Wednesday, 24th February | Cloudy | 13°

Yesterday we shared a picture of ‘spring like’ conditions here at Martins Hill, it’s amazing how much can change in a week or so, 12 degrees today.

It’s always an inspiring time of the year, everything is growing, the days are getting longer and normally we start to attend Cheltenham Festival preview nights, the festival is three weeks away. This year has a different feeling to it. Sadly with the current restrictions as they are, no crowds or even owners will be allowed to attend the Cheltenham Festival this year. On a positive note, we have a clear road map out of lockdown, this could see us back to some sort of normality by June? We certainly hope so!

Point to point racing is allowed to resume on the week beginning 29th March. Some good news for it’s participants, although with 11 weeks left in the season they have missed quite a lot of opportunities to run their horses. It’s hard for everyone but especially those who buy horses to run with the view to selling them. This season has been a good advertisement for British pointing, Willie Mullins’ Arkle contender Energumene won his Maiden at Larkhill!

There is jump racing today at both Ludlow and Doncaster, we have runners at Doncaster… more about them later.

The bad weather back in January and early February meant that many of our horses haven’t been racing, this has been a good opportunity to freshen them up. The horses are looking really well at the moment. Our summer jumping team are back in the yard and we have gradually started to do more with them. Horses such as Cast in Grey, Homing Star, The Distant Lady, Alexander The Grey are all enjoying their work.

Lots of you have been commenting on last weekends interview on Racing TV’s ‘Luck On Sunday, no Nick Luck last weekend… Cornelius Lysaght stepped in. A good chance to talk about our Grand National entry Ami Desbois… a big day for him today at Doncaster where he runs in the veterans chase.

As mentioned earlier, we have two runners today, both at Doncaster…

1:45 – Phil Healy – Phil Healy runs in the Novices Hurdle, she is a good looking, compact mare by Shirocco. She’s a sweet mare, a popular horse at the yard. She schooled yesterday and jumps her hurdles well and she’s shown plenty of promise in her bumper runs. This looks like a nice enough Novices Hurdle today, and although the ground is ‘Good to soft’ it will be quite a holding, tacky surface. With that we’d hope she can run a nice race to finish midfield, if not slightly better. In form jockey, David Bass takes the ride today.

3:30 – Ami Desbois – It’s a big day today for our stable star, Ami Desbois. He’s the highest rated horse in the yard and has been our stable star for many years. He’s had one run this season where he showed that he still retains his ability, running a huge race at Kempton to finish 2nd. Two For Gold who finished 3rd has won since in a Grade 2 chase at Warwick. This looks like a good opportunity for ‘Dream’, it’s a veterans chase and will be easier for him. It looks like the ideal preparation for the Grand National which is his target. Hopefully today he can show similar form to Kempton, that might be just about enough to give him a great chance here. Kielan Woods rides him.

Best of luck to all of our owners today!

Here are some recent pictures from the yard…

A sunny morning!
Kielan and Jodie
Horses heading down the gallop under the watchful eye of Mick Finn
Longcroft Jackets looking good!
Dublin Four and Thundersockssundae working
Dublin Four and Thundersockssundae working infant
Bradley riding Phantomoftheoscar
Kielan tacking up Phil Healy
Macy on her favourite, Wilde Water (Otis)
The Distant Lady
Prelude to Glory
Phil Healy
Max and Kielan schooling Ask Henry and Phil Healy over hurdles
Homing Star