Tuesday, 4 April 2017

In the Money - Headly's Bridge 4th again at Hereford and Get Back To Me 4th at Stratford

                We ran Headly’s Bridge at Hereford over 3m1f which was the furthest he had been and it looked like it was too far for him but he still kept going well enough to finish 4th (not far behind the 3rd).  It was certainly good to be back racing at Hereford especially after the racecourse was closed down for so long.  Headly’s owner is from Herefordshire and she enjoyed going back there, especially driving home through the beautiful Wye Valley.
                Get Back To Me ran back over fences at Stratford on Saturday, after finishing 3rd in horrible ground at Huntingdon 20 days previously.  He came there nicely at the end of the back straight looking like he could win, only to run out of energy.  The Huntingdon race probably took more out of him than we thought and we might have run him again too soon.  We shall give him a good five or six weeks and then find another nice race for him, again over fences.  Thank you to Stratford for putting on a race worth over £11,000 for us to run in.  It’s not very often we can say there is good prize money!  Although with the new levy replacement receiving support from across the political spectrum in the House of Commons, it is expected that up to £40 million of extra funding is expected each year for our sport – so perhaps there are better times ahead with better prize money?

Pictures below of Headly's Bridge schooling and Get Back To Me in the paddock at Stratford

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

3rd for Get Back To Me at Huntingdon on 5th March

                We were really very pleased indeed with the run from Get Back To Me (Tommy) at Huntingdon recently.  He is essentially a good ground horse over fences (being by Presenting) but we had been waiting a while for better ground and couldn’t see it coming so we decided to give him a run over hurdles.  I was hoping that Huntingdon would get rain in the morning to loosen the ground but they didn’t get much and the ground was soft and very tacky so although it would be safe for him to run, we knew he wouldn’t like it so to finish 3rd, knowing he could be a lot better on the right ground was very pleasing.  He had also been off a racecourse for over 300 days.  He was given a super ride by Daryl Jacob.

                It was great to see Robert Dacombe, his loyal owner at the races and we are very much looking forward to running him over fences next time, hopefully on better ground.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

A 4th at Exeter with Headly's Bridge

      It was wonderful to see Headly's Bridge coming back to form at Exeter last week when he ran on to finish 4th in a handicap chase. He had just begun to turn a corner a week before and will hopefully improve more. He came out of the race in a positive manner and we will look to run him over further next time. 
      Headly was ridden by young 7lb amateur Zac Baker. It is really good when you find a keen, young lad with a good attitude. Zac gave Headly a lovely ride and was in unison with the horse over the fences which to me is important. We are hoping that he can continue to ride him and build on a good relationship with horse, owner & trainer! We were really pleased for Headly's owner, Mrs Bridel, and are hoping to build on that run. The photo below is of Headly immediately after the race in the stables at Exeter racecourse. And for those that are interested, Headly ran without shoes.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Frosty mornings..

             We have had some lovely frosty mornings when out early on the gallops the past few days so I thought it was worth taking a few photos of Lester Symonds riding Headly's Bridge (who will be running again soon). We are very lucky that even before the ground had the sun on it there was plenty of give underfoot due to the tremendous thick old turf that has a bit of moss in it - something that you rarely see these days. Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year.

Update on Headly’s Bridge run at Chepstow

         Headly’s Bridge ran for the first time this season at Chepstow after a while off.  The ground was no where near soft enough for him as he really needs a bog to be seen at his best.  The ground was good but was safe for him so we decided to run.  The race also wasn’t run particularly to suit as they went steady and then flew up the straight.  I said to the jockey if his winning chance was gone then to keep hold of him and ride a race for him to finish well and that’s what he did.  Consequently he has come out of the race positively and ready to go again but we just need more rain.  Below are pictures of his preparations before his race doing grid work and also relaxing with his magic rug on! www.centurionsystems.com/therapulse

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Autumn mornings

    A wonderful way to start the day up on the grass gallops. Superb Autumnal morning, just beautiful overlooking Salisbury Plain in one direction and the Wylye Valley in the other.  Both rider and horses enjoying their work!

Sunrise at the top of the grass gallops

Wednesday, 5 October 2016


                We have a smart 4yr old gelding by Stowaway in the yard at the moment – nicknamed ‘George’.  It is wonderful that he has returned to us as I broke him in last year.  He has been here for a month or so and has started cantering away.  I really enjoy having the young horses back that I’ve broken in and it is great to see them again on their journey into racing.  We have started grid work with him and he has taken to jumping like a duck to water. 
                The stallion Stowaway, George’s sire, sadly died last year but was a fine source of national hunt jumpers and sired the likes of top class horses Champagne Fever, Hidden Cyclone and Outlander, to name a few.  Stowaway was the son of the Derby winner Slip Anchor.  We are very fortunate to have George back in the yard and hope he goes on to great things.  Below are some photographs of him doing grid work and also on the grass gallops (for the first time).
George jumping for the first time

George on the grass gallops for the first time