Written by Ann
Good habits are hard to keep and bad habits are hard to break. For more years than it is healthy to recall, the blog - aka ‘Duffield’s Diaries’ have been a reasonably good habit, if a time consuming one but then, along came Hayley who made it easier for me not to worry about penning a few sentences on a daily basis and suddenly it has been so long since I actually wrote my own blog that I forgot how to sign in!
What can I say other than it’s been a fascinating and extremely busy period but you will have to wait for the book to come out to find out exactly why.
On the yard our season is drawing to a close but we will carry on running a few in the winter as usual giving those horses who, for one reason or another lacked the opportunity to win during the Summer, the all-weather definitely has its uses and with prize money levels so much better than in years gone by, owners are much happier to run horses through the winter, added to that we have racing closer to hand at Newcastle making the prospects of racing even more attractive.
Our yearlings are coming on well and, as ever Allen helped by super secretary and wife Anna are doing a great job, today three of the colts enjoyed a trip to the village led by Captain Jack before returning home and walking through the stalls as they will every day from now on.
While our small winter string keep going on the flat we have added the prospects of training a jumper or two as Sun Hill Lad has shown a real aptitude for hurdling, he is thoroughly enjoying schooling at home and so it must be said is local jump jockey “Henry Brooke” who has been in to school him a couple of times already and loves the grey son of Lilbourne Lad.
Alongside our ‘jumper’ Sun Hill Lad, is a gorgeous unbroken three year old gelding by the great “Yeats” out of a half-sister to “Supreme Leader” no less. His pedigree took me right back to the days when all I trained were national hunt horses and Supreme Leader was a highly regarded stallion. Training jumpers was always a bit of fun and I am hankering after a few more.
“The Khoinoa” won 4 races back in the day and was by Supreme Leader, I was lucky enough to buy and train a few jump winners and while I can’t recall all their names, Ela Mata (winner of 5) Colourful Ambition(7) Colour Code(3) Charming Admiral(8) Pharmistice, Parlanca Bay, Now Young Man, Falcons Fire, Field of Vision and Craigary are all names that do spring to mind, mostly because they were either pretty good or rather challenging, or perhaps because there is an interesting story to tell about each one of them.
Roll on Wetherby, Market Rasen and Catterick, in the mud.
3-yo gelding by Yeats