March 8th 2017
Apologies for not blogging for a while but I have excuses!! The start of the year was rather a hectic one! Along with the yard being in full swing and all the horses getting out racing, we welcomed our gorgeous little boy, Harry into the world on Jan 14th, Molly adores her little brother. He is doing really well and we are getting used to being a family of four!
My second excuse is that we are in a world of social media and as most trainers are finding it is easier to blog info as and when it happens in the form of Face book! This year I started a Mason Racing Face Book page and I keep it up to date all the time and Its so much easier to post quickly with live news and photos as and when its all happening. I do hope that you will follow us on Face Book.
I will of course keep the blog up to date.
All the horses have been running well this season, we have had rather too many seconds but second is better than no where so we cant complain too much!
We had a lovely winner for Guy Disney on Sunday riding SILVER BY DESIGN, in the restricted, he hacked up easily in the mud that he loves!
Tomorrow we run YOU TOO PET at Wincanton with Nick Schofield on board, he has been really consistent this season and clocking up a bit of nice prize money, he can be a quirky horse sometimes, especially at home! Last time we felt he didn't try his hardest so we try him with cheek pieces tomorrow!
Its obviously every jump racing fans most exciting week next week with the highlight of the calendar being the Cheltenham festival! We wish we had the calibre of horse to take to Cheltenham! We will keep hoping and dreaming that one day we will!! But we will definitely be watching it & enjoying the stars of the sport do there thing! I know Pete will be cheering on Cue Card to win the Gold Cup.
Its the VWH P2P on March 25th, which we are very involved in the organising off, we hope to run a couple of horses there depending on the ground, one of those is SHY JOHN, who apart from not enjoying the ground at Towcester last time out has done little wrong this season being 2nd & 3rd in very, very good opens, he does not like this soft ground much any more and so we gave him a little mid season break in the hope that the rain will stop at some point for him to have a few more runs on better ground.
We also hope to run David Howard's horses L'EMIR D'ART & OSKAR DENARIUS soon, both over hurdles. Again we wait for the right ground for them! Keep an eye on entries.
We also wish our very good friend GUY DISNEY, lots of luck for his ride in the Grand Military at Sandown on Friday, lets hope he can do the double, following up on his win in the Royal Artillery!
December 20th 2016
its probably one of the busiest times of the year for anyone but with lots of racing over the Xmas period it's even more hectic for those who work in Racing! What would we do without the amazing staff we have, we are certainly very lucky!
I have found a quiet moment this morning to write this blog as we have just decided to not run YOU TOO PET today at Taunton, the ground had been good to soft but changed this morning to good with quick patches so especially after his last run where he was a very good second but was slightly run off his feet, we decided it was best to leave him for another day and some soft ground!
We also had a very good 2nd with SHY JOHN at Barbury Castle P2P a couple of weeks ago, he ran a really good race in a good competitive open, he is always going to find it tough now in the opens as he is getting a bit older and the open races remain strong races, but we hope with him we can place him in the right races this season and get the best out of him, whether that be pointing or under rules, he still has the want to do it and Pete and him have such a strong partnership together, which is a pleasure to watch.
Probably the most pleasing runner we have had this season was from new French horse L'EMIR D'ART, he is owned by David Howard and ran for him in France on the flat, he is a lovely looking 3 yr old that we have been training for juvenile hurdles, he didn't show too much at home when he arrived and nor did he show much on the flat in France but in the last couple of weeks before we ran him he was improving lots on the gallop so we were quietly hopeful that he might run ok, however Warwick racing at this time of year is always good racing, the race was a good juvenile and we also had a lot of rain in the morning which didn't help the young horses, they finished very strung out, but our little lad finished 4th and really tried, we were delighted with him! He will now have a little quieter time over Xmas and new year and we will look to run him again feb / March time, a very exciting prospect for us.
We hope to be at Bangor this Thursday with possibly YOU TOO PET (if it rains)! And also OSKAR DENARIUS, also owned by David Howard, this will be his first run over hurdles, he was a useful flat horse with two wins, one at Windsor and one at Chepstow. He had a rating of 80 on the flat which should be good enough to show something, we hope! We expect him to be a bit green and perhaps a bit keen first time out but we hope for him to have a nice introduction to jumping and come back safe and sound, he has been a fragile horse in the past, so some soft ground is essential for him which we hope to get with rain forecast.
After Xmas we plan to run SILVER BY DESIGN for Guy Disney and his syndicate at Chaddesley Corbet, he will run in the restricted, there are so many entries and I'm sure there will be lots of racing split on the day, it could be a long day!
He has been going well at home and it will be nice to see him back on the race course after a promising start a couple of years ago.
So all is well and we are happy with all the horses in the yard, we just have the small matter of a baby to be born in the next couple of weeks! No problem! I think Molly is the most excited about that!
