Patience Is A Virtue!
The week started with a quieter day on Monday – a day spent putting the finishing touches to the new syndicate that have purchased Greyval - she had sold out so quickly that all of the admin came at once. Syndicate agreements were emailed to everyone, and all of her new owners will receive a welcome gift in the next few days. More on Greyval later.
Tuesday we headed up the A1 to Southwell where two clients had horses running on the card. The first, Colemanstown Lad was just touched off in the second race having looked like the winner everywhere but the line, eventually being overhauled by a 100/1 shot and beaten a neck, the pair 43 lengths clear of the third. Hugely frustrating – but that is racing, and as it so often does, the result did have a nice story attached to it – as the jockey of the winner James Turner is a young man that we have known for a few years, and in fact gave him his first ride under rules when he partnered Figarella Borget in a Catterick Bumper. His career has moved on considerably from those days, and after a spell with Mike Murphy, he landed the job of stable amateur to Nigel Twiston Davies and is getting plenty of opportunities for that yard. Tuesdays winner was for Tracy Leesom, who has supported him for a while, Tracy doesn’t train many, but James goes in there to ride out on his days off, and his hard work has paid off. James is a lovely young man and it is great to see him finally get the chances that his talent deserves. We wish him the best of luck for the future but would rather he didn’t boot home any more 100/1 winners in front of one of ours or our clients again! The second is a gorgeous filly who had a lovely introduction to hurdling in the mares novices hurdle. It was good to see her travel and jump really well on her hurdling debut, but who’s lack of a recent run told on her as they straightened for home. She will win her share of races for sure!
Also on Tuesday it was good to get a clip of Classic Ben schooling with Jo. Stuart had an entry planned for him in Exeter next week, but it was decided to stick with the original plan and wait for another race at the same track later in December. Next weeks heat would come less than three weeks after his seasonal debut in Uttoxeter, and I think the more time between races you can give staying chasers the better – those races take an awful lot out of them. Stuart reports that the old boy is in fine form, and he is very happy with him.
Wednesday we were in the office getting plenty done before we set off for the Cotswolds in late afternoon. Our usual ‘pit stop’ with Kev and Jules at the Kilkeney, great to see them both – they are in good form, and as usual the food was great!
On Thursday we were headed down to Taunton to see Mamoon Star make his hurdling debut, in the 2m novices hurdle that opened the card, but before that we stopped off at Ivy Lodge Farm to see the horses there, especially the two new girls, Greyval and Refelxion Faite who had arrived from France in the past couple of weeks. This was the first time we had seen both of them, and it is safe to say we were very happy. Jason was very happy with both, and it was clear to see why. Reflexion Faite is a really sweet filly, she is has been a dream to break, and has a very good temperament, she is athletic and moves really well – she is not over big, and should not take too long to see the track in the summer, and we are looking forward to seeing her in Newmarket in the new year. The reports of Greyval had been very encouraging, and it is easy to see why. She is a big scopey filly, with a fantastic temperament, and mind. Everyone that has ridden her has been hugely impressed by the feeling she gives them, and she looks to have a really nice future. We got to see her warm up in the arena and then pop up six flights of hurdles - all just seven days after arriving from France, and she was absolutely fantastic. She really does have a natural aptitude for hurdling, and we are excited by her! Greyval heads to Ravenswell Farm on Monday. It was also good to see the two who are having breaks with Jason. Fortune Forever and Intrepide Sud. Both of these young horses look fantastic, IS, a bumper winner in the summer will be back in 2023 and looks a really exciting horse for the future, as does Fortune Forever, who will also be back on track in 2023, and will have another 2/3 bumper runs in the spring before going hurdling in the autumn. Both are examples of how we don’t like over race our youngsters, and their first season is more about education and enjoyment than anything else, once you have laid down the platform, then you can crack on in their second year!
Reflexion Faite - a lovely yearling filly!
Greyval warming up
Greyval is a natural!
Fortune Forever on her spa break!
On from Ivy Lodge Farm and down to Taunton. A day we had all been waiting for – Mamoon Stars hurdling debut. MS is a prime example of what I was talking about above, a horse that had just three starts in bumpers last season, and kept very good company. We were all aware that he was capable of winning an ordinary bumper, but we decided to take in a couple of very good heats in the mid season when he was third in a Listed bumper in Cheltenham on New Years Day, and then when he ran a very good race in another Listed bumper in Newbury in February. We had tried to drop him in class in Ludlow later in the season to get that win bracket, but despite being odds on to win, he was withdrawn on the day due to the quick ground and he headed off for a summers holiday. He returned a bigger and stronger horse, and had a run in another Cheltenham bumper to get his season started in October. This was a farce of a race, but he ran a cracker to be fourth, and the form of the race has worked out really well. We had intended on running him in Warwick a couple of weeks ago, but a schooling session at the track a week before had shown us that he probably needed to run right handed so that plan was scratched, and we headed to Taunton. He looked to have just the one to beat, the Paul Nicholls trained Timeforatune, who was an easy, if unorthodox winner in Exeter 8 days prior. The rain arrived as we did, and it was quite horrid for the first, the rain was torrential and being blown in sideways by what felt like gale force winds! Not pleasant at all as we gathered in the paddock. After Paddy had got the leg up, we all headed for the shelter of the buildings, and watched as Paddy executed his game plan to perfection. He was going to sit in the slip stream of the favourite for the entire race, believing that he had the pace to challenge when he wanted to. He would then make his move as late as possible and deliver one punch. If it didn’t work out and he was second so be it – we would still be happy. The plan worked to perfection – the pair travelled and jumped superbly, and were going oh so well as they turned in. They joined battle at the last, and the pair fair sprinted from the back of the last to the line reaching a speed of 38mph in the process, with MS coming out on top without Paddy having to get particularly serious with him. Great scenes in the winners enclosure – where the rain continued to fall, but we hardly noticed! Congratulations to The Sharnbrook Partnership whose patience has been rewarded – they have a lovely horse for the future. MS will be out again in 4/5 weeks, he has an awful lot of speed and will stick to right handed tracks for now.
