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Category Archives: Latest News

Eva’s Oskar gets 2019/20 underway!

Eva’s Oskar ensured we didn’t have to wait too long for our first winner of the new campaign, making his final start before heading out for a summer break a winning one when successful at Hexham yesterday under Alan Johns.

Having run very creditably in defeat in two competitive handicaps around Newbury, he looked to have an excellent chance back in level-weights company yesterday and so it proved, as he took up the running at the bottom of the hill and stayed on really well under Alan Johns, who never really needed to get too serious on the son of Shirocco.

He has looked a work in progress this season and looks just the type to improve again with another summer on his back. He remains a novice over hurdles until next May and hopefully he can land a nice prize when he returns in the autumn for his owners Sally and Richard Prince.



Tight Call and Criq Sun combine for across-the-card double

PHOTO-2019-04-24-14-55-06With just a few days of the 2018/19 National Hunt season remaining, we were delighted to register an  across-the-card double yesterday, courtesy of Tight Call and Criq Sun.

The former, a £22,000 purchase at Doncaster in August, had won his first two starts in the autumn and had since run with great credit in defeat, going close in competitive handicap company and running a fine race prior to falling at the last at Ascot in February in a red-hot handicap.  Faced with arguably his easiest task of the campaign, he made all the running at Fontwell Park yesterday for Alan Johns and never looked in any danger, the pair coming clear to win by eight lengths.  Just a five year old, he will stay over hurdles next term and I hope there is a nice handicap in him.

PHOTO-2019-04-24-20-31-51Criq Sun only joined us in February and took a couple of runs to get into the swing of things.  Thankfully none the worse for a fall at Taunton on his latest outing just three weeks ago, he returned to that track yesterday and ran out a facile winner of what was admittedly an uncompetitive handicap hurdle, leading conditional rider Connor Brace never having to get serious with the son of Zambezi Sun.  We’ll wait to see what the handicapper does to his mark before deciding where he goes next, but he looks capable of adding to his tally in the coming weeks and could get in towards the bottom of the weights in a nice handicap this summer.


Chozen back to winning ways

PHOTO-2019-04-07-15-17-50A winner on his chasing debut at Southwell in October, Chozen had fallen when looking highly likely to follow up on his next outing the following month, but he made amends on his return from a winter break with a front-running success at Ffos Las yesterday under Alan Johns.

The ex-Irish pointer is a talented individual and yesterday’s win was his third from just eight completed starts under rules.  Though the winning margin was just a head at the line, he had travelled strongly and jumped well through the contest and looks capable of making further progress as he gains more experience.

He is unlikely to go up much for that and we’ll look for a similar race for him next time.  Congratulations to his owner Dave Pearn!


Copper doubles up

Copper 1Having been off the track for 18 months prior to returning in December, it has been a pleasure to see Copper Gone West develop into a useful mare this spring, building on her Musselburgh success in February and fine handicap second at Newbury earlier this month with a facile success at Bangor yesterday under Alan Johns.

Encountering soft ground for the first time, she always looked to be travelling comfortably and, when Alan sent her into the lead at the third-last, she quickly put distance between herself and her two rivals, galloping on strongly for an 11-length success.

She looks to have a good deal more to offer and the well-bred daughter of Westerner is a tremendous prospect to go novice chasing next season.  However, we have had the Cheltenham mares’ raceday on Thursday 18th April in mind for her for some time and that remains her target, with options in the Listed novice hurdle and the Listed handicap hurdle.

Congratulations to her owners Paul and Louise Bowtell!


Adherence makes winning start

AdherenceA dual winner on the flat, we had purchased Adherence for just £2,000 at the Doncaster August sale and he made his first start for the yard a winning one when successful at Taunton yesterday.

Held up in the early stages, he travelled very well through the race, but still looked to have plenty to do turning into the home straight.  However, he responded very well to James Best’s urgings and, despite still having a couple of lengths to find after the last, he stayed on very strongly to get up close home.

