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As we continue to wind down towards the end of the National Hunt Season we are fairly quiet with runners few and far between.  However we are still busy behind the scenes in the office and on the yard sending horses out for their summer breaks.  The horses really thrive off their holidays with the nice fresh green grass and the sun on their backs - a really important part of their lifestyle as athletes.  Giving the horses a well earned break is great for them both mentally and physically - particularly for the youngsters to have a chance to further mature and grow into their frames. 
Sergeant O'Leary yawning in the sunshine
The ex-French trained Torigni made the long trip up to Ayr on Friday to contest a 2m handicap hurdle on the opening day of their Scottish Grand National meeting.  Sent off 4/1 second favourite, he was held up in mid-division, and having briefly looked like getting shuffled back turning for home, he quickened smartly to get within striking distance jumping the second last.  Switched between horses, he was driven to the front by Daryl Jacob with half a furlong to run, Dubai Days joining him on the line with the judge unable to split them.  Although unfortunate not to win outright, it would have been an even longer journey home had he come out the wrong side of the photo finish and there is plenty to look forward to with this lightly-raced five-year-old.
Breaking Waves was our sole runner last weekend, lining up at Wincanton on Sunday attempting to build on a back-to-form 2nd at Uttoxeter earlier this month.  The blinkers he wore on that occasion were retained, and although needing an early reminder, he jumped to the lead at the second and was soon bowling along happily in front.  He hurdled well overall, but having hit the third last he soon came off the bridle and was headed by the eventual winner on the long run to two out, fading up the home straight to finish last of the three to complete.
With Warranty not yet having taken to hurdles in the way we would have hoped, we gave him a spin back on the Flat at Pontefract on Monday.  Contesting the ‘Marathon’ Handicap over 2m5½f, the second longest race of the Flat season - behind only the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot.  He got into a muck sweat beforehand but soon established himself in a lovely rhythm at the head of affairs in a first-time visor.  Asked to kick entering the final three furlongs, he briefly looked to have stolen a march before the winner pounced, Warranty sticking to his task in vain pursuit and battling on bravely to just hold 2nd at the line.
Calidad has been declared up at Perth this afternoon.  A horse who sadly didn’t perform up to our expectations on his debut in a competitive bumper at Cheltenham in October.  However he was on that occasion found to have a wind problem, which has since been corrected.  He is a horse we still hold in high regard and are looking forward to running him.
Until next week...