On Friday morning, I was fortunate to visit Rectory Farm Stables in Greystoke, near Penrith, the home of Nicky Richards. As always, the Cumbrian based handler was very accommodating and generous with his time running through nearly 40 of his string. The yard looks particularly strong in the novice chase department with a number of useful novice hurdlers set to tackle fences for the first time this winter. One member of the Greystoke team who won't be in action is the high-class hurdler Ribble Valley. The nine year old, who won 5 of his 8 races, has been retired. It was a most enjoyable morning in a beautiful setting - it is a treat to drive down to the stables.
I have now completed the Talking Trainers section for One Jump Ahead. The thirteen stables covered are Harry Fry, Chris Gordon, Philip Hobbs, Alan King, Tom Lacey, Donald McCain, Gary Moore, Olly Murphy, Paul Nicholls, Jonjo O'Neill, Nicky Richards, Lucinda Russell and Dan Skelton. I think it is the strongest set of trainers ever featured in the book in 30 years, plus there is also an interview with leading owner Rich Ricci.
I will be back to update the Diary over the weekend following a trip to Haydock Park on Saturday. I am working for www.racingtv.com with the Group 3 Rose of Lancaster Stakes and it promises to be a cracking race. The short price favourite Grocer Jack, who was bought for 700,000gns in October, runs here en route to a possible tilt at the Cox Plate in Australia.
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