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Max Comley Racing Ltd, Brockhill Quarry, Naunton, GL54 3AG

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Thursday 11th February 2021

A nice feeling to have a couple of runners, even if the races were extremely competitive. 

Clondaw Bunny ran an absolute blinder at Warwick and certainly didn’t run like his odds suggested. Unfortunately he just couldn’t be competitive with the likes of The Worlds End who won a grade 1 last year… he finished 3rd. That’s just a indication of how competitive these races are, but it was fantastic to see Latenightpass win for Tom and Gina who are legends and great supporters of point to pointing and hunter chasing. Bred and trained by the Ellis family and usually ridden by Gina. Now that’s what hunter chasing is all about. 

Knockaderry Flyer ran for the first time in a year and a half but didn’t enjoy the heavy and holding ground. A step down in grade and some better ground is needed. Hopefully not too much longer before pointing returns! 

David Bass rode both horses and hopefully enjoyed riding in hunter chases for the first time in 10 years and he’s now dreaming of winning the Foxhunters… or should I say the Hunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival! 

Back to the Thursday Takeover. My mother, and syndicate owner Alison Comley has taken over the blog this week. Over to you Alison, Mums the word! 

I must admit to being surprised and flattered that Max asked me to do the Thursday Takeover blog this week. As his Mum, I am usually kept in my place helping with admin and occasionally catering for owners so it is great to have an opportunity to share some parts of my journey as a parent of a jockey turned trainer.

Max always loved horses and his passion started showing when he was a toddler as he so enjoyed any opportunity to see horses and donkeys. We are not really a horsey family (although I did ride as a child) but very soon we were all on the lookout for activities where Max could be with horses. He established quite a network of equine friends aided and abetted by his grandparents on both sides. He first sat on my cousin’s horse at the age of 3 and when he was 4 he started having weekly riding lessons.

It was an enjoyable time watching him grow up and gain confidence as a rider. Soon he started showing an interest in horse racing and when he was about 13 he started talking of being a jockey. As he was always very tall for his age and quite stocky, people were less than encouraging of this ambition and it is to his credit that he kept true to his vision and started to take steps to achieve it. He started helping at a small yard close to where we lived, got involved in pony racing and changed his physique quite significantly. This is where things stopped being quite so enjoyable for me as I worried about his diet and the impact on his health. Whilst other parents were having conversations with their children about staying out late and drinking alcohol, Max and I were locked in arguments about him eating his yoghurt and drinking enough water! It was all very rock ‘n’ roll at our house. He was nothing if not determined though and to cut a long story short our assertive parenting techniques were no match for our son’s ambition and he left school at 16, got a job as a stable lad and started his career as a point to point jockey. On the one hand I was enormously proud of him and enjoyed the excitement of watching him race but I hated watching him wasting and spending time sweating in saunas and hot baths. Max is 6 foot 5 inches tall and to make the weight to race took a lot of effort whilst holding down a very physical job. I was relieved when he retired as a jockey after 4 seasons, having achieved his ambition of racing at Cheltenham, and turned his attention to training.

Max being a trainer is a far more enjoyable time for me although we have had to find new things to argue about now that he is no longer starving himself.  I am a syndicate owner of Cloudy Joker and Heist and enjoy seeing and hearing about their progress. I know that I am biased, but I think that Max is brilliant at keeping us all entertained and informed even in lockdown. He has loads of energy and enthusiasm and is constantly coming up with new ideas. I have had some cracking days out at the races with him and am looking forward to being able to do it again.

Words cannot describe how proud I am of what he has achieved to date and what I know that he is capable of. 

Alison

 

Alison and my first pointer, Trouble Digger 

Tinelyra 

In the paddock at Cheltenham… 11st 3lbs!! 

Leading up Trouble Digger at Cocklebarrow 

Where it all began…

 

Knockaderry Flyer at Wincanton 

 

Clondaw Bunny 

 

A happy David Bass 

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