Chilly start this Saturday morning

horses_trottingIt was the first really cold morning this winter on Saturday with a bumper visit from owners Eamonn Duggan, Paul and Paula Smith, Derek Willis and Chris and Lesley Mills.

There were only two working, the un-named Peintre Celebre three year old and first time out winner Miss Cato, who went well in their gallop up Long Hill polytrack.  It was too dark for photos first lot, so these are all second lot.  This picture shows Flynn's Boy, Poisson d'Or and Shamakat trotting by the racecourse.

monte_and_yearlingsIt was a busy morning will all staff fully occupied with three lots. The pictures right and below are of the two year olds led by the now 19 year old Montecristo having been on a long trot up by the racecourse and returning by Southfields Round canter.


Nearly all the three year olds are back in now and it is great to see them returning looking so well and fresh from their winter breaks.

Last year's star filly, Princess of Orange, seems to have grown even more and looks fresh and ready to go.  Guilietta has gone out for a deferred winter break with one good run at Lingfield last week behind her.

First Class lives up to his name at Kempton

first-classBrian and Elaine Cooper's home bred Oasis Dream gelding First Class won well this afternoon at Kempton, having run a promising first race in handicap company on his previous start.  He is a horse who has shown improvement at home and, although still very laid back and green, is starting to grasp what is required.  He absolutely looks a picture at the moment and was backed down to favourite today at Kempton.  He was helped by a fast pace and the fact that he was able to tuck in and run a proper race under jockey David Probert, coming through in the last furlong to win going away.  It was certainly a good start and hopefully we will see him continue his winning ways throughout the season.  Everyone here could not be more pleased for Brian and Elaine who are owners who deserve all the success they get.

No hanging about for Miss Cato

notnowcatoBert Bennett's homebred Miss Cato, by Notnowcato, lost no time in getting 2012 off to a great start at Southwell this afternoon by winning first time out.  OK so it was not the best race in the world but she ran a great race considering how big and green she is.  Rae would have approached the race with more confidence if she had already had racecourse experience, but she showed great resilience and battling qualities to win by 1 1/4 lengths going away under jockey William Carson. She did not make the 6,000 guineas that Mr Bennett wanted at the auction afterwards and so has been retained, although she may go to the February sale at Tattersalls.   Well done Miss Cato and congratulations to Mr Bennett, his advisor Jill Lamb and Gabby who looks after her.

Happy Christmas everyone

Best wishes for a very happy Christmas from everyone at Chestnut Tree Stables.  It doesn't really stop for us as the horses need looking after and Reachforthebucks and First Class went out for a canter this morning, but half the staff get three days off and the other half get three days at New Year.  It is mild in Newmarket and, after the heavens opened on Friday, mercifully dry now.  After the festive period we will see most of the horses who have been out of training return to begin their return to race-fitness, and it is always fascinating to see how they have progressed physically while on holiday.  Best wishes to all our owners and friends for a peaceful and enjoyable Christmas.

Cold and crisp at Newmarket

The weather had HQ has been decidedly bracing, -3 degrees yesterday morning, but Newmarket's amazing facilities mean that that in only the most extreme conditions are horses prevented from cantering, and this was nothing like that.

monte_leading_yearlingsIn fact by the time second lot came around it was a very nice day as the photographs show.  Here is 18 year old Montecristo happy in his work leading the yearlings (Pivotal-Poppy Carew colt, Dark Angel filly, Medicean filly and Azamour filly).  They had just done a canter on the Cambridge Road polytrack, then walked around next to the cricket pitch.  The Dark Angel filly is pictured below.

dark_angel_on_cricket_pitchBrian and Elaine Cooper and Eamonn and Colleen Duggan were on hand to see their horses in action.  Brian and Elaine's Shamardal two year old colt is just back in after most of the year off and Eamonn was here to see the Hornets' Guiletta and his own un-named Azamour filly.

Unusually we had Kieren Fallon come in to ride Reachforthebucks with two of Marco Botti's in a piece of work and again he went well.

First Class ran his best race yet under stable apprentice Noel Garbutt at Kempton on Thursday, finishing fourth.  Fonnie ran in snatches today at Southwell to finish fifth.



Finally here are the yearlings heading home after their morning's work.  It is surprising how picturesque Newmarket can be in all weathers.