QUIET ON THE RUNNERS FRONT BUT BUSY GETTING THE SPRING TEAM READY
Although we have not had many runners recently we have been busy as usual at home getting our Spring/Summer team ready to go, nearly all of our flat horses are cantering up the gallop (some further on than others) but all are going along well and should be out on the track for the start of the grass season, most our old horses along with some new ones and a couple of two year olds and unraced three year olds are all showing us positive signs at home, here’s hoping they show us something on the track.
The Summer jumpers are at much the same stage, all doing two canters now and there work building up every week, there is a couple of new faces, along with some old favourites back in work, Wyfield Rose is back in full work and doing well, Court Baloo is a bit further forward than the rest of the Spring/Summer team and had his first start of the year last Saturday at Kelso, he was a very creditable 3rd on ground that would be far to soft for, Gary (Beaumont) said he will come on for the run and will appreciate better ground. Another horse to run with credit was Donnachies Girl at Wetherby a couple of weeks back, making her racecourse debut (Daisy) travelled well into the race and quickened up well, she was beaten by to older Mares who had the experience of a run or two, Kieron Edgar who rode her was very pleased and is looking forward to getting back on her. She might head to Sedgefield next week.
A few horses have put in under par performances over the last few weeks and we have put it down to a bug in the yard, the horses who were coughing have been and are being treated but it looks like its on the way out now so hopefully we can kick on and have a big end to the jump season.
GOOD 2016, HOPING FOR MORE OF THE SAME
2016 was a successful year under both codes for us, on the flat we managed to better our best tally for winners in a calendar year our previous best was 16 and we squeezed past that with a day to spare when Galilee Chapel won his fourth race of 2016 at Newcastle under his mate Barry McHugh taking us to 17 winners for the year beating our previous best. The opening of the all weather track at Newcastle has been a massive help to us where we have had a god bit of success and helped us beat our previous record although when I looked back I noticed we have had less runners over the past year and managed more winners, here’s hoping we can kick it up a notch this year.
A very good spring and summer with our jump horses has helped big time this season, we have probably got as many summer jumpers/good ground horses as we have winter horses nowadays. We are currently on 11 winners for the 2016/17 jumps season just two short of our best total of 13, we have drawn level with our record but never managed to beat it, with three months left of the season were hopeful we can break our record this year. The most recent of our jump winners was yesterday up at Ayr where Jonny Eager galloped his rivals into the ground on his beloved heavy ground winning by nine lengths under a good ride from Craig Nichol. Jonny’s last couple of runs have been disappointing but he has had his excuses but he bounced right back to his best yesterday.
At the yard everything is getting busy again, most the flat horses are back in work now, a few are still to get started in the next week or so. We hopefully will be up slightly on numbers for this season and have a couple of nice horses to look forward to. One or two jumpers are back in work ready for a summer jump campaign.
Were also off to Doncaster sales next week with the view to buying a couple of horses either there or Tattersalls sales a few weeks after.
We do have shares available in some horses up at Newmill Stables, two being Peny Arcade and Court Baloo. Please feel free to get in touch if you or anybody you know is interested.
GALILEE GETS THREE UP FOR THE YEAR
Saturday night saw Galilee Chapel get his third win of 2016 at Wolverhampton, ridden by Barry McHugh “Tommy” squeezed his way through late on to flash home and get up to win by a neck, he has had a great year and has not been out the winners enclosure since June hitting the frame in his last eleven runs, he has been a star for the yard and gained compensation for going down by a head at Newcastle twelve days earlier. Another horse to run on the same day at Newcastle twelve days ago was Ajman Prince also finishing second after a nightmare run from the home turn to a furlong out where “Roger” barged his way out he couldn’t peg back the winner who had got first run on him, it was hard to watch and he would have went very close with a clear run, Ajman has since been roughed off for a winter break and we will look to have him fit to run again around mid April to have a crack at the turf, he is an improving three year old so who knows what he could be.
The jumpers have been quiet the last couple of weeks although we did take Apachee Prince to Hexham for his chase debut on Wednesday, we had a fair idea that two miles would be to sharp for him and knew the ground would be far to soft but Hexham is a great place to start a novice over fences, Craig just let himself find his feet jumping over the first couple and looked after him when he was beat, he said after from the word go he was hating the going, none the less it served a purpose as Apachee gained some much needed experience over fences. He might head to Market Rasen or Musselburgh next where hopefully we will get some better ground. Another jumper who ran last week was Brackenmoss Rory, Rory went to Newcastle for his first run in a handicap on Thursday, it wasn’t the best of days for him as for some reason he stopped when the tapes went up and ended up last of seventeen runners, were not sure what happened whether it was the size of the field and he was intimidated or got spooked when the tapes went up were not sure, the plan was to be in the first five andthrough no fault of Craig’s he ended up last, he still ran on well and finished seventh. Rory will probably head to Ayr on the second of January where hopefully things will go a lot smoother.
Red Story had his first run of the season on Sunday at Carlisle finishing sixth there was a lot to be happy about, Callum said he jumped super on only his second run ever over fences, we thought two mile would be to sharp for him but again we were very keen to get a run into him, Callum said he travelled well and when they quickened at the bottom of the hill “Troy” was just flat out, he plugged on up the home straight and will strip a good bit fitter for the run. He might head to Ayr early January also.
We started a couple of our spring/summer jumpers the past week or so, Court Baloo and Right Of Reply a new recruit who has ran in four Irish points were started off last week, hopefully both horses will get us into the winners enclosure next year.
DOUBLES AND TREBLES
We have been having a great time of things since our last news update landing a treble and a double in recent weeks, firstly the treble, Gun Case was the first of the three winning at Redcar under Paul Hanagan then an hour or so later one of our Amateurs Kelly Bryson gave Galilee Chapel a great ride to get up on the line also at Redcar, then it was on to Newcastle where the quirky but talented Ajman Prince was running on the all weather. Ajman ran out a cosy winner and gained compensation for getting beat in a photo finish the week before. It was a great day and our first treble since 1999 when we won the Great Yorkshire chase with Major Bell. The yard was buzzing the next day even more so Kelly after winning on,(Tommy).
