Whilst it's rare for John and I to ever get away on a holiday, the horses can have one whenever they need it and that has been the case recently after I was a bit concerned about the health of the yard.
We've had a fantastic season so far and over the past month or so we have rarely had a runner out of the placings so it was disappointing to see all my runners run well below par last week and, with a few horses coughing in the yard as well, I decided to put any runners on hold and to give the majority of the yard a break of a couple of weeks to make sure they get over whatever was affecting them.
Other than a dry cough, there have been no other visible symptoms to the illness and all blood tests came back fine but the talent in training horses is knowing when to go faster or to go slower and in this case we are doing the latter to ensure the team can come back fitter and stronger.
Most of the older horses are being turned out in the paddocks during the day so they get a good chance to clear their lungs and minds for a while. As most of our horses can run throughout the year, having a small break is no big deal and it means they'll be fresher for later in the year.
Meanwhile, I've kept some of the younger horses ticking over to avoid them getting too fresh and injuring themselves and they headed over to the Cambridge Road polytrack gallop on Saturday morning.
Best Example is a horse we bought from Godolphin in July and he is gradually upping his workload now as he returns to full fitness. He came to us having had a holiday and was very fat so we have just had to take our time with him and gradually shift the excess weight. He was an improving horse when last in action over the winter so hopefully he can continue his progress.
Thank you for all your submissions in the 'Name a horse' competition on the website, entries close in a couple of days time and then we will run a vote to decide the final name. The horse in question has been coming along nicely and (as you can see) has plenty of character. He is a big two-year old so we won't rush him but he could be an exciting horse for the N.E.T. Racing Club.
THREE TO FOLLOW LEADERBOARD
Ross Birkett 63
Jonathan Kinge 63
Annette Hall 61
Liam Doran 60
Gary Wardle 60
Jean Allen 60
Maureen Case 56
Anthea Telford 56
Barbara Walton 56
Michael Buckley 55