Friday, February 26, 2021


We haven't had any runners for something like three weeks, which is my excuse for not having put anything on here for a while, but we have one tomorrow (Cloudy Rose at Chelmsford -  I think that she was our last one and she made her debut early this month) so I had better put finger to keyboard.  She ran a nice race first time and I hope that she'll run a nice race again.  I always assume that we won't have a winner when we go to Chelmsford, even when the horse looks to have a decent chance on form, so I think that it's a fair assumption that she won't win.  (But one never knows ...!)

As long as she doesn't blot her copy-book, it should be a pleasant trip.  I like Chelmsford, the people there are always friendly and, while the weather can be terrible (as we have discovered at least a couple of times this past winter) it should be very nice tomorrow as it's really coming good (relatively speaking, compared to what we have had over the past few months).  We're still in February so the fact that the place is drying up appreciably and it's much less cold than it was is great.  All the photographs in this chapter were taken this morning (when we had a decent frost at the outset) so you'll see what I mean.

While we're here, we might just continue to expand our local overview.  I think that a small amount of weeks ago I mentioned how nice it was firstly to see Gabriele Malune and then to see him riding out, finally after his bad injuries sustained in a fall at Yarmouth last summer.  The icing on the cake of that observation was that he rode a winner for his boss Amy Murphy the other day, which might even have been on his first ride back.  To continue this theme, Jimmy Quinn has reappeared in Marco Botti's string (after his bad fall in Kryptos' race at Wolverhampton on Boxing Day) and Liam Jones in William Haggas' (after sustaining really bad injuries at Chelmsford in 2019), both of whom were sights for sore eyes.  Let's hope that we can soon be remarking on good post-scripts for them too once they are back race-riding.

To return to our observations of local apprentices, we have another very good one to add to the list.  Mark Crehan has transferred to George Boughey from Richard Hannon and has made a really good start for his new boss, the combination having produced three winners already, most recently at Southwell last night.  He rides very well indeed.  As does, clearly, an apprentice with Mark Johnston who has won on his first two rides, Jonny Peate, and who qualifies for our list as he comes from round here.  Jonny's great start further strengthens the invariably strong apprentice line-up in Mark Johnston's stable, which already has Andrew Breslin and Oliver Stammers, who is extremely impressive and is now, I'm pleased to say, enjoying some better luck after a run of bad injuries.

Jonny's parents Ed and Tanya have a pre-training yard just outside Brinkley and I'd guess that Jonny will have been as much raised to be a top horseman as he is bred to be one.  Tanya, an extremely good rider, was formerly a leading point-to-point rider in this area, most obviously winning stacks of point-to-points on Fort Hall who, if my memory serves me right, was trained by Lucy Wadham before Lucy had a license to train under rules.  I'd seen Jonny ride his first winner and didn't make the connection, but then worked it out after he took his record to two-from-two when winning on a horse for Robert Cowell last week.

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