As we're in the final stages of assembling our team of yearlings for the season it was a wonderful boost to see such a good result from the star of last year's draft when Glorious Journey won on debut for Godolphin at Newmarket on Saturday.
When a horse comes with a 2.6 million guineas price tag plenty is expected of him so we were delighted for his breeder Philippa Cooper and trainer Charlie Appleby that the colt looked so comfortable in the preliminaries and then so promising during the race. Let's hope there will be plenty more to come from him as the season goes on, but it certainly looked like one of the hottest maidens of the year so far, so there's good cause to be optimistic.
This took place on the same day that our own Amenta made only the second start of her racing career at Chepstow for Roger Charlton. We've been patient with her and it looks as though that is starting to pay off as she ran on well to finish second in a maiden despite being a bit keen to start with and still a little green. We were delighted with the result and fingers crossed there will be more to come from her too.
We watched both these races from Spain, having decided to grab a quick holiday with Conor between the end of the foaling season and the start of yearling prep. It was great to recharge the batteries after some long nights sitting up and now the proper exercise begins as we start hand-walking our yearlings round the farm ahead of the sales. We're lucky to have a horse walker here but we still like to do things the old-fashioned way, teaching our horses manners as they walk alongside us. It's an approach we hope pays dividends in the end, not to mention keeping us fit at the same time!
Though we've both had many years' experience of preparing horses for the sales, last year was an important one for us as it was the first year we had a major consignment in our own name. Norris Bloodstock topping Book 1 of the October Sale with Philippa's lovely Dubawi colt was more than we ever dreamed of, and we've set the bar pretty high for ourselves. However, we're continuing to focus on quality over quantity and look forward to presenting a select draft of yearlings for Normandie Stud and a number of other loyal clients at Goffs UK and Tattersalls later this year.