The Other Half
The rain arrived - a week in which we finally saw some decent rainfall recorded, and now we will all be entering horses and possibly struggling to get a run due to the huge numbers of horses entered in races.
It was another packed week - with a couple of nights away - a stud visit and another visit to the Cheltenham winners enclosure - allbeit at the wrong end!
We started the week naming Dean, our homebred 3 yr old in training with Donald McCain. Names were put forward by those in the syndicate that wished to, the previous week and the members had all weekend to ponder them before voting closed on Monday - the winning name being Dino Bellagio - Dino from Dean Martin from whom he gets his stable name, and Bellagio after the iconic Las Vegas hotel, as a nod to his dam, Savingforvegas. Dino Bellagio is in great form, and continues to make his trainer smile. He hopes that he will be ready to run early next month, and we are all looking forward to his debut. Monday morning I nipped over to The Elms Stud to see the stock there. Our two 2 yr olds had been in for a few weeks of education and they both looked really well. The work done on them this autumn will put them in good shape when sales prep commences in the spring. The youngsters are all well, as are the broodmares. 'Barry' the Blue Bresil yearling has been in his stable for a short spell off of the hard ground, and now that the rain has arrived he has got the go ahead to return to the field with his mate. Savingforvegas and Molly Childers both look great - I can't wait to see SFV's Golden Horn foal when it arrives! Molly is not in foal this time, but will come in and go under lights in the new year to start her cycling early, and aim for an early cover and pregnancy.
Barry - Blue Bresil x Savingforvegas
Savingforvegas - in foal to Golden Horn
Finbar - Falco x Molly Childers
Floyd - Falco x Savingforvegas
A lovely 2 yr old filly by Jukebox Jury x La Pelodette.
2 yr old Blue Bresil x Savingforvegas
2 yr old Muhtathir x Kpalime
While on the subject of broodmares it was lovely to get a photo of Queenohearts this week - scanned in foal to Crystal Ocean and looking fabulous - motherhood suits her!
Tuesday morning was spent in the office before we headed up to Doncaster for their October Sale which was taking place on Wednesday. Good to be dropping off another new horsebox for an existing client on the way. Doncaster was very quiet - it was an average catalogue, and with the big yearling sales going on in Deauville, the whole place was a bit flat. Dinner at Whitby's Fish Restaurant again - never lets you down, and then a (very quiet) evening in the Hilton - the highlight of which was running into John 'Shark' Hanlon who was looking a touch jaded after his exploits of the previous weekend. Shark had taken his £850 wonder horse Hewick across the atlantic to contest the Grand National Hurdle in Fairhills, and had come away with the £111,000 winners prize. The celebrations had been long and hard, and he had got back to his yard in County Carlow late on Tuesday evening, only to be awoken by a RTE Television crew in his yard at 6.00am Wednesday morning. They shadowed him all morning, until he left to come across to Doncaster where he was offering a few horses for sale, and to say that he looked tired when I was chatting to him at around 8.00pm on Tuesday night was an understatement!
The old Weighing Room at Doncaster racecourse - all lit up Tuesday night.
Wednesday, sale day - nothing in the sale of interest - but there was in Deauville. Flat yearlings on offer, and we have been planning to get involved in flat racing for some time. Plans were in place to lease a lovely filly earlier this year - but they didn't materialise sadly - so the decision was made to purchase a well bred filly this autumn and crack on. I had produced a list for our man over there and between his list and mine - we whittled it down to three, a gorgeous filly by Intello who we thought would come in just on budget. Sadly the trade was strong and despite pushing up our ceiling price by £6k we were still thwarted and didn't manage to get her. Frustrating, but that is life, you have to give them a value, and hope that you get them! Back in Doncaster we may not have been buying horses but we were selling horseboxes, and delighted to add one of the biggest flat trainers in the north of England to the ever expanding client list. We look forward to working with him in the future. After such a long dry spell there looked like a bit of rain in the forecast for the weekend (which as I type has certainly arrived in the Bedfordshire Wolds), so trainers were keen to get a few entries in. Auditoria got her first entries of the season - a mares handicap over 3 miles in Chepstow, and a 2m 4f mares handicap in Fakenham the day after. She is in great form, as I type we have just decided to swerve her first engagement in Chepstow - she may be declared in Fakenham if the race looks suitable, or we could well wait for a chase at the end of the month.
Thursday morning we awoke to thunder and lightning and a very decent drop of rain. The storm starting before 6 and lasting a good 3 hours! It was just what we had all been waiting for, and with rain around we felt that it was worth declaring Mamoon Star for his seasonal debut in the bumper which closed the card at Cheltenham yesterday. Their ground was still good to firm in places, but with rain forecast there was a chance that it would be OK, and as he had run so well at the track in the past, it was worth putting him in - he would not run on unsuitable ground, and had an entry in Bangor next week should he not go to Cheltenham.
Over in Deauville we finally got our girl. We have purchased our first flat yearling, and what a gorgeous girl she is! By Intello, who is a son of the great Galileo, and the winner of the French Derby and Prix Jaque Le Marois as a 3 yr old, becoming the champion of his generation in France that year. She is out of a mare that was rated 88 on the flat and was placed at Listed level, and who has already bred a horse that won 10 races and was rated 99 on the level. She is by Excellent Art, who is by Pivotal, and the Intello cross on the Pivotal line works really well and has produced some very very good racehorses. Like a lot of French horses she is already named, Reflexion Faite and will arrive in the UK and head to Jason Maguire to break and pre train. She is simply stunning, and has a very athletic step to her as well. Her dam was precocious enough to run plenty of times at two and was a winner at that age, and this young lady looks a very athletic and racy filly that should see plenty of action next summer. I think she is outstanding value, and can't wait to syndicate her. A trainer has yet to be decided, as rather than decide who to send her to now, I would rather let Maguire get working with her, and assess her personality, and then send her to a trainer that we think she would be best suited to. There are a couple of young trainers in Newmarket that I have in mind, or possibly David Menuisier down in Sussex. I had intended to syndicate her in 25 shares - with shares available to purchase for £500 or to lease for free, with the monthly costs set at £110/month (all inc), but there has also been interest in forming a smaller syndicate with 6 shares priced at £2000 plus £450/month (all inc), and I will be guided by the level of response to each option - the one that has the most interest is the route we will go down. I am really looking forward to going to some lovely tracks during the summer and enjoying the other half of the sport. It will be a refreshing change - and lots of fun! Please get in touch if you would like further information, and let me know which option you would be interested in - email@example.com - 07909 518902.
