There has been quite an interregnum since we last posted -in 2018!

Plenty time now though under lockdown.

For a change(a pleasant one), we ended up having some success at the December 2019 sales,topping the day on both the Thursday and the Saturday (when we also ended up with a another in the top 5). It hadn’t seemed that way up until then as we had a string of issues-or maybe just the norm for this daft business! We lost our best foal (Le Havre ex DoReMiFaSol) in the paddock and then our best yearling-reputedly a top pick for some of the big spenders- failed his x rays. Happily, Angus Gold and Mark Johnston were prepared to overlook the issue and bought the colt for a reasonable ,if not a school fee paying, sum.

Still we should be grateful for the foal sale success and we are crossing our fingers for the buyers of the Bated Breath, Farhh and Caravaggio colts. Probably will never happen again though!

We have a much reduced crop this breeding season-7 foalings and 9 to cover- having sold a significant number of our mares in December. While they no longer suited our plans,all but one of them could easily score for their buyers. One was a young full sister to a Group 2 winner, another carrying a Zoustar cover had an unlucky time with 2 of her first 3 offspring due to death and injury in training (the injured one -takingly 2nd in a Newbury maiden first time out- will be back as a 3 year old and may just hit the mark) and another was a decent looking Galileo mare.

From our remaining band, we have 6 on the ground-5 colts and a filly- with one more to come any day now. Amongst them are a very nice Starspangledbanner colt and an equally nice Night of Thunder filly. It would have been ideal to go back to Night of Thunder this year bur despite supporting him with 2 covers when he was unpopular, we missed the cut this year!

Amongst the others, we have one offset knee but the rest look fine.

We have a small crop for the yearling sales having sold a decent number of foals. We have two crackers though- a Ribchester filly ex Wake Up Call and a No Nay Never filly ex Cutty Sark.

Covering is well underway with 5 covered and 3 in foal. They have visited the likes of Gleneagles, Wootton Bassett and Bated Breath with Showcasing due to come.

Unfortunately, we lost a young mare- Duchess of Fife- to a heart attack a few days after she foaled and also have had one of the foals, who boards away from the stud in the covering season, in the vet hospital for an op where his mother kicked him over a food fight!

It is a guilty privilege to have acres to walk around during lockdown. It can only be imagined how difficult things must be for families without home or outside space and where jobs are at risk and cash short. The government should have heeded economist Milton Friedman’s 1969 paper setting out the idea of “helicopter money”- basically writing a cheque to each adult. It would have tided them over the worst period, not cost more than other less direct measures put in place, could have been administered easily via the Electoral Roll, would have shored up confidence and would not- at a time of excess capacity in the economy and less than full employment- have been inflationary.

With that minor rant, we are up to date!!!

Some pictures to follow.