Thursday 23rd of March 2023
Rachael Green

Rachael Green: The Great Honeyball Bake Off

The 2016-2017 jump racing season is just around the corner and it’s been a busy time at the yard of racehorse trainer Anthony Honeyball where horses have had their first schooling session and competition proved fierce for the first Great Honeyball Bake Off. Rachael, Anthony’s wife, reveals all.

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At this time of the year, there isn’t a trainer in the land who isn’t looking forward to the season ahead. It’s such a lovely time of year when hopes and dreams are high and after a super owners’ day, when all the horses looked fantastic and behaved impeccably, we can’t wait for the return of jump racing proper.

We paraded 36 horses and they are all looking exceptionally well. They are carrying a little bit more condition than they would normally at this time of year, but we’re not in a hurry to do any fast work at the moment as the ground won’t turn for while. Also, the new round gallop enables us to do slow, steady work, building up their stamina and fitness before we start to ask more questions.

We’re very much ground dependant and our horses won’t be running until the end of October beginning of November. There will be the odd runner over the next few weeks, but once the weather turns we’ll be ready to go. It was lovely that Unify won at Southwell on Tuesday for the Anthony Honeyball Racing Club. It was so pleasing to see her gain her first victory, as she is a lovely mare who enjoys life, tries hard and is a joy to train.

Our owners’ day featured our first ever Great Honeyball Bake Off with the owners’ judging the cakes at the end of the day.  It proved every bit as competitive as jockeys riding a finish, with some of the staff getting up at 5am in the morning to perfect their cakes, including me and Leo who has just joined the team recently and spent hours on the phone to his mother in Czechoslovakia for the recipe of his cake.

There was a “gee gees” theme – in homage to our yard sponsor The owners judged the cakes, writing down their comments and marking them. It was a closely run competition and I was so impressed with how well the team coped with a lot of them trying their hand at baking for the first time. It was our two newest members of staff who jointly baked the winning cake. Well done Kate and George.

We’re hoping that by this time next year the general feeling that none of our staff want to see a mixing bowl ever again might have faded and we’re planning on making it an annual event.

It was lovely to see our yard sponsor Mathew Bisogno at our owners’ day. He is so incredibly supportive and it’s something we appreciate hugely. For serious racing aficionados, his website is well worth looking at.

Anthony and I are both very excited about the mares we have for the season ahead too including Ms Parfois, Tacenda, Cresswell Breeze and Midnight Tune. With such a good programme of mares’ races we are very much looking forward to running them and seeing them progress through the ranks.

Jukebox Jive, who is owned and bred by Ron Huggins, was our first ever runner in a two-year-old maiden race at Goodwood two weeks ago. We’re so proud of him as he coped really well with the whole experience which would have taken a lot out of him – at Goodwood the stables are located away from the racecourse meaning an extra drive in the lorry to get there.

Oisin Murphy was on board and he jumped out of the stalls well, was slow to get into his stride and then stayed on really well. We’ll step him up in trip next time and hope to run him again on October 12.

Our other flat runner, Black Prince, is having some entries and it won’t be long before he makes his debut.

David Noonan has been in schooling and the horses had their first jump in the indoor school last week to get them off the ground and get a bit of rustiness out of them before we ask any questions of them schooling wise. It’s all full steam ahead as we wait in anticipation for jump racing to get going again.

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