Last week was interesting and even more varied than usual. Graham Lee chose to use "World Mental Health day" to explain his lengthy absence from the saddle earlier this season and, having written about it on my blog I was amazed at the number of lovely messages, texts and emails I received following the piece and the nicest message of all was from Graham himself.
I am sure Graham is relieved to have finally unburdened himself and can now start to rebuild and renew his life and career, not that he will need to try too hard because the cream always rises to the top and he is a class jockey through and through.
For George and I it was an interesting week punctuated with long periods of boredom and frustration, yearling sales are exciting and fascinating and the King of all people watchers, "George" was in his element for most of the time, but when prices are so ridiculously high sitting through days on end of auctions can be boring and you start to feel like you are never going to strike and buy a horse you both like a lot, and can afford. It made us both very appreciative of the yearlings we have already bought because those same youngsters would undoubtedly have been a "lot" more expensive now. Nevertheless, it is during these quiet times at sales when I am at my most dangerous.
Some years ago I couldn't buy a horse so I bought a lorry to carry four of the little darlings. The year before last, I bought two lorries. This year, along with copious cups of tea and enough cake to add inches on to the already expanding waistline, I bought a new Range Rover only to then manage to buy a smart, good looking easy moving son of "Dream Ahead" out of a mare by "Whipper".
Like our superstar buy "Willie The Whipper" this lad also has the customary white blaze but he also has three white stockings to go with it, he is as good a mover and as light on his feet as "Willie the Whipper" was and, thanks to being a late foal (May 11th) he was infinitely buyable at £9.000. This doesn’t worry me one bit, in fact the smashing, consistent two year old colt we trained last year "Risk Adjusted" was also born late (May 8th) he finished second on his firth three runs before winning having made his debut in early April.
On the final day of the epic sale we managed to buy two more fillies, both from a farm we have bought some decent winners from and both came highly recommended. Lot 1763 is a first foal and the daughter of "Mount Nelson" (sire of our smart sprinter "Hilary J") out of an 84 rated three time winner "Ziefhd" who is by "Haafhd" who was also the sire of our filly "Melody of Love" (winner of the Group 3 Firth Of Clyde for us some years ago). The filly is very racy and very much a two year old type.
Lot 1810 is by "Stimulation" who is making a real name for himself over a variety of trips having recently sired the winner of the Ceasarawich in "Sweet Sensation". The filly "Marsh Pride" who I bought as a two year old at the breeze ups for just 14k was also by Stimulation and, having won impressively on her racecourse debut was in great demand for an American owner for a cool £300,000. This filly is a stunner, she is out of the fast filly "Glen Molly" who was rated 90 and is by the great dam sire "Danetime".
Pictures, videos and information will appear on our website very soon but needless to say, we can't wait for next year because they are a smashing looking bunch of yearlings and thankfully we are almost back up to speed on the staff front with James returning from his holiday, Tihamer and our newest recruit "Franz" arrived back from Hungary on Friday night, Aussie Mick is as glad to be back as we are to have him back and Allen is mending well.
Our yearling parade date has been set for Sunday November 20th, Simon Mapletoft has confirmed he will come to help again and we look forward to showing them off to you. Do please save the date.........