So that just leaves me to wish you all a very happy Xmas and New Year and we look forward to seeing you all in 2017!
Nov 18th 2016
Well its been a slow start to get things going this season due to the driest Autumn on record! But eventually the rain has come and we have been able to start working the horses on the grass gallops at home and start schooling over the new re furbished schooling fences, which are a little bigger than last year!!
We are nearly ready to run a few horses which is very exciting to be back racing again!
YOU TOO PET who now runs under the MASON RACING CLUB ownership will hopefully run in the next couple of weeks in a handicap chase, he should go well off his current mark and he seems extremely well at home, regularly depositing his jockeys on the floor, which if he wasn't doing so one would be worried!! Just poor Pete who has to ride him most days!
SILVER BY DESIGN, who we are delighted to have back in the yard, will run hopefully in a point before Xmas, he is still owned by his breeder Sharon, but GUY DISNEY has formed a syndicate to run him for this season, its great to have Guy in the yard with us this season, always fun to train for a friend!
Guy has always had horses in training with Sarah Stafford, who very sadly died a few weeks ago, she was an incredible horsewoman who Pete very much enjoyed riding for these past few seasons. We will all miss her.
Guy also has an exciting new horse he recently acquired from Charlie Longsdon called OFF THE GROUND. We very much look forward to seeing him on the track this season for Guy, he will be aimed at Hunter Chases, which we hope he will suit very well.
SHY JOHN, who is thriving again this season will also hopefully be ready to run in a point before Xmas too. He seems on his usual excellent form at home and Pete really looks forwards to riding him again.
DAVID HOWARD also has the lovely OSKAR DENARIUS, who is coming along nicely, we are in no rush with him due to his previous injury's, so we have just taken our time with him, if he can stay well and sound he should be an exciting prospect for novice hurdling this season. David also has L'EMIR D'ART, from France who we will also try in a juvenile hurdle this season, he is only a 3yr old and quite weak so we will see how he progresses.
So, hopefully its all systems go and we will keep you posted.
I would also like to inform you that Mason Racing now has a Face Book page!! I appreciate that not everyone is on FB, but I very much recommend that you go on. its a great way to see what we are up to as we are doing things! Its much easier for me to put photos up and let you know what we are doing from anywhere, so please do like our page and you will automatically get my feeds!
See you soon.
Sep 29th 2016
Its now back to the usual routine, and so a bit more to report on! Most of August and September has been all about road work, hacking about and gentle cantering, pretty boring really!! The horses are now stepping things up, starting to do some schooling and will soon be doing bits of work in the next couple of weeks. Our first runners we would hope will be around middle of November. We have a few nice horses to run this year and some good old timers too!
Its been lovely to see some of the owners recently that have been to the yard to see horses. It feels like its been a long summer, but that might be because I'm missing not being able to ride! And it also seems like the baby due date is also a long time away!
I must also mention our new addition to the yard!- Dee, is our new full time help in the yard, taking up the slack that I cant do this season! We are very lucky to have her, she has lots of experience working with horses but has not worked with horses for a while due to children, so she is loving being back in a yard again, she is great with all the horses and has become a valuable member of the team. Bella is also with us again this season as a work rider, she will do a couple of lots every day as normal, and again we are very grateful to her skills on a horse.
Molly too rides out Thumper every day now, she is pretty keen and wants to try and keep up with Daddy!!
July 25th 2016
Sorry for the absence for a while. Many of you may know that we are expecting a baby brother or sister for Molly! And as with before I was very ill for the first couple of months. However, thankfully I am back to normal now and good timing too as a few of the horses are coming in from their summer hols this week to start their work again.
To catch up on things won't take long because it's basically been a very quiet summer! The horses all finished in good health and have been enjoying a good holiday on the farm, and recently some glorious weather.
We, too have just returned from a lovely week in Cornwall, Molly had the most fantastic time, lots of sea and sand castles!
I hope to be as active as possible up until Xmas when the baby is due and then I might have to have a week or two off!! Unfortunately I won't be able to ride so the riding will be down to Pete and Bella, and we also hope to have another full time person helping too.
As Pete keeps telling me, my work will be spent more in the office and cleaning tack!!
As well as getting back to the horses, Pete has now started harvest so it's all go and long hours for the rest of the summer!
I have some lovely photos of the horses out on holiday which I will upload shortly. And we hope to see everyone soon, now that things are starting to get going again.
Enjoy the rest of the summer!
All the best
May 6th 2016
It's been a busy couple of weeks with quite a few runners.
We have not had the luck that we hoped but some of the horses have run well.
SHY JOHN ran a cracker to be 2nd in a good open at Larkhill, and he was only just beaten 1/2 a length. We were delighted with him.