Reflexion Faite (Fay) Intello x Lady Ascot FOR SALE See For Sale Page.
On Friday we headed down to Cheltenham for their opening meeting of the season. Having bagged one yearling in Deauville earlier in the week we tried for another on Friday, but were once again left in second place as someone just valued him slightly higher than we did. Not too disappointed to have missed out on that one! A very wet afternoon at the races- but good sport as always, and a good bit of fun! Good to meet Callum who has recently joined NBR with a share in his first horse - he has not long been into racing and it was good to see him. In a departure from what we usually do we booked to stay at the Ellenborough Park Hotel, which is just a stones throw from the track and can be seen from the stands across the course. A very nice hotel, great rooms and a super atmosphere. Dinner got mixed reviews - mine was very nice, others in our group less impressed, but the service was great and the wine went down well!
Saturday we woke to glorious sunshine. and headed to the track to meet up with those members of The Sharnbrook Partnership who could be there to see their horse Mamoon Star make his seasonal debut. He had run so well at the track when third in a Listed Bumper in January that we felt it was the perfect place to take him for his fourth and final bumper run to blow the cobwebs away and put him spot on for his novice hurdle season. The rain on Friday had taken the good to firm out of the ground and we were happy to run. This looked a very strong heat on paper, with lots of expensive horses in the field,most having won on their latest starts. We were certainly not confident of winning but we did think he would run well, and hopefully be in the first four. The race was in fact a farce, all jockeys instructed to get a lead meant that they all stood still at the start for a good 3 minutes before Paddy took the bull by the horns and made a move to steal a 6-8 length lead. It was a clever move, but sadly his partner was so green in front that he wasn't able to sustain his advantage, and in the end had to press hard on the brake pedal and get a horse to go by him to get the lead he so badly needed. This slowing of the pace set the tone for the race and it turned into a sprint, which was never going to suit. Despite this he ran a blinder to finish fourth beaten just over 7 lengths. This was a good heat and there will be plenty of winners coming out of it for sure. MS fine this morning and will head over hurdles now.
The view from the breakfast table
Nice to be back
Plenty of criticism around Cheltenham this weekend - but if you charge £7.50 for a pint of Guiness and serve it in a paper cup what the hell do you expect! But one thing they did seem to get right was a promotion to get Students to the track. One of them was my niece Kate, and it was great to catch up with her over in the Best Mate enclosure during racing. She was on one of 11 coaches that had travelled from Oxford, with each ticket costing just £27 which included transport and entry - from what I saw there had been a great take up, and they weren't being put off by the price of booze! The place was rammed with very happy students!
Saturday also saw Hidden Beauty get an entry in a mares maiden hurdle in Uttoxeter on Friday - she schooled great again yesterday morning, having had an away day schooling at Warwick racecourse on Tuesday.
Hidden Beauty schooling
Another to school well in the week was Volkovka who we can now seriously start to look for races for now that the rain has arrived - a lack of suitable chases could mean that she starts off over hurdles.
Volkovka making it look easy!
All the other horses are well - Fortune Forever is cantering away, and now that the rain has come she will be brought back up to full fitness and have another crack at a bumper. Down at Gary Moores, Cloud Dancer is now over his little bug, and continues to impress - we are looking forward to getting together with his owners, The Keysoe Partnership next Saturday when we have a stable visit planned. Tintagel Queen is in great form, when I saw her regular rider Lewis Stones in Cheltenham yesterday he was quick to tell me that she was still all good, with a cheeky grin and a wink of the eye. Now that the rain has arrived she will have an away day racecourse gallop in the next week or so, and then be ready for her bumper entries. Itchy Feet will also have a racecourse gallop as his prep for his seasonal beau continues. He is being aimed at the big Betfair Chase meeting in November. This rain will suit Classic Ben who will be ready to roll next month in a soft ground, staying handicap chase somewhere.
Down at Jason Maguires Intrepide Sud is still on holiday - Blue Bikini is on a short break after suffering atrial fibrillation, she should be back to work in a week or so. On a slightly sad note we have taken the decision not to put Sunset Melody back into full training. She is 100% sound and well, but the pelvic fracture she suffered in February has taken so long to get right, that we were all getting a little nervous of putting it under maximim pressure again. She has an outstanding pedigree, and after talking to her owner we decided that the best thing for the mare was to send her back to Ireland, where she will head straight to the breeding shed. I am gutted for her syndicate, as they had been really patient with her - but as always with us, the horses come first, and their well being is all important - it was the right move!
The coming week looks like we could well make the racecourse a few times - Auditoria still has the entry in Fakenham should Olly chose to take up that option - Hidden Beauty has the entry in Uttoxeter along with a clients horse who is an intended runner. On Saturday we will be down at Cisswood Stables to see Cloud Dancer, and tomorrow we will be in at Olly Murphys to meet a new syndicate member.
See you next week - the rains here - let the fun begin!