31 December 2016 by Ed de Giles
2016 has to go down as another major success for the yard. We set a target of 30 winners and reached 29 although had the BHA rather unjustly not taken away one of Lucy the Painters wins our target would have been met but we won't dwell on that!
The two horses in joint poll position this year have to be the two girls Frosty Berry and Lucy the Painter. Frosty from late last year amassed 5 wins, our first Listed win and 40lbs + of improvement. She is now retired and off to stud. Covering day will be interesting if she is in a mood!! Lucy the Painter finished first past the post in 4 races and a gallant 3rd in a Group 3 giving her the all valuable Black Type. She is back in training for one more year and will continue to be aimed high.
Simon's Wakame continued into his 3yo campaign where he left off as a 2yo winning 4 races in 2016 finishing on a mark of 80. He was a fun servant and I am sure can continue to perform but a decision was made to sell him in order to make way for new stock.
Quantum Dot and Pike Corner Cross have both done fantastically well for Yvonne amassing 7 races between them in 2016. Both horses have only started winning since joining us which has been great to see. Quantum has had a long break and will come back into work next week. Pike will now have a long well deserved break and come back later in the year.
Wind in my Sails has finally shown what I have always thought he should, winning 3 races this year and is now on a mark of 87. Life will be tougher but I think he can remain competitive. He is back in work and doing his best to kill Fred and or himself!
Carcharias notched up 3 this year. He was not the easiest horse to work out but the penny has certainly dropped and I am sure we can squeeze another win or 2 out of him next year.
Panko won 2 this year and was unlucky not to make it 3. I think there is more to come from him next year.
Talking of horses that are not the easiest to work out I think Zlatan has to be up there with the most tricky. But I can't knock him too much as we really are getting there with him, he was placed 6 times and won twice. He now finds himself on a mark of 77, so life will obviously be tougher, but another year on his back just might help.
Operative and Prendergast have both won for Gwyn and Sam this year which I know they are pleased about but I am slightly frustrated and will be doing my level best to get some more out of them next year. Operative really is much better than his mark!
Their two fillies Delirium and Classified are both very nice horses and I will be surprised and disappointed if 2017 is not their year.
Incus ran a gallant 3rd at Chelmsford on his last run. He's a big horse so we put him away and he has wintered very well and I'm really looking forward to seeing him out in the Spring as I think there's lots of improvement to be had.
I am not going to go through every horse but the last one to mention is Swanton Blue, who has been a little frustrating and has had a few minor niggles to iron out but having run well in defeat on lots of occassions finally got his head in front. I think he is on a very workable mark and hopefully can reward us next year.
We have a number of 2yo's that didn't run in 2016 due to being a bit backward so we have them to look forward to in 2017.
We have what I think is a particularly good bunch of 2yo's, although one or two will take time, but then those of you who know me know that patience is my middle name! Having said that there are a couple who might be early but either way the horse will let us know!
If Father Christmas was particularly generous this year we do have a couple for sale!
The numbers are growing with new owners joining us as we go into 2017. We welcome Usk Valley, the Spear family, Robert and Sharron Colvin and the Philistines! Hopefully 2017 will be a fun and successful year for all of us.
As I am sure you are aware we took delivery of a high speed treadmill in March which is hugely complimenting our system here. There have been several winners that have barely seen the gallops and spend most of the time on that or swimming. Wind in my sails saw the gallops no more than 1/2 a dozen times in August and won twice in that period. The bank manager isn't happy but the owners certainly are, which I think is more important don't you???
So overall its been a cracking year and the team here continue to work tirelessly to achieve the success that we have had. It's a tough game but I think with the commitment we all have it really is worth it.
Happy New year to all and thank you to all our owners and staff for their continued support as none of any of the above would be possible without them.
Good Luck for 2017.