appitude for it. We are looking forward to running them both in the near future over hurdles.
Richardofdoccombe has come back in after having a hoilday at grass. He is a lovely big, strong and athletic horse, who jumps a fence with ease. We will get him fit and look to run when the ground is soft.
Milburn is still on holiday, but should come back into work shortly.
I will keep you updated with our adventures and plans on this news page, but for more informal info do look at our Facebook group - GGH RACING.
NEW LORRY LIVERY
We have been very proud to have recently taken receipt of our new lorry all liveried up with our yard sponsor Manhole Covers Ltd logos.
The Renault Master two box, which came from George Smith Horseboxes, provides great transport for our horses to and from the races.
Having a yard sponsor is very important to us as a business, as it enables our owners to claim back the VAT (20%) on thier training costs and represents a great saving for them.
Thank you again to MANHOLE COVERS LTD for being our yard sponsor.
Look out for us on our way to the races and do give a friendly wave if you see us on the road.
SUCCESSFUL OPEN STABLES & COFFEE MORNING
We held our very first Open Stables & Coffee Morning yesterday and what a turn out of people we had.
It was a lovely morning and we had a good crowd and we managed to raise over £200 for Cancer Research UK.
I would like to thank everyone who came to support us, and those who couldn't make it but wished us well, baked cakes or donated funds for Cancer Research UK.
It was lovely to be able to share our love for our horses and show our small, but perfectly formed yard and our plans for the future with so many lovely people.
We will definitely hold another Coffee Morning in the future.
RECENT PURCHASES AT NEWMARKET JULY SALES
We had a very busy and wonderful day on Wednesday, when we went to Tattersalls in Newmarket to the July Sales.
We looked at a lot of horses, which I had researched and marked off in my catalogue, many of which sold for prices way out of our current price bracket...I obviously have expensive taste.
We did however pick up two very nice horses, which have come from their yards fit and ready to run.
Magnus Romeo is a 16hh 3 yr old gelding by Manduro ex Chilli Dip by Alhaarth. He has a current rating of 68 on the flat and comes from the family of the great Camelot. He also finished 3rd behind current star Toast of New York at Wolverhampton. He is a lovely strong horse with a real presence about him and a lovely nature.
Our other purchase Batu is a 5 yr old gelding by Lawman ex Expectation by Night Shift. I bought him because he is a good size and shape being 16.2hh, with good bone and is very scopey. He also has the most fantastic walk.
Do come and see them and our other horses at our Open Stables Coffee Morning on Sunday 27th July.
If you would like to come please contact me at [email protected] for an Invitation and directions.
We would love to see you.
OPEN STABLES & COFFEE MORNING
We are planning to have an Open Stables and Coffee Morning towards the end of July and we do hope you will be able to join us.
It's a great opportunity to come and visit our small friendly yard, meet our wonderful horses and our hardworking team. Tea, coffee and cakes will be served with all donations going to Cancer Research UK.
This will be an inviiation only event, as space is limited, so if you would like to come along please email me: [email protected] with your address and I can post you an invitataion and all important directions to our rather secluded yard.
Looking forward to seeing you soon.
MANHOLE COVERS LTD - OUR SPONSOR
We have been as busy as ever, especially as the days are longer it means that in the evenings we get chance to do all the other jobs around the yard (like the new fencing, planting the hanging baskets up etc).
Our Sponsor, Manhole Covers Ltd, are in the process of having their corporate branding updated and as part of this have commissioned, our friends at Allertons of London, to produce some rather smart paddock sheets. We can't wait to use them at the races.
In other news, Victoria Rose leaves us today to go off to stud, which was always the plan for her. We are sure she will make a fantastic broodmare and should produce some winners, being a winner herself and full sister to the good horse Grand Vision. We wish her every success and look forward to seeing her offspring.
For the more informal news do have a look at or sign up to our facebook group GGH RACING. This is where I put the more informal and relaxed pictures and information about what's happening at the yard.