Happy Mamoon Star!
We had intended to make our way home, but a quick call to the Kilkeney, and we were back there for the night, for a celebratory meal and a few beers with Ferg and Sally. A great night, and good to spend another night at the pub!
We headed home on Friday - and arrived home owning one more horse than when we left! Another addition to the squad - more about that next week! And in addition - we have also earmarked a couple of horses that are being offered in upcoming sales - and will be trying to add at least one of them to the squad as well! It was good to get the usual trot up video from Fergal and to know that MS had come out of his race in good order and with no ill effects. In a couple of weeks we will sit down and sort out a plan for him.
Saturday I got to spend at home, and was able to watch a thrilling afternoons racing on the box - Constitution Hill put up one of the most spectacular performances of any hurdler I have seen, and judging by a few comments from the paddock pre race, he didn't look fully woulnd up for it either! We all love to see great horses, but as a breeder - it is always good to see a horse by a sire that you have used, have an exceptional horse, and Blue Bresil certainly has one of those in Constitution Hill. We currently have a couple by Blue Bresil on the team - two year old Frank - who will either be offered at the sales next summer, or syndicated, and the yearling, Barry - who we have already syndicated, and are very much looking forward to seeing on the racetrack in the future. He was syndicated to run, and a few members of his syndicate were on shortly after CH's run to remind me of that!
Around the yards all the horses are well. At Ravenswell, Blue Bikini is working her way back up to full fitness, showing no ill effects of the AF that had affected her a couple of months ago - I would say she will be ready to run in 4/6 weeks time. Hidden Beauty has come out of her race last Sunday in good order, she had one nasty cut on a shin, but nothing major. She was a shade disappointing in Uttoexeter, and we know full well she is better than that, although the winner looks like a very decent mare. Four things went wrong for her, and when they all go wrong in the space of 2 miles, then you are sure to run below par. We did learn a good bit, and she will be out again in a couple of weeks. We have certainly not lost faith in her - but she has given her syndicate members one hell of a rollercoaster ride thus far! Volkovka has also come out of her season opener well - I thought she ran a very nice race in Exeter last Sunday in what was a very competitive handicap hurdle. She settled beautifully without the hood, which was always an unkonown, and jumped and travelled great. The removal of the hurdles down the back due to the low sun, put a real emphasis on stamina which told on her in the end. After looking like she would sneak through to be placed and pick up a few quid, the extra emphasis on stamina and lack of a recent run took its toll and she finished seventh. She will now head over fences. At Warren Chase, all three are in good form, Auditoria will be out again in a couple of weeks, she will head to a mares chase, and be sporting some form of headgear. If this brings out the improvement we hope, she should run well. Tintagel Queen is pencilled in to make her debut in a bumper in a months time. Olly has taken his time with her as she is such a big filly, and giving her time will allow her to strengthen into her big frame. She will have an away day gallop on turf before her debut. Itchy Feet has come out of his race in good form. I was delighted with his debut in the black, red and white, and he showed plenty of his old zest! He ran to a mark of 145 in Haydock, and the handicapper has assessed him accordingly. He will run again in December, but there are no firm target races for him, with everything on the table - including hurdles. His main target race is the Fleur Du Lis Chase in Lingfield in January. Cloud Dancer was slightly under the weather for a week or so down with Gary Moore, and having hoped to have run him by now, Gary had to ease up with him and give him a spell on the easy list. Typical young horse issues - nothing serious, it's just a fact of life that when you put a youngsters system under pressure with a bit of hard graft they succumb to some sort of bug - he is hopeully through it now, and they can crack on with him again. He should be out in December.
Itchy - (thanks to Emma for the photos)
As I type, Our homebred, Dino Bellagio has been declared to make his racecourse debut in Ayr on Tuesday. he will face 5 rivals in their Junior Bumper, and Peter Kavanagh will ride him. His trainer, Donald McCain is very happy with him, and he tells me he has ability, but he has not taken him away for a racecourse gallop, so isn't sure what to expect from his debut run. Dino is a real character, and it will be interesting to see how he takes his first day at the races! It is very exciting to have our first homebred run for us!
So, a road trip on the cards, and I will not be doing Ayr and back in a day as I did before! A stop over scheduled somewhere in Cumbria!
Don't forget to have a look at our FOR SALE page - a number of opportunities on there, It's been a busy week - with more shares taken in Reflexion Faite - get in touch for further details firstname.lastname@example.org or 07909 518902
More miles on the car - but there will be plenty to catch up on next week - see you then!