YOU TOO PET ran well to be 7th in the Intermediate final at Cheltenham, however he should have run better but after he crossed the line he was a touch lame, we feared the worse but thankfully it seems he has only rumbled an old injury, that will be him done now for the season and we hope with fingers crossed he will be back next season sound and well.
SARUNI ran a good race in the bumper at Fontwell, he travelled well and was just a bit green up the home straight, he could still do with better ground and we hope to run him again soon.
Our disappointing runs were MASTER TIM and DONT TELL VAL. Tim was 5th in the Restricted at Cold Harbour and we thought he should have gone closer than that.
DONT TELL VAL, made her debut at Uttoxeter in the mares bumper, we think a lot of her at home, and she travelled beautifully into the race only to not find anything in the home straight, James said she made a noise in her wind, so we will have to look at this with Jeremy, our vet. At least there is a reason and we hope we can sort it.
And the end to a busy week was spent in the sunshine at Badminton, although quite stressful chasing round and trying not to loose a toddler! But a real privilege to witness probably the best horse and rider we will ever see win Badminton. Michael Jung and his gorgeous horse were amazing.
This weekend we will have entered RIVER MYTH again for the Mills. After her fantastic first run in a maiden we hope for another good run. SHY JOHN & MASTER TIM, will also be entered with a view to run all being well this week.
Keep enjoying the sunshine!
April 26th 2016
We had a successful weekend with a very pleasing result for RIVER MYTH having her first run in a maiden P2P at Bitterley for owner breeders Sue & Nico Mills. We were not expecting too much from her first time out as she has been green at home! But she took a real hold with Pete and ran a very creditable race to be 3rd. Her jumping was a little untidy and the steering was not great! So we think there is definitely a lot to improve on, and she was only beaten 6 lengths!
It's quite a busy week for us this week and into the weekend. We really look forward to running YOU TOO PET tomorrow at Cheltenham, for owners Martin & Valerie Rice. We chose to declare him for the Intermediate final, he deserves his place in the line up and we are be ry excited to see how he fares. It's a hard race to work out what your up against because they have all won their intermediates to qualify but you don't know how good they are beyond that! Fingers crossed he goes well and it should be an enjoyable evening out, and having a runner at Cheltenham, the holy land of jump racing is a real treat!
On Friday, we hope to run SARUNI at Fontwell, the ground we hope will finally be to his liking! No more rain we pray!
We decided not to run SHY JOHN last weekend, the West Country had quite a lot of rain, so we plan to run this weekend at either Larkhill or the Berkeley. He feels well at home and we hope he can maintain his form from his last run!
And on Sunday, we plan to run MASTER TIM in the restricted for owners Don Constable & the David family. He has not run since Siddington because he wants good ground and it's just been too wet for him. He is entered for the Restricted at Cold Harbour and Tom David will hopefully make it to ride him!
So, a busy week but it's great to be racing, it's been a relatively quiet winter with mainly good ground horses, so it's nice to finally be out and about again!
Photo; RIVER MYTH, OWNED BY SUE & NICO MILLS
April 21st 2016
It's been a lovely week enjoying the sunshine at last! It's typical that we didn't run SARUNI last week because it was so wet and then this week we declared for Warwick on better ground at last and we get balloted out! That's racing but still frustrating! There are not too many bumpers at this time of year but we hope to get him out in the next couple of weeks. We also have DONT TELL VAL for owner Martin & Valerie Rice, she is a lovely 4 yr old mare by Midnight Legend and a half brother to the useful Thomas Brown, she will be making her debut soon on the track, there are a few options for her too in the next couple of weeks.
We have a busy weekend ahead and a few miles to do in the lorry! We plan to run RIVER MYTH for owners Susan & Nicholas Mills at Bitterley on Saturday, she is a homebred mare and this will be her first run in a maiden, she will probably need the run, more for mental experience rather than fitness.
SHY JOHN came out of his race win from Andoversford really well so we plan to go again with him on Sunday at the Axevale p2p, he takes on a few good entries in the men's open. But he feels great so we can only ask for a good run.
Next week it's the Cheltenham evening hunter chase meeting which is always a great fun evening. We plan to take
YOU TOO PET, to run in either the Intermediate final or the Confined hunts race. He seems on really good form and having done little wrong for us this season we are excited about running him, his owner Martin Rice, has been looking forward to Cheltenham for ages so fingers crossed we get there in one piece! And some rain would be good!! It's amazing how much rain we have had in recent weeks but at this time of year it drys out so fast!
Molly had an exciting day today, she had her first canter and jump over a trotting pole in the outdoor school, she loved it and had a big grin on her face! We now call her Nina Carberry!
