Anyone who has been to the yard will have seen the fantastic brick stables we have in the main yard which were build in the early 1900s and provide roomy and airy accommodation for the horses. You will have also seen our bottom yard which was put up by us 12 years ago as a temporary measure for a sudden influx in horses - they've never been empty since! However, being made of wood, they are perfect for most horses' favourite hobby - chewing wood. There is certainly plenty of 'air conditioning' now with the holes they've made but I'm delighted to say that work this week gets underway to demolish this block of stables and build some brick ones in their place.
It has been a long-running joke with John that he has said the stables will be built 'soon' and that time is finally coming at last. Although it won't add to our capacity, it will ensure that every horse as a lovely stable.
This work does mean that we've had to make room but luckily a few horses were due a holiday so they are out in the paddocks for the time being and the fine weather means that they are enjoying themselves very much.
We were spoilt with the weather for our inaugural Owners' Weekend this week and thank you to everyone who came to the barbecue on Friday evening and then the coffee morning at the yard the following morning. It was great to see new and familiar faces stroking the horses and watching them on the gallops. Hopefully this is something we can do every year.
I hope you rubbed some luck onto the team as we have a few runners this week and a winner would be most welcome.
On Monday evening, New Expo is on the late shift in the last race at Kempton. I think he is best on firm turf but there aren't any races for him so he will be trying two miles here and this is probably a trip he wants now. Hopefully he can get in the frame under Hollie Doyle.
Sir Fred is one of the most honest horses in the yard and he deserves to win a race but never seems to get the rub of the green. He'll be trying again on Tuesday to get a win on the board at Lingfield but it does look a competitive race for the grade.
Our young amateur jockey Sam gave Highway Robbery a lovely front-running ride to finish third at Wolverhampton a few weeks ago and he gets another chance to shine on Thursday aboard Exning Queen at Chelmsford. She tends to lose her races at the start by jumping out of the stalls slowly so hopefully Sam can keep her in touch and come with a late run.
Also at Chelmsford will be Any Smile. She was a bit disappointing on her first run for us last time but that was in a hot race and we will put a pair of cheekpieces on her to help her concentrate. She works at home like a horses who is much bette than her rating so it's just a case of getting her to do it on the track.
It has been a memorable year for Gas Monkey and the N.E.T. Racing Club with four wins this season and anything else would be a bonus. He has had a short break whilst the ground was too firm for him to run but he is fit again now and ready to go when we see some rain. There is some forecast this week so he will be entered in the Apprentices' Derby at Epsom on Sunday where I think he should have another great chance with Sean Kirrane back on board. He is a versatile horse so I don't think Epsom will be a problem, it's just a case of whether the handicapper has caught up with him.
Four To Follow Leaderboard
Ann Buy 152
Leonard Wain 131
Linda Weston 131
Andy Condon 129
Jim Stevens 128
Mark Jackson 128
Pam Smith 125
Sue Morris 121
Dominic Lisle 119
Darren Jeal 118