The two yearlings we bought in October have proven to be very easy to deal with and they have taken each step of their pre-training extremely well and this week they graduated from the yard onto the Heath with little fuss. Both greys are owned by Carol Bushnell and friends and they look nice sorts at this stage. After a couple of weeks of work in the sand pit getting used to tack on their backs and in their mouths, they are gradually introduced to having a rider on their backs and when everyone is happy with things, they head outside and start some gentle trotting and cantering. Obviously it is a long time before the babies can even think about running next April but it is a gradual process to get them ready and it makes life easier for everyone if the horses enjoy the learning process which these two seem to do. Thanks to Carol for taking the photos below.
With new talent coming through you have to make some space and having her last run for us this week will be War Empress before she heads to the sales early next month. It has been frustrating to have not won with her yet but you can't fault her consistency having finished in the first four in eight of her ten handicap runs! She is always thereabouts but seems to lack another gear needed to come home in front. She's got one more chance for glory at Southwell on Tuesday and with the track and trip all to her liking, I don't see why she shouldn't be in the frame again.
The other runner for the week will be Engrave at Chelmsford on Thursday evening. Everything looked in place for a big run there last time but the race didn't go to plan and she got shuffled out of position with too much to do. These things happen (particularly on the all weather) so we will giver it another try and hope she gets a bit more luck. She seems fit and well at home so fingers crossed.
As you can tell, we don't have too many to run on the all-weather this winter and that is mainly because most of the owners are in agreement that they would rather save their horses for the next turf season as going racing to watch your horse at the moment isn't very appealing with the restrictions in place. Winter racing isn't the best experience in normal circumstances so I can't say I blame them! The positive side is that we will have a fresh and healthy team ready to hit the ground running next spring.