Last Friday we had more good luck landing an all weather double at Newcastle. The first of our winners was Peny Arcade, the likeable two year old who was bought last year for only 800 gns had showed us promise in a couple of runs so we were quietly confident she would run a big race, she didn’t disappoint winning by a head, she will now have a break before the turf next year. Later that night and after Galilee Chapel finished a creditable third it was time for Alexandrakollontai to strut her stuff, and that she did winning by an eased down three and a half lengths, held up in last place she was switched to the stands rail and just flew home for owners William Orr and Chris Spark, I’m sure there was some celebrations in Chris’s bar in Port Glasgow later that night.
The Friday double was followed by a winner three days later, on Monday also on the all weather Ajman Prince won his second race from as many starts winning by a cosy length and a quarter he was very pleasing to watch, settled near the rear he came through to take it up a furlong to win going away, Roger (as we call him) is really improving every run so hopefully he can keep going the same way. He possibly will have another run before having a break before the turf next year.
Wyfield Rose will have her own calendar shortly after winning her fifth race of the season, she has had nine runs this season with five wins, two seconds to her name rising a total of forty two pounds in the handicap, she has been great for the yard this summer. Since the last news update she has ran at Hexham where she ran out a gallant second, after trying to make all she was collared going to the last and it looked like she was going to be third or fourth but in her determined fashion she battled back to be second to another very progressive horse. She managed one better three weeks later at Sedgefield tho, with the race not run to suit and loosing the lead going out on the last circuit most watching would think she would drop away but she dug deep and although was headed going to the last she managed to get her head in front where it mattered. She will have one more run before a break and will be aimed at a spring/summer campaign next year where she will get her beloved fast ground.
Most the flat horses have been roughed off apart from two or three who will have another run or two on the all weather. They will come back in early January for next year. We have a few two year olds to come in shortly that were a bit weak to run this year but will hopefully get to the racecourse in the spring along with a couple of summer jumpers who will be back riding out early December. Most the jumpers are up and running now and hopefully we can have a good winter with them.
This week we have runners at Musselburgh, Newcastle, Hexham possibly Haydock so heres hoping.
ROSE STILL FLYING THE FLAG
Its been a great summer/autumn for Wyfield Rose, she has now won four races since the start of the new season in May after winning by 20 lengths at Hexham mid September. She has her quirks but once she is racing she puts all that behind her and tries her heart out, she kicked clear at the bottom of the hill and nothing got near her. She is going back to Hexham this Saturday and will race of a 18 lbs higher mark a total of 37 lbs higher than the start of the season, that being said she has coped with the weight rise so far so hopefully she will run another solid race.
Old boy Claude Carter got his head in front for the second time in three runs at Perth a couple of weeks ago winning the claiming hurdle under a canny ride from yard amateur Gary Beaumont, setting off in front Claude ran his rivals ragged with a good jumping display, Gary kept enough up his sleeve tho and kicked after jumping the second last and went on to score by 4 lengths. Claude was out again the following Sunday but only managed 5th at Kelso in a more competitive race.
Another jumper to run well recently was Pena Dorada who finished 3rd at Hexham on the same card Rose won, after being headed he battled back and pinged the last but was out battled up the run in and went down by a length and a half.
The flat is starting to quiet down a little now but there is still a bit of racing left and we still have a good few to run. Recent runners that have ran well have been Ralphy Boy 2nd at Beverly, Galilee Chapel 3rd at Beverly, Gun Case 3rd at Newcastle and Royal Shaheen who after finding things happening a little quick at Chester on his first run ran a good race to finish 3rd at Nottingham last week.
Things have been busy at the yard with all the jumpers back in and the flat horse still in work. The jumpers are working away well and will probably start running late Oct early Nov, we have had Craig Nichol, Callum Whillans and Grant Cockburn in schooling them along with Gary and Kelly.
We will be heading down to Newmarket horses in training sale at the end of this month as we have a couple of orders and are also looking for a horse to syndicate so if interested please get in touch.
WINNERS UNDER BOTH CODES
There has been plenty success on the flat and over jumps in recent weeks over what has been a busy spell. Firstly Amirli has been having a good spell, after winning at Musselburgh a few weeks back he finished 3rd back at the same track more recently it was the horses first win and hopefully he can keep on the right track, he is entered at Sedgefield and Cartmel over hurdles this week so we could have a crack at that. Another to win was Ralphy Boy who went down by a short head at Musselburgh the other week went one better five days later at Pontefract, he got agitated in the stalls last week at Thirsk in an eighteen runner race and blew his chance but hopefully he can run a solid race at Musselburgh tomorrow. Also among the winners recently is Gun Case, after finishing second at Carlisle he got his head in front the following week at Newcastle on the all weather. He will go back there on Friday and hopefully can continue his good run of form. Last but by no means least of our winners on the flat was Hidden Rebel at Carlisle last week, she put a disappointing run at Thirsk behind her, she settled well at the back and picked them off up the home straight to win by two and a half lengths under a hands and heels ride. She might head to either Musselburgh or Ascot next.
The jumpers have been doing us proud as well with Wyfield Rose winning her third race of the season at Perth on Saturday, always in front she dug deep when she had to to win, she has had a great season so far since having been treated for ulcers and also having a wind op .She has options over hurdles and fences coming up so we will se what is best for her. It was a special day for our Amateur Jockey Gary Beaumont riding his first winner at Market Rasen on yard old boy Claude Carter, doing exactly as he was told sitting near the front and kicking into the home straight they looked beat jumping the last but rallied to get back up on the line, it was great for all connected and at twelve Claude proved he still has the fire in his belly. The pair might head to Sedgefield on Thursday.
