In the News
It’s been a while since we’ve had a newsletter and we’ve got lots to catch up on. A few weeks ago, Dame Rose made her debut over hurdles at Hexham. It was a long way to come for us and the weather didn’t make it an enjoyable trip, but what she showed on the track was more than enough to warm our soggy bones. She made light work of the opposition on horrendous ground. It’s great for a smaller yard like ourselves to get a potential star in our stables and she’s definitely one. She’s got more in the tank and we’re looking forward to seeing how good she can be.
Shantou Flyer shaped well on his stable debut and although he finished last of the five finishers, he showed enough to suggest he retains his core ability. We hope he can take a step forward from here and become a mainstay in our stable.
We’re finally getting some winter ground and we’re hoping to get to the track a bit more often than we have been so far this season. There’s plenty of horses to get excited about still that haven’t been out yet and hopefully, we’ll get a run into them soon enough
We have to go a long way back for the first of our runners, it’s been nearly a month since Surf and Turf ran at Towcester. Dropping back to two miles, we set the early pace. He soared over the first with a big leap as if it was a fence, but got neater and slicker over his hurdles after that. He was allowed an uncontested lead for most of the contest and turning in, he still held a five-length advantage. But the uphill finish was too much for Surf’s eleven-year-old legs and with two furlongs to go, the eventual winner went past. He lost third close to the finish, but he ran a credible race and on another day, he might’ve been closer. we’ll have to see if we get him out again this year, he does prefer better ground, so he usually has a break over the winter.
A few days later, Dame Rose making her much-anticipated hurdles debut over at Hexham. Having had plenty of schooling, including last year, we were excited to finally see her over obstacles on a racecourse and she didn’t disappoint. She was keen early doors, perhaps due to a lack of pace in the race, but once Danny Cook allowed her to stride on, she seemed happier. She jumped slickly, although there were only six hurdles due to two of them being omitted down the back. She coped fine with what was pretty horrible ground and put the race to bed on the home turn, pulling clear of her nearest rivals to score by twelve lengths eased down.
The Sunday after, Alamein reverted to hurdles in search of some renewed fortunes, having not enjoyed his chasing experience the week before at Kelso. Setting off at breakneck speed under Alain Cawley, he was very keen early on but jumped much better over hurdles. Having raced so freely earlier, he was unable to see out the trip, but we were happy to get some confidence back into him. With the early speed he showed, maybe we should try five furlongs!
As it happened, we didn’t try five furlongs with Alamein, but instead dropped him into a seller at Stratford. We tried some headgear on him in the hope that would help him settle and although he didn’t tear away at a mad gallop, he still did too much too early and faded into sixth. Not sure what to do with him next, we’ll weigh our options and see.
We had two runners on the big card of the day at Wetherby on Saturday, with Highway Storm kicking us off in the opener. Still a young horse, who showed plenty of promise in his runs to date, he travelled pretty well under Robbie Dunne. But as the leading pack increased the pace on the turn for home, he found himself under pressure and struggled to keep up with them. Robbie pulled him up in the end and he returned to the stables lame on his right fore. He’s ok but will have to take it easy for a bit.
Our other runner at Wetherby was Shantou Flyer in the big race of the day, the Charlie Hall Chase. He travelled well early in the race, held up out the back and was still with the leading group as they turned out of the back straight. He couldn’t quite stay with them though and a slight mistake at the next put him out of contention. Adam Wedge didn’t punish him to get home and there’ll be other days for him. He’s got entries in the Betfair Chase and the Ladbrokes Trophy (Formerly known as the Hennesy), which tells you all about what we think of him.
This week’s runners
A cracking card at Newbury on Thursday and we’ll have one runner there. Dame Rose will make her second start over hurdles with Danny Cook retaining the ride. It’s a great race with some strong opposition. Drinks Interval has already scored twice over hurdles, while Cap Soleil is unbeaten in bumpers for the in-form Fergal O’Brien and you can never rule out a Nicky Henderson newcomer. That said though, on Aintree bumper formlines, Rosie more than holds her own against these and we’re hoping for a big run from her to confirm to the world what we already know about her talent.
We have more entries in the week, starting with Ramonex who is entered to make his chase debut over two miles at Warwick. He’s looked like a chaser from his debut for us when he took a novice hurdle at Perth before finishing second at Aintree to Whatmore, who has since won again. Obviously a different discipline for him now, but he’s worth his place in what looks a strong race.
Our final entry for this week is Going Gold. He was placed in a bumper before joining us from Rebecca Curtis and he is set to run in another bumper at Aintree on Saturday, all being well. He’s an exciting prospect going forward and we think he’ll do well this season.
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