All the three-year-olds come in, do plenty of work, and then have two weeks off before we start again. It’s often that break in November that really brings them on. We find that by letting them have breaks to let their bodies repair and catch up, they come on from what you’ve taught them. We never push the bumper horses, and if they’re not ready, then we’ll wait with them.
I’m breaking in a couple of horses at the moment with Chloe who works in the yard. Starting and riding on the youngsters is one of the huge bonuses of working in racing. I absolutely love it.
One is by Stowaway out of an Old Vic mare, and is a replacement for dear old Victor’s Serenade who has a touch of a leg. His owners Michael and Angela Bone came to Doncaster with us as they are very close friends, and after we bought him, they decided they would take him on themselves.
We’ll ride him on for a month and make sure he’s happy cantering up the gallop before he’s turned away for a few months. He’ll come back in early September ready for our owners’ day and we’d hope to have him ready to run in a juvenile bumper at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.
It’s a good meeting to aim for as they are running against four-year-olds rather than older horses which are at an advantage because of their age.
While working with the young horses is what I really love, I also enjoy the older horses too. We broke Chill Factor as a three-year-old having come from Ireland’s Derby Sale. He’s won six races for us, four with me, but unfortunately he has an injury and will need a year off, its nothing serious but he needs some time.
A lot of people are asking if I will be returning to race riding but I am not sure it is the right thing to do with Harry. If I was going to take my license out again, I suppose I could just ride in bumpers, but then I know what I am like and I’d want to try the horse over hurdles, just like when Chill Factor won his first bumper.
With Aidan Coleman, David Noonan and Harry Cobden riding for us, we have a great team. I don’t think I’ve been missed and now that I am a mum I have to be more responsible.
I don’t want to give up, but in my heart I know it’s the right thing to do and that decision might see me return to eventing if time allows! When Regal Encore’s racing career finishes I would love to event him. I adore everything about him, and he was the only horse I schooled while I was pregnant as he’s so careful and brave and moves so well. He’d be great to lead Harry when he gets his first pony! I love ponies and if that’s what Harry wants to do I will be very happy. My brother Michael and I had the best years of our lives riding ponies when we were children.
We have a handful of horses for summer racing including Horace Hazel, Dragoon Guard and Solstice Sun who will run in the Summer National at Uttoxeter. The Geegeegeez is having an MOT at the moment as he is looking like the winner in his races but not quite getting home.
I’m bringing on our new mare Tacenda that we bought at Punchestown Sale. She was in the lead two out in an Irish point-to-point and unseated the rider. She’s a Fleminsfirth mare and we absolutely love her. She is so scopey and careful jumping and she moves like a gazelle with her really long legs. She is absolutely gorgeous. I jumped her yesterday with Jabeena Maslim who adores her too although her one downside is that she is very grumpy in her stable! I don’t mind that though. She can be as grumpy as she likes as she more than makes up for it when you’re on her.
We’ve just booked a last minute holiday to Portugal and fly this evening where we will meet our friends Harry and Ciara Fry with their baby Ruby.”