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Horse Race

Latest News – keeping up to date with our runners, events and horses for sale

February-June 2017

In many ways the first half of the year turned out to be exceptionally quiet on the race track. Not really by design, but more to do with the very late Winter and early Spring. Future Gilded had won really nicely up at Catterick on New Year’s Day and put in a couple of excellent 2nds at Wetherby and Warwick, probably unlucky not to have won at least one of them. We had a go switching him back to hurdling, which was a complete failure: an experiment that won’t be repeated. Unfortunately he didn’t race again because of the ground being too quick, and / or watered. We are already excited about the Autumn, when his main target will be the Becher Chase at Aintree. Similarly He’s A Bully, also returning from leg injury, only had two runs, both promising, finishing 2nd and 3rd. He was also turned away because of the prevailing quick ground. Thady Quil ran five times without success, and has now been taken over by a couple of his owners. Dr Dunraven, who had lost his way, was switched to Martin Keighley and put in a super debut, with a fast-finishing 2nd, at Uttoxeter. He’ll run over the Summer and into the Autumn.

On the Flat, Timeless Art ran a promising 3rd on his debut but has not quite found his stride in his subsequent runs, admittedly with genuine reasons on each occasion. We’re hoping he will get off the mark very soon. Black Prince has run three times, with two encouraging 3rds, and is about to be stepped up considerably in trip.

Jon Hughes of Owners for Owners has been working very closely with Martin and Belinda Keighley over the last six months. He is Chairman of Keighley Racing Ltd., doing a lot to bring in new horses and owners and substantially improve the yard. This is an exciting venture that is really hitting its stride with a vengeance. Over 17 new horses have come into the yard, including a number of new ones for us: a Lawman 2yo (hopefully to be called Enforcement) as well as an Elzaam of the same age who has gone into a Martin Keighley Racing Partnership co-organised by Jon’s wife Jack and Paul Davis. They are also running the Martin Keighley Racing Club which, from a standing start, now has 50 members and has already had four wins, most recently with Viking Mistress who stormed home in two mares’ handicap hurdles during a purple patch over 10 days at the end of May / early June, well backed, and ridden by Champion Jockey Richard Johnson. Sporty Yankee will be running throughout the Summer and Autumn, and he still remains with considerable potential as a dual-purpose horse. This is a feature of the work we are doing with Martin, and we are keen to build up the Flat side of the operation as well as kicking on with jumpers.

Belinda Keighley wins at York

A number of OfO owners are involved in another dual-purpose horse at the Keighleys’, Buckle Street, an absolutely gorgeous son of Cacique. As well as winning over hurdles last season for the Club, he was also the conveyance for a superb win by Belinda Keighley in the Macmillan Charity Race at York in June. We’ve never enjoyed a day at the races more than this one, and it was a most heart-warming occasion. The 1st July blog contains far more details about the race and the whole uplifting experience.

There are a number of horses waiting in the wings: a 2yo filly, Chantresse, will debut over the Summer for Karl Burke, while a 3yo with him, Sunday Prospect, should also reappear fairly soon following his recovery from injury last season; a gorgeous, unraced 4yo by Getaway called Sojourn will be out in bumpers for Anthony Honeyball in the Autumn, as will Scented Lily, our 4yo by Presenting with Charlie Longsdon.

And the excitement doesn’t stop there. A couple of years ago we bought three NH foals / yearlings, by Sholokhov, Milan and Oscar. The first two will go through pre-training and then into juvenile bumpers with Philip Hobbs and Anthony Honeyball respectively. The Oscar is a really big, scopey, strong horse who needs time so is remaining in Ireland for another year with PJ Colville in Tipperary. We had a rush of blood at the Doncaster store horse sale in the Spring and acquired a similarly large 3yo by Presenting, who has also gone over to Ireland for a year of TLC and pre-training, so as you can see there are a lot of young horses in the pipeline. This was a conscious policy to avoid buying “ready to go” NH horses who have become so expensive over the last few years at the big sales.

Definitely lots to look forward to. The second half of 2017 won’t be anywhere near as quiet as the first half.

January 2017

Future Gilded back on track at CatterickAlthough we’d had a really enjoyable and successful Flat season, with notable wins at top tracks from Lord Ben Stack and Timeless Art, we had suffered more than our fair share of injuries and even fatalities, particularly over the jumps. Fortunately we have patient and very realistic owners, although the highs and lows can be hard to take on occasion. One of our favourite horses has been Future Gilded at Jamie Snowden’s in Lambourn, as he has bags of ability, a bold, exuberant temperament and a very appealing personality. Unfortunately “Frankie”, as he is known, has been fragile from the first day we acquired him, and has spent more time off the track than on it. We have persevered because he appears to have considerable potential, although his latest time off the course stretched to 638 days, which definitely tested everyone’s patience. It was great to see it rewarded on the very first day of the year up at Catterick, with both Timeform and Racing Post suitably impressed: “Made favourite, the clear feeling that he was well handicapped fully justified, needed to be to get the better of an improver as they forged clear from 2 out, responding well, including overcoming an earlier blunder, edging ahead late on; he’s stood little racing, a curse that could easily become a blessing if he gets into a groove this term”, and “He showed real guts to out-battle the runner-up from the final fence. This was some training performance, and he remains unexposed over fences.” Hit the groove, Frankie!