(photo courtesy of Mick Atkins Photography)

We enjoyed a busy and successful Easter weekend of racing, with three winners from our 11 runners, including wide-margin successes for two of our youngsters.

We have always thought a lot of Debece (pictured right), and his impressive win in the bumper at Market Rasen on his third career start suggests he could have a very bright future indeed.

Settled in second by Noel Fehily, the five year old son of Kayf Tara took up the running with over half a mile to go and, once asked to quicken in the home straight, he quickly put distance between himself and the rest, drawing clear to win by 19 lengths in the style of a useful prospect.

A three-parts brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Don Poli, Debece looks every inch a chaser for the future, but we look forward to an exciting novice campaign over hurdles with him next season.  I am delighted for his owner Robert Kirkland, who is a tremendous supporter.

On Saturday, fellow five year old Belize shed his maiden tag with a 24-length win at Newton Abbot under Richard Johnson.

Held up in the early stages, he made headway on the final circuit and was brought through with a strong challenge to hit the front at the top of the home straight.  Though he was very green in front, he kept galloping all the way to the line, showing a really good attitude in the testing conditions.
He’ll be given time to recover from those exertions, but hopefully will be able to follow up next time.  His owner Derek Passant is an excellent supporter of the yard, so it was brilliant to see Belize get his head in front.

Man Of God

(photo courtesy of Mick Atkins Photography)

Half an hour before Debece’s Market Rasen win, Optimum Racing’s Man Of God (pictured left) had provided the first leg of a double at the Lincolnshire course, benefitting from a strong ride from leading conditional David Noonan to win for the first time over hurdles.

A little keen in front, he travelled well enough, but looked in trouble when passed by several of his rivals before three out.  Thankfully, he found plenty for pressure and, hitting the front again at the last, kept on strongly to win by three lengths.  As it was a conditional jockeys race, he escapes a penalty and we’ll look for something for him in the next 10 days.