NATIONAL HUNT RUNNERS
We have recently been granted a full licence to train professionally under rules. This means that from now on the young horses we have been bringing on successfully through the Point to Point field can now take their careers on to the next level without having to leave us.
We have dipped our toe in the professional waters twice so far, running Milburn at Ffos Las in a Maiden Hurlde in what can only be described as Waterlogged ground. He jumped and travelled well, but the ground was his undoing in the end and along with 50% of the other runners pulled up 3 out. He came home safe and sound so we will be aiming him for similar contests on better ground in the near future.
We have some lovely bumper horses to look forward to in the Autumn. One by Midnight Legend & two by Kayf Tara. We also have Richardofdoccombe who will run over fences once the ground has come soft.
There are very exciting times ahead and we can't wait to get racing and hopefully winning for our Owners.
Bill McColl will take over the training of the Pointers and we aim to have a select number of nice horses heading down this route.
We have a small number of young horses for sale in the yard. If anyone is interested in them or joining our recently formed Queensland Syndicate please email me direct at [email protected]
NEW YARD SPONSOR CONFIRMED
I am really thrilled to announce that we have secured a yard sponsor for the forthcoming season.
Manhole Covers Ltd are a leading supplier to the construction industry, both in the UK and Internationally. They have a strong racing connection, having been a supplier to both Ascot & Cheltenham Racecourses, as well as other industry leaders like the Eden Project, The London Excel Centre & The Millennium Dome. We are really looking forward to promoting their business at the races with some strong corporate branding.
In other news the horses are all going well and we are looking forward to having some exciting runners this season.
It is a glorious day here today and all the horses are enjoying having an afternoon out in the paddocks in the sunshine. There has been a lot of rolling, sqealing & bucking...a sure indicator of happy horses.
NEW SEASON PREP WELL UNDER WAY
We have had a very hectic summer with all the boxes being pressure washed, disinfected, repainted & repaired, in readiness for the new season. We have also rebirched our schooling fences, which now look magnificent once again. Images of theses can be found on our Facebook group page - GGH Racing.
The horses are all in work now and are going really well. I am absolutely thrilled with their progress and they all look and feel wonderful in themselves.
We are really looking forward to building upon last years successes and are very excited about running Milburn, Richardofdoccombe, Benetwood & Tullow Boy. We also have some very well bred youngsters to run, which should be fun.
In other news we have received full planning permission for the construction of a brand new yard. All being well this will begin in the spring of 2014.
Very exciting times lie ahead and we are counting down the days until the season begins.
Do have a look at our Facebook Group - GGH Racing and do join if you wish to get regular updates and view some more informal pictures of the horses.
MILBURN WINS TWICE IN THREE WEEKS
After two very green runs in May, one of which was embarrassingly green, the penny finally dropped with Milburn when he won at Upcott Cross, over a trip we doubted he would stay, in ground we didn't think would suit him. He has always been a very good work horse at home and a lovely jumper, so it great to see him gallop on to the line, despite being hampered at the last fence by a falling horse, to just get his head in front. Lizzie Kelly gave him a fabulous and intelligent ride as always.
We were in two minds to run him so quickly again after his win, but the ground at Umberleigh was safe and we thought the track would suit him. Again Lizzie gave him a fabulous ride and he won well. He did give us all a bit of a scare when he idled in front when clear, but once joined by another horse he stuck his neck out again to win by 2 lengths. He is still green and has a lot to learn, but he is a very exciting prospect for the future. Our plan is to run him under rules as he an improving sort. Exciting times ahead!!!
You can always find more info and photos on our facebook page - GGH Racing. If you would like to receive updates via facebook just send me a friend request or ask to join the facebook group.
Apologies for being off line
Firstly I must apologise for not having updated this site for so long. We have been off line due to rapidily redundant computer equipment. Hopefully now with a brand new and very up to date computer system in place we can update this site on a more regular basis. I will be putting new images and News on here on a weekly basis from now on, so you should be able to keep track of how our horses are and when they will run and , of course, how they have got on.
Benetwood wins again
Benetwood won for us again in style today, at Trebudannon. He won easily even though he was carrying a 7lb penalty.
