As all our foals have now arrived, I had the chance to sneak off to France for a couple of days to see a few mares and foals we have out there.
William also has mares in France, in fact we share one – the lovely Dubawi mare Plebeya – so we both had a quick tour of Normandy with Emma, to see her mares, too.
First stop was at a farm near Le Lion d’Angers to see William’s Lady Melior, who is visiting Sinndar at his new home nearby. Then it was off to the magnificent Haras de Maulepaire where Plebeya lives with her filly by first-season sire Anodin (pictured left), who was born in January and is coming along nicely.
We were pleased to call in at Haras de la Cauviniere to congratulate them on their second Poule d’Essai des Pouliches winner bred at the farm by their stallion Le Havre in two years. Emma and John’s mares live there – one is the proven producer Minnie’s Mystery and the other, Ethics Girl, has her first foal at foot, also by Anodin.
I couldn’t wait to see Clutter and her Dabirsim colt (right). She’s a beautiful mare I bought unraced from Juddmonte and she has let down well and produced an equally good-looking first foal. They are both boarding with our great friends Gwen and Lucie at La Motteraye, who do a great job.
No trip to Normandy is complete without a visit to Hubert Honoré at Haras d’Omméel, so we saved this treat for last and were able to see William’s Redoute’s Choice yearling filly, who is starting to look rather special, along with her dam and this year’s foal by Olympic Glory.
It was a very brief trip but we managed a glass or two of rosé en route, and William always likes to make time to stop at Normandie Wines before we board the ferry, so with the red firetruck a little more heavily laden than it was on the way out, we headed for home.
Now begins the rather serious business of looking at yearlings we will be offering for clients at the sales this autumn, as well as showing those on the farm to various sales company representatives to decide who is going where. It’s encouraging to have been asked by a number of breeders to sell horses for them this year and we look forward to starting to assemble and prepare this year’s draft from Norris Bloodstock in due course.
On the racing front, it was great to see Flying Fantasy win again for Stuart Williams and our client, Happy Valley Racing Syndicate. He’s now won three of his last four races, which is a great effort. Yearling purchase Regicide also made his second start this week and looks like one to follow for the future.
We were also pleased to cheer home Blakeney Point, who won his first race for Roger Charlton at Windsor last Monday, and to see his stable-mate, the very talented Gold Cup prospect Quest For More, make an excellent comeback when runner-up to Moonrise Landing at York on Saturday. Both horses spent their winter holiday here with us at Granham Farm and were a pleasure to look after.