NEWS & TIPS FROM APPLETREE STUD FARM
Some good news, Midnight Thoughts foaled a healthy strong filly foal by supper sire Kingman last night. She delivered the filly at 9.40pm, it was a straight forward foaling giving us hope for the future. It is not the first time I've mentioned Midnight is 3 winners from 3 foals of racing age, with a Shalaa 2yo filly to run for us once racing gets going again in training with William Haggas. The new Kingman filly gives a great chance for a superstar racehorse as well as a broodmare prospect. We will watch her grow and develop until she can carry AppleTrees's green and white color's.
It is with great sadness that I have to report that Absolute Blast's filly foal by Frankel had to be put to sleep after suffering complications during Foaling in the early hours of Friday morning. She was in the wrong position and had to be helped but we were unable to get the foal out without her being starved of oxygen. As a result she displayed signs of advanced NNE neonatal encephalopathy and was admitted to Anglesey Lodge Equine Facility for intensive care, however she failed to improve and it was agreed that the kindest thing we could do was to put her down. These decisions are never taken lightly and are very difficult to make. We did everything we could and I would like to thank the wonderful team at Yeomanstown Stud where Blast is lodging and the excellent vet work done by Anglesey Lodge and Bena Hickey. I am happy to report that Absolute Blast is fine and recovering.
Three Weeks was disappointing on his Dubai debut in the Derrinstown Stud (Handicap) (Dirt) over 1 mile at Jebel Ali on friday. We had hoped for a promising run but it was to be. Slowly away he was then keen and petered out to finish a well beaten 9th of 11 runners. All is not lost however as Sam Hitchcock reported he was rusty after his long lay off and the run was very much needed. Unfortunately it is very unlikely we will get another run into him before the Dubai season is finished due to the current Covid-19 crisis and we will have to look to next season out there.
Amidst the gloom and confusion of the Covid-19 outbreak in the UK we have some good news and something to look forward for AppleTree Stud followers. Three Weeks (Tapit x Midnight Thoughts 15) makes his debut in Dubai at Jebel Ali tomorrow when he takes up his engagement at 11.00am (GMT) in the Derrinstown Stud TB - Handicap 1600M(a8F) - Dirt. Three Weeks has been in Dubai since October under the care of master trainer Doug Watson, he has had a delayed preparation over the last 5 months due to hold ups with his feet which have been cracking due to the dirt surface. The subject is all quite new to me but it has clearly taken time for his feet to harden to the dirt conditions. Having had a clear month, Doug Watsons Farriers doing a fine job and the horse working well Three Weeks is now ready to run. We sent Three Weeks out to Dubai as we felt the surface really would help him, being by world champion dirt sire Tapit and the fact there were limited opportunities to progress in the UK. We are expecting him to need the race so a good solid run will be a good result. I do believe the surface is the key to him and there could be 10lb of improvement in there somewhere. I hope you all are keeping safe in these trying times, we will get through this and stay positive.
Blacko's run yesterday in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Registered As The Fred Winter) (Grade 3) left us scratching our heads a little, but most of all concerned for his well being. Blacko travelled for 3/4's of the race smoothly and jumped well. At the top of the hill I began to get a little excited after Tom Bellamy had Blacko perfectly positioned as he had through out. However distress signals were apparent before the second last and after jumping the hurdle Blacko quite frankly went out like a light. He was pulled up and looked after by Tom which is all we can ask and we will have Blacko checked out by the vet, at present nothing has come to light, he can now come home for a break and some spring grass before resuming his career next season. Fingers crossed he is alright, I can't wait to see him jump a fence and wonder will Alan let us next season?
Blacko has been in great form in the run up to his main target for the season in tomorrows 2m½f (2m87y) (Old) Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Registered As The Fred Winter) (Grade 3) (Class 1) (4yo). Coming in to the race off two solid wins, with a very workable handicap mark of 135 after winning at Warwick on the 22nd of January. Arguably not visually impressive that day he did only what he needed to win the race, after making his own running which is far from ideal. This will not be the case tomorrow at Cheltenham with a sure fire end to end gallop. The one thing Blacko does is travel and jump which he will need to tomorrow. His lack of race course experience is a slight concern having only the four outings over hurdles and no runs on the flat. He may not be as battle hardened as his opposition, but I feel this leaves him unexposed and the 16/1 available is massive each way value. Tom Bellamy takes the ride again and it would mean as much to me as riding a winner at the meeting as to see Alan, Tom and Paul be triumphant on the biggest stage in our sport.