Toby Coles’ diary: older, wiser and even keener to win

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  • For those of you who knew me before my departure from the Horse & Hound website blog roster – I am back!

    For those of you who are relatively new readers, or just do not remember me, I am a young (rapidly ageing) Newmarket trainer with a will to succeed greater than that of a North American beaver building a dam before the end of spring…

    One of my final school reports read: “Toby is opinionated, obstinate and totally devoted to his horses and not much else!”

    Little has changed. My horses come first and everything else a distant second.

    I am now training from the Far Yard at William Jarvis’ Phantom House Stables. It is the most idyllic setting with some wonderful history, not to mention a landlord from the very top drawer in every sense! He is very understanding of my idiosyncrasies and somewhat alternative training methods. I sincerely hope that he has not bitten off a little more than he can chew allowing me to move into The Cottage on the yard. I am due to move in sometime next week.

    We have currently got 14 horses in, including Harry The Hack, my father’s old hunter, who has taken to Newmarket like a duck to water. Dear Maurice is still part of the furniture but has now won a charity race over a mile at Newmarket under William Spencer MFH, a six-furlong sprint at Brighton and was third in the Newmarket Town Plate over three miles six furlongs, bagging himself a couple of pounds of sausages!

    Most of my owners have remained faithful to the cause, something for which I am eternally grateful. The home team has changed a little. Ganesh is still a sucker for punishment and fast becoming irreplaceable. He better name the village in Southern India that he is amassing after me, as I must have provided most of the finance behind its purchase.

    Two new members are getting used to the regime: Danny, a competent rider with a great work ethic and a hidden talent on a computer. He may not know it yet but I foresee my website, something which has barely been touched, having a dramatic makeover!

    And Michael Usher, son of Mark Usher, a Lambourn trainer, who has the unenviable task of being head lad/assistant/general dogsbody.

    The old guard are still present: Robert Moore, who rides out first lot before bicycling (must be mad) to Rossdales to help out there. My mother, who is constantly knee deep in my paperwork and is an absolute star. Father – a great sounding board for my “alternative” methods and a dab hand with a lawnmower.

    Lastly, Ida who has been a bit of a rock for me over the past nine months but sadly is off to travel the world, starting in the Antipodean new world with a great friend of mine, Paul Messara, who brought Ortensia to this country to win the Nunthorpe Stakes.

    The team is completed by Mistress, my terrier, Pebbles, Ida’s lurcher, and Geoffrey the rabbit, companion to many a daffy filly.

    I hope that you will enjoy reading the trials and tribulations that I will inevitably go through and my “opinionated and obstinate” views of the contentious issues, if not edited out! In general, the life of a young trainer in Newmarket.

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