We are starting to wind down now and most of the horses, as well as staff, will be looking forward to a summer break.
On Grand National Day – Saturday 6th April – we were at Newcastle with five runners where the going was good to soft.
In the 2 mile 4 furlong Handicap Hurdle Bingo D’Olivate was ridden by Brian Hughes. Bingo was pretty keen throughout the race but travelled well up the inside and then three from home when virtually in the lead, unfortunately he fell. The horse is fine but Brian was not so lucky and suffered injuries to his jaw and will be off for a while. We all wish him a speedy recovery.
Bullion with Steven Fox was also in the same race and finished 10th of 15. He became rather wound up in the paddock and was under pressure the whole way but he jumped well and galloped resolutely at the one pace. He had probably done enough for this season and hopefully now he will be dropped in the handicap and possibly more testing ground and a staying trip will suit him better.
Conor O’Farrell rode Bluefortytwo in the 2 mile 4 furlong Novices Hurdle where he came 7th of 11. He jumped really well and held up at the back, he made progress during the first circuit but when they quickened coming into the home straight, he was unable to go with them. We will probably look at Novice Handicap Chases for him next season as we believe he will make a good chaser.
With Brian injured, Steven Fox rode Aristo du Plessis in the 2 mile Handicap Hurdle. Steven had him in a good position on the inside and as always his jumping was excellent but as they came into the home straight on the fastest going, he just couldn’t quicken and finished 5th. He has run nine times and has been very tough and consistent. Now with a handicap of 124 we should be able to find a suitable race for him next season.
Dale Irving took the ride on Lord Wishes in the 2 mile 4 furlong Handicap Chase and ran another good race to finish 3rd. He jumped well throughout even though he was under pressure for much of the way and as his handicap has now dropped to 115 this will give us more suitable opportunities.
We had one runner at Kelso on Monday 8th April where the going was good to soft. Ueueteotl with Steven Fox ran in the 2 mile 5 furlong Handicap Chase and finished 4th of 13. Once again he travelled and jumped extremely well except for a slight mistake three out when he was coming under pressure. He would prefer a stiffer track like Carlisle or Hexham and will be racing again before the end of the season.
Ueueteotl with Steven Fox on his way to the start at Hexham
For Three with Steven Fox enjoyed the going and handled the course well. This was a pretty competitive race and he did very well to finish 3rd out of 16. He was a little bit keen but jumped fluently and he has had a very consistent season and provided plenty of fun for the Craig Farm Syndicate.
Steven Fox on For Three at Hexham
This was a first run in a hurdle race for The Maestro and he was given a lovely ride by Nick Schofield to finish 5th. Leading for the first part of the race, he jumped very well and was just a little outpaced in the final stages - he is chaser in the making.
Nick Schofield on The Maestro at Wetherby
Looking to the Future
Even though the racing activity is quietening down, plenty of work still goes on at the yard and with a view to next season, we have been schooling some of the younger horses over fences. Ettila de Sivola shows great aptitude and also Dunly looks a natural. Following the fall of Bingo D’Olivate, we have fitted blinkers at home to help him concentrate and tried him over a fence and this has worked well.
Ettila de Sivola showing great promise on his first introduction to fences
Dunly - far side - enjoying himself
The Next Generation - Equine.....
Think Green, a well-bred mare who was in training with us for a while, has just had a colt foal by Black Sam Bellamy who has sadly now died and so this is one of his last offspring.
Think Green with her foal born on 12th April
Mon Amie was bred by Will Ewart and is half-sister to the winners of 20 races including Sa Suffit and she has recently had a colt foal by Spanish Moon who is also the sire of Empire de Maulde. The foal was born at Twemlows Stud in Shropshire https://twemlows.co.uk and Mon Amie is now due to visit Blue Bresil who stands nearby at Yorton Farm https://yortonfarm.co.uk
Mon Amie with her 3 hour old foal born on the 7th March
The Next Generation - Human...
Otto and Thea Ewart enjoying the Easter holidays
On Monday 15th April we have two runners at Hexham.