It was an early start Thursday morning, we were up at 5am and greeted with a glorious morning in HQ. Just to build a picture for you, all the press meet at the Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket and aboard the bus to head off to Abbington Place. This year, unlike previous years, all the international runners in Newmarket are based here. Previously they have been dotted around town, with Wesley Ward opting to keep his at the National Stud. This time however Wesley has sent his to Paul Cole in Lambourn, so unfortunately we were unable to see them, from what I gather he is planning on keeping them here for the summer wanted somewhere to keep them a bit longer.
We arrive at Abbington Place, a gorgeous old yard which is home to Jane Chapple-Hyam. This year we have three horses to see BURRHERO, is the first of them. Currently entered in the Kings Stand Stakes, this will be his trainer, Tim Glyshaw’s, first runner at Ascot. His dam was among 33 horses abandoned on a farm in Florida, she has nursed back to full health and went on to have five foals, the second of which was him! We see him canter up the Town Canter, a very relaxed stretch of the legs. He has travelled well and looked the part, his coat is looking great which is good sign for any horse.
Next we see REDKIRK WARRIOR who is entered in the Queen Anne Stakes, an Australian horse, trained by David and son Ben Hayes. Ben spent a lot of time in Newmarket and worked for John Gosden so he knows the area pretty well. They have the advantage that he has run at Ascot before. Ben tells me that he (the horse) is actually from North Yorkshire and has run many times over here so hopefully this is to his advantage, we saw him head up Bury Hill.
Finally, we saw YOSHIDA, this a Japanese bred horse but is now trained in the US. He is also entered in the Queen Anna Stakes. Bill Mott has had runners at the Ascot before so he should know how tough the competition will be. They have Jose Ortiz riding him though who has never ridden at Ascot, which puts them at a slight disadvantage. The horse has great form though and travelled over well so we should see a good run from him.
Across the country Wesley Ward has nine horses over for the meeting, including the mighty LADY AURELIA.
We wish all the trainers, jockeys, owners and horses from across the world the very best of luck!