All is running smooth at the yard as well, the jumpers starting to canter now getting fit for the season ahead. Another couple of new arrivals as well over the last couple of weeks, Royal Shaheen arrived a couple of weeks ago after Frank Lowe purchased him from Doncaster Sales, his form in Germany looks smart he ran in this years German 2000 Guineas and was placed in a listed race in Italy, so here’s hoping we can have a good deal of success with this three year old colt. Another arrival yesterday was Jebel Tara. The eleven year old came to us yesterday after running at Carlisle and will probably have his first run for us at Newcastle shortly, here’s hoping the change of scenery freshens up the old boy who’s previous trainer managed to win with him four times last year.
RUNNERS WINNERS AND PLENTY PLACES
Its been a fair while since the newspage of the website was last updated (I lost the password) but plenty has been going on and we have had a nice few winners, over the jumps Wyfield Rose won the second race of the campaign at Perth the other week scooting up by 17 lengths jumping off in front and never seeing another rival, hopefully she can continue on an upward curve.
We have also been having a good time of it on the flat recently with firstly Hidden Rebel wining at Hamilton on the 23rd of June Connor Beasley switched her off in rear and came through with a late run to win going away, she then went to a fillies handicap at Newbury where she finished a creditable 4th and might well have been closer with a better pace to aim at, she is now entered in the Thirsk summer cup this Saturday.
Henpecked got a well deserved win at Hamilton a week past Friday getting up late on to win in wet conditions, it was great to see as she has been unlucky this season finishing 2nd three runs on the bounce, she has entries at Musselburgh on Friday and Hamilton on Sat.
Galilee Chapel also won at Hamilton 24 hours before Henpecked, winning over a mile after cutting through the field late on to get up close home under a good ride from Josh Doyle, he then went to Ayr yesterday and finished 2nd on ground that would have been slower than ideal and he is engaged to run at Redcar tomorrow in an amateur riders handicap with Gary Beaumont taking the ride, after tomorrow we will probably give him a week in the paddock to freshen him up.
Another winner recently was Pintura who won the class 3 handicap at Ayr in early July winning in a photo finish we were left to sweat for a minute but he got the job done, we were delighted to see him win as he has been so unlucky at times last season, his run a fortnight later wasn’t so good but after a bad start he got caught up in traffic problems and didn’t run his race, he is now of to his beloved Galway (ground permitting) this weekend to run in the big 7 furlong handicap.
Other horses to run well have been Pena Dorada 3rd his last two runs, Claude Carter 3rd at Cartmel, Gun Case, Amirli 3rd and 2nd both at Musselburgh and Peny Arcade 4th on her first ever run.
Entries this week include Perth, Musselburgh, Bangor, Thirst, Hamilton and Galway. Here’s hoping for some more success.
The jumpers have started coming back in and doing there roadwork, getting ready for the autumn all the old faces are back and an new recruit in Chu Chu Percy for Mr and Mrs Rooney after being bought at Ascot Sales a couple of weeks ago.
JUMPS SEASON OFF TO A GOOD START FLAT ONES HOPEFULLY COMING
Its been a good start to the jumps season getting 4 winners on the board early in the season is a good start thanks to Court Baloo, Bop Along, Wyfield Rose and Dubai Shen all getting their heads in front since the new season started in late April also a good few placed horses as well so its nice to have started well and hopefully it will continue, unfortunately Bop Along sustained an injury when he finished 2nd in the big handicap at Cartmel last time out and won’t race again, his last 2 runs have probably been his best ever so it was disappointing to say the least, he will have his box rest with us and then make a plan on what he will do in his retirement but I’m sure he will be given a good home.
The flat horses have been a little slower into their stride, we had a memorable day a week past Monday when Alexandrakollontai romped home at Leicester in the fillies handicap, she was out again the following Wednesday but could only Manage 4th, she will now go to the Carlisle bell next Wednesday. Other horses in the money on the flat have been Henpecked twice second Ralphy boy was third at Carlisle and old boy Pintura ran a blinder at Ayr last time finishing 3rd, he might head to Galway in August if he is still running well.
Runners this week include Love Marmalade, Opt Out and Ralphy Boy at Ayr on Friday night and Clear Spell at Haydock on Sat night, heres hoping they all run well.
START OF THE FLAT/NEW SEASON FOR THE JUMPS
Last Saturday saw the end of the 2015/16 jumps season, we managed 11 winners for the season which is 2 short of our best ever season, which was frustrating but we were still very happy with that as we have had a few less jumpers than in recent years coupled with injuries to our two highest rated jumpers, Samstown and Medowcroft Boy out for the season. We still had plenty good results tho and we have a nice few to run over the summer over jumps and early signs are we will have a few more than last year and with the two big lads back from injury all being well I think we could have a good crack at it this season.
The flat horses have started running, most of them having there first runs of the season in the past couple of weeks highlights have been Opt Out finishing 3rd on Sunday at Musselburgh only going down by half a length and a nose, a cracking run for his first run of the year. Another to show up well in her first start was Hidden Rebel who finished 2nd at the same meeting bumping into another progressive filly, she ran on well late in the day and if she got going a little earlier she would have gave the winner something to think about., heres hoping for a big season with her. Another horse who ran a cracker in defeat last week although not on the flat was Wyfield Rose at Perth, she finished 2nd ridden by one of her Amateur’s Kelly Bryson, it was a very encouraging run, the better ground along with a change in her training regimen has helped no end, hopefully she can build on this, she will probably head back to Perth in early May.
In the next few days we have entries at Bangor, Uttoxeter, Hexham anfd Hamilton so hopefully we can get one on the board at one of those meetings.
MARES FLYING THE FLAG
Its been a good couple of weeks for our mares, with W 6 Times wining again a week past Saturday at Ayr making it three from three. up in class and unfortunately out the handicap “Buzzy” scored by 12 lengths after a heart stopping moment at the last where Callum done well to stay on board she surged clear turning for home and never looked like getting caught. She will head back to Ayr for a race at the Scottish National meeting ground permitting.
