16th April 2011
A giant of a horse, Beshabar arrived with us as a very lightly-raced eight year old, but a very talented one, having scored in the EBF Final at Sandown Park in 2008 for Nick Williams and then in another Grade 3 at the same course two years later for Paul Nicholls.
Besh was very kindly sent to us by Harry Findlay and there was plenty of promise on his first start for us at Cheltenham, as he was just off the front three at the second-last and staying on strongly, only to be brought down. Besh’s rider Christian Williams, who is now enjoying plenty of success in his career as a trainer, suffered two broken arms in the incident…things hadn’t got off to a great start!
A winner on his next outing at Doncaster three months later, we returned to Cheltenham for the National Hunt Chase and he ran another fine race, on this occasion under Tom David, finding only Chicago Grey, who had brought him down the previous November, too good.
Middleham Park Racing took a share in Besh in the days leading up to the Scottish Grand National and it really was a race to remember, as he made most of the running under Dickie, jumped from fence to fence and just had enough in reserve to hold off Merigo, who was to win the race the following year. It is such a shame that he was only able to run once more after that, when an excellent fifth in the Hennessy on his seasonal return, before injury intervened.
14th April 2012
Successful in the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle the year before, David Fox’s Saint Are was still a maiden over fences on his arrival back in Liverpool on 14th April 2012 and off a mark of just 137, he got the better of a fantastic duel up the straight with the runner-up Battle Group, another Aintree specialist who had won over hurdles at the meeting the year before and went on to record a double at the meeting in 2013 as well, including this Listed handicap chase.
Dickie was riding for Philip Hobbs that day, so Dougie Costello was on board Saint Are for the first time and gave him a cracking ride. Off the bridle a long way from home, Saint Are kept responding to Dougie’s urgings and, despite being briefly headed on the run-in, the pair got back up near the line.
Tara Mac (pictured right) wasn’t quite such a significant winner, but she was another to win in a tight finish, scoring on 14th April 2018 at Newcastle under Harry Reed (5). A sister to black-type performer Ballyoliver and to our very own Bucking The Trend (a smart, six-time winner), she won five times for her owners Brian and Wayne Jones and having been retired at the beginning of last year, she has now been busy in her new career as a broodmare, having recently had her first foal, a colt by Jack Hobbs, who stands as a National Hunt sire at Overbury Stud.