News

News update

Rae is getting a bit frustrated with the lack of rain at HQ and elsewhere and feels that he was lucky to get the right ground for Serious Attitude last week as it would not have been in evidence this week. She is fine after her race and has done nothing more than a couple of steady canters this week. Her target is the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot but that is ground dependent. We have had a few horses with multiple entries unable to take them up owing to the fast ground everywhere. Rae is keen to get a run into, for example, Conciliatory and Eye of Eternity but not keen to jar them up so they will have to wait until conditions are more suitable. Most likely runners are Dancing Jest and Hill of Miller, the others are waiting for rain.

Dancing Jest is first turf winner of the year

It would be fair to say that not that many people really expected Dancing Jest to win at Lingfield today on her first run of the season. Thank goodness she didn't know that she was 20-1 though; as she well and truly put her best foot forward, being still on the bridle two furlongs out and winning by two lengths! Really well done to Jane and Oliver Lury, who have been such longstanding supporters of the yard and deserve every success.

Yard's mixed fortunes continue

It has been a funny old week or two for runners. Some that you would have thought would run better (Retrato, for example) have not really come up to the mark but others (Filligree) have run well. The last named ran another great race at Bath to be second on Friday night. Many intended runners this week are ground dependent, the exceptions being Hill of Miller who will run at Salisbury (Tuesday) and Zubova who is due to run on the all weather at Kempton (Wednesday). Rae would like to run Midnight Fantasy at Yarmouth on Thursday if there is enough rain; and by Friday (given the forecast of patchy rain all over the UK) who knows what will be suitable. Last week of course saw Dancing Jest do something completely out of character and nearly flip over in the stalls anticipating the start (now she needs a stalls test) and Jeninsky run well on her seasonal debut.

Goodbye Mark, hello Liz

From Monday 29 November you will hear a different voice picking up the phone when you call 01638 661508.  Mark Burrows, Rae's trusty yard secretary and office administrator has left to become a trainee accountant with a firm near Cambridge.  Mark has done a great job and we are very sorry to see him go.  Everyone will miss his wry sense of humour, enthusiasm for racing, reliable nature and dedication, characteristics that will serve him well in his new career (all apart, that is, from the racing bit - your new colleagues will all want tips).

Replacing Mark is Liz Kilfeather.  Liz used to be yard secretary for Mark Wallace, who emigrated to Australia to train, then she worked on computers for Mark Madgwick and most recently for Rent Right.  Liz has been working with Mark for the last two weeks to ensure a smooth handover.  Liz does not ride out but keeps busy with three ex racehorses of her own.   A very warm welcome to Liz.

More sad news to report: Rae's assistant Emma Jenkins has also left to travel the world - she has a job with Gai Waterhouse in Australia and she flew out last Tuesday.  Emma has done an absolutely fantastic job as Rae's assistant causing him to say once 'I wouldn't need 30 staff if I had ten of her'!  Seriously, Emma's enthusiasm, work ethic, attention to detail and pleasant way with both staff and owners have made her a great person to have around and we wish her well for the future - it really was a not to be missed opportunity.  We hope that they will both stay in touch.