Another mare we have had winning recently is Monbeg Dolly, Dolly got off the mark at the first time of asking for us at Sedgefield last Tuesday, her first run for nearly a year Dolly has had a few problems along the way but was fit and well at home and got the job done getting up close home. She is entered this Sunday at the same course but is unlikely to go, there are races at Kelso and Ayr for her coming up. Another horse who ran a blinder last week was Jonny Eager who finished 2nd in the 4 mile chase on Thursday at Hexham, jumping excellent he was just denied and went down by just over half a length with around 22 length’s back to the 3rd. There were disappointing runs from Glacial Rock at Carlisle and Bop Along the former will be kept for better ground and switched to hurdles and the latter we put the run down to horrible going, he might head to Carlisle on Saturday if it stays dry where I’m sure he will run a much better race. Brackenmoss Rory was disappointing at Ayr last weekend after a highly promising debut at Kelso three weeks earlier, they went a fast gallop on ground that was described by most as horrendous and it was possibly a little bit soon after his first run, never the less he will have a few weeks to recover before he runs again.
This week we have entries at Carlisle, Haydock and Sedgefield however it is pretty much ground dependant. It was disappointing that Musselburgh lost its Good Friday flat fixture as we had three to be entered so we will have to wait a week or two until we can get the flat ones started.
W 6 MAKES IT TWO FROM TWO
W 6 Times made it two wins in less that a week at Carlisle on Monday after scoring at Ayr the Tuesday before hand, last Tuesday at Ayr saw 16 runners in really wet and windy conditions and what looked like a competitive race but Buzzy (W 6 Times) travelled well near the front and pulled away from the last hurdle well to win by 9 lengths. After much debate we decided to run her 6 days later at Carlisle because we were told by the handicapper she was going to be going up a fair bit and escaped a penalty for her run at Ayr as it was a conditionals race, it worked out well as she won again just holding on by half a length. It wasn’t the best of races for her as she seems better on a flat track over two and a half miles but she got the job done in tough style. She might now head to Ayr in a couple of weeks for a mares race if she sneaks in the handicap.
There was a lot of encouragement with our other runners last week also, Dubai Shen ran well to finish third in a bumper at Musselburgh beaten five lengths, he will most probably go hurdling now, he schooled over hurdles yesterday and was a natural. Kind Of Easy ran a cracking race at Kelso on Thursday finishing second to a nice horse trained at the other side of Hawick by Alistair’s brother Donald, Easy will head to Ayr now for an amateur race for his part owner and one of our stable amateurs Gary Beumont to ride. Another horse to really please us was Brackenmoss Rory making his racecourse debut, Rory finished third in the bumper at Kelso on Thursday he ran a blinder, a little green when asked to quicken then stayed on nicely to finish third beaten by two older horses, he has came out his race well and will come on a lot from the run, being a full brother to stable stalwart Cavers Glen his future will more than likely be over 3 miles and fences.
After Carlisle on Monday we have no more runners until next Monday when Jonny Eager heads up to Ayr.
The flat horses continue to do well all cantering away now getting geared up for the start of the flat season late March.
A new recruit sent by Mr and Mrs Rooney has settled in well Amirli, a 5 year old with potential to run both on the flat and over hurdles arrived a couple of weeks ago and is doing well. At the sales yesterday (Tuesday) Alistair bought two unraced 3 year olds from Godolphin, they should be arriving today so we are all very exited to see them and get started on what hopefully will be another good season.
JONNY EAGER TO PLEASE
It was back to winning ways yesterday at Carlisle for the yard after a frustrating January when Jonny Eager bolted up by 20 lengths in his first start over fences, racing up with the pace all the way Craig (Nichol) turned the screw from 4 out and Jonny just kept pulling further clear, he jumped well and staying is his strong point so there should be more to come from him. Red Story ran a nice race to finish 4th in the 2 mile novice hurdle also at Carlise yesterday, he stayed on well up the hill and will come on a lot from the run, it was only his third ever run and a big shell of a horse will improve in time. Bop Along ran a blinder at Musselburgh on Monday finishing 3rd going down by 7 lengths when just getting tired after the last on ground that would be soft enough for him, never the less it was a very encouraging run and he will hopefully get his head in front soon. Claude Carter ran a solid race to be 3rd on ground that would be far to soft for him.
Coming up we have entries at Catterick, Ayr, Musselburgh and Kelso and with the weather set to be dry were hoping to have a few runners next week.
The flat horses and 2 year olds are coming on well with nearly all the older horses cantering and the 2 year olds pairing grouping up to give them more experience.
We topped the gallop a couple of weeks back with new woodchip and it has bedded in nice putting a bit more life in the surface ready for when the flat ones start working. There is also talk of getting our existing gallop extended which would be a great addition to what is already a very good gallop.
JANUARY WAS A WASHOUT
I think everyone at A C Whillans Racing will be happy to see the back of January, with a disappointing start to the month on New years day at Catterick and Musselburgh we only had a handful of runners for the rest of the month, with most of the meetings we targeted being called off due to waterlogging, its been a miserable month for the yard and the horses but hopefully things have turned the corner now with a bit more racing looking as it will go ahead in the next week or two. Of the horses that have ran last week, Jonny Eager ran well to finish second at Wetherby, giving a full two stone in weight to the winner, he will now start his chasing career probably at Carlisle next week. Glacial Rock and Kind Of Easy were disappointing at the weekend at Doncaster with fields of 16 and 20 in there races and both dropped in trip they found things happening a bit quicker than ideal. With a lack of racing recently we felt we had to go and run, they are both none the worse and will run again shortly.
Things are busy again at the yard with all the flat horses back in training and a couple of summer jumpers back in also. Most have been on the go a two or three weeks now and will be starting cantering anytime soon. The two year olds are also doing well all getting the hang of things up the gallop, Claude Carter and Ah De Ken have been put to good use leading them.
Over the next few days we have entries at Catterick, Wetherby, Musselburgh, Sedgefield and Carlisle so we will hopefully get back into the swing of things over the next couple of weeks.
