We are looking forward to tomorrow morning's work that I touched on earlier in the week.
And we are equally looking forward to being back on the track next week; we are looking to introduce from Rowdown at least two quality horses we have taken on over the Winter, Island Jungle from Godolphin, and Waqaas, who was originally a £180k yearling for Shiekh Hamdan and who finished fourth in the Richmond Stakes in 2016, both at Kempton on Wednesday evening; we are particularly pleased to have Waqaas in the Yard who has been bought back by his breeders.
One of key things that we need at Rowdown is the services of an experienced pilot who can regularly and consistently ride fast work for us as a horse gets close to a race; the ability to ride fast work to the 'right' degree and to interpret in the saddle (whilst travelling at perhaps 32 mph) what Mike and I have articulated from the ground what we want the horse to achieve is one of absolute keys to the success of our horses; this is something of a big subject in itself and if you have a long memory you might recall the contribution that 'professional work rider' guys like Brian Proctor made to the huge success that Dick Hern had in the 1970s and 1980s; and in the way that Steve Cauthen translated Henry Cecil's instructions into riding work over differing distances on a wide variation of different horses to within a split second timing (witness Slip Anchor's Derby winning performance that might have been won by getting the fractions right on Warren Hill). And all of this is particuarly relevant when we are preparing our two year olds (witness tomorrow morning!!) and the need to 'get them' together and to teach them what they need to do to fulfil their athletic protential at the business end of a race.
For two and a half years you might recall that Steve Drowne splendidly filled this role for us until his retirement at the end of 2017; I am really pleased to be able to say that Fergus Sweeney, who is Lambourn based, will regularly come in one morning a week to Rowdown, usually (although not exclusively and he will be available on differing days to suit a particular horse's preparation) on a Friday to ride three or four lots fast work; Fergus rode his first winner in 1995 and is vastly experienced having ridden in some 11500 races (and many, many winners) over that time; riding for Henry Candy he won the Group One Haydock Sprint Cup on Twilight Son in 2015, the video of which is here, and he has ridden for us numerous times over the last 20 years; if you wanted watch him ride work one morning you would be more than welcome and he would be pleased to talk to you and articulate his opinon; we are muchly looking forward to working with him.