Following Mad Moose's abortive attempt to entertain and frustrate in equal measures at Royal Ascot, it's been a busy summer with trips to Goodwood, York and Newbury although the vast majority of the runners have been at the Northern tracks, making constant travel to watch, financially prohibitive.
Star of the season has to be Lexington Place, a horse we had very high hopes for early in the season and who disappointed for Richard Fahey before getting a new lease of life at David O'Meara's and rattling up a quick 4 timer to add to his early maiden win. Very good runs at Goodwood and York have marked him down as a sprinter with a lot of potential and with his half brother Rex Imperator winning the Stewards Cup and half Sister Heavens Edge winning her 2 year old Maiden, a very good season for the Dam, Elidore.
Tatlisu came back to form with 2 wins already in his 3 year old season and looking to be improving. Ruth Carr got a win out of good old Victoire De Lyphar (his first since his 3 Year old Career) and the Ultra Consistent Our Boy Jack has been placed 5 times, without a win, his consistency and honesty meaning he gets little respite from the handicapper.
2 year olds Go Jamesway and Maupiti Express have been disappointing, Strange Magic has been waiting for some soft ground (better handicapped for the Autumn) and Stand my Ground is just back following a mid-season break.
Of course I musn't forget the tremendous success of Sandiva, which led to her big money sale to Sheikh Johaan of Qatar. I couldn't have been happier to see her win easily in France and she will almost certainly go into the winter as one of the favourites for 2014 1000 Guineas.
Which Brings me to my Mission..........
Regular Readers of my blog will know that my roots are in jump racing and that I have previously run my own partnerships and kept my connections with the West Country jumping fraternity. My experiences with Mad Moose and the fantastic Twiston-Davies team, have whetted my appetite to increase my connection with the yard and when I visited Moose in the Summer, I was shown a lovely 4 year old gelding that Nigel had bought at Brightwells April sale at Cheltenham. He immediately took my eye and I decided to try and form a partnership to buy him. My sale proceeds from my share in Sandiva, enabled me to buy 50% of the horse alongside a long standing friend of the Twiston-Davies family, David (Willy) Langdon. A combination of friends, Twitter and advertising on the excellent RaceHorseTrader website, enabled me to set up a small partnership under my Staplegrove Racing name.
And here he is .....
MISSION TO MARS
Mission to Mars has had 1 run in an Irish Point to Point, finishing 3rd to two horses who were also sold at the same Cheltenham sale. He is closely related to both Bosun's Mate and Nigel's superb chaser Young Hustler. His sire Presenting is responsible for jumping stars Denman, War of Attrition, First Lieutenant, China Rock, Ballabriggs and of course our own Mad Moose!!! amongst many others.
Mission to Mars (Marty) is working well at home with a Bumper debut on the cards in the next 3 to 4 weeks. It is incredibly exciting to be in at the very start of what we hope will be a long career over the sticks as we follow our boy through the various learning stages of the jumps game. I also hope that Marty will be the first of many Staplegrove Racing horses over the coming years.
Just hope that he doesn't listen to advice from his illustrious stablemate!!