ITS BEEN A GOOD YEAR
Well it’s the last day of the year, not that that stops us we have four runners on New Years Day, two at Catterick and two at Musselburgh so here’s hoping to start 2016 with a bang. It’s been a great year for A C Whillans Racing from Samstown wining the Peter Marsh in January to having our best season to date on the flat with 16 winners, a trip to Galway that saw us just tipped off in a 100 thousand Euro race and horses like Hidden Rebel, Ralphy Boy and Opt Out all getting hat tricks, Alex winning the flower of Scotland race at Hamilton for the second season running, old boy What A Steel winning a couple, Pena Dorada was a revelation at Cartmel, Tam running up a string of placed efforts in Spring and Summer and finally getting his head in front at Carlisle, Funky Munky got is day at Catterick in October, our first winner for the Ronneys with Mahler And Me this month at Newcastle amongst and a lot more good days.
We had our fair share of injury also poor with a few big names missing this season jumping and poor Scrapper Smith having to be retired but these things happen in our game.
A massive thank you to all the staff part time and full for all your help and hard work that’s made this a great year and also to all our owners who know how much patience is needed in this game. Here’s hoping for a big 2016.
MAHLER GETS OFF THE MARK FIRST TIME
Last Thursdy saw a welcome winner at Newcastle when Mahler And Me won the 2 mile 6 novice hurdle on the card. With only four runners “Marley” was settled just off the pace and after being slightly outpaced at the end of the back straight he came through to take it up going to the last and won going away. It was his first start for us and his first run of the season so hopefully he will improve from the run, there are races late December for him. Of the others running well on what has been a quiet few weeks Claude Carter was beaten in a photo finish at Catterick going down by a head, and Declamation was 2nd down at Wolverhampton. The last Kelso meeting saw a few horses getting there first run of the season and all will improve. Old boy What A Steel has been retired after running at Musselburgh last Monday, he is rising twelve and has won us two races the past few months also finishing second in a decent race at Hexham, after those efforts he has found himself at the wrong end of the handicap and isn’t getting any younger so we have decided to retire him. He has given owners John and Sheila Wright some great days especially at Cartmel in 2012 winning the Big hurdle race there, a 24k race. He will make someone a lovely riding/common riding horse.
Samstown was up for an award at the magic moments of racing awards at Newcastle a couple of weeks ago. He was up for National Hunt owners magic moment for his win in the 2015 Peter Marsh chase at Haydock in January. The award went to Lie Forrit for his win in the Grand National trial also at Haydock. Never the less it was a great night held at the Marriott Hotel and was nice to be nominated for such an award. Owner Billy and Elizabeth Ferguson were in attendance as were Alistair Lesley and Ewan, a good time was had by all.
YEARLINGS SETTLING IN WELL
Another quiet couple of weeks on the runner front, with the flat horses all roughed off nor bar one or two and the jumpers just starting to get there first runs its gave us a chance to get on top of things at home
. The runners we have had have ran with credit, with places for Pintura at Nottingham, Claude Carter and Meadowcroft Boy at Musselburgh, Gleann Na Ndochais at Kelso and most recently Love Marmalade who was 3rd at Wolverhampton on Monday getting beat only a length of top weight meeting some trouble in running it was another good run from him, just frustrating he couldn’t win. Meadowcroft Boy ran a solid race on his first run back from a wind operation just getting beat in a photo for 2nd behind a runaway winner, he is sure to come on a lot from the run. Same can be said for Glacial Rock who finished 5th on his return at Ayr last week, racing up there throughout and just getting tired up the home straight, he might well go chasing next. New recruit Jonny Eager was supposed to go to Hexham today with Wee Jock Elliot but the meeting was abandoned due to waterlogging, they will both run next week somewhere. Another new recruit Bop Along is nearing run and might head to Carlisle next Sunday.
Our yearlings we purchased at Doncaster sales earlier this month are settling in well, we have two colts, one by Aqlaam and one by Assertive and also a filly by Misu Bond, all three are now in the process of being broken in.
We have an entry at Huntingdon on Saturday and entries will be made for Sedgefield, Wetherby and Musselburgh for next week.
QUIET ON RUNNERS BUT BUSY AT HOME
Its been a quiet ten days on the runners front but the horses still holding there form. Pintura ran a cracker at Leicester only to come up short in the 1 mile class 2 handicap as has been the case a few times this year for the old lad beat in a photo at Ayr and 2nd in a big handicap at the Galway Festival he went down fighting and was beaten by a younger improving rival. First thoughts were to rough him off for the season with only a race at Nottingham left for him but he has come out his race last Monday really well and we thought we would have another crack as there are only 5 runners and he will get a good holiday after he runs this Wednesday.
Another nearly day was Kelso last Saturday where Claude Carter was 2nd, at 11 he is no spring chicken either but still has plenty life in him yet and might head to Musselburgh on Friday where he won twice last year. Love Marmalade ran well at Wolverhampton last Friday night finishing 4th in a competitive race, he was a bit slow away and got stuck behind the leaders in a slow ran race and was doing all his best work late on, he might head back for another go there before a break. Wyfield Rose and Wee Jock Elliot both would come on fitness wise from there runs at Carlisle yesterday and will be back out sometime this month.
This week sees us heading to Nottingham with Pintura and also Musselburgh with Claude Carter and possible also Meadowcroft Boy if the ground is safe at the Edinburgh venue. Saturday entries have been made for Gleann Na Ndochais and What A Steel at Kelso and Alexandrakollontai an the final flat turf meeting of the year Doncaster.
At Tattersalls sales in Newmarket last week we managed to buy Gun Case the 2 time winning 3 year old, he will be gelded and rested for the winter ready for some fun with him next year.
Some pictures will be added of the horses schooling over the past week Court Baloo, Red Story, Malher And Me and Clear Spell.
