January has been a quiet month for us after giving the majority of the horses a flu jab in the first week.

Most trainers do this at this time of year.

They have to have a flu vaccination twice a year so we tend to do it in the summer when they come in from grass and obviously in January when historically there are a lot of meetings lost due to bad weather.

It only means that they miss out on a week of doing strong work but it sets you back by about a fortnight in total.

The weather has continued to frustrate us, the soft/heavy ground we’ve had for so long now is annoying to say the least and even horses that require these conditions can only take so many races on it as they get “heavy legs” from all the lactic in their muscles.

If we ever get any dry wether I think we have a nice bunch of youngsters to run, including a couple of nicely bred stores owned by Trevor Hemmings. Trevor has a good team of horses across the board with all of his trainers this season and certainly Tarada and Sammy Bill have enjoyed success so far for (us) Rhonehurst this winter.

The two unraced horses Trevor has with us are Ballaquane who is by Scorpion, a 5yo relation of Might Bite and the other one is Norley a Yeats 5yo. They both work well at home and they will be ready to run as soon as we get some goodish ground. Norley seems more forward than Ballaquane but it could just be that he’s a bit more switched on at this stage.

At this time of year I also start getting stuck into my 4yo’s with a view to giving them a run in a bumper or two in late March/April, they’ve all been cantering and in the string for a few months now but I don’t press any buttons until after Christmas because they are generally to immature to take too much training until now.

I will try and get them an away day (trip to a racecourse for a gallop) in around six weeks time and then we might know a bit more about what sort of bunch we have, but the signs so far are good.

After December’s blog we had a couple of nice winners with Tarada, Dominateur, Seaston Spirit, Republican  Tarada and Dominateur look to be above average. Tarada was quite sore and stiff after his win at Wetherby, he twisted his knee which probably accounted for his jumping to the right that day. He’s a big horse who has had muscle issues in the past, I’ve no plans for him at the moment but he’s not a horse that will be over raced this season.

Dominateur runs in The Towton at Wetherby this Weekend, he loves soft ground and he has a lot of ability but he does need to concentrate on his jumping a little bit more. He could make up into a Welsh National horse and he has already shown a liking for Chepstow having won there twice now.

Sammy Bill was a bit disappointing last time out at Kempton but the ground was on the tacky side and the track is sharp enough for him over two and a half miles. He’s very much a work in progress due to his keenness in his races, once he learns to relax he will get three miles and then he should be able to show what he can really do.

Sevarano was the first winner in the Rewards4Racing sponsorship and he was another that disappointed next time out, I don’t think he was a hundred per cent although nothing has come to light.

He was quiet for a while after the race.

Finally Papagana was retired after a lacklustre display in a Grade 2 mares hurdle at Ascot, she had previously put up a good performance in The Long Walk in December when finishing third against the boys. She was found to be in season after the race and she will now go off to become a broodmare, hopefully I’ll still be training when her babies are ready to race.

Good luck and here’s to some dry weather so we can get some more horses on the track.

by Tanya Sherwood at Rewards4Racing

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