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Melodic Rendezvous is as well as we’ve ever had him but with the current weather conditions showing no sign of letting up, we are in a quandary about where we should run.
He’s entered in Saturday’s Betfair Hurdle at Newbury, and a lot of horses have pulled out, which could prove tempting, but he will be giving some horses 2 stone and a tough race on heavy ground could mean he leaves his Festival chance at Newbury.
We also have the option of the Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso on February 13 and the Kingwell at Wincanton the following day but the weather forecast is shocking next week which could lead to further abandonments. His owners are coming over this evening and we will chat through all the options before making a decision.
Kilmurvy is likely to go to Newbury on Saturday where we are stepping him back up to three miles. He’s gone up 2lb since his last outing at Wincanton which tends to be the case every time he runs as he’s a consistent horse and always runs his race.
Notarfbad has also gone up a couple of pounds since finishing second at Wincanton. He’s likely to run at Kempton on Friday.
Dashaway will have one more run in a bumper, then we’ll put him away until next season when he’ll run over hurdles. He’s a very tall, long legged horse and is probably a hand bigger than his full brother Briar Hill who is a much closer coupled horse too. He lacks a little in strength and coordination, but he’ll be a lovely three mile chaser in the future if he holds together.
We sent both Boogie In The Barn and Knave of Clubs to Alan Walter for some loose schooling and they’ve both come back jumping brilliantly. Going there for three days means they’ll jump about a hundred fences and really learn how to think for themselves.
I was very happy with the way our Racing Club horse The Snappy Poet ran in a bumper at Kempton last week. He was much more relaxed and settled and he’ll go over hurdles now.
Georgina has organized a members’ day on Saturday and they’ll come up and watch some horses gallop and school before heading off to the local pub for lunch.
Racing clubs are a great way for people to make new friends, and our social days are really fun. Georgina is doing a fantastic job running it and if it continues growing like it is, we will add another horse and have two running in the club colours.
Taking a pull over the last week or so has given everyone a bit of a break particularly the horses.
We took the view that January seems to be the month when horses tend to be at their lowest ebb with an increased liklihood of runny noses so this year we decided to take steps to reduce the chances of this happening as far as possible.
They’ve all had a boost of vitamins and minerals, had their herpes jabs and we’ve also given them echinacea which is herb used to boost the cells in the immune system that help fight off illness and disease. It certainly hasn’t done them any harm and they all seem very well.
We have several entered at Wincanton on Thursday, and although the ground probably isn’t ideal for any of them, we can’t keep them in training without running them while we wait for the weather to improve as that isn’t looking likely to happen in the near future.
Notarfbad is in the Red and Yella Boley Memorial Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase. He’s been going well but ideally needs better ground.
Miner Distraction goes in the Carling European Breeders Fund Mares’ National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle, Dashaway is in the bumper and Quaddick Lake the New Racing UK Anywhere Available Now Handicap Hurdle. 2m4f should suit him and he should run a decent enough race.
We did have some horses entered at Musselburgh at the weekend, but I’m inclined to run Kilmurvy at Sandown in the Betfred Mobile and Levy Board Heroes Handicap Hurdle where Melodic Rendezvous could well run in the listed Betfred Double Delight Contenders Hurdle.
It does look a softer race than his other options which include the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and the Kingwell at Wincanton which is a race My Tent or Yours looks likely to run in.
If we run on Saturday, we’d hope it would be between our horse and Willie Mullins’ Un De Sceaux. They have the same official rating but because we’ve won a class one, we get an extra 4lb.
We think it is better to make hay while this wet ground prevails that he seems to prefer. He’s still a relatively lightly raced horse, and the Champion Hurdle is still six weeks away.
We’ve been delighted with the uptake for our new racing club, and as soon as the ground does improve a bit The Snappy Poet will run again. For details of how to join, visit our club page.
He benefitted from a recent racecourse gallop at Chipley Park where the going was heavy to say the least. We also galloped three other unraced youngsters – Master Max, Oh Devee and Exmoor Challenge and schooled Decimus, Gunna Be A Devil and Alberobllo over the fences with Gone To Lunch giving them a lead.
30/1/2016 - Native Robin took to jumping well with a pleasing win at Doncaster yesterday in the 2m3f handicap chase in the hands of Nick Scholfield. He took it up two from home and went on to score a three and a half lengths win.
We're at Doncaster again today with our home bred Lady Longshot who makes her debut in the bumper. She's out of So Long who won five point to points.
On paper, the StanJames.com Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock on Saturday was between two horses, Melodic Rendezvous and Ptit Zig. But we had to question whether Melodic Rendezvous had fully recovered from his muscle injury and I would have been quite happy if he had finished in the first two.
Turning in he was travelling the best, and Nick took a short pull after the third last. He flattened the hurdle two out, and came off the bridle , but then he picked up very nicely. The idea was that we didn’t want him to hit the front too soon so it worked out and it is nice to have him back on track.
He’s come out of the race very well so now we are considering our options. He seems to relish soft ground and we feel that while that type of ground prevails we might as well take advantage of it and run him sooner rather than later.
There’s a listed race at Sandown on February 1 or the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las on the same day. Our other option is the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton on February 15 which, timing wise, is perfect. But it will be a very competitive race with a lot of the big guns being aimed at it so we might dodge that in favour of one of the other options.
The jury is out on the Champion Hurdle at the moment, and after last year’s disappointment, we won’t be getting too excited about it. We’ll see how he comes out of his next run, and make a decision from there but our thoughts at the moment are that if the ground is very soft at Cheltenham we would seriously consider it, but if not there are options at Aintree and Punchestown.
Steve Croft, who looks after Melodic, also rode his first point-to-point winner at Black Forest Lodge last week on Honours Insight. Like Melodic, he’s also owned by the Cash For Honours Syndicate so the lads have been having a great time recently.
It’s been a very tough few weeks at the yard, mostly because of this incessant rain. It’s pretty awful riding out three or four lots in it, day after day, and Melodic’s win has proved a real pick-me-up. All the staff deserve a huge thank you. We’ve had a few injuries recently, so we’ve been short staffed, and we’ve been away a lot racing, but everyone has been really fantastic. It’s team work in the end that gets the job done.
We’re taking a pull with the horses this week and won’t have any runners. They’ll have their herpes jabs and we’ll just back off them a bit which will bring them back fresher. It will give us all time to have a breather before the last quarter of the jumps season swings into action.