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Welsh National beckons for progressive Brian

A winner at Carlisle on his seasonal reappearance in October, Looksnowtlikebrian had been raised 4lbs for that effort, but in a stronger race he made light of that extra burden with a very impressive success, bounding clear to win in the style of a very progressive young chaser.

He travelled particularly well through the race under Richard Johnson before coming clear after the last and, now four from six over fences and with his mark likely to climb to the mid to high 130s, he will get into the Welsh National and that is very much the aim, with the possibility of one run beforehand, perhaps in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle at the beginning of December.



Successful chasing debut for Chozen

Screen Shot 2018-10-27 at 18.36.27A winner over hurdles last November, Chozen has always looked a chaser in the making and the six year old ex-Irish pointer got off to the perfect start on his seasonal reappearance, making a winning debut over fences in a 2m handicap chase at Southwell yesterday under Alan Johns.

A keen-going sort, we rode him with plenty of restraint last term, but he is maturing now and Alan was keen to make plenty of use of him.  In front from the off, he was headed by the eventual runner-up on the first circuit, but hit the front again three from home and kept on strongly to score, the pair drawing a long way clear of Cap St Vincent, who finished a very pleasing third.

Chozen will stay further and soft ground should see him to even better effect, so hopefully there is a good deal to look forward to with him in the coming months.  Congratulations to his owners Dave and Jodie Pearn!



Looksnowtlikebrian makes winning return

A dual winner over fences last term, Looksnowtlikebrian is a lovely prospect for staying handicap chases this season and he got his campaign off to the perfect start at Carlisle today, responding to a fine ride from Richard Johnson to get up in the dying strides.

The son of Brian Boru jumped well in the main and was coming with a strong challenge approaching the last, only to get it all wrong.  However, he quickly regained his momentum and, with Dickie in no mood to be denied, he got up close home to win what looked a very competitive handicap chase.

It was an excellent performance against seasoned handicappers and one that bodes very well for the season ahead.  Looking further ahead, I hope he can develop into a Welsh National horse.


Off to a winning start with Tight Call

A £22,000 purchase at the GoffsUK August Sale at Doncaster, Tight Call made an instant impact on his debut for the yard, making his second start under rules a winning one with a ready success in a bumper at Stratford yesterday under Richard Johnson.

A shade keen through the early stages of the race, he made much of the running and, though headed shortly before the home turn, he rallied gamely to regain the lead a furlong out and galloped on resolutely to the line.

The four year old son of Mahler looks a lovely addition to the yard and we may well try to win another bumper with him under a penalty, but whatever happens he looks sure to go on to better things over hurdles.  Congratulations to his owner Eric Newnham!


A Warwick double!

The National Hunt season really kicks into gear this month and, though Chepstow in mid-month traditionally marks the start of the autumn/winter campaign for us, it was lovely to see the reappearing pair Trixster and Canton Prince combine to give us a double at Warwick yesterday, the perfect start to what promises to be a busy month for the yard.

Though he hadn’t reached the frame in five starts last term, Trixster did look like winning at Chepstow in January before falling at the last and the son of Beneficial is one that we have  been really looking forward to seeing back on the racecourse this term.  He showed a gritty attitude to get the better of the favourite after the last and, considering he will be much more at home over three miles on soft ground, I thought it was a very promising performance.  We’ll give him his three weeks now and look for something at the beginning of next month.

Canton Prince has had more than his fair share of niggles in the past couple of seasons, but the seven year old son of Shantou was a smart novice hurdler and had looked to be coming with a strong challenge in the Persian War back in 2016 prior to making two dreadful mistakes.  He has been lightly-raced since, but yesterday’s first outing for 11 months saw him produce a career-best effort that augurs very well for the months ahead, travelling strongly into the lead before three out and staying on well to score comfortably.  We will look for a similar race for him next time and, hopefully he can win a nice prize this term.


Midnight Queen off the mark at Newton Abbot

Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 07.31.43A winner of a restricted point in June, Midnight Queen was in the process of throwing down a strong challenge on her rules return at Southwell last month, only to fall at the third-last.

Given plenty of time to get over that, she made her third chasing start a winning one with a game display yesterday, coming from the clouds under a never-say-die ride from Richard Patrick to get up in the final strides, a result that hadn’t looked at all likely when ridden along and last with a circuit to go!

Stamina is clearly her forte and she could return to the course for another conditional jockeys’ contest over the same trip on the 10th, as otherwise there is very little for her until mid-October.



Eric wins his third of the summer!

DfwQ8WOX4AAjDBREric The Third is in the form of his life and the nine year old recorded his third win from seven starts since joining us earlier in the year when bolting up at Newton Abbot yesterday under Alan Johns.

Runner-up at Cartmel on his previous outing and a winner at Newton Abbot earlier in the summer (pictured right), he looked an improved performer stepped up beyond 2m4f for the first time in his career, jumping and travelling strongly before putting the race to bed in great style.

The handicapper will have his say on Tuesday and we may look to enter him up for next week under a penalty, but there is also the option of going back over hurdles, as his win at Uttoxeter in July came over 2m and there is definite scope for him to better that over a longer trip.


Eric back to winning ways

Eric ThDhwqqxxX0AAVcSMe Third is in a rich vein of form at present and the nine year old recorded his second win of the summer at Uttoxeter yesterday under a determined ride from Richard Patrick.

A winner over fences at Newton Abbot in June, Eric The Third had finished a close second just over a week ago over this course and distance, but there were plenty of nervous moments through the race, as he never really looked to be travelling.  However, Richard kept driving and, a length down at the last, he managed to galvanise the son of Mountain High to get up close home.

After a couple of quick runs, we’ll give him a couple of weeks now before looking for something else, most likely back over fences as his performance at Newton Abbot strongly hinted that there is more to come in that sphere.



Boethius wins at Worcester

DhRyh3yX4AASEKZBoethius is beginning to find his feet at the age of five and, having recorded two wins in points this spring, he made his second rules start of the summer a winning one at Worcester under Richard Johnson.

He seemed much more at home on a flat, galloping track yesterday, having been a little disappointing around Fontwell last time, and having travelled well throughout, he kept finding once coming under pressure and, under a strong ride from the three-time champion jockey, he stayed on well to hold off two persistent challengers in the run to the line.

He shouldn’t go up too much for that win and, a young horse gaining in confidence, he looks capable of adding further successes in the weeks ahead.


Berkley bounds to victory at Newton Abbot

Presenting Berkley is a lightly-raced eight year old and it was great to see him belatedly get off the mark at Newton Abbot yesterday on just his third start over fences.

The brother to high-class chaser Home Farm and last season’s Grade 2 Hurdle winner Beer Goggles has not been the easiest to train, so it was rewarding to see him win in good style under Alan Johns, who has done plenty of work at home on him of late.

He looked an improved performer back on better ground and running over the longest distance he has encountered in his career to date, and we’ll look for a similar race for him next time.  Congratulations to his owner Optimum Racing, who have been very patient and hopefully will be rewarded with another win next time!