Bonita Stables: Ogbourne Maizey's new racing trainer looks ahead
The summer jumps season has been good for trainer Emma Lavelle as she settles in to Ogbourne Maizey's Bonita Yard. Her last ten entries have produced five winners. She told Marlborough.News: "They've been running fantastically well - it's great. They like the Wiltshire air!"
Emma Lavelle Racing moved from her well-established Hampshire yard and all her owners have come with her to Ogbourne Maizey. Even the most locally based of her syndicates have followed her to Wiltshire.
A fifty per cent strike rate is certainly a good omen for the coming jump season. The first placed horses were Celtic Passion (Uttoxeter), Mr Mountain (Newton Abbot) and Casino Markets Worcester). And at Worcester today (Thursday, August 11) Celtic Passion came home in third place.
The yard has some new young horses now coming up to strength and she is looking ahead to the coming jumps season with some excitement. That part of the Marlborough downs now has three top-flight jump trainers almost it seems within hailing distance of each other: Neil King, Emma Lavelle and led by Alan King. It will be interesting to see how the competition between them develops.
Emma Lavelle moved to the Bonita yard formerly owned by Peter Makin earlier this year and has been giving it a major overall and expansion. She has fifty-two horses there at present with ten more still to come in.
Both the new stable blocks are fully in use. The new eight-berth horse walker is in use - as well as the existing six berth walker. There is a new warm-up ring.
Her horses now have not only the incomparable miles of grass gallops on top of the downs, they also have a four-and-a-half furlong all-weather gallop using carpet fibre.
It has a steep climb and, as one rider said, from the top there is a truly great view over the downs.
A large empty space marks only major outstanding development at the yard: the arrival of the pre-built office unit. This will be installed soon - complete with a kitchen that will be welcomed by early morning riders and stable staff alike.
Leading out the morning's last lot to exercise was Mythical Legend - a five-year-old chestnut mare who came second when she ran in May this year in a flat race for mares at Bangor-on-Dee.
Assistant trainer Barry Fenton was riding Unnamed Oscar - a four year-old which he reported had settled down well and ran really steadily.
Bonita's bottom yard has been mothballed for the present. But two new houses being built there will be ready for staff to occupy within the next couple of weeks.
For a before and after look at the yard you can catch the before here.