|Ethics Girl settles in at Hilborough Stud|
In most cases, we have some influence over where they end up and there have been some wonderful stories of horses who have gone on from here to have successful careers in other disciplines after retirement from racing. Vicky Melia, who oversees three fillies formerly in training here, sent yet more lovely photos only last week of Maroon and Ruby competing at their first BE horse trials and I always enjoy receiving updates on their progress.
I've already paid tribute to Ethics Girl on our homepage and, while I don't like not having her here, knowing that she's only half an hour away at a wonderful farm with good people is a great comfort. Excitement of a different sort starts with her now as we begin to make a selection for the first stallion she will visit next February.
|Finally a decent driver at the wheel|
While this was John's first yearling sale of the year, I've already been reporting from Deauville for the Arqana August Sale, DBS for the Premier Sale, and made a first visit to the Osarus Sale at La Teste de Buch near Bordeaux earlier this month.
Once again I hit the road with William Huntingdon and Liam Norris. There's been much disparagement of my driving skills since our trip to Germany earlier this year but, as the pictures accompanying this post show, this time I took the wheel for much of the seven-hour trip south through France while my travelling companions slept like babies.
I was delighted when the hammer fell in Liam's favour at €5,000 and feel that we've got a real bargain on our hands. The filly is by Carlotamix and, as is common in France and Germany, was already named. Having been given the name Sirli, there's already been the predictable joke made that she's named after the agent who bought her but she's considerably better looking than him, as the picture towards the bottom of this page will testify!
|It's an exremely tough life being a bloodstock agent|
While we were in La Teste we also had the chance to spend a morning with Christophe Ferland, who trains at the track and has a string of around 80 really nice horses. He was very generous with his time and we couldn't have picked a better day to be there as the early-morning mist gave way to a spectacular sunrise.
|Christophe Ferland's string in action at Hippodrome de Bequet|
One extra bonus of the visit was seeing a Monsieur Bond colt who is the first foal of our old friend Alpen Glen and is owned and bred by my former boss and friend Jocelyn Targett.
Sirli is already back with us and she will be joined by our Fairyhouse purchase in the next day or two, as well as John's Youmzain colt out of Minnie's Mystery, who is on his way to us from France. Later this week we will also take delivery of a Sakhee's Secret colt bred by Charles and Zorka Wentworth and we're delighted to welcome them to the stable as owners.
|Sirli, our beautiful new yearling filly, is not named after Liam|
He did make it to the track once and came back injured from that bumper run. Despite being given plenty of time he doesn't really seem to be able to stand up to the rigours of full training so, with a very heavy heart, I have taken the decision to stand him down and look for options elsewhere. He's a lovely mover and a good-looking horse and I very much hope he'll have a worthwhile career doing something else, just not as a racehorse.
|Oscar at three days old with his mum Desiree|
Oscar's done nothing wrong and he has given me many years of dreaming what a champion he may become. Sadly now it's plain that a racing life is not for him. Even though he'll only leave us once I've found him the best possible home, I'm already dreading the day of his parting. The time I first set eyes on him as a tiny newborn foal will remain one of the happiest days of my life.