Wednesday 20th of September 2023
Rachael Green

All systems go ahead of an exciting season

The 2017-2018 jump racing season is just around the corner and it’s been a busy time at the yard of racehorse trainer Anthony Honeyball’s Dorset yard. Anthony’s wife and assistant trainer Rachael reveals how it’s all systems go.

Regal Encore and Harry

We’re flat out again with all the horses in, and it’s an exciting time of year with plans being laid and new horses to get to know. Thirty or so are back in work and there are another dozen to come in. The yard will be full to start the season, which is a great position to be in, and there are some incredibly exciting prospects among this year’s string.

It’s been quite hectic for a few days as it’s a bit of a transition period, with staff coming back from their holidays, new members of the team starting.

It’s meant that I’ve been getting up at 5.30am to muck out a few before Harry wakes up while Anthony is long gone riding out the first of his two before the normal day begins.

But these early starts have put a bit of a spring in my step, as Regal Encore is back from his summer holidays. He’s been in Ireland at JP McManus’ Martinstown Stud and he’s come back looking absolutely amazing. It’s so lovely having him here and this season I’ll be looking after him myself. I usually always ride him, but I’ll also now be doing all the daily chores, which is no hardship as I really adore him!

Regal Encore and Rachael © Steven Cargill/

Pure Vision came back from Ireland at the same time looking a picture of health and having them both here really makes you feel like the season is just around the corner.

After a frenetic period of shoeing, pulling manes and generally tidying all the horses up, they’ve had a few days on the roads and working in the indoor school, and in the next day or so they’ll start steady cantering up the gallops, which just helps to keep them settled as they are all feeling fresh and well after their holidays. They won’t be doing anything too strenuous up the gallops but long gone are the days of endless roadwork.

At this time of the year, every trainer in the land will be excited about the forthcoming season, but this time round, we really do have some super horses among the string who could be anything. Anthony has taken a riskier approach, pushing for the much better horse at the sales, and then finding owners for them. He’s got a great eye for a horse and a knack for picking out those that offer owners value.

Duhallow Gesture and Don Lami have proven Irish point-to-point & bumper form, and while the majority of both of them are sold, there are still shares available – a great opportunity to get involved!

Other newcomers include  a stunning horse called Sojourn, who is closely related to Victor Dartnall’s staying chaser Exmoor Ranger. We also have a few youngsters that did all the training but didn’t run last year as the ground turned against them. The extra time won’t have done them any harm. They include Nocturnal Myth, Hideway Vic, Lechlade Magician and a couple of mares.

Then there are the likes of bumper winners Urca De Lima and Sam Brown who have form to build on.

Ms Parfois and Tacenda are both very exciting staying chase prospects. They are both quite different with Ms Parfois a big, strong mare, and Tacenda more athletic, but there’s a lot to look forward to with both of them.

Aside from the racehorses, I did my first working hunter class on Crispy at Cattistock Show where he was second. There was a lot of preparation for our five minutes of fame. He’s now entered for the Melplash and Dorchester Show and Suzy Stoneman will show him for me as I’ll be busy riding out the racehorses. I’ll be like a proper owner and pop across when I’ve finished riding out the racehorses!

Juke Box Jive has a big engagement coming up at Doncaster where he’ll run in the Group 2 Doncaster Cup over 2m2f.

Other than that it’s busy, busy, busy! We’re on the look out for one more member of staff to join us, and if any Pony Clubbers would like to come and help for the rest of the summer holidays do get in touch. From mucking out to hacking, we have plenty of jobs for some pocket money and if your very lucky you may get to ride Crispy!

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