It is with great sadness that I report the death of my close friend and a big part of the yard, Terry Rule. Anyone who had been to the yard on a Saturday morning would have met Terry and he was great at entertaining the owners and also brought a lot of new clients to the business as well as sausage rolls!
No one really knows how Terry first got involved with the yard but it was about 15 years ago through his association with the late Walthamstow greyhound track that he first came to the yard and it was from there that he took on managing a few syndicates.
One of his many jobs was as a driver for the Juddmonte Farms operation and it was thanks to him that we always manged to buy the right horses from them at the sales, resulting in nearly 70 winners I have trained which were bought from Juddmonte.
Terry was suddenly taken in to hospital a month ago where he was found with late-stage cancer. Lots of us in the yard went to see him and he seemed in good spirits and could spend all day catching up on what had been going on in the yard.
Terry is survived by his wife Pat, who also works for Juddmonte, and his daughter Peta. My deepest condolences are with them.
Some more awful news this week was the public announcement that jockey Freddy Tylicki has been paralysed from the waist down after a fall at Kempton last week. Although he had never ridden for us, he did sit on Our Cilla during a racecourse gallop at Yarmouth in the summer and I had been meaning to give him a ride ever since but the opportunity never arose. That was the first time I had ever met him but I was struck by how friendly Freddy was and he always had time to chat to you. Months after the gallop, he would still ask how Cilla was and I know he is a good friend of our jockey Adam Beschizza.
The rally round of support from everyone in racing just goes to show how popular Freddy was and I'm sure we'll all be happy to help him out when the time comes.
Although devastating, hopefully his injury isn't the end of the world for him and he can still make a life for himself. I know Dwayne Woods successfully runs nearby Brook Stud from a wheelchair whilst another ex-jockey, Robbie Macnamarra, has made a great start to his training career in Ireland, despite paralysis. Freddy has a winner's attitude and I think that's what will get him through this more than anything else.
Turning our attentions to the yard, it was a huge relief to finally win a race with the enigmatic Veeraya, four years after he last got his head in front. To be fair to the horse, he came to us from William Haggas off a very high handicap mark and it has taken him a while to drop down to a class he can be competitive in. Plenty of credit must go to his owner Reyaz Ferook who has never been frustrated and always believed the horse would come good again. Hopefully this win will do Veeraya's confidence the world of good and fingers crossed it won't be another four years before he wins again!
It looks likely to be a quiet week runners-wise, starting with Secret Ballerina at Kempton on Wednesday. I've been saving her until after last month's Horses in Training Sale as the field sizes tend to be a bit smaller now. She never went a yard in blinkers last time and I hope a step up in trip will help her get a bit more competitive.
Thursday sees the return to action of one of our lucky tracks as Southwell kicks off its winter season. The course's unique surface is very specialist and we carefully select the right horses to run there. We seemed to get it right plenty of times last year with a bucket-load of winners, including Limerick Lord who heads back there. He has had excuses on his last few runs and has dropped to a good handicap mark as a result. He acts well on the track so I hope he can make it a good first day back there.
Also entered at Southwell is Hodgkins Trust. He has looked very limited in a couple of runs for us but the owner did buy him thinking Southwell would be his track so we will find out then if he's right.
Majestic Moon, our purchase from the Tattersalls Horses in Training Sale a couple of weeks ago, has settled in really well and is doing fast work. He is rated 100, has won over £100,000 in prize money looks like a 'proper' horse - meaning a good one! We bought him to run in all the big handicaps at some of the most prestigious meetings across the country and he looks the ideal type for some good days out and some big paydays.
There are a limited number of shares left available in him and if you'd be interested in a horse who can take you to York, Royal Ascot or Glorious Goodwood as an owner, then he is the one for you.
10% shares are available at a cost of £4000 (inc VAT) each with the usual £200 per month all-inclusive training fees. Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in a CONTACT FORM for more info.
THREE TO FOLLOW LEADERBOARD (ends December 1st)
Ross Birkett 72
Jean Allen 71
Annette Hall 68
Jonathan Kinge 68
Liam Doran 64
Gary Wardle 64
Michael Buckley 63
Barbara Walton 58
Maureen Case 57
Anthea Telford 57