April 11th 2016
We had a great day yesterday at the Cotswold P2P @ Andoversford. We ran SHY JOHN in the conditions race and he won really well by 5 lengths. It was so nice to see such a big smile on Petes face after the race, and to see John back to his old self was lovely, he jumped so well, which is what has been the problem this last season since his bad fall at Wincanton last year. So to see his confidence back to normal was a real delight for us and his owners.
It's 9 races he has won for us now, he has been a star for our yard and he is very special to us. It's also nice to have a local winner with lots of people there to cheer us into the winners enclosure is a good feeling!
He has come out of the race well today and we will look at our options for a next race for him.
This week we may run SARUNI in a bumper, he is entered for Southwell and Fontwell on Friday, but we have been waiting for good ground all winter and it was starting to dry up but at the moment it's now like winter ground again with all this rain we are having. This morning we got soaked all morning riding out!
So we shall see what the weather does over the next few days.
We also have entries for MASTER TIM and RIVER MYTH at Chaddersley Corbet P2P this weekend. MASTER TIM also wants good ground so again it questionable whether he runs!
RIVER MYTH, who is an unraced, maiden, 5yr old mare, is looking to have an educational run! It would be nice if she could also have good ground! She is a homebred of new owners to us; Sue and Nicholas Mills. They have had some lovely horses in the past and we hope this mare can join that list, she is very green and so may take a bit of time to take to racing.
She had a school round Andoversford course this morning and that went well so fingers crossed!
We will keep you posted with race plans.
PHOTO - Molly getting SHY JOHN ready for Andoversford P2P on Sunday morning!!
April 7th 2016
this week has felt more like winter than early spring. We had lovely warm weather last week, nice for the hunters to get turned away, but I feel sorry for them now this week, it's felt more like winter the past couple of days, yesterday we had such a big hail storm, the whole yard was white! And today was torrential rain at times! Can you believe that at this time of year our grass gallop is actually too wet to work on!
Anyway better not complain too much, with all this talk about the weather I'm sounding more like a farmers wife everyday!!
The ground is probably too soft this weekend to run MASTER TIM who we would like to run again in another restricted.
But we do hope to run SHY JOHN, either at Andoversford or Barbury Castle on Sunday or Mollington on Saturday. There are various options and it's just trying to find the weakest race, which isn't easy!
Hopefully we get a dry weekend to enjoy the pointing where ever we are and enjoy the Grand National too, hopefully all the horses & jocks get round safe & sound and I, personally will be cheering on MANY CLOUDS for legend and friend OLIVER SHERWOOD.
April 1st 2016
Sorry not to have blogged this week but it's been a hectic week with not much help over Easter and lots going on!!
I hope you all had a good Easter, we managed to get away for lunch on Easter Day to my Aunts house near Newbury, which was lovely, so nice to be cooked a big roast and even Molly had her own mini Easter egg hunt in the garden!
Over Easter we ran YOU TOO PET at Larkhill, he was 2nd in the men's open, which considering is a step up we were very pleased with. For the first time ever in a race he took a keen hold with Pete for quite a long way, and we think he used a bit too much petrol early on and didn't quite leave enough in the tank at the finish, we have never got this far through a season with him before and I think we may have backed off his work a bit much, over protecting his legs!! So he was perhaps a little too fresh for Larkhill!! More work for him before his next run I think!! It's a fine line to balance with a horse that's had leg trouble! Anyway, he seems to have come out of the race well and we now start to think about Cheltenham for the hunter chase evening, we hope that we have lots of rain before hand, we shall see what happens and decide nearer the time.
The other horses are all well and coming along nicely, a couple of the youngsters go to Cocklebarrow racecourse tomorrow for a racecourse Gallop, James Davies will meet us there to ride one, all exciting for the babies and we look forward to running them soon.
March 24th 2016
We had good day for our VWH P2P at Siddington, a lot of people make a huge effort to put on such a day, and it's hugely appreciated. Pete & I are part of the committee team and it is quite hectic to make sure all the jobs are done but we had a great day, and jockeys and horses all round safe and sound.
We were happy with SHY JOHN to finish 3rd in the members, he has not been running well this season and the plan to drop him back down to points with Pete back on board to regain some confidence definitely helped, Pete said he was not at his very best but he is older now, and we were just pleased to see him run a race and hopefully he might improve on that again next time. Pete loved being back on him again! One must also not forget that he was only beaten a few lengths carrying half a stone more than the others, which are certainly not useless horses! John was rated 124 a couple of years ago but Gift Of Dgab was rated 149!! He has come out of the race well and we look forward to another point with him.
We plan to run YOU TOO PET, over Easter, probably on Saturday, either at Larkhill or Maisemore, where the best ground is. He is in rude form at home! he is quite a handful to handle at the moment so I hope that means he is going to put in a good race again for us, he has done little wrong on the track this season and hopefully that can continue!
