Saturday, 8th May | Light Rain | 12°

Another weekend of superb racing, the Swinton hurdle today at Haydock! The temperatures have dropped and it looks like we’re going to get our April showers in May. We could do with some rain to be honest so it’s not all bad news.

In racing news, last night it felt like the end of an era when it was announced that Rich Ricci had decided to retire his superstars Faugheen, Douvan and Benie Des Dieux. A fabulous three, Faugheen dominated one of the best Champion hurdle fields in modern times before a successful chasing career at the grand age of 12. Douvan won 8 Grade 1s and probably would of won a lot more if injury hasn’t scuppered most of his career and Benie Des Dieux was a very talented mare who will be a super broodmare. As racing fans, especially NH racing, we love seeing these horses return year after year. What great horses they were!

Here at Martins Hill we’ve started the season in flying form, our recent runners have all run with credit and we have two winners on the board already. Some of our recent runners include… Getthepot and Ask Henry went all the way to Ayr, was it worth the long journey? Of course it was! Getthepot won his race really well, a horse that will get three miles he stayed on really well. It didn’t look likely on the home turn but plenty of persistence from Kielan he found an extra gear on the run in, nice horse. Ask Henry was agonisingly close to landing a double, beaten a length running on, he deserves to win one soon but has been very consistent.

Congratulations to Shaw Racing, they have another nice horse to go to war with. A great syndicate with lots of fun!

Talking of Syndicates, another brilliantly run syndicate had a winner the following day. Yes BDR Syndicates Josie Abbing won at Fontwell. We were sent this horse fairly recently after she’d been disappointing, a change of scene can sometimes make the difference. She came 2nd on her yard debut and then went and won very well under a brilliant ride by Tom Bellamy. Congratulations to all involved!

We have a handful of runners this weekend, starting today at Warwick…


Warwick – 7:20 – SAMMYLOU is a real yard favourite, not the biggest physically but a huge heart. He won three races last summer and placed in a few more. He became a bit of a regular at Newton Abbot over marathon trips. His first run back today and he’ll definitely come on for it, lovely to see him back through and hopefully a successful summer ahead.


Ludlow 1:50 – JESSICA RABBIT – won her last start well in a handicap at Doncaster. Kielan gave her a stunning rude that day and had to go very light to ride her. The horse she beat went and won by 16 lengths after. Jessica Rabbit was raised 5lbs and that looks workable. Hopefully she’ll find the winning line again this summer.

2:20 – ALFOSKI – A big horse who has been backward and is a bit of a show off at home. He always looks the part but so far hasn’t shown the form we know he can on a racecourse. He’s off a low mark and you’d like to think he can start to turn a corner soon. Not one to trust yet!

3:20 – CALUM GILHOOLEY – Another one who made hay last summer, he won two races. A really likeable horse who loves good ground. His mark still looks workable and it will be interesting to see how he goes first time out. Like anything, we learn a lot first run after a break. We’ll start to see how ready they all are.

Back to the yard and many horses are now in the field enjoying a well deserved summer holiday. We enjoyed a brilliant winter and already can’t wait to see some of our stars next winter. Marble Sands who won a bumper at Ascot will be novice hurdling next winter, as will Aviewtosea and Phillapa Sue an exciting mare.

We hope you’ll join us in sending best wishes to our conditional jockey Lilly Pinchin who has had to watch the racing from her sofa the past few weeks. Lilly had a horrible injury on Grand National day when suffering a crashing fall at Chepstow. She broke her back but typically of Lilly she said the show must go on and luckily she’ll be back as soon as possible. We can’t wait to see her return in a few months. Lilly jokes that all get well soon cards can be sent to the yard!

Get well soon Lilly, the yard is certainly quieter without you…

Have a great weekend!

Gwyn on Alfoski
Macy on Sammylou
Hattaab leading Andaleep and Calum Gilhooley
Homing Star ready for a summer of racing!
Fleeting Visit on the round gallop
Gwyn on Alfoski
Pop The Champagne
Ami Desbois in his stable last week before heading out to the field
Gwyn on Alfoski