Monday, 15th March | Cloudy | 9°

Good morning, and Merry Cheltmas Eve…

Yes the week that all National Hunt racing fans wait for all year is here. Four days of thrilling races, sadly no crowds this year. So much has changed in a year, last year we were all at Cheltenham, probably knowing that something was about about happen, but none of us would realise the extent of how the virus would change our way of life!

Back to Cheltenham, after missing two meetings due to bad weather in the winter, the ground has barely been raced on this season. This has resulted in a beautiful playing surface. They do a wonderful job with their ground. Genuine good to soft ground on day 1 of the festival looked likely but 10mm of rainfall last night and the ground is now soft all round, that is likely to dry up as the week goes on.

No runners at Cheltenham for us this year, however we will be watching closely and might throw the odd selection into the blog for a bit of fun, although none of us are seasoned tipsters!

So let’s talk about our recent runners…

Firstly, all of our horses continue to be knocking on the door, lots of very good efforts and placed horses. AJAY’S WAYS made a promising start in handicap company at Southwell finishing 3rd, he will probably step up to 3m next time. A good result for his BDR Syndicate owners. BDR are a well run and friendly Syndicate, we’d encourage you to check them out!

DAWN TREADER must be the unluckiest horse in the yard at the moment, once again he found one too good, this time at Wolverhampton. It can’t be long before we see him win, it’s lovely to see him in such good form and enjoying his racing.

The highlight has to be RATFACEMCDOUGALL winning at Hereford. A real yard favourite, Ratface has enjoyed a lucrative time of things this season, winning three times. He and Max have struck up a real partnership and that told at Hereford. A strong ride from Max and a brave run from Ratface, the pair hit the front and galloped on strongly to the line. Having been headed on the run in the victory looked unlikely, but the pair never know when to give up!

Congratulations to Max who is enjoying a very successful season. Many of you would of seen Ratface enjoying his day in the paddock yesterday on our social media accounts.

Talking social media, it’s really encouraging to see so many new followers across our channels. We aim to show you guys a behind the scenes look into our yard, something that is especially important at the moment. We love our horses and they receive the best care here at Martins Hill. As always, thanks for your messages of good luck when we have runners!

Onto out runners today, we have two and they both run at Taunton…

3:40 – Skipthecuddles – Another real yard favourite, Skipthecuddles is a bit of an enigma. A talented horse on his day, but a very lazy horse. At home he does everything at his own pace! Depending on which Skipthecuddles turns up today, he’d have a good chance. If he runs to the form on his recent 3rd at Newbury he could win this, but he’s not one to trust. It would be lovely to see him get his head in front.

4:10 – Getthepot – Getthepot is a nice horse by Getaway who we bought from Ireland where he’d run in point to points. He started his career for us in a bumper at Bangor where he ran well to finish 4th on ground he didn’t like. He’s then been running on heavy ground most of the winter and he hasn’t really enjoyed it. Today is his handicap debut off a mark of 94, which does look workable, today we will find out. The one concern is that the going is soft. Although it will be a sounder surface than he’s run on so far, he’d still want the ground to be quicker. Good each way chance hopefully for his Shaw Racing owners!

Have a fantastic Cheltenham week and best of luck!

Ellie and Ratface after winning at Hereford
Getthepot schooling over hurdles
Mel riding Skipthecuddles