July has been another good month with horses running well. The horses are still learning, and improving and we are learning more about them.
We went to Uttoxeter with Robber’s Bridge on 11th July for a handicap hurdle. The ground changed dramatically from good to heavy. Robbie had run well on soft ground before so we hoped he would be fine with the change in going and, like all of the horses, he runs and trains without shoes. We find that those without shoes are much less ground dependent, and it makes a real difference when you have horses that go on any ground. Robbie made a few lengths in the air over the last in the back straight with a fantastic jump and he landed in front going very well. The winner won easily, and we lost 2nd close to the line in the final strides, perhaps the ground just sapping his energy late on. He ran a sound race, and I am so pleased with the direction Robbie is going and it is sure to give him more confidence.
Nivelle’s Magic finished a remarkable 3rd on the all-weather at Lingfield on 18th July. We had a wide draw where she missed the break and found herself in last place of 11. The plan was to be in the first four early on as we knew she stayed. Magic was still 10 lengths behind in last place just over 2 furlongs from home. Just before the last bend she made her ground up on the very wide outside and came around the whole field giving away loads of ground; she flew up the home straight and looked to be going twice as fast as the others to finish a rapidly improving 3rd place. The Racing Post said she was an ‘eyecatcher’.
Nowyouvebinandunit (Nellie) ran a blinder at Worcester on 20th July in a handicap hurdle. She hit the front three hurdles from home but was headed and finished 2nd, beaten only ¾ of length. The winning jockey mistook the winning post and stopped rapidly, and I thought for a second that we would get back up as you could see Nellie and jockey, James Best, trying their hardest.
Malago Rose went to Worcester on 27th July and ran in her third novice/maiden hurdle race before being able to run in a handicap race. Rose ran her best race yet over hurdles, she jumped foot perfect the whole way round and battled all the way to the line to finish 4th. Perhaps we shall run her over a bit further next time. She has improved with every run over hurdles to date. Rose is now handicapped and I’m sure will improve again.
We are very happy with all the above horses as we know there is more improvement to come.
Recently, we have been fortunate to take some advice from Vicky Brake who has ridden out for us. Vicky is very well known in the eventing world and is renowned for producing very good horses for top event riders like Mary King. Vicky has ridden around Badminton and other 4* courses many times and is vastly experienced. We were told by our vet and physio to trot Desert William and Rare Clouds up the hills to build muscle and strengthen them up behind before doing faster work. I felt it would be a waste of time if we were not doing it properly and it is vitally important that they are using themselves properly, pushing from behind with a low head carriage. We have a video of Vicky riding out with us which we shall circulate. We are very much looking forward to running both horses. Rare Clouds is back from a break – we have run him 11 times and he has won once and been in the first four, seven times and only out of the money three times! We are also expecting an improved run from Bella Madonna next time she is out.