It is always important to remember and celebrate the good days in racing because there are plenty of bad ones to keep you grounded.
Last year, Secret Strategy was one of the stars of the stable, winning twice and was the leading points-scoring horse in the 'Four to Follow' competition. His last win at Brighton was a remarkable race to watch as he was struggling to go the early pace and was miles behind before running on up the hill to pass the field and get his head in front under a superb ride from Hollie Doyle. After this he was given a break to freshen up for an all-weather campaign and on Saturday he had his first run back since then.
He traveled well during the race but then got a bump at halfway and soon lost his place. At first it looked like a disappointing run but it soon transpired that he had suffered a nasty injury. Another horse in the race had struck into his back leg and severed his tendon. The vets on course immediately made him comfortable with painkillers but it was clear that no amount of time off would heal this injury so it was in the horse's best interests for him to be put down.
It is absolutely heart-breaking when this happens and it is something we pray never does. Strategy was a real character in the yard and was very popular among his highly enthusiastic owners. Chloe rode him every morning and did very well to put up with his naughtiness. He will be sadly missed and hopefully that is our worst day of the new year out of the way.
Another week of consistent efforts saw some more prize money put in the bank and after ten runners so far this year, only two have been out of the prize money. This is thanks to the new initiative to award prizes down to eight place and I think it is a fantastic initiative and helps owners get a little bit of their money back. The money they win is enough to pay the jockey and other fees so it is really a free day's racing even if you don't win.
All our runners this week came home with some cash after two respectable fourths from Go On Gal and Limerick Lord at Southwell as well as Pitch High's fifth place at Lingfield despite the fact he didn't handle the track very well.
Hopefully the runners this week can all do the same or better as we have a few entries.
Starting on Monday, Spirit Of Sarwan heads to Wolverhampton and will be trying a longer trip than usual after staying on well over one mile recently. The extra distance looks ideal and the longer straight at Wolverhampton should suit him for a late charge so hopefully he can get his head in front again.
Then on Wednesday, Sir Fred will make his racecourse debut at Kempton. Although he is only small, like all his family he has needed time to develop. It looks a hot race but the experience will do him good and he jumped out of the stalls smartly this week so shouldn't be disgraced.
At the other end of the experience scale, Majestic Moon knows plenty about the racing game and he will bid to continue his consistent run of form at Southwell on Thursday.
He has really taken to the course this winter and certainly deserves to win after a string of good efforts. Hopefully this will be his day.
Then on Friday I'm looking forward to running Lulu Star again at Kempton. She ran a blinder on her debut for us when finishing third at the track last month and she seems to have sharpened up for that effort. There are lots of entries in the race and there could be some good horses in there but she will qualify for handicaps after this and I can see her winning very soon.
Also entrered there is Sunset Bounty. She is rated quite low so struggles to get in races with lots of entries as there are in this so I expect she will not get a run.
Oud Metha Bridge is a horse I'm really excited to see run as he has been galloping brilliantly since we bought him in October. He will be given a couple of entries, one of which will be at Kempton on Saturday. He clearly has a lot of ability and hopefully we can get him to show it on the track. Shares are still available so you might want to get involved now!