With the outbreak of Coronavirus bringing the curtain down on the season prematurely we’re looking at the next five weeks without racing. We’ll be spending this time keeping the horses ticking over before bringing them to a peak for the reprisal of racing at the beginning of May. 

Our season culminated with our final runners at Fontwell ten days ago. Both Nikap and Ouro Branco were ridden by Keiran Buckley. Nikap ran a little too freely early in the race but still finished a respectable 3rd. She’s come out of her race very well, hopefully the ground will retain enough give into May for her to run again.  

The last runner of the campaign was Ouro Branco who signed off in style coming home a short margin winner in the 2m2f handicap chase. He jumped very well throughout and was always near the head of affairs before rallying gamely to lead at the last and keep on well up the run in. 

Ouro Branco’s victory took our tally to 17 National Hunt winners plus a Flat winner for the season. Although we bettered last season’s total of 16 winners it’s been a shame not to be able to keep going. We have a fair few horses that have been waiting for better ground after the deluge of rain we’ve endured over the last few months. But they’ll get their chance when we’re back racing and can hopefully get the ball rolling for next season.  

Although we’re without race meetings, the last week has been busy enough. We’ve had several new young horses arrive recently so we’ve had a chance to get to grips with them. Atlantic Friends Racing bought three new three year old recruits from Jim Bolger; Theocrat, Historic Heart and Peat Moss

Historic Heart is the only one of the three who has previously run when he finished 8th of 17 in a 6f maiden at Curragh. He was beaten only 10 lengths by Arizona who subsequently went on to win the Coventry stakes at Royal Ascot before finishing placed in three Group 1’s and coming 5th in the Breeders Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita.

Theocrat and Peat Moss are both nice horses too, Theocrat actually holds an entry in this year’s Derby. These three have been learning how to jump, they seem like naturals so far. We’ll post a video of their progress on our social media channels soon. 

We purchased winning four year old pointer Bring The Action for owner Claire Elliott who has enjoyed owning Innerpickle this season. Bring The Action is a lovely big horse of over 17 hands who won his maiden at the first time of asking at Tinahely at the end of February. He’s impressed us since arriving and doubtless he’ll go on to make a staying chaser in time.

We’re also in the process of breaking in Call Me Saint, a three year old filly by Saint Des Saints whom we bought in France last year. Also being broken in are a three year old filly by Deby and Arc winning sire Sinndar and a gelding by Derby winner Authorized, sire of Tiger Roll and Goshen. 

Obviously this is a trying time for us all but there’s a fair bit to look forward to with our horses here and each day is a day closer to the return of normality. We hope everyone is keeping well and staying safe