Our trips up to Newcastle are usually lucky ones but we haven't been up there in a while as it is only worth making the five hour journey if you think the horse has a good chance. Hopefully I'm right in thinking we have two of them on Saturday as we will be heading up the A1 to Gosforth Park with War Empress and Highway Robbery.
War Empress was a big eye-catcher last time when she was unlucky in running and finished with a wet sail at Kempton. That was her first try at two miles and she seemed to stay it very well so I'm hoping the longer straight at Newcastle will see her have better luck in running and hopefully go very close to winning.
Highway Robbery didn't have much luck last time either when his wide draw meant that he couldn't get into a good position and wasted ground at each bend. He is usually a tough and reliable horse so he should bounce back and can hopefully fill the kitty with a bit more Geordie prize money.
Before that we have a trip to Wolverhampton earlier in the week when Big Bang makes his handicap debut on Tuesday. He found life tough in novice races against good horses but he has been given a sensible rating by the handicapper after his first three races and this is the grade he is capable of running well in. We're still learning about his optimum distance but I hope he can start to get competitive now.
One of those good horses who beat Big Bang last time out has now joined our yard after we bought Engrave at last week's Tattersalls December Mares' Sale. She finished second in that race after finishing third on her debut and is fit and ready to hopefully make it a winning third run next time out. She was part of the Juddmonte draft at the auction and it has been a good few years since we have been able to buy one, such is their popularity, but this filly came recommended from the operation's racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe. We have been very lucky with ex-Juddmonte horses in the past and I can't wait to run this filly. She will race for owner Carol Bushnell who we all know is partial to a grey horse!
We only have a small team of horses for the all-weather this winter and half of them ran this week with varying degrees of success. Sea Shack is ultra consistent but finds winning hard and he again filled the placings at Southwell on Friday with another third place to his name. It is frustrating that he can't win but it isn't for lack of trying and eventually everything will fall into place for him.
Limerick Lord also ran at Southwell that day but was only there in spirit as he never ran a race and didn't put much effort in. He is getting a bit old and wise now so maybe we need to change the headgear he wears and also try him at another track.
Highway Robbery's run is best forgiven as he was drawn wide and could never get into a decent position.
After all the action last week, we just have one to run in the coming days as Miss Green Dream goes to Wolverhampton on Monday evening for the N.E.T. Racing Club. I'm desperate to get a win into her as she is so well bred and will make a lovely broodmare for someone. This doesn't look an easy race but it's her last chance as she will be heading to the sales afterwards where she goes through the ring at Tattersalls on Thursday evening. I will only sell her at the right price though so she may be coming back home.
The yearlings continue to go about their work with great attitudes and are cantering along very nicely. The most forward of the lot seems to be the Outstrip colt and we still have some shares left in him if you want to be a part of his syndicate. He hasn't even got a proper name yet and all his owners will have a say on what he is called as well as all the usual perks of ownership when he goes to the races. He looks like he will be an early two-year old so get involved if you want to be a part of his exciting journey. Find out more here.
We could get some of the horses into the new stables we have been building as the roof is all finished and I'm delighted with how they look. They are big stables with loads of light and fresh air so should provide a lovely environment for the horses. Things aren't fully finished yet as there is no lighting, there's a bit of painting and tidying to do plus the yard needs surfacing but at least we can get a few of the horses in from the field and out of the bad weather.