14 utvaldbild

Comings and goings

The French turf season is reaching its conclusion and Flying Cape and King of Rock travel to Le Mans on Sunday, both are fit and well.

Doesyourdogbite was sold at Newmarket recently, he has gone to Jonjo O’Neills and I really think he could do well over hurdles, with a few runs under his belt I could see him winning a Fred Winter, look out for him come Cheltenham. Although I thought he would make more money he actually made a small profit overall, taking into account his purchase price, two years training fees and costs, his two wins and sale price – not many horses achieve that.

Calajari has been bought, I don’t know yet whose colours he will carry but he seems a decent acquisition with plenty of scope, a two year old ex Aga Khan, he has had two runs (beaten favourite each time). He is still an entire and will stay that way for the time being. Whilst on the subject of wedding tackle, the one horse we have had gelded here (Vesking) benefitted from the least traumatic castration I’ve ever witnessed ! Our quietly spoken vet Christophe Gard turned up tout seul and performed the task with the minimum of fuss in double quick time without getting a speck of blood on his chinos ! The offending articles disappeared with the sleight of hand worthy of a magician, we thought they must have been left in the straw bed but were never to be found !

We have thankfully been allocated stabling for the Cagnes Sur Mer winter season and will take a team of horses, Tree of Grace and Final Attack have been rested and will now be prepared for Cagnes, as will Vesking and Calajari, King of Rock is a possible and we are looking at all the claiming races to bolster the team. It’s such a fantastic place to visit (5 kms from Nice airport) and if you book a little in advance reasonable flights from Luton and Gatwick can be found (as well as occasional ones from Liverpool and Manchester) – there is something rather special about looking out over the racecourse to the Med in your shirt sleeves in January. We wish a speedy recovery to one of our regular Cagnes Sur Mer friends – Anne Sophie Crombez who is in hospital recovering from a horrific gallops accident and hope to be able to share a cocktail with her soon.

We have also agreed terms to move yards recently, the new one is in a delightful spot (still in Lamorlaye) with good access to all the gallops and has plenty of space, a large paddock and a walled ménage. It was once part of a large property belonging to the family made wealthy by the Bic biro.

We welcome, also, Michael Finegan to the team, a good rider with experience in America, he clearly has an empathy with horses and is never one to use one word when five will do !

‘Bonne courage’ to our ex-neighbour Amy Weaver who’s had a career change and is now working as a Croupier on a Cruise ship out of New Orleans. Anyone suffering from insomnia should read her blog on Twitter, it’s as least as effective as listening to Ben Case on his website !

À la prochaine.