OPT OUT GETS THREE FOR THE SEASON
Opt Out made it three wins for the season on the a week past Tuesday at Musselburgh winning the seven furlong handicap after meeting a little trouble in running, all three wins have been at the Edinburgh track, He is roughed off now and will no doubt be back at Musselburgh for there first flat fixture next year. On Friday of the same week Henpecked finished second at Redcar under our own Kelly Bryson, she also is roughed off for the winter. The ground at Catterick on Saturday was far to soft for Ralphy Boy, that aside he has had a great season also winning three races and joins the other two on his holidays, Funky Munky ran a solid race on the same day finishing third, Clear Spell was a bit disappointing the race maybe came to soon after Ayr nine days earlier and the ground probably was a bit tacky, he might go hurdling before the winter.
This week saw Alexandrakollontai running well at Newmarket finishing fifth in a competitive fillies handicap, she might go to Doncaster on the last day of the turf season. Yesterday (Thursday) saw us have our fifth winner of the jumps season with Gleann Na Ndochais winning at Carlisle, it was a great result and well deserved as he has been running well all spring/summer without getting his head in front. It was also at his owners Will, Margret and Donna Scott’s local track. The staff are looking forward to Donna’s cakes that normally appear in the tack room soon after they have had a winner…. they don’t last long.
Yesterday saw a good few horses being schooled Glacial Rock and new recruit Jonny Eager schooling over fences, Meadowcroft Boy and Wee Jock Elliot over hurdles and Red Story, Court Baloo and Clear Spell popping poles and a baby hurdle. The winter jumpers will be starting to run in the next week or two and were very exited.
OLD BOYS DOING US PROUD
Two of our oldest inmates have won us races since the start of the month firstly What A Steel winning at Hexham under Craig Nichol on the second of the month winning the selling hurdle by a cosy 3/4 of a length and then running a blinder eight days later at the same track finishing 2nd in a competitive handicap, he is clearly in good health but will get a couple of weeks before another run he is doing us proud still at the age of 11. Another of our old stars Funky Munky aged 10 won at his beloved Catterick last Tuesday, a little fortunate as the horse he was battling it out in a finish with veered through the rails, the to of them pulled a good way clear turning into the straight only for the other horse to go through the rail, it was Munkys 9th career win and landed his owners (The Twelve Munkys) a good few quid in process being backed from 25/1 in the morning to 12/1 at the off. Love Marmalade was disappointing at Kelso last Sunday over jumps, despite schooling really well at home and it looking a winnable race he was beaten a long way out, we will now stick to the flat with him as he seems a lot happier on the level, he might head to Wolverhampton next week. Clear spell ran a cracker last week at Ayr, after some time off for treatment on gastric ulcers we found he ran a great race only to get beat in a photo finish, its been a frustrating season for the horse as we couldn’t get to the bottom of some disappointing runs but since his treatment he seems to be on a lot better terms with himself and might head to Catterick at the weekend. Opt out ran yet another solid race to finish fourth on the same card going down by a lenth and a neck. Pintura wa slowly away over his minimum trip and couldn’t quiet recover after that.
This week sees runners at Musselburgh today (Tuesday) Redcar Friday and Catterick on Saturday, here is hoping for some winners.
We have been busy fence building the last week up at the community gallop helping Alan (the lord) Brown and Adam Robson re building fences and French hurdles it will have allsorts from small tyre jumps to fences when its finished and will be a big help as its only 5mins in a horsebox away.
PLENTY PLACES NO WINNERS
The past week saw no less than 6 horses placed but none of them managing to hit the top spot but still running with plenty credit , Opt Out placed at Hamilton last Monday and Ayr again yesterday is holding his form well and might head back to Ayr next Thursday. Ralphy Boy ran a cracker to finish 3rd yesterday at Ayr he may also head to Ayr next Thursday. Gleann Na Ndochais ran well to be second at Perth last week with ground probably not to his liking. Love Marmalade was 3rd at Musselburgh on Sunday after no pace early on in the race he didn’t have the turn of foot the others did, on the bright side he didn’t have a hard race and will be running again soon. Hidden Rebel was disappointing at Musselburgh on Sunday with the jockey reporting she was a flat, in hindsight it was probably a bit soon after her win over course and distance 15 days earlier. Pintura was disappointing the day before at Haydock but nothing has came to light, he was scoped after and all was ok as well as bloods being taken which also came back fine, were putting it down to an off day and all being well he might run next week also.
Its been a great season for prize money, our best yet by far winning just shy of 124 thousand on the flat in Britain and Ireland this season with there still being a month of the season left, here’s hoping we can get another couple on the board.
The jumpers are coming along nicely and have been cantering about 4 weeks now and will be good to go late October.
2 FLYING FILLIES
Two nice winners the past two weekends in Scotland, first Hidden Rebel won her third race of the season at Musselburgh last Saturday winning the Mile Fillies handicap in good style, she has been ultra consistent this season and progressive only finishing out the first two on one occasion, she will head back to Musselburgh next Sunday for a crack at another Fillies race worth 25k.
Today saw Alexandrakollontai winning the 20k Flower Of Scotland handicap for a second year running, we couldn’t have imagined winning races like this when claiming her out a seller in 2012, she has been a great servant here at Esker House. She might also head to Musselburgh nxt Sunday but wewill se how she comes out of today first.
A disappointing day at Ayr yesterday when Love Marmalade was delayed in traffic heading to the Ayr racecourse the horsebox was stuck in between Edinburgh and Glasgow for 2 hours and couldn’t get there in time, it was disappointing for everyone, he might also head to Musselburgh nxt Sun. Henpecked ran a solid race on Thursday at Ayr the ground probably not as soft as she would like.
This week sees runners at Hamilton tomorrow with Opt Out and later in the week we have entries at Perth, Newmarket Haydock with Musselburgh at the weekend.
The jumpers are coming along nicely and have been cantering for a couple of weeks now, it will be a busy week for our yard handyman Oliver (bogus) Hogg as we are due to be building fences on the schooling ground to school a couple of novice chasers.
Also a quick congratulations to our traveling head lad Michael (Bungle) Davidson on getting engaged to his long term partner Kirsteen Hill….. it only took him 13 years to ask.