A couple of the youngsters may run in the next few weeks to make their debut on the track, they have been coming on nicely at home and now getting fitter, a few away trips to the gallops in the lorry to bring them on a bit mentally and a racecourse gallop and hopefully we will see what they are made of! Watch this space!
Wishing you all a happy Easter.
March 17th 2016
I think I speak for everyone when I say what a fantastic week of racing Cheltenham is producing! We went on Tuesday and we are going again tomorrow for the Gold Cup. It has just been incredible to watch, and Sprinter Sacre was fairy tale stuff! Dreams do come true I keep telling myself!
Just when we thought we might be exhausted by racing we have our Local p2p on Saturday. It's the VWH at siddington and it will be a busy day for us as Peter & I are both very involved in the organising. Peter is clerk of the course so has been up there most days this week keeping a close eye on ground conditions. I think it should be good ground which makes a nice change!
We hope to run two horses, firstly we will take SHY JOHN for the members race, on paper he is the best horse in the race and so the ratings say too. However he has as most know, been out of form this season since a fall at the back end of last season. The idea of going back pointing is to hopefully regain his confidence and passion for it again. He feels great at home so we can only keep our fingers crossed! Peter is really looking forward to riding his favourite special horse again!
We may also run MASTER TIM in the restricted for Tom David to ride. He has been off for a year due to injury but is back and ready to run, he has been working and schooling well at home, he may be a bit ring rusty but we look forward to seeing him on the track.
We hope the glorious weather will continue over the weekend and we look forward to seeing you all at Siddington.
March 6th 2016
A big day for my technology phobia mind today!! I finally joined Facebook!! It is rather addictive and I think I have been missing out! Anyway I will hope that it's another media informative for you all! I'm registered under Niff Mason
We were very happy with YOU TOO PET at Leicester, we really threw him in at the deep end and he ran a good race, it's the first time he has actually had to work hard for us! All though he jumped well, Pete said he felt like a novice against the older seasoned handicappers and so we can hope there is still some improvement to come. He has come out of the race well and will not to do too much for a couple of weeks, he does need looking after and we won't be in a hurry to run him again. After his result at Leicester, we are confident of a big run at the Cheltenham evening meeting if we keep him in one piece until then, he is obviously qualified for the Intermediate final but there would be other options to.
We hope to run MASTER TIM this weekend at either Hackwood or Cothelstone. It has been a while since he last run and being a new horse to us this season it's always a bit tricky to know where we are but we think he is fit and ready to go, and he has been schooling well so it will be interesting to see how he goes.
I will keep you posted.
The VWH met in Ablington on Saturday and SHY JOHN went out for a bit of hunting in preparation for his run in the members race at Siddington in a couple of weeks, he seems in good form at home and we hope that having a run in a point can rejuvenate his enthusiasm for racing again. We keep everything crossed.
Molly also enjoyed going to the meet on her beloved Thumper, she shared him with Freddie Phillips, cousins together, (see very cute photo)!!
Thumper really is a star!
Feb 28th 2016
We had a disappointing day at Warwick on Friday with Hooghly River. He pulled up going down the back and stopped very quickly. Going into the race we had hoped he was healthier than he was over Xmas but unfortunately it appears he has not got over whatever is bothering him and we will have to go back to the drawing board with the help of our vet, he is definitely a better horse than he is showing and we hope we can fix the problem for the future.
We are hoping to run a couple of the pointers next weekend, with the possibility of running YOU TOO PET at Leicester this Tuesday in a very competitive open hunter chase, we are not certain if we will go there or opt for a slightly easier option of an open at the weekend at the Black More Vale P2P. Decisions! He has done nothing wrong for us so far and we hope that will continue.
MASTER TIM, a new horse for us this season, owned by friend and fellow jockey Tom David and his family along with their friend Don Constable. He showed promise winning a maiden last season and then suffered a bit of leg trouble. Touch wood, he has been coping with training so far this season and we will either run next weekend or the weekend after in a restricted. Tom, will obviously ride him.
So keep an eye out for entries and keep your fingers crossed for us!
February 18th 2016
After more rain we decided not to run HOOGHLY RIVER at Fontwell! Hopefully we will get a run in to him at the end of next week, there are various options between; Huntington, Warwick, Chepstow & Exeter! We will keep you posted!
James Davies came in yesterday to school a couple and all jumped well. Hopefully James can ride for us next week.
YOU TOO PET seems to have come out of his race well, he is doing very little this week to give the legs every chance & he is as fresh as paint!! Certainly not tired after his win! The photo opposite is of him jumping the last upsides.
February 15th 2016
At last things are looking up as we celebrate a brilliant winner yesterday at Thorpe Lodge for owner MARTIN RICE with his horse YOU TOO PET.
