Its been many months of essential hibernation for myself, this website, and literally millions of horseracing lovers throughout the UK and beyond, but, thankfully we are racing again, albeit in a very much diluted form as far as the Industry is concerned.
Its a start though, and providing current restrictions achieve their aim, plans are in place, to slowly but surely, get us back to something like normal.
With this in mind, every NH Trainer in the UK, especially our trainers, Sue Smith, Micky Hammond and Phil Kirby, are going full steam ahead, in the hope that come the end of September / beginning of October, thousands of horses will be fit and ready to race at the commencement of the 2020 / 2021 season….which I have always believed begins each year at the Chepstow meeting, this year scheduled for Saturday October 10th.
So its about time , our small, but select band of followers, should be brought up to date with whats been happening within McGoldrick Racing.
I have to begin with the loss of Becky the Thatcher and how difficult it has been to fill the yawning gap she left within the Hammond yard….They all loved her…none more so than Micky himself.
Way back in April, 3 / 4 weeks after Becky was put down, Micky was instructed by me to find McGoldrick Racing members another young horse.
Take your time Micky, but please, none of the “we`ve got this one, ..that one plus the other one, as well as another on its way crap”… just a simple phone call please Micky to say “its here, come and have a look”
He immediately said he had one in mind, but it was far too early to commit. Thats all he said.
It soon became obvious though, as the pandemic spread, and the Country ground to a halt, regardless of our search, it would take a long time.
The lock down began..No horseracing, no football, no sport at all. No local pub, no restaurants, just stay at home, and no visitors.
There are though a few people I would like to thank for helping me fill the yawning chasm of boredom during those long months.
Take a bow Randolph Scott, John Wayne, Gary Cooper, James Stewart, Jack Elam, and especially my favourite Audie Murphy.
Those of you of a certain younger age can be forgiven for thinking they are friends of mine who kept in touch.
But many will realise they are all in fact well known film star cowboys of the 50`s, and, thanks to You Tube, Netflix and TCM (channel 315 on Sky) I must have whiled away many of those evening hours by watching somewhere around 80 / 90 films.
Sad sod that I am, I have even become a member of the Audie Murphy USA Appreciation Society. What an amazing life he had before a fatal plane crash at the age of 46.
My re discovery of Classical music also helped, mainly thanks to YouTube where music as you`ve never seen it before can be found , in particular from a guy called Stejpan Hauser / 2 cellos ..simply amazing. See for yourself his rendition of Nessun Dorma ! Boy is he special.
Brilliant, brilliant, BUT.. for those who are now starting to yawn, its back to horsey business, and a phone call I received from Micky Hammond approx 2 weeks ago.
Before the music, you may recall reading, some 12 paragraphs back, Micky had said said there was a young horse he had in mind, but it was too early to commit. Well this WAS now the time to commit he said, insisting I should drive up to Middleham to see “our next horse”
Just for the record, since March, Micky had, on more than one occasion, phoned to reassure me he had not forgotten his insructions, and to please be patient.
So it was off to Middleham, accompanied by Ged, one of my long standing McGoldrick Racing syndicate members and friend.
Now Mickys yard is not far away from Mark Johnstons, and, its true to say that if the latters yard could be called chalk, then Mickys would definitely fall into the cheese category.
But, whilst it could never be referred to as state of the art, I doubt whether there is a more friendly, welcoming yard in the Country than Oakwood Stables.
All Mickys staff, including work riders, are happy to be helpful, say hello and chat.
So for a guy like me, who is no great judge of a horse, in addition to taking on board the trainers comments, its also good to be able, without being too much of a nuisance, to mingle within the yard and ask questions, especially when Micky is on the phone. !!
This practice, yet again, proved to be very informative, and it soon became clear that the vibes were very good for the 4yo unnamed, unraced Chestnut gelding by Phoenix Reach (hence the headline) we had travelled to see.
The best of so many positive, unsolicited comments was, “he is definitely the buzz horse in the yard”
Backed up by Mickys enthusiasm, the deal was done, because, fair play to him, he had waited, and taken his time before deciding to offer us, what I feel sure, will be a good buy for McGoldrick Racing.
The horse has now been named NORTHERN PHOENIX
A separate post, now online, will give details of how to become part of the Northern Phoenix syndicate, with costs involved. Shares…minimum 10% are available, and any interested party should call me on 07958 551089