He is really enjoying his racing at present and has struck up a great partnership with Lizzie Kelly, who again gave him a superb ride.
Flyit Flora also had her first run over fences today, when coming back from injury. She jumped and travelled really well and had a good positive experience. She will probably now revert to running over hurdles under rules.
Benetwood wins by 10 lengths
It has been very busy at the yard of late. Benetwood ran for us at Cherrybrook and stormed home to win easily by 10 lengths, with Lizzie Kelly riding. Lizzie gave him a fabulous and confident ride, and it was wonderful to see him enjoying himself over the fences. We will now wait for better ground to come, before running him again.
We have also decided to retire our stalwart All in The Stars. He is a fabulous horse and owes us nothing and having had one run this season at the age of 14, and having pulled up in good health and without injury, both my Aunt and I decided it was time to call it a day. He will stay here at Stacombe and will have a happy and full retirement as a hunter and a hack.
We have a very nice Maiden mare to run, as well as Benetwood, if it stops raining. Some of our other youngsters will go straight on to run under rules, rather than running pointing.
Big thanks go to Tracy Roberts at Turfpix, Marcus Bath & Stephen Wesley at Equus Prints for their wonderful photographs.
It has been all go at the yard, hence my not having updated the site lately.
All our horses are very fit and well, and we should have our first runner of the season, All in The Stars, at Ideford Arch on 27th December, weather permitting.
In other exciting news the first of our pre trainers have started to run for their professional trainers:-
Tarbeck, who has just come back from a two year lay off, led from start to finish and won with ease at Hereford, thanks to a great training performance from the in form Charlie Longsdon and his team.
One of our other pre trainers,Tullow Boy, who won for us Pointing last season, had his first run under rules today at Ffos Las. This was his first time out over regulation fences, against a field of more experienced novice chasers. We were all thrilled for his owner Roly Stuart- Jervis and his trainer Polly Gundry to see him win, going away, by eight lengths.
We have been very busy at the yard of late and this week a number of our pre-trainers have progressed on to their Professional Trainers.
Tarbeck went to Charlie Longsdon, on Tuesday. His stable is in red hot form at present, having had a treble at Newton Abbot on the day we dropped Tarbeck off. Yesterday ,The Prime Viper returned to David Pipe, where she spent some time last season. Tullow Boy will go to Polly Gundry next week to have his debut season running under rules. All of us here at the yard wish the horses, trainers and connections every success with their forthcoming seasons.
In other news at the yard, Jenny Carr has joined our small team and will ride out for us three days a week, splitting her time between our yard and Polly Gundry's. Jenny rode for us last season, after coming home from her two year stint at Jonjo O'Neil's yard. We are all hoping that we can build upon Jenny's success on Tullow Boy last year by having more winners for her to ride this season.
I have posted some new photos of the horses and our very small string going out on the GGH Racing Facebook page so do have a look.
Some of our runners for next season have now started to come in for their roadwork. I have posted some new informal pictures on the GGH Racing Facebook page, so do have a look. All the horses are very well and happy & they look magnificent in their coats, which is nice to see.
I have made a Facebook page for GGH Racing, with the aim of updating this with more informal shots of the horses and other info for those friends who are interested in knowing what's going on at the yard. You can access it by typing GGH Racing into the facebook search box. Do have a look and become a friend of the yard.
It has been a busy month, with the entire yard being washed, scrubbed, disinfected and repainted.
A number of horses for pre-training have started to come in. These include The Prime Viper, who will be going back into full training with David Pipe. She is a stunning 4 year old filly by Traditionally out of an Accordion mare. She will be with us for a number of weeks to do her road work and to start cantering again.
We also have a stunning 4 year old by Oscar for sale on the Horses For Sale page. He is a lovely mover and related to the multiple winner Kilcrea Kim. He was broken in and ridden on last season and has now come in again to do his pre-training road work. Pictures of him and more information can be found on the Horses For Sale page or by contacting Gail.