It was a competitive intermediate race with 11 horses and we started as 2nd favourite, Pete gave him an excellent ride holding up out the back and gradually creeping to join upsides at the last and kick away well to the line to win by 7 lengths. He is a tricky horse as proved at Larkhill when he would have won had it not been for loosing concentration at the last when left in front on his own! He needs company and Pete timed it perfectly yesterday.
He seems to be fine today and we hope over the next few days his legs remain ok.
We are very excited about him and can't wait to run him again!
We run Hooghly River hopefully on Thursday. It's hard to tell how the horses are in the top yard as they have always felt well to ride but have just not performed on the track, they have had time to get over the coughs and bugs so we will know more where we are when we run.
For the moment it's just great to enjoy the win yesterday!
February 12th 2016
Another wet week with racing abandoned, so we unfortunately could not run HOOGHLY RIVER this week, hopefully he will go to Fontwell on Thursday weather depending, it will be his first run over hurdles, he jumps very well at home, and we hope for him to have a good experience first time jumping.
This weekend we plan to go to Thorpe Lodge P2P with YOU TOO PET, Pete will ride him this time now his foot has fully recovered! We keep fingers crossed that he runs another good race and jumps a clear round! It looks a competitive race on entries as most intermediate races are. I hope that the ground is not too wet as its a long way to go to not run. But if that's the case we have made an entry for the hunter chase at Leicester next week.
He seems in really good order at home and schooled brilliantly yesterday.
It's the pony club hunt meet on Tuesday and 'Granny Ablington' is determined to take Molly! Molly has become very enthusiastic of late to ride her very gorgeous Shetland THUMPER.
January 23rd 2016
The gods do not seem to be shining on the yard right now as we had a frustrating day at Larkhill P2P today. However there are big positives to take away.
Due to Pete injuring his foot a week ago, Pete had to reluctantly hand the reins to our very much first choice of replacement jockey Tom David. YOU TOO PET lined up in a very good Intermediate race of 14 runners. Owned by Martin Rice, U2, as we call him at home was back on the course after a long lay off due to injury, so we were just happy to have him back on the track, he is a horse with plenty of ability but it's always hard to tell how they will run after a long time. In a hot race he was probably correctly priced at 20/1!
Well, he had the race in the bag and were 10 lengths clear coming to the last after overtaking the very fancied favourite of the Wayley-Cohens but unfortunately U2 unseated poor Tom at the last! He was still on the bridle and I don't think you would have seen an easier winner all day! Tom thought he was going to go short but U2 decided to go long, these mistakes are hard to sit and it's just one of those things!
Although we were denied the win, he was the best horse in the race and he ran better than we could have ever hoped which is extremely exciting, fingers crossed the legs are ok in the morning.
The other positive to take out of the day is that it was a relief to see one of our horses run well as we have a few horses in the yard at the moment with a bit of a cough bug going round which has been affecting their performance. Hopefully the cold weather has helped clear the bugs away.
We gallop a few at cocklebarrow p2p track on Monday for some race course experience and then we wait to see how the horses are in their health before we look to run anything else.
We will be at cocklebarrow p2p tomorrow to watch and have a nice day out with Molly! Let's hope the weather is good!
January 11th 2016
Happy New Year to all!
I hope the year as started well for everyone and a good Christmas was had by all!
We had a lovely Christmas here at Manor Farm with all the family, it was a touch hectic with all the horses to do, getting the turkey on the table, opening all the presents! And keeping the kids entertained! But it was fun!
Most of the horses had a few days off over Xmas, we hope that they have all started the new year in good health!
It's getting quite boring all this rain leaving everyone with only the option of heavy ground to run on everywhere! It's mad that normally at this time of year racing is abandoned due to frost not waterlogged!
Our grass on the farm is wet but as always copes amazingly and has not held us up at all.
James Davies came in to school at the weekend, it's great that he can come and sit on them before they run & they all jumped well.
Tomorrow we run SHY JOHN at Ludlow. He goes this time in a conditional hurdle handicap, in the hope that trying him over hurdles might help bring back his confidence jumping. The fall he had at wincanton at the end of last season has not erased from his memory and he has not jumped with the same fluency since then. Lewis will ride him being a conditionals race, he knows him well & we hope that he can just run more like his old self.
The pointing starts for us in a couple of weeks at Larkhill, we run YOU TOO PET, for Martin Rice, he was a very good horse for us two seasons ago, he missed last year due to injury but fingers crossed we have him in good order at home and we hope we can see his old form back again on the course! He is a cheeky, naughty character, at his worst when fit! He has certainly been keeping us on our toes at home in recent weeks so we are definitely looking forward to running him!
December 23rd 2015
A hectic week for everyone gearing up for Christmas! We have the whole family joining us this year at Manor Farm so I've spent most of the week cleaning the house and decorating with a very excited Molly at my heels! I keep catching her peeling wrapping paper of the presents under the tree!