RALPHY BOY BAGS HIS 3RD OF THE SEASON
Ralphy Boy netted his third win of the campaign at Musselburgh a week past Wednesday winning by a comfortable length and three quarters he seems in good for so could take his chance in a better event at Carlisle on Wednesday of this week, on the same card Love Marmalade ran a cracking race going down by a nose giving the winner 15lbs he ran another solid race yesterday at York finishing 4th in a 14 runner race the ground was probably just been on the slow side for him. On the whole the horses have been running well, another trip to Ireland saw Henpecked finish a creditable 4th of 20 beaten 4 lengths flying home, Pintura took his chance in the Irish Cambridgeshire finishing 10th of 22 fading the last 100 yards the stiff mile and dead ground probably contributed to that and he might go to Ayr for a 7 furlong race at the Western meeting this week sees runners at Perth and Redcar on Tuesday, Carlisle on Wednesday and Musselburgh on Saturday.
Most the jump horses are in and cantering now Red Story, W 6 Times, Court Baloo, Dubai Shen, with Meadowcroft Boy and Glacial Rock a week further forward.
We headed down to Doncaster sales last week but didn’t manage to buy any horses although we are still on the lookout for a couple for syndicates at the upcoming sales.
On a sadder note yard favourite Scrapper Smith was retired on Saturday after sustaining an injury at Thirsk where he finished 2nd, its a tough blow as he won us near 30k in prize money and always tried 100% when he ran, he is well named and he will be missed on the racecourse but he is home safe and after he recovers he will have a happy retirement here at Esker House.
CLOSE TO GALWAY GLORY
It was so close to a big winner in Ireland last Sunday with Pintura going down by a neck in the 100 thousand Euro handicap, the feature race of the last day of the Galway week long festival, the horse done connections proud and lost nothing in defeat throwing everything at the winner but it wasn’t to be, he might well go back to Ireland for a race at the Curragh on the 30trh of Aug.
Back over this side of the water things have been going great with Ralphy Boy winning at Pontefract last Wednesday in front from the start he was never headed and won by half a Length showing he stays the mile well, he might go to Carslile next week. Ralphy’s half sister Vikki Valentine was 2nd at Haydock on Thursday and on Friday Opt Out got his head in front for the second time this season winning at Musselburgh his first run over a mile he saw the trip out well and it opens a few doors for him. Also placed at the meeting was Vittachi, 2nd staying on well towards the line without catching the winner, Friday night saw Love Marmalade who found trouble in running only beaten 3/4 of a length into 3rd flying at the finish. Hidden Rebel was mugged in the shadow of the post at Redcar on Sat but seems still to be on an upward curve. Monday of this week saw Henpecked winning the 1 mile 2 furlong race by half a length it was deserved after being disqualified 3 starts ago and finishing runner up in her subsequent two starts. Alexandrakollontai might head to the Ebor meeting at York next week after finishing 3rd at Ripon last week, it will be nice to head to one of the big meetings with a runner.
Of the unplaced runners last week Pixie Cut pulled very hard before being outpaced at Musselburgh on Friday, Funky Munky found everything happening a bit quick over a mile at Ayr on Sat night on his first run since April. Clear Spell didn’t seem to like a muddling pace also at Ayr and just plugged on when the others quickened for home he might want a step back up in trip.
This week saw a few more of the jumpers back in from summer holiday, Medowcroft Boy, Red Story, W Six Times, Dubai Shen and Court Baloo all are back in and riding out after enjoying a break in the field.
This weekend sees Runners at Ripon and Market Rasen on Saturday, heres hoping for another winner.
PENA AND REBEL MAKE IT A GOOD WEEKEND
After a frustrating Friday night at Hamilton which saw Henpecked who was first past and disqualified to finish second after causing interference was disappointing, it would have been her 1st win of the season but hopefully she can get one on the board before to long. Saturday was a better day with Pena Dorada winning the 0-135 handicap chase at Cartmel on Sat winning his last 2 he might head back there the end of August. Sunday saw Hidden Rebel win her second race in as many starts at Redcar, winning cosy the penny seems to have dropped, she might head to Haydock in a couple of weeks. Love Marmalade found everything happening a bit soon down in trip at Haydock on sat and will be stepped back up for his next run. Apachee Prince who fell 2 out sitting 3rd at Market Rasen on Sat is a bit soar but is back on the walker and in the pen and will be back soon enough. Monday saw 2 3rds and a second, Pixie Cut 2nd at Cartmel ran a blinder and Vikki Valentine 3rd she will go to Newcastle tomorrow with Ralphy boy, Pintura ran a great race and didn’t deserve to get beat when just getting caught in the shadow of the post getting beat into 3rd by only a short head in the class 2 handicap at Ayr, he will head to Galway next sunday he has won and been placed at the festival there. Tuesday saw more paces with Opt Out finishing 3rd at Musselburgh and Vittatchi 2nd at the same track. This weekend sees trips to Newcastle and Newmarket and possibly Carlisle on Sunday.
ALEX ON THE WINNERS BOARD AFTER AN EARLY SEASON STALL
Alexandrakollontai got of the mark at Carlisle last Thursday winning the Fillies handicap by a length. It was a welcome winner for her as we have had some problems going into the stalls at York she was sent to Gary Witheford who specialises in stall work, her last 2 runs she has went in no problem, lets hope it continues, she might head to Newmarket next Saturday. Plenty placed horses the last couple of weeks Henpecked and Love Marmalade both being placed at Ayr, Gleann Na Ndochais 3rd at Perth, Pixie Cut 4th at Hamilton and Vikki Valentine a game second at Ayr Monday past. This week sees Scrapper Smith heading to Hamilton Thursday and Henpecked at the Same course on Friday. Entries at Haydock, Ripon, Cartmel and Market Rasen on sat and Hidden Rebel at Redcar on Sunday. The jumpers that are on there summer holidays are all doing well Red Story, Court Baloo, Dubai Shen, Medowcroft Boy and W 6 Times are all out in the field on a break. Pictures to follow.
