No runners but no rest at Chestnut Tree Stables

OK, so there have been no runners to show for our efforts in the last fortnight or so, but there has been plenty going on.  The yearlings that have been broken in had their first canter up the Cambridge Road, led by the evergreen 18 year old Montecristo, who was thoroughly enjoying himself.  In terms of gallopers, Saturday first lot saw First Class and Reachforthebucks go together, then a two year old group of the un-named Notnowcato-Regal Fairy filly, Guilietta and Kickingthelilly.  Happily, all went well.  Then second lot Fonnie led Equine Science and two year old Cufflink, who went particularly well of the three.

macchiara_and_poisson_dor_at_studLater, owner David Carter and son Michael came over to Colin Murfitt's Pantile Stud where many of our horses are turned out for their winter's break under the watchful eye of Bo Hicks-Little.  We saw Mirza, Flynn's Boy, My Colleen, Macchiara, Poisson d'Or (pictured right together), Shamakat, Headline News, Chris Mills' Oasis Dream and Anabaa fillies, Million Faces, Albany Rose, Be My Rock, Future Wonder and Rose of Sarratt; as well as old friends After the Show, Scoop and some really nice weanlings out of Colin's mares.  Everything seems to do very well on the fen grass and we can be sure that they are in good hands.

viewing_yearlings_at_yearling_paradeLast week more than 30 owners and friends joined us for a quick yearling parade followed by a memorable tour of the historic Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket and a delicious Sunday lunch.  The team at the Jockey Club Rooms did us proud and everyone enjoyed themselves enormously.  We still have two yearlings to sell so please give Rae (07711 301095) a call if you are interested!

News from the yard

Well you might think that - because we aren't having many runners at the moment - there's not much going on at the yard.  That's actually very far from the truth as the place is a hive of activity, although it is not the most glamorous time of the year.

future_wonder_at_grassNearly all the older horses and the two year olds who have had an uninterrupted campaign are out having their winter break or being roughed off ready for a few weeks out (Future Wonder pictured below with Emperor's Waltz in the background enjoying themselves in the field).

Others are returning from injury or have been held up and these are still in full work.  In the meantime the yard is having a revamp, with handyman Colin doing a great job painting and refurbing the boxes, including installing new rubber floors, ready for the return of the main string in January.

dutch_art_being_longreinedThe yearlings are trickling in and we welcomed two more this week. These are gradually being broken in and ridden away.  The ones that have been sales prepped are quite accustomed to the routine but some of the home breds are probably wondering what on earth is going on (Dutch Art filly pictured right being long reined).

Sunday sees a special treat for our loyal owners as we are combining a yard visit with a behind the scenes tour of the World famous Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket and Sunday lunch.  We are all looking forward to that very much.

Rose of Sarratt wins by a head

Eamonn Duggan's Rose of Sarratt won at Redcar this afternoon to give champion jockey elect Paul Hanagan a three timer on the card.  This was a significant win for this well bred filly from the last crop of Sadler's Wells as it cements her future as a broodmare, although the current plan is that she stays in training next year, like Eamonn's sprinter Albany Rose.  All the 'Roses' Eamonn has had now have won, no less than seven winners this year!  Eamonn is a great enthusiast and supporter of the yard and deserves every bit of success he gets, so many congratulations to him, Steve Davies who has been riding Rose of Sarratt of late and Sam Davis who looks after her.

Having made the running and kicked 6 lengths clear with fully three furlongs to go Rose of Sarratt kept finding when challenged by the runner up and they finished 10 lengths clear of the third, although she won by just a head.

Mirza ran well to finish around 8th in France, a creditable run in a Group 3.

Some buff will tell me different but, by my calculations, that brings up 16 winners for the year from 74 runners, versus 14 winners from 109 last year (albeit one of those was a Grade 1 winner).  We may not be done yet for the year either.  Let's hope not.

Changeover time at the yard

It is all change at Chestnut Tree Stables at the moment. All change for our equine inhabitants, many of whom are going out to begin their winter breaks, or yearlings who are coming in to begin their education and to start their careers as racehorses.  We have 10 yearlings in at present, with a few more to come we hope and Steve Davies is doing a great job lungeing and long reining them.  There will be a few more to run this year including some two year olds who have not yet been put away, older horses returning from a break and some in search of elusive black type.  We are also taking the chance to paint and give some of the boxes a facelift.  Many of the Indian staff take extended holiday this time of year and they, like the horses, will all be back in January.

Mirza off to France

Robbie Mills and Mirza 'the two family pets together' (he said it himself) set off this morning for France in pursuit of black type.  Mirza is contesting a Group 3 over six furlongs at Maisons-Lafitte on Tuesday.  Rae says it is a tough, competitive race but there is nothing for him over here.  We all know that the ground (softer the better) is absolutely key for Mirza but he seems in good form and needs to run.  Pray for rain in Paris.