All the bright sunshine interspersed with heavy rain has meant that field-topping work is never done at this time of year. It takes one person about a week to top the whole farm,excluding strimming work, and by the time the last field is done, the first needs done again!
It does keep the grass in good order and keeps the stud looking good at the same time. Most of the fields have a thicker sward this year than in recent years and so there is less poaching and better quality pasture.
Most of the mares have been confirmed in foal with only 3 –who were covered towards the end of May-still to report. Getting them in foal seemed easy at the start of the season but our record slipped a bit in April and early May when we needed second covers on a few occasions. In the case of one mare we had to move from an infertile stallion to what turned out to be a second infertile stallion before securing a third stallion for a late May cover! There seems to have been a few of the 1st season sires this year having fertility problems.
All the foals landed ok and are a very nice group this year with a healthy proportion of colts – which makes a pleasant change.
On the track, there has been success for the LCS bred horses Mindurownbusiness and Abbey Village. Both look as though they can improve to be useful runners and are with great trainers in David Simcock and Richard Fahey, so have every chance.
Also the Captain Gerrard colt that the stud staff pinhooked a few years ago and is now named Frankthetank continues to win at a level but still does not seem to have grown from his foal days!
Our own runners have been a touch disappointing to date although Rivellino will be one to watch in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot. He will run off 104 and his trainer has decided not to risk his mark to the upside and so he has not run since his excellent third from the car-park draw at Lingfield on Easter Friday.
Kingoverthewater –in France –has had a string of 2nds and 3rds (which does pay the bills there)but Valen-who was a most promising 2 year old-has not recaptured that form so far. She has been in season on her last two runs so maybe there is an excuse.
We await with interest the debuts of Glenalmond (Iffraaj-Balladonia) and Gipsy Doll (Dansili-Gipsy Moth) who we bred and also Lipstick and Powder-a nice Mastercraftsman filly that we bought at the DBS Breeze Up.
The stud is in the process of showing the yearlings to the sale companies and, as usual, they all want the same ones. We will update in mid summer when we know where they are going and when a few more races have been run.