As always with running a yard, its business as usual! And the horses will have a quiet week with no runners over the Christmas period.
We wish all our owners, and blog readers a very happy Christmas and New Year and look forward to catching up in 2016!
Best wishes from Niff, Peter, Molly & all the horses x
December 17th 2015
We have been out racing a couple of times since my last blog and rather frustratingly things haven't been really going our way! We ran Saruni again since his extraordinary debut at wincanton, we took him to Warwick which unfortunately I couldn't make due to a funeral. When catching up with Pete back home he told me it was some of the most awful racing ground he has ever seen! It is very wet at the moment and it's definitely ground for mud lovers! It's safe to say that our little horse hated it! On good ground at wincanton he was tanking along and pulled and travelled all the way until hanging off the course! At Warwick he never picked up the bridle but on the up side he did try and did stay on the track! We will leave him now until the ground turns.
We were at Plumpton on Monday with Shy John and it was a race that he should have won and last season he would have done! He has completely lost his confidence jumping which has been the story with him since his return this season and it all stems from his nasty fall in his last run at wincanton last season. He is a sensitive horse and when something upsets him he doesn't forget easily! So we will give him a bit of time over Xmas to freshen up and try our best to work on getting him back to his old form and gain his confidence again jumping, which was never a problem we have had with him, it must be a bit of a shock to him to fall for the first time in his career aged 9!! We have a few ideas for him for his next run in the new year and let's hope we see him back to his best.
Tomorrow we run Hooghly River at Uttoxeter in the bumper on heavy ground which should suit him! As always under rules it's quite a nice little race with a few horses that look promising, we feel that our horse will do a lot of improving this season, he is big & green and hopefully tomorrow he can keep learning and run well.
Back on the yard it's still busy, busy and luckily we have had the fantastic help of Bella Lowes, who rides out for us every day and without her we would not have coped this season. We have had a couple of new horses in this last week which is great and we look forward to start pointing in the new year.
December 9th 2015
Well it wasn't the best day at the office at wincanton last week! We went into the day with what we thought were two good chances of at least being in the winners enclosure. It was a big day for Lewis who did little wrong. John we thought had a very strong chance, and he was travelling better than he has in a while and we think we had him spot on and unfortunately the stiff fences of wincanton needed jumping and for some reason even though he seemed not to make a mistake he crumpled on landing going down the back. It's so rare for this to happen to john but he seems to be showing a slight lack of confidence jumping, hopefully we can get his confidence back and luckily he was none the worse for the fall and we hope to go again soon, possibly at Plumpton next week, we shall see how he schools in the meantime.
What happened to Saruni in the bumper was bizarre, although he went off a big price we know that he has ability from what he has shown at home, and he was doing just that when travelling really well and according to Lewis; still tanking along when coming into the home straight sitting in 3rd, but then he decides to completely run off the course. We have obviously checked him out physically and he seems to be fine, he can be quirky so we hope that it was just greeness and a little bit naughty! He will run again tomorrow at Warwick left handed!! Fingers crossed!!
The rest of the horses are all well and with nearly a full yard we are pretty busy!
We did however get the chance to get out hunting on Saturday for our local meet at Kilkenny with the VWH. I took Molly to the meet on foot, who on the way was permanently saying; horses, hounds, fox, horses, hounds, fox! I think she gets the idea of what hunting is all about age 2!!
Pete took my little dun Kiwi, and although the hunting wasn't great they had fun jumping a fair amount.
December 2nd 2015
Another busy week at home! And off racing tomorrow to Wincanton with Shy John in the handicap chase and Saruni in the bumper. John seems in good form so we hope for him to run a nice race and Saruni is first time in a bumper so we don't know how well he will go but he does go very at home on the gallops!
Lewis rides both of them and taking the valuable 7lb off! James is not available to ride John tomorrow so it's a nice opportunity for Lewis to get the rides in.
we were very happy with Hooghly River, in his first appearance on a race course, he was very green and he is a bit slow! But he kept galloping through the mud and he is a real trier, there will definitely be improvement when he learns what to do! We got in to the winners enclosure so let's hope he keeps on doing that!!
The point to pointing season has got under way already but we will be unlikely to have any runners this side of Xmas, mainly due to a lack of races in the race planner, which is fustrating! and most of ours will want better ground. However they are ticking along well at home in their work.
November 24th 2015
Things are getting a little busier for us in the yard now. A couple more horses have turned up and the racing is getting a bit busier.
We run the Mason Racing Club horse tomorrow called Hooghly River. He is un raced and we purchased him at the Doncaster sales May last year (2014), he was qute backward last year so we didnt run him but he has grown up alot this year and is a much stronger horse too. We expect him to be green on the track but hopefully he can show us somethng is there!! fingers crossed!! Lewis will ride and take the 7lb off him which always helps.
