Monday 19th December, 2022

We have declared Elfride for Ludlow tomorrow in the mares novices hurdle run at 1.50pm.  She got stuck in the mud last time at Hereford and hopefully ground conditions will be a bit better here.  She has always shown promise at home, she jumps well and Finn Lambert takes the ride.

Methodtothemagic goes to Taunton on Wednesday in the two and a half mile mares novices handicap hurdle.  This will be her first run in handicap company and Finn Lambert takes off five pounds.  It is a competitive event, however she showed promise in point-to-points in Ireland and will appreciate this better ground.  Hopefully the track won’t prove to be too sharp for her.

Well done to Jo Foster on winning the ‘Animal Hero Award’ for her wonderful work with racehorse Sigurd and Shetland pony Yogi.

Jo was surprised live on ITV on Good Morning Britain last week, when presented with the award by Matt Chapman.  Jo’s work with her community is to be celebrated and applauded and a great example of how horses help people in many ways.

Congratulations to Jonny Peate for winning the Lester for ‘flat ride of the year’.  Jonny has ridden for us in the past and is a talented rider and we look forward to him going on to further success.

Yesterday Davy Russell announced his retirement from the saddle.  Anyone who knows him knows that not only is he an incredible jockey but also a remarkable character.  His utter confidence has seen him mature into undoubtedly one of the great jockeys of our time.  Tee total, Davy has great humour and many talents and his views are both fascinating and amusing.  He once gave Barnsy and I a lift from Punchestown to our hotel in Naas.  It was very noticeable how tidy his car was – everything he did was methodical, something he has in common with other great jockeys.  A lesson to all.

On Saturday Frankie announced 2023 would be his final year of riding.  Another extraordinary character whose brilliance has transcended all sports.  His final year will be a celebration of a true great and he is someone who will be irreplaceable.  May he enjoy every minute of it.