I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our owners and readers of our
blog a Happy New Year and the best of luck with your racing interests in 2014.
We are set for a relatively quiet month at Pant Wilkin, with the recent poor
weather and, in particular, the very testing ground that is prevalent
throughout the country, leading to us running very few at present.
As far as our large group of exciting unraced store horses is concerned, we
have gone very quietly with them in the last fortnight and, though several are
nearing their racecourse debuts, I won’t be running them on bottomless ground
and we will wait as long as is necessary to get some decent ground to start
them off on. They look a tremendous bunch and, on what they have shown so
far at home, there should be plenty to look forward to in the months ahead.
Myself and Abbi attended the funeral today for Royston Smith, a wonderful owner
of ours, who very sadly passed away shortly before Christmas.
Royston owned horses back in the 1950’s but, having started numerous businesses
in the following decades, his passion for horse racing took a back seat until
he returned to ownership in the past couple of years.
We had plenty of success together, with Hawkhill winning six times, including a
Listed hurdle win at Kempton Park in 2011 and a valuable handicap success at
Sandown Park last November. He also enjoyed success with Dovils Date and,
more recently, with dual winner Safferano, but he was a fantastic supporter of
ours and of his horses, regardless of how they fared on the racecourse.
Our sincere condolences go to his son Martyn, daughter Lynne and to his partner
Jean, who always enjoyed accompanying Royston on his visits to the yard.
He will be sorely missed by us all.