After all the rain and disappointment of abandoned meetings this season, NARANJA'S final trip out was to Ayr and the Scottish Grand National Festival meeting.  She was entered in the "coral.co.uk Seafield Trophy Mares' Handicap Hurdle"  (Class 2)  (4yo+)  (3m70yds)  3m½f   Going: Good  over 12 hurdles,  with Sean Bowen in the plate as her regular jockey, Gavin Sheehan, sustained a broken arm whilst riding in the Grand National the previous week.
This very game, genuine mare WON the race for us, first past the post of 16 runners !!    Very well done Naranja and Sean.

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Racing Post Analysis:
Race distance increased by 28yds. A wide open mares' handicap and a thrilling finish after some drama on the first circuit.
"NARANJA, below par since landing consecutive handicaps over shorter during the winter, was trying this longer trip for only the second time and she was never headed after being left in a narrow lead when the clear leader ducked out at the final hurdle on the first circuit. She displayed a terrific attitude, as well as plenty of stamina, and her future will be over fences."

Naranja winning at Ayr

Naranja wins at Ayr - 20 Apr 2018-1

After Race comments:
"Chased clear leader, left in lead 6th, made rest, hard pressed from 3 out, held on gamely under pressure from last."  Giving 10 lbs to the horse placed second, Our Valentina.

QUOTES: "All Naranja does is stay. She needs to go left-handed too. She's going to be a nice chaser, we've schooled her already and she jumps well" - Jamie Snowden, trainer.

Naranja - eating up at Ayr - 20th April 2018Here is Naranja - in the stables at Ayr, eating up after a hard day at the office !!

She travelled back to Folly House, Lambourn on the Sunday after the Scottish Grand National and settled back in, like she always does and went out the next day for a relaxing hack and a quick splash in the stream !

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She will be coming home soon for her Summer holiday to chill out with her old friends and companions and we look forward to another season of racing with her, maybe over some of the bigger jumps too?!

With our thanks, as always, to Jamie Snowden Racing and his fantastic team at Folly House for all their hard work, efforts and expertise.

We seem to have spent most of the winter waiting for the rain to stop and with a couple of very cold snaps with snow and ice thrown into the mix it hasn't been the best time to get the horses onto the Racecourse.  Eventually, NARANJA (Black Sam Bellamy x Full of Fruit) set off to Sandown on 16th February to run in "Weatherbys General Stud Book Jane Seymour Mares' Novices Hurdle" (Grade 2)  -  (Class 1)  (4yo+)   (2m3f173yds) 2m4f, Going: Heavy,  9 hurdles.
She was awarded 'Best Turned Out' in the parade ring, with our thanks going to Jamie Snowden's very professional grooms and staff.

Naranja at Sandown Park-16th Feb 2018

Sandown is a right-handed, undulating, testing, galloping track - not Naranja's favourite direction and her jockey, Gavin Sheehan, reported she was hanging to the left.  She finished 6th of 10 runners, not disgracing herself in this step up in class for her.  We will be looking at left-handed tracks for her, as they seem to suit her best.
She came out of the race feeling okay and spent some time next day back at Folly House Stables, Lambourn giving it some thought!

Naranja-resting after Sandown race on 17 March 2018

On 17th March NARANJA made her way to Fontwell Park for the "Cin Cin by the Sea Barbados Mares' Handicap Hurdle (Challenger Mares Hurdle Qualifier)"   (Class 3) (0-135, 4yo+)   (2m1f162yds)  2m1½f, Going: Heavy,  9 hurdles.
This course is a left-handed, tight, level track being a mixture of grass and all-weather surface.  Naranja was hampered at the first hurdle when another horse jumped right across her but she raced on gamely and finished a creditable 3rd of 6 runners.  We are hoping the weather will improve before her final outing this season.

Our two fillies EARLY MORNING RAIN (FR)  (Martaline x Rosewater)

Rosie at Denis Leahy's - Jan 10th 2018-crop

and MISS MAHMITE (Mahler x David's Delight)

At Denis Leahy's Feb 2018

have been with Denis Leahy in pre-training and will soon be returning to Michael Moore's Ballincurrig House Stud for their Spring/Summer break.   They will return to Denis in the early Autumn when we will make a decision regarding their future racing careers.

Mid-February we were invited by Harry Fry to go and watch our filly TOODLEPIP (Robin Des Champs x Shannon Theatre) on her first Racecourse gallop at Larkhill.  She looked very well and we are all very happy with her performance here.

Toodlepip-Larkhill - Feb 2018-11

Due to the very inclement weather and the ground conditions we have now decided to wait until the Autumn for her inaugural run.  This is disappointing but we are unfortunately at the mercy of the weather and we have always had the filly's best interests at heart regarding her racing career.

Toodlepip-Larkhill - Feb 2018-2A

Photos taken at Racecourse gallop at Larkhill by Becky Bailey

Toodlepip-Larkhill - Feb 2018-9

On March 30th at 9.30am our boarding mare CENTORIA  (Generous x Cent Prime) foaled a lovely chestnut filly by Sholokhov.  She is a very good mother and both mare and foal are doing well and looking forward to a bit of sun so they can spend a little bit more time out at grass.

Bunny - 1st April 2018-2

Bunny - 5th April 2018 - 2

And finally, on 2nd April we welcomed a new boarding mare to the fold, via Jamie Snowden.  She is BUCHE DE NOEL (FR) (Coastal Path x Kyrie) and she came to us straight from Rathbarry Stud where she had been covered by Sholokhov, so fingers crossed for a healthy foal in 2019.

*With thanks again to Becky Bailey and Jessica Joubert for most of the photos used