WHAT A STEEL STILL AS GUTSY
It was great to see What A Steel win at Hexham last Sunday after giving us a great day at Cartmel a few years back was handicapped to his best since and with having a year off with leg trouble it was great to get him back in the winners enclosure and finally open our account for the new jumping season after a string of seconds, fortunately 1 week on Pena Dorada doubled our tally winning at Cartmel after over a 400 day layoff. Both horses have come out there race well he later might head back to Cartmel next month and What A Steel heading to Perth next Sunday. Yesterday saw more success with Hidden Rebel getting her head in front at Mussleburgh, she isn’t the most straightforward but is getting a lot better thanks to Gary and learning to race, she will run again in about 3 weeks and is a cracking little filly. This week we have entries at Perth and into next week Ayr Sunday and Monday.
OPT OUT OFF MARK
Opt Out got his first win of the season at Musselburgh winning the 7 furlong sprint there on Sat 10 days after he was well fancied at Thirsk but the ground there was just on the slow side that day. All being well he will go back to the same course this Sat in a slightly hotter race but he seems in good heart, Love Marmalade who found things happening a bit to quick over a mile and a half at Musselburgh last week goes in the 2 mile race there this weekend, Vittatchi is also entered. On Monday at Ayr Hidden Rebel finished 5th, the ground probably not ideal being good to soft and after pulling a front shoe off during the race, Clear Spell ran a solid race also finishing 5th after being left in the stalls, Vicky Valintine was 6th at Thirsk and Magic Maisie was well beaten. This week we also have Gleann Na Ndochas and What A Steel in at Aintree on Friday, Pintura runs at Haydock today and Pixie Cut and Tagtail go to Hamilton tonight. Olivia Joan is at Hexham on Sat but will need some rain and Ralphy Boy and Vikki Valintine are entered for Chester on Sat.
Our two Amateur jockeys have been doing well recently firstly Gary Beumont winning his first ever race at Hexham point to point a couple of weeks back and Kelly Bryson winning the Hunters chase aboard Probably George at Cartmel.
6 SECOND FORTNIGHT
A good if not frustrating fortnight, 6 of our runners filling the runner up spot Glacial Rock, Hidden Rebel Gleann Na Ndochais, Pintura, Love Marmalade and Apachee Prince all running cracking races only to find one to good, not to mention Dubai Shen who was 2 lengths clear 50 yards from the winning post and unseating his rider. To add insult to injury or injury to insult in this case he fell over in the stable yard at the sales the following week, not as bad as first feared he should be in the field on his summer holidays in a few weeks time after some rest. Vicky Valentine managed to get her head in front on her first start of the season up at Ayr last week, she has had a wind operation and might well go back to Ayr in the next couple of weeks. The rest of this week we have Opt Out heading to Thirsk and heading to Hamilton are Galilee Chapel and Pixie cut. Henpecked is entered for Newcastle on Friday but will need rain as will Scrapper Smith who is in at Haydock and Chester.
A WELCOME WINNER
A good start to this week with Apachee Prince winning the 2 mile 2novice hurdle at Kelso on Monday, given a good ride by Brian Hughes always close to the leaders and put the race to bed turning for home. It was great to get a winner for owners John and Sheila Wright who have had horses with us for years and will hopefully have lots of fun with this lad over the coming months. Pixie Cut who we hoped would go close made a mistake early on and could never recover, she has came home sound and eaten up. Galilee Chapel ran a solid race to finish 4th on Friday night, Funky Munky led them till turning for home but faded in the closing stages. Alexandrakollontai needed the run at Newcastle on Sat as expected in her first run since October.
Everybody in the yard is looking forward to seeing Samstown run in the Scottish National on Sat at Ayr, it has been his target most of the season and he seems in great form at home, it will be a very tough race but were hoping he can go and run a big race he has a nice weight with 10.05 and has won and been second at the track. Also heading to Ayr are Love Marmalade and What A Steel the former runs in the 2 mile Handicap hurdle on Friday, its his first run over hurdles in over a year but has schooled well at home so hopefully can run a nice race. What A Steel had been of the track 600 days before his previous start and needed the run then he will strip a bit fitter for that and with ground to suit hopefully he can sneak a place. Gleann Na Ndochais is entered in the first race on Saturdays card but will also be entered for a couple of races at Perth next week.
FLAT SEASON UP AND RUNNING
It was good to get our flat season started with Galilee Chapel winning at Newcastle last week, he travelled very well throughout and quickened up to win by a Cosy 5 lengths. Ralphy boy has came out his win last Friday at Musselburgh well and would have went to Chesters May festival this week but the ground was to soft. Hidden Rebel ran an encouraging race at Wetherby a week past Sunday finishing second, she will go to Redcar on the 18th of May all being well. Scrapper Smith ran a blinder at Hamilton last Sunday to finish 2nd in a hot race, he might go back there next Friday. Vittatchi and Clear Spell also ran at Hamilton in there first runs of the season and will strip fitter for the run.
Some of the jumpers have already been roughed off for there summer break, W 6 Times went to Uttoxeter on Wednesday but pulled up and we later discovered she had bled, she will have a break now and be back for the Autumn, Red Story Ran his first race at Kelso on Wednesday he is a big shell of a horse and will come on a lot from the experience and a Summer at grass as will Olivia Joan who ran at Carlisle on Thu. Samstown is on the mend after sustaining a tendon injury at Ayr in the Scottish National that will keep him out of action for a year its very disappointing but looking on the bright side we will have him back racing again and being 8 he has time on his side.
Entries coming up include Court Baloo at Hexham on Sat, Love Marmalade and Opt Out at Musselburgh on Monday, Dubai Shen at Sedgefield on Tuesday, Glacial Rock and Ahdeken at Perth on Wed, Alexandrakollontai at York on Thu and entered at Aintree on Friday Apachee Prince, Meadowcroft Boy and Gleann Na Ndochais.