Richard Hughes and the championship trophyRichard Hughes will be moving away from his Marlborough home (well, Collingbourne Ducis really) sooner than planned - he wants to get started as a trainer this autumn. Yet he still wants to be champion jockey - for the fourth year running.
In his Racing Post column (Friday, June 26), Hughes revealed he had completed his formal training to become a trainer, his yard just over the border at Danebury in Hampshire was ready and he was looking forward to buying his first horses at the July sales: "I cannot allow my training career to be jeopardised by my championship ambitions."
Hughes is currently on 37 winners for this flat race season. That puts him level with Silvestre de Sousa. But Ryan Moore is ahead with 47 victories.
Following his Racing Post column, Richard Hughes is no longer odds on to win the championship. He is now a 5-1 chance.
"The truth is, I absolutely cannot wait to train. I had thought I would aim to kick off next year, but my thinking has changed and my ambition is to saddle my first runners in September or October." He stresses he is still a committed jockey - and wants to win the championship: "...I'll continue to give 100 per cent to every horse I ride."
Hughes will be training on the site of Stockbridge racecourse. This has a long and formidable history - but it is pretty ancient history.
The racecourse closed in 1898. You can still see a small reminder of the abandoned Victorian stand which burnt down some decades ago. Racehorses have been trained at Danebury for many years - its stables boast a Derby and a Grand National winner. Though the Derby winner was Andover in 1836 and the Grand National winner was Playfair in 1888.
Hughes will be taking over Ken Cunningham-Brown's Danebury yard: "Ken would love nothing more than for Danebury to get back on the map and to one day rival Manton - and it could, because it really is that good."
It has 300 acres of grass gallops, a one-mile peat gallop, a one-mile woodchip, a round half-mile sand gallop and a five-furlong straight gallop going through the woods.
Richard Hughes already has promises from several owners that they will send horses to him. He rounded off his column: "I hope you can tell how eager and excited I am. I love being a jockey, but I know I will love being a trainer every bit as much."
The jump down to the water in the main arena is probably the most watched obstacle on Barbury International Horse Trials' famous cross country course - it's in prime position for spectators and it is sponsored by Keyflow Super Premium Horse Feeds.
Appropriately enough, Keyflow's range of equine feeds was launched at the Barbury Horse Trials in 2012. They’ve been there every year since and will again occupy their stand this year in prime position with great views of the competition and a cold Pimms never far away – everyone is welcomed.
The company is run by New Zealander Cam Price who lives in Marlborough - and the company has its head office just behind the High Street.
Cam has worked in the equine nutrition business for over ten years. He headed up Australian feed giant Mitavite's operation first in New Zealand and then in Britain. With the recession and unhelpful currency movements, Mitavite decided to close its European export arm - and Cam spotted an opportunity to launch a innovative new range of products designed to give riders what their horses need in the best way possible.
New Zealand's most successful event rider, Sir Mark Todd (now based just over the downs at Badgerstown) is a Keyflow founder, shareholder and remains as an involved director. Cam told Marlborough News Online: "He is a very switched on businessman - as well as a great horseman."
Sir Mark Todd at Luhmuhlen"We went to the riders first and analysed what their horses nutritional needs were." He went to the Whitaker show-jumping family and designed a mix specifically for them: "And then we did the same for Mark. We started with the riders and horses rather than in the lab - then we met in the middle."
The 'lab element' came with Keyflow's two renowned nutritional consultants: Dr Catherine Dunnett founded Newmarket-based Independent Equine Nutrition - an international consultancy. And Australian Dr Ray Biffin who was responsible for Mitavite's very first proprietary feed in 1987.
In 2013 two Keyflow products earned British Equine Trade Association Innovation Awards - Whitaker Bros Jumpmix won and Mark Todd Maestro competition mix was runner up.
As well as the elite British show-jumping Whitaker brothers (John and Michael - and now young Jack Whitaker who is the latest show-jumping prodigy in the dynasty) and Sir Mark Todd, Keyflow have a list of Key Riders. These include Cam's brother Tim and Tim's wife Jonelle and Canadian Rebecca Howard - all based at Mildenhall.
Keryflow at Marlborough marketAt present Jonelle is fifth in the international eventing rankings - and Tim is ninth.
Probably only people in Marlborough with a definite interest in Keyflow products will have noticed this business in their midst. But for six weeks last winter Cam took a pitch in the High Street's Saturday market - just to get the name a bit better known. However, his main aim is to keep in touch with Keyflow users.
"I love building horses with the right nutrition for what they do. If you're selling ploughs you meet a famer once in ten years. With horse feed it's an everyday relationship - they open your bags of feed every day,"
So he does a lot of travelling to stables to help people with their horses' nutritional needs - usually spending two days a week on the road.
