We seem to be going through a phase of second places; following Elmono's brave effort at Cartmel, Ain't My Fault then was a staying on second at Bangor. This was an improvement from the normally headstrong chaser who looks much more chilled this season and with a new found relaxation we should be able to ride a more tactical race on him in future.
Then Ballyare continued the trend and was a closing second last night at Hamilton, following a solid fourth at Musselburgh two days earlier. He is a cracking little sprinter and deserves to win one soon.
Overall we are pleased with the horses' performances; they are coming back from a long break fit and well and seem to gallop to the line. There are more race meetings in the next few weeks and we have another batch of horses due to make their debuts later in August.
At home we managed to work three horses on the grass; the rain has eased the ground and the grass gallop is in great shape having not had a horse on it since March. We have had a few schooling on the grass too, including some novice chasers who will debut soon. Having had lots of practice on the carpet gallop they are all educated but Scu likes them to see a proper chase fence or hurdle before their race.
The campervan had a journey south last week when we took it to the Goffs UK sales at Doncaster. Replacing their May sale there was a selection of stores and horses with form, and we were very pleased to buy two; a three year old store and an ex Irish point to pointer.
It's A Midnight is from the last crop of Midnight Legend and out of Just For Pleasure who we trained for Let's Live Racing to win a bumper. A talented filly who we thought a lot of, she was the daughter of one of the best horses Scu trained, Heltornic. Having seen It's A Midnight in the catalogue we were keen to buy her and at £17,000 I think that we have secured a very talented youngster. She has been a sweetie since she arrived, and Stephen has already longreined her and ridden her around the yard, pictured.
We love our Irish pointers and our mares and were delighted to buy Without Conviction for an existing partnership including my Father. With plenty of size and scope the daughter of Aizavoski is out of a Barathea flat bred dam and looks to have lots of class. She will start pre training and run in mares races this autumn.
It felt odd to leave the yard for a whole day but as ever the team here continued the normal work and with racing, new horses and sales we feel that things are nearly normal. Now, we just need lots of rain to make us feel that jumping has started.