Richard Burton gave Here's Johnny a great ride to finish 2nd at Umberleigh today, bringing what has been another successful season for us to a close. This was Richard's first ride for us and we hope that he will ride for us again in the future.
The horses will all have a break now and we will get on with cleaning and repainting the yard.
There is a lot to look forward to next season with some very nice young horses coming through, such as Mr Hordle's unnamed
4yr old by Karinga Bay. We are also looking forward to the return of the seasoned campaigners All in the Stars and Benetwood.
Here's Johnny ran well at Ideford Arch when 2nd, carrying a 7lb penalty. He has come out of the race very well ,so will now aim for the Confined Hunts race at Umberleigh at the end of the season.
Tullow Boy has now been sold and after a holiday, will go into full training to run under rules.
Tullow Boy today confirmed our thoughts, that he is a very nice horse, by winning the 2m4f Open Maiden at Trebudannon with ease. This is only his second run.
He was given an absolutely superb and gutsy ride by Jenny Carr. This was Jenny's first ride for us and she has been riding out at our yard during the week, since recently returning to Devon, after more than 2 years based with Jonjo O'Neil.
This win has been particulary rewarding for the connections of Tullow Boy at Howard Barton Stud, as they bred him themselves and he is a family favourite.
It has been a long haul with him, as he is a giant of a horse standing nearly 17.3hh and he has required a lot of patient nuturing to tap what is the beginning of his potential. He is a very exciting prospect for the future.
Personally, I am so thrilled that the patience of the owners has been rewarded.
We were all pleased with Here's Johnny's run at Newton Abbot in a Hunter's Chase, where he finished 5th when carrying top weight on ground that would have been too quick for him. He has come out of the race very well and is very fresh. We will now look to run him at Trebudannon in a Mixed Open race on level weights, provided we have rain and that there is a cut in the ground.
Culliford's Island was given a lovely ride by Lizzie Kelly on Saturday . He too will aim for Trebudannon in one of the Maiden Races.
Here's Johnny was given a great ride by Josh Guerreiro today to win at Eggesford. It's great to see Johnny back in form after what was nasty fall at Ottery St Mary in March. Here's Johnny's win was the first in what was to be a treble for Josh on the day.
The Venetian ran well to finish 4th at Kilworthy when ridden by Richard Hawkins, who only last week had a nasty fall at Taunton and is currently in hospital. All of us here at the yard wish Richard all the very best for a speedy recovery.
It has been a busy, but pleasing, weekend, with both our runners running really well. Here's Johnny finished 5th in a very hot race at Larkhill under Polly Gundry . It was our first run with him and we have learnt a lot about him from it. Polly gave him a fantastic ride, which will have given him bags of confidence for his next run.
The Venetian, also finished 5th, at Buckfastleigh on Sunday, in another hot Ladies Race. Alice Pearn gave him a great ride and although this was the first time she had ridden him they really clicked. He ran a blinder & jumped like a stag, in ground he absolutely hates. We will now ultimately aim him for the Aga Ladies Final at Cheltenham, for which he is now qualified.
It is really encouraging to see that the horses are now running as we expect and are coming out of their races well, as at the beginning of the season they didn't seem to be quite right in themselves.
We are looking forward to a busy weekend with Here's Johnny running at Larkhill in The Ladies Open on Saturday and The Venetian running at Buckfastleigh on Sunday. Here's Johnny will be partnered by reigning Ladies Champion Polly Gundry, who has ridden him before at the Cheltenham Festival and knows him well.
We expect the ground at Buckfastleigh will be too soft for The Venetian, but the race will get him qualified for Cheltenham in May, when course, distance and ground should be exactly to his liking.
The whole yard was thrilled to see Balustrade (by Barathea), one of the youngsters that has been sold from our yard, win yesterday Under Rules at Fontwell, for trainer Chris Gordon. We had always thought a lot of him here and it was wonderful to see him win over hurdles for Chris at 50-1. Well done to his current connections & we look forward to seeing him win again, as he was a very popular horse .
As expected Larkhill was abandoned due to frozen ground last week. We will now be waiting for softer ground in the coming weeks.
