Champagne Breakfast anyone? Yard visit to Graeme McPherson’s
A huge thank you to Graeme, his Family, and the Team at Martin’s Hill for such a warm welcome for the EPDS Racing Team this weekend. It was fantastic to see our Horses there looking so well – the yard has been in flying form of late and it is easy to see why upon arrival at the yard – when 20 happy, relaxed horses in the front yard poke their heads out for an inquisitive look into what’s going on!
Although the 8am start was quite an ask for some of us, the weather was kind to us this weekend and nobody lost and fingers or toes from the cold! We saw our festival hope Ami Desbois out on the gallops, with one of our youngest recruits, Londonia. Both of them are cantering away nicely at the moment, and it will be exciting to get them both back to the track, for different reasons.
Ami Desbois has gone from strength to strength over hurdles this season, the epitome of which was when he finished third behind the unbeaten Barters Hill at Doncaster last time out. We always saw hurdling as a means to going chasing for Ami, but he has shown us that he is more than capable of holding his own in Grade 2 company, and we are very proud! He still holds his entry for the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham, the first Festival entry the syndicate has ever had! It is lovely to see his name alongside some well-respected types and, whilst he wouldn’t jump off as the odds on favourite, we know he will run a huge race for us all, should he make the engagement. Stay tuned for more news on his next racecourse outing…
Londonia is a lovely big gelding, by Paco Boy out of a successful 8-9f Mare, Snowdrops. In his 2/3 year old campaign, he was raced on the Flat for previous connections and we ran him as a Juvenile Hurdler in the Summer of 2015. In hindsight, he was too big & weak and as a result he has needed some time to grow (more!) and strengthen up. It is always a little frustrating if a break is unplanned for a Horse, but it has more than paid dividends. Londonia is looking fantastic, and certainly enjoyed showing off to his owners up the gallops. We think that he is likely to be suited to a more dual purpose campaign this summer, and we can’t wait to get cracking with him! It will be like having a brand new Horse – the Team have done a remarkable job with him.
On the sidelines for the visit were Dolly Diamond and Money Maid. Dolly wasn’t 100% sound this week and is having a quiet couple of days following a visit from her Physio. She has been amazing – and we are very grateful for Graeme to loaning her to us over the winter. She has run for the Owners of Londonia, while he has been out, and is now running for the Owners of Money Maid. She’s been a pleasure to have as a surrogate EPDS Horse!
Money Maid, as our Members will know, suffered a fracture to her pelvis on the gallops last month. She has been a model patient of late, and *touch wood*, things are heading in the right direction for her at the moment. The injury is knitting together nicely and with any luck she will continue to make inroads into recovery. Again, we couldn’t be more grateful to the team for the care they have given her – how professionally her work rider dealt with the initial incident could have saved her life that morning and we are of course, forever grateful of that!
An amazing Champagne breakfast awaited us on return from the gallops, to include bacon rolls, sausage rolls, fresh orange juice, tea, coffee and some amazing pastries (not to forget the bubbles!). I don’t know if we have ever caused so many “who is driving” arguments at one of our visits before!
Hot drinks in hand, we had a brilliant tour of the yard before departing. Plenty of selfies were taken – here’s hoping one day those photos will be the famous winner of the 2016 Albert Bartlett. You can dream, right?!