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Holly's Blog - May 2013

Holly with the lovely foster mare Kate
Holly with the lovely foster mare Kate

My last few weeks in Newmarket were just as busy and exciting as the first few seizing to make the most of every opportunity before I left. I accompanied Chris Richardson on a Saturday morning to watch some of the Cheveley Park horses in training.
We went to Sir Michael Stoute's yard; Freemason Lodge, to watch the horseswarm up and then went and observed them on the gallops. Chris pointed out to me which horses were out of Cheveley Park mares; it was great to see some of the progeny from the mares I had been working with over the past two months.

A highlight for me was attending a covering by the outstanding racehorse Frankel arguably the best racehorse in the world depending on where you come from. Fortunately for me I have now been lucky enough to see both Frankel and Black Caviar, probably the best two racehorses I will see in my lifetime.

As mentioned in the first blog I have been attending lectures at the National Stud a couple of times a week. Several of the lectures were definitely worthwhile attending. Lord Teddy Grimthorpe racing manager to Prince Khalid Abdullah owner of Juddmonte Farms spoke about what his role involves as a racing manager and covered key points about being a bloodstock agent, an area I am quite interested in.

Joe Grimwade from The Royal Studs also took a good lecture that complimented Teddy's; he talked about genetics and understanding pedigrees. Another interesting lecture was taken by Sam Bullard from Darley. He gave very good insight into the marketing of stallions and the key factors that need to be considered when selecting, promoting and managing a stallion's stud career.

Craven Breeze up Sale
In the middle of April the Craven Breeze up sale was on in Newmarket for two days. The sale consisted of around two hundred quality 2 year olds in training. The horses all breeze (gallop) on the first morning; then are inspected by the buyers at the Tattersall's sales complex, before selling in the evening.

I had not attended a Breeze up sale before so it was all very interesting to me. Chris Richardson and I went out to the Rowley Mile racecourse to watch the horses show off their potential by galloping up the course one by one. In the afternoon we went to the Tattersall's sale complex to inspect the horses we thought breezed well, as well as the 2 year olds by the Cheveley Park Stud Stallions.

In the evening I went along to the sale with a couple of friends to see what sold well, be social and have a couple of glasses of wine! The second evening a very nice Elusive Quality colt broke the European record when selling for 760,000 guineas. Another highlight of the second night was a Dutch Art (Cheveley Park Stud stallion) colt out of a Pivotal mare that sold for 320,000 Guineas.

Rossdales Equine hospital
A horse being operated on at Rossdales
A horse being operated on at Rossdales

Cheveley Park Stud's Andrew Snell kindly organised for me to spend the day at the Rossdales Equine Hospital to observe what they do and how they treat the different injuries and sick horses.

During my time their I got to see a range of different things including; wounds down to the bone, a pony with a sinus infection that had a catheter in its nose, and a horse that had penile surgery to remove a tumour. I also got to scrub in on a surgery which I found very interesting.

Darley
Not long before I left, Matt Hill kindly gave me a tour of Darley.

I was expecting it to be beautiful but that is definitely an understatement. The place was absolutely stunning and a lot bigger than I realised – 3000 acres encompassing around 10 separate farms, the car park for the Darley offices looked like a supermarket car park!

Matt first showed me the stallion yard where I got to see some of the most remarkable, proven and upcoming stallions including; Dubawi, Exceed and Excel, New Approach, Authorised, Halling, Khelyf and Sepoy.

I also saw the boxes of Lamtarra and Fantastic Light and the grave stone of Sheik Mohammad's favourite horse Dubai Millennium. Matt drove me around several of the different farms explaining what each was for, if it was for client use or for Sheik Mohammad's private use.

The tour even included a visit to Sheik Mohammad's endurance farm which was state of the art and included swimming pool, solarium and boxes that the temperature could be adjusted in to acclimatise the horses before they race in a different environment.

Guineas Racing
The last weekend I spent in Newmarket was highly anticipated as it led up to the first big Group 1 flat races for the season, the English 2000 and 1000 Guineas.

The 2000 Guineas is open to three year old colts and fillies and is run over a distance of 1 mile. The 1000 guineas race is for three year old fillies and is also run over the distance of 1 mile.

The small town of Newmarket became overly populated for the weekend with the two days of racing being held at the Rowley Mile Racecourse 5 minutes out of town. The first day which led on to an enjoyable night; was hindered only slightly by the volatile England weather but the group I was with were in good spirits regardless. The 2000 guineas race was won in impressive style by the short priced favourite Dawn Approach.

The second day of racing proved to be even better than the first; sunglasses were even required! The 1000 guineas race was won by the Red Cubs filly Sky Lantern. The two days of racing was a great send off for my last weekend in Newmarket; catching up with friends, having a few glasses of wine and donating my money to the bookies.

Now that 10 weeks has passed it's time for me to move on to the next adventure, Coolmore Stud in Ireland. It saddens me to be leaving Newmarket, Cheveley Park Stud and the new friends I have made; however I feel as though I made the most of my time there. The knowledge I gained, the opportunities I was given and the people I met are invaluable and will no doubt help me in the future. I would like to thank Cheveley Park Stud for having me and providing me with such a memorable experience.
Pictured from left to right; me, Kate (Foster mare), Theresa, Zoe, Lee, Mark G, Mark D, Matt (Stu hidden behind!) and Dale.
Pictured from left to right; me, Kate (Foster mare), Theresa, Zoe, Lee, Mark G, Mark D, Matt (Stu hidden behind!) and Dale.

Until next time

Holly