We have had a quiet time on the runners front from Hazelrigg, so I thought I ought to just to give an update as I am sure people are wondering. After a terrific autumn with lots of winners, our form just dipped a bit in December and as time went on we worried something wasn’t right. Actually it was nothing too untoward, a seasonal bug and we were getting a few dirty scopes, some worse than others, and a few coughing. Strangely with some it seemed like the run brought out the mucus as they’d scope fine before the race and then run a bit disappointingly, then have a snotty nose a few days later. More interestingly recently we have done a lot of gastro scopes and have found a significant number with ulcers. Annoying when we’re on top feed/turn them out etc! But ulcers are common in race horses, and are very good (if expensive) to treat. On top of this we have found them to be low in certain minerals so will be supplementing for them. Encouragingly, the scopes we have been doing recently have all been coming back looking much better - so onwards and upwards.
All in all I am quite excited about going into the spring with horses that have had a bit of a mid season break, and are hopefully ready to fire on all cylinders! Actually the only runners we had last week were at Newcastle (Firth of Forth and Rae des Champs), both ran really well, so that was very encouraging. And I mustn’t forget Cailin Dearg who flew the flag for us twice at Sedgefield – she’s been ace! I think I’ll aim her for the Go North Mares Final at Musselburgh, that could be a bit of fun, and great prize money of course.
We haven’t got a huge amount of action coming up, Famous Moment runs at Newcastle on Tuesday – I kicked myself for running him at Ayr on heavy ground that was totally wrong, so fingers crossed we’ll see something different on the better ground next week. That’s a boys’ race so it would be lovely to get Dylan his first win for us. Firth of Forth is then in at Kelso, but it’s so dry I’m not sure that he’ll run. He ran a blinder last week, so much so he got a rating of 115 which was quite high! Hence I thought it an idea entering for a maiden. After that we’ll gradually get busier again, the ulcer treatment takes a few weeks, so some horses like Player Queen, for example, who was supposed to run this weekend, will have to wait a couple of weeks after intended runs. It has dried up recently, but before that the ground was horribly gluey everywhere, so I don’t mind missing racing on that stuff.
We’ve been having a bit of fun at the point-to-points, no winners, but some good spins for local amateurs Will Ramsay and Lucy Baker-Creswell. Lucy has ridden out for us at Hazelrigg for years, all through university, so it’s great to see her having her first few rides. Unfortunately she had her first fall last weekend off an old horse of ours Log On, but they’ll be hoping to make amends at Alnwick this weekend. She has been doing really well on yard favourite Worcester Pearmain, who also runs on Sunday. Will has had 3 great spins on Coole Hall, finishing 2nd all three times! So surely a winner is around the corner for him. Coole Hall is loving it, and I think it’s doing his head a lot of good, along with a bit of hunting, and I’m thinking a small field novice chase might be worth a go now he’s a bit more rejuvenated and enjoying his racing.
Here is a video of our new sand gallop in action. It still looks a bit unfurnished, being wet and bare in the middle, but the gallop itself is great, we’re absolutely chuffed with it. As you can see from the video they can just canter away nice and steady through the deep sand, it’s lovely work for them.