End of season round up

With the 23/24 season now come to an end, it’s a good time to reflect on what has been a challenging season.

We finished with 8 winners (11 last term) and a best ever prize money tally of £116,441.

Very early on in the autumn even when nicking a few winners I’ve never been completely happy with the herd as a whole. Many just running below par and not quite at the level they should be, and others developing a cough and abnormal bloods. The first and only frosty cold week seemed to kick start us in January with 4 winners inside 10 days before once again being hit with snotty horses and blood tests on some indicating a viral challenge. Quite frankly it’s felt like pushing water uphill for most of the season!!

However in spite of huge health challenges for most of the season we have still enjoyed some real highlights.

Ooh Betty’s progress throughout this season has been remarkable. Winning a maiden hurdle, novice hurdle and bolting up in a handicap on the bridle at Hereford. She was beaten a nose in a £37,500 mares novice hurdle at the winter millions weekend, 3rd in a grade 2 at Newbury and ended her season finishing 2nd at Cheltenham in a mares listed event.

Ooh Betty finishing 2nd at Cheltenham

Endless Escape was a horse that took until February to finally come alive this season. She ran 3 ok races over fences just not setting the world alight so we reverted to hurdles and slowly she started running herself back into top form. Finishing 2nd at Exeter and Chepstow under big weights she ended her season finishing 3rd in a £50k mares handicap at Cheltenham beaten 3 1/2 lengths giving plenty of weight away. There’s unfinished business over fences for her next season.

Endless Escape finishing 3rd at Cheltenham

Good Friday Fairy had a very productive novice campaign over fences winning 2 and placed twice. Very good jumper who I’ve learnt a lot about this season. On his last few runs he was a little underwhelming but we have good reasons for those. I expect him to kick on to bigger and better races next season.

Good Friday Fairy taking a nap!

Cast’s Tasha had a great start to her campaign finishing placed 3 times then winning on chasing debut at Ffos Las. Encountered a few little issues since but on soft ground hurdles/fences in mares races she will continue to make her presence felt.

Cast’s Tasha winning at Ffos Las

Risk De Pluie was a horse we purchased from the English PtP scene at Christmas. He won on rules debut for us at Fontwell and backed that up with a solid placed effort at Sandown. Not been quite the same since mid February which I believe I know why, so a summers break a couple of little tweaks and i strongly believe he is a proper horse over fences.

Risk De Pluie Winning at Fontwell

Bobalot is probably the most frustrating horse i train! He shows an awful lot of ability at home but is very in and out on the track. After not particularly taking to fences, he won at Fontwell when reverting back to hurdles. Don’t believe he has a strong preference ground wise so we will run him into the early part of the summer. Wouldn’t surprise me if at some point he racked up a little sequence, he has the ability to do so.

Connections of Bobalot following his Fontwell win!

Miss Hunky Dory is a nice young horse who was placed in a bumper and a novice hurdle and will tackle fences next season. Game Colours and Ri Na Cuirte have both been placed over hurdles and on a decent surface should continue to improve. Both Dr Kananga and The Galloping Bear have found life pretty tough this season. Bear who is incredibly tricky to train – recently posted a good effort giving weight away to finish 2nd in the west wales national. Dr Kananga has finished 2nd on 2 occasions but isn’t quite at the level he once was at the moment.

Inebranlable far side Ri Na Cuirte near side

The worst day by far this season came last Friday at Chepstow. Blue Moon Serenade ran a lovely race finishing 3rd but sadly picked up a life ending injury crossing the line. I can’t begin to tell you how gut wrenching this was for the whole team. A gorgeous big mare with an unbelievable temperament. Between myself and the owners we had plotted her through this season very gently with our full focus on next season and beyond with her. A lovely young horse with the nicest of owners, simply gutting for all.

We now look forward to a healthy team of horses for the 24/25 season starting in a few days time. We have half a dozen or so horses to run in May and I hope we can have a positive start to the campaign.

We have a couple of new additions to the team for next season who were purchased recently. Giant mare Dancinnthemoonlite was purchased having finished 2nd in a PtP. She ran last week in a bumper, that’s a run to ignore and she’ll show her true colours in a soft ground 2 1/2 mile mares maiden hurdle. We have also been sent a lovely 3 year old Maxios filly by an existing owner in the yard who’s been a big supporter of ours. This filly shows a great attitude jumps well and might just run in a junior national hunt hurdle in the autumn. I currently have a couple of horses I’m looking at in Ireland who may also be added to the team shortly.

A massive thankyou to all my owners for their tremendous support, I really can’t thank them all enough. Finally a huge thank you to my team who care for these horses so well and put so much effort into readying them for the races on a daily basis.

24/25 season …. Let’s go!!

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