Keyflow’s feeds are put together by a production partner in East Anglia using ingredients sourced in Britain and some specialist ingredients from abroad. The feeds are then distributed from a warehouse in Corby.
One of Cam's current tasks is building up a nationwide network of stockists: "It's a very competitive market - it's not so much the number of companies, more the vast number of products most of them produce - the market gets a bit swamped. It's a very squeezey market - many retailers are short of space."
Watch this space for an announcement soon in the development of that network of stockists.
At the Barbury International Horse Trials (9-12 July), while Cam and his team will be spreading the word about Keyflow, they will also be keeping an eye on their Key Riders. Success in competition helps boost Keyflow's reputation but also proves that their products perform.
Jonelle and Cloud Dancer Last weekend they were watching the leader boards at Luhmuhlen's four and three star eventing competitions. The Luhmuhlen premier or four star competition was won last year by Tim Price.
On Sunday (June 21) Jonelle Price and the little grey Faerie Dianimo secured second place with 32.80 points just behind Ingrid Klimke's 32.70. Jonelle was very pleased with the result: "Give us another six to 12 months and I might be able to find that point one."
In all three Keyflow Riders were in the top ten with Mark Todd (fifth) and Rebecca Howard (tenth.) And then Jonelle took Cloud Dancer to fifth place in the three star competition - coming down the leaderboard a little as rails went down in the show jumping.
What successes will Barbury bring for Marlborough-based eventing riders - and for Keyflow?
Click on images to enlarge them
The morning view from Sasha's 'office' - right above the finish Sasha Thorbek-Hooper takes time off from her day-job at Greatwood to broadcast from Royal Ascot for BBC Radio Berkshire:
As day one of Royal Ascot 2015 draws to a close, we realise sadly that the Sole Power dream has come to an end. A third consecutive win in the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes was dashed by the 20-1 outsider Goldream trained in Newmarket by Robert Cowell and partnered to success by the ecstatic Martin Harley - the jockey's first ever Royal Ascot win.
No so subtle - but from the look of the lady on her right she might be wearing trainersFrankie's 50th Ascot winner is within a hair's breadth, but we will have to wait until tomorrow to see if he is able to treat his adoring and waiting public with another of his legendary 'Frankie Flying Dismounts'.
The stand out horse of the day was the magnificent Gleneagles - adding the Group 1 feature race St James's Palace Stakes to his already impressive booty - including the Irish and English 2000 Guineas.
BBC Radio Berkshire Sports Editor Tim Dellor gets a word with Damian LewisAs expected a plethora of celebrities swept through the gates including Ant & Dec and 'A Lister' Damian Lewis.
But as ever it was the Queen who stole the show looking stunning in a fuchsia dress coat over a white and floral dress.
The weather looks set fair for the rest of the week and we will be hoping for some Wiltshire success - the Hannon/Hughes combo are pretty buoyant about their runner tomorrow: Ivawood running in the opener - The Jersey Stakes - against the Queen's Ring of Truth.
My best tip for the day is to swap the heels for flats!
Don't look now Dec, but there's lady behind you in flats!
Bonita stables - as shown on the Windsor Clive International websitePeter Makin's Bonita training yard at Ogbourne Maizey is up for sale following the trainer's decision to retire in November. He has been training for 48 years and has trained 780 winners - he is 71.
Bonita racehorse training centre has some of the finest gallops in the country - 154 private acres of them. With 54 boxes in two yards, two houses, two flats, a cottage, a staff hostel and 45 acres of paddocks, the agents are asking for offers "in the region of £3,000,000".
Explaining his decision to the Racing Post, Makin said: "I still love being with the horses on top of the downs every morning, but I find driving to the likes of Wolverhampton, Nottingham and Lingfield too tiring these days, which, at the age of 71, is probably something I must accept."
He added: "The time is right for me now. I feel privileged to have been involved in the sport for such a time. If I don't retire this season I'd be tempted to make it 50 years, by which time I'll be 73."
Makin sent out many winners of group races and high class handicaps from Bonita including the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot twice, the Stewards Cup at Goodwood and the Magnet Cup at York.
Bonita was set up by George Edwardes, the theatrical impresario in the 1890s. Former trainers there include the Hartigan brothers, Sir Gordon Richards and the leading national hunt trainer Bob Turnell who used the gallops and facilities to train many winners including the Gold Cup and the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. Bonita has been owned by only two families in the last 120 years.
One of Makin's most successful horses was Elbio who won Ascot's King's Stand Stakes twice - and Makin thinks Elbio would have made it a hat-trick if there had not been interference during that third race.
Full details of the sale can be found on the Windsor Clive International website.