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) (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.
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!
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) (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)
and MISS MAHMITE (Mahler x David's Delight)
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.
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.
Photos taken at Racecourse gallop at Larkhill by Becky Bailey
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.
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