We are hoping to have our first runners of the season at Larkhill tomorrow. The Venetian will run in the Mens Open, with Josh Guerrerio on board and Tullow Boy, will be having his first racecourse experience in the Maiden Race, with Liam Adams riding.
Sadly, it looks like the weather may delay our plans once again with Larkhill staging an inspection at 2pm today, having announced that at present the course is unraceable due to frost.
This is particulary frustrating as the horses are fit and well and busting for a run, but we cannot control the weather and will have to wait like everyone else until the conditions are safe.
The weather has sadly scuppered our plans for our December runners. We were hoping to giveTullow Boy his first run at Barbury today, but sadly, as expected, that meeting has been abandoned.
Otherwise, the horses are all in fine fettle and we are looking forward to running them.
It has been a busy Sunday here at Stacombe, with Liam Adams visiting us, to school a number of horses, from his base in North Devon.
Tullow Boy jumped full size fences for the first time today and proved himself to be every bit of the athlete we have thought of him. He is a very tall horse, standing over 17.2hh, but he is light of foot and a lovely jumper of an obstacle. Liam is excellent with the youngsters and gave him bags of confidence. We will be schooling him regularly now right up until his first run in mid December.
Culliford's Island also schooled today and as ever, he was neat, quick and accurate over the fences. We hope to be able to build upon his positive runs last season at the beginning of December.
The First Trump 4 yr old, on the Horses for Sale page, has now been sold and we are really looking forward to getting him going and hope to run him later in the season.
I am also hoping that as we do more schooling that I will be able to get some decent photographs of our schooling sessions published on the website.
We have just added a Horses for Sale page to the website and will be adding to this as new horses become available to us. At present there are two exciting prospects, one which will provide immediate fun and the other a longer term prospect.
Cullifords Island is available on a free lease basis for the coming season and should be ready to run in early December. He is an exciting prospect having learnt his trade last season and he should provide a lot of fun days Pointing for somebody.
We also have 50% available in a 2yr old filly by top sire Kayf Tara. She is a cracking type from a great family and will surely make an exciting NH prospect in the years to come. More details on both these horses can be found on the Horses for Sale page.
There's a lot to look forward to.
We are now getting busy, and with the road work completed we are now about to start cantering and will soon be schooling in earnest.
We have been lucky enough to acquire two new schooling fences and these will be added to the three we have already. This will give us five full size fences to school over and will enable the horses to get into a real rythmn when schooling. This set up will compliment our log and barrel lanes.
Our pre training youngsters have come on well and The Prime Viper has now gone on into full training with David Pipe. She is a beautifully bred good looking filly and is available on a free lease basis for the 2010/2011 season. For more details please visit www.davidpipe.com
Finally our new website has been launched. I will be updating and tweaking it as we go along, but most of the updates will come as the horses start to run.
All the horses are back in from their summer holidays now and have commenced their road work.
We have some exciting prospects for the forthcoming season including The Venetian (who served us so well last term), and Culliford's Island (who is beautifully bred and a promising maiden, having had two introductory completions last season). We also have some lovely youngsters to run including Tullow Boy (an unraced 6yr old by Double Trigger) and an as yet unnamed 4yr old by Heron Island.
The barn and yard have been washed and painted over the summer, and all the fencing has been treated, so everything is ship shape and bristol fashion for the new season.
Professional Nation Hunt trainers in Devon & Cornwall,Gail Haywood National Hunt trainer in Devon, Hunter Chasers in Devon, Racehorse Trainer in Devon, Exeter, Newton Abbot, Torquay, Moretonhampstead, Doccombe, Mid Devon. GGH Racing. Hija, Richard of Doccombe, Brannoc, Russian's Legacy,The Venetian, All in The Stars, Sir Rembrandt, Sir Grenville, Cullifords Island, Ruby Star, Here's Johnny, Karanja, Kayf Tara, Presenting, Philomena, Tullow Boy, Victor Dartnall, Paul Keane, Neil Kernick, Schooling fences, gallops, Horses in training, horses for sale, Manhole Covers ltd.
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