The handicapper is unlikely to be too harsh on him and I am hopeful that he will remain in 0-100 company, which would give him an excellent chance of following up next time, as there should be more to come from him after just six outings over hurdles.

Congratulations to his owners, The Bill & Ben Partnership!


Five in a week as Hazm makes winning debut

12439ac9-ef03-4088-8fc4-00bf02f3f19fThe team continue in tremendous form and Hazm became our fifth winner in the past week when making a successful debut in the first division of the bumper at Stratford yesterday.

A 725,000gns yearling, we picked him up as an unraced three year old at the Horses In Training sale in October for just 2,000gns and he looks an exciting recruit, having travelled powerfully through yesterday’s contest, hitting the front up the home straight and staying on strongly to score under Richard Patrick.

All being well, he will now head to the bumper at Aintree’s Grand National meeting next month and hopefully he can give owner Paul Syson plenty to cheer about there!

After a brilliant seven days that had already seen wins for Glimpse Of Gold, Oriental Cross, Debece and Le Milos, Hazm’s success was our 40th of the campaign and hopefully there are plenty more to come before the season is out.


Le Milos wins at Sandown!

Le Milos 2A good fourth on his British debut at Exeter, four year old Le Milos took a big step forwards on his second start for us yesterday, winning the juvenile handicap at Sandown Park under a patient ride from Alan Johns.

Held up in last, he was on and off the bridle for the majority of the contest, the application of a first-time hood seemingly switching him off, as he had been keen through the race at Exeter.  He had plenty of ground to make up turning in, but started passing horses three furlongs from home and kept on strongly to reel in the eventual runner-up and go on to score by four lengths.

There are two £40,000 handicap hurdles for four year olds in the coming weeks and, whilst Newbury on the 23rd will almost certainly come too quickly, I am hopeful that he could make the one at Ascot on Sunday 31st March.  Congratulations to his owners Bovian Racing!


Debece books Aintree date

0fe5ce29-b23d-4598-841e-4e00d615398cA winner on his previous start at Newcastle in January, Debece was a warm order to supplement that success at Catterick yesterday and he duly did so with the minimum of fuss, coming home a distance clear, his closest market rival having departed at the third-last fence.

Third in the Grade 1 Sefton Hurdle at Aintree’s Grand National meeting in 2017, he finished fourth in the handicap hurdle there last year on the back of an interrupted preparation.  However, he has now had three runs over fences, winning twice, and I am very hopeful that we’ll be able to go there in tip-top shape this year, with the 3m1f Grade 3 Handicap Chase (a race we won with Saint Are back in 2012 when it was a Listed handicap) the target.  Congratulations to his owner Robert Kirkland!


Oriental Cross wins on handicap debut

PHOTO-2019-03-05-14-14-20A bumper winner last season for her previous connections, Oriental Cross has taken a little time to get to grips with hurdling, but took a significant step forwards yesterday when winning a big-field novice handicap hurdle at Newcastle.

She travelled powerfully through the race and looked to be going best turning in, but she just looked a little green when coming under pressure and a couple of mistakes over the last two flights meant she had a tough task to reel in the eventual runner-up.  However, she responded really willingly to Alan’s urgings to win by a neck.

She is very much a work in progress, having had just eight starts to date, and hopefully there is a good deal more to come from her.  Congratulations to her owners John Durston and Nigel Harris!


Glimpse wins gold at Southwell

PHOTO-2019-03-04-16-55-45 (1)At his best over 2m on good ground, Glimpse Of Gold had his ideal conditions at Southwell yesterday and duly took full advantage of the drop to selling grade, winning very easily in the hands of Alan Johns.

Travelling noticeably well throughout, he was still on the bridle turning for home and Alan barely had to move on him as the pair drew clear up the straight.

It must be said that it was a particularly weak contest and we’ll now have to hope that the handicapper isn’t too hard on him!  Congratulations to his owners in The Craftsmen partnership!