Shy John seems to have come out of his race well from Ludlow, we were a little dissapointed with his run but at the same time he did have a good blow so might have needed it a touch and it was also a very competitive race so hopefully he can go better next time. We are thinking of running at Wincanton next week, where we know he has run well before. We may also run Saruni, another first time bumper runner who had a couple of runs pointing last season. He goes very welll at home so he could be interesting! Keep an eye out for entries.
November 6th 2015
Its busy as always in the yard and things are all gearing up to racing now which is very exciting!
SHY JOHN hopefully runs at Ludlow next Thursday and all being well James Davies will ride him. James came in yesterday to school John and some of the youngsters, and all jumped well and it was nice to see James on good form as ever!
its good to be back on the grass gallops at home since we have had the rain and the horses have been working well, they are all different and its fascinating to see how they have come on and developed since last year, we hope to have a couple run in bumpers by the end of the month! We plan to continue (of course) supporting Lewis and he will ride in the bumpers for us if he is available! It was great to see Lewis the other day when he popped down to ride work on a couple of horses and most importantly a massive CONGRATULATIONS must go to Lewis for his fantastic win at Cheltenham for his boss, and since that day he has been picking up a few extra rides, which is brilliant. He has worked so hard to get where he is today and he really deserves it. It has not been easy along the way, its so difficult to make a go at being a jockey but he has stuck at it. He gave the mare at Cheltenham a superb ride, we are very proud of him and as many of our closest friends will know, Lewis became very much a part of the family with us and it was so lovely to receive so many messages after his win! And Lewis was very sweet to say in his post race interview that 'I would not be here today if it wasn't for Pete and Niff'! Well, all I can say is that if we were lucky enough to have lads like Lewis work for us every day, our job would be easy!
16th October 2015
it's all go in the yard at the moment, great to busy! The horses are all well and a few have been stepping up the work, we have done a few trips to the gallops for fast work, and we are very happy with them, and the younger horses are showing huge improvement from last year, which is a good start!
we now have the schooling ground up and running and have jumped a few already, but we could do with a bit of rain now!
my lovely dun boy 'Kiwi' is now back home having been eventing with Aoife Clark, and he finished the season on such a good note by winning a Novice class at local event Calmsden. A real step up and serious stuff now and doing it so well, it's great to see, what a little star he is! I now have to try to stop Pete from selling him in the middle of the night while I'm asleep!!
We weaned our foal this week, 'Hamish', as he is known, is now away from his mummy and at residence in Oaksey, galloping around with another foal, who is a relation to Coneygree! Owned by Lady Oaksey, so he will be eating the grass that the gold cup winner grew up on! I hope it has the same effect on our little chap! He looks cracking, I might be biased but he really is a gorgeous foal!
we and lots of our friends are off to the VWH hunt ball tomorrow night, hopefully it will be good fun, especially as this year some of our friends have organised it, so I think it will be great. But not looking forward to Sunday morning on the yard!
28th September 2015
Its been a busy couple of weeks with the horses stepping up the work and still lots to do on the farm for Pete!
last weekend we had a lovely trip to Blenheim horse trials as Pete was invited to do the Jockeys v Eventers high jump challenge. At short notice the horse he was supposed to ride got an injury so we had to put my little dun Kiwi in as a substitute, he may have jumped a few big hedges out hunting, but having only been competing at the low levels eventing this season we were unsure he would hold his own over a big show jump in the middle of a very busy arena with crowds of 10 deep cheering them on. He totally surprised us by jumping up to 1m60 which is about 5ft4, a fair effort for the little chap, Pete did gain another shot at the jump by agreeing to jump topless, some sight that was! he is such a star and I had to hold Pete back from selling him over and over again!! It was a really fun day out.
Jacko's Boy has been doing really well with Luke Morgan, winning his last two team chase outings, and collecting a big bottle of champagne for being the fastest horse of the day at the Atherstone!
The weather has been amazing the last few days but the ground has got firm so we are so lucky to have the dirt gallop in use as our main exercise until the winter ground comes. They are working well up it and its hopefully getting them fit and ready for the track!
We wont be able to school yet until the ground is softer but our work in the outdoor school is proving useful for the youngsters and they are all jumping well over some show jumps.
look forward to catching up with more news soon.
8th September 2015
Welcome everyone to our new website. Its taken a little while to get it finished! But thanks to Sam's patience and brilliance, we think it looks great! Please have a look around and enjoy.
This news page or blog will be an excellent way for you to catch up with what we have been up to at Manor Farm Stables and all the latest gossip! I will try to make it amusing as best I can! For the meantime, we hope you like the website and we look forward to seeing you all soon.
A massive thank you to Sam Smith who has done the most amazing job on re-building the website.
Catch up soon
Niff and Pete Mason