As the nights start to draw in and the thermals are on, it is a very exciting time for all point to point trainers. At Stockton Hall all the horses are now in and been walking for four weeks. There are some new faces and quite a few from last year all with lots of promise. Last year we had a lot of youngsters which needed time and education which meant we didn’t have as many runners or winners and so I am really looking forward to this season as those horses have learnt how to race and will be ready to win straight away.
We have had a busy Summer and Autumn re surfacing the gallops, put in a new indoor school and made a new tack room and dry room. I am really pleased with all the building work and it will make everything so much simpler especially if we have as cold a winter as last year!! Lee Enstone and Ryan Tongue have stayed with us from last year and we are very lucky to have Ed Glassonbury with us this season as head lad and will share the rides with me. He has gained a lot of experience working for Victor Dartnall and has brought plenty of new ideas that we have implemented already.
Threapwood flew the flag last year winning three races and am looking forward to him running in Men’s Opens this year on the soft ground he loves. If he runs well in that sphere the plan is to go for a novice hunter chase which over 3 miles I think he will definitely be capable of winning one.
Cool Friend has done tremendously over the summer and is back in full work with the plan to go for a 2 mile 4 furlong hunter chase in February on the way to having another crack at the Aintree Fox Hunters. She went so close last year and it was frustrating however we all had an amazing day and if she jumps as well this year I am sure we will have a lot of fun.
The Wychough is back in slow work after a year off with a tendon injury, I have always had a soft spot for him as he was one of the first horses I bought and trained and has done me proud. He is a legend to ride at home and on the track and I am confident he could go and win an intermediate and open this year.
Sparkle Star showed plenty of promise last season and looks the full article this time he wouldn’t surprise me if he went and won first time, as he jumps and travels so well and was just to green last year.
Wistarri Reef had an unfortunate setback last season when he was ready to run however he has been in work for 2 months now and has strengthened up really well and I am really looking forward to him running. He was always a very forward type and jumped extremely well. He has been through the mill last season so will know his job.
Midnight Rain has done the best out of all the youngsters over the summer and grown loads. He was very green last season and showed enough at home to persevere, he did not disgrace himself in his last run last season and it wouldn’t surprise me if he won a couple this year.
Our Crusade has been running under rules this summer and not disgraced himself finishing third in a bumper at Sedgefield. He is fit and ready to go so will run at Cottenham on 1st December. I have done plenty of schooling with him already and his jumping has improved loads. If he stays he will take a lot of beating!
Tiger Pearl is full brother to Pearlysteps trained by Henry Daly. He is a gorgeous looking 4 year old who has been very easy to break and is cantering every day with the view to run in January/February. He is a proper national hunt type who feels like he has plenty of ability however we will need to be patient.
We had two lovely horses here for the summer for pre training called Rose of the moon and Griffe D’Artiste, Rose went to David O’Meara and Griffe went to Charlie Longsdons, they are both worth keeping an eye on first time out!!