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Horse Race

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

July – September 2018
Society Rock
Society Rock Yearling – Our Sprinting Hope for
Next Year

We’ve been involved in owning horses now for well over a decade and throughout that period we have had a continuous relationship with Karl Burke and the Spigot Lodge team, lots of winners and runners in top-quality races such as the Royal Lodge at Newmarket and the Dante at York.  It is incredibly pleasing to see how well the yard is now firing, and 2018 is certainly an annus mirabilis.  Top filly Laurens has been a superstar, particularly winning the Prix de Diane at Chantilly, and the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on 15th September.  Gr.1 wins a-plenty here, and the defeat of Alpha Centauri was a superb front-running performance, beating the best filly miler in the world at the moment.  The following day, Havana Grey won the Gr.1 Flying Five Stakes, to cap an amazing weekend.  It won’t be a surprise to see more Group races in the bag before the end of the Flat season.

Whenever we buy Flat yearlings, Karl is always present and extremely closely involved.  Although Laurens was a highly expensive purchase for her owner John Dance, Unfortunately, by Society Rock, won the Prix Morny at Deauville last year and only cost €24,000, while previous sprinting superstar Quiet Reflection was well bought at £44,000.  We’re obviously hoping that our latest purchase, acquired at the Doncaster Premier Yearling Sale on 28th August for £52,000, continues this Group-winning tradition, not least because of the parallels with Unfortunately.  I’ve already said to Karl that winning a Group race in France in 2019 is high up the agenda.  He obviously agrees because our Society Rock yearling looks all over an early 2yo and Karl himself has decided to keep a leg in the horse.

Throughout the summer, on the Flat and the all-weather, our steadily improving 3yo filly with Karl, Chantresse, has been very consistent without managing to get her nose in front on the line.  Frustratingly, she has had several close defeats to come 2nd, but surely it can only be a matter of time before she loses her maiden tag.  Her form figures this season are 442422.

Dr Dunraven
Dr Dunraven – Making Hay While the Sun Shone

Finally, Dr Dunraven enjoyed a purple patch on the track between April and July with form figures of 33113.  He is a horse who had quite a lot of minor problems, but Martin Keighley and his team did a fantastic job sorting them out and then jockey Andrew Tinkler found exactly the way to ride him and the perfect distance.  He is one of those horses who has a fixed profile to enable him to win:  flat track, good ground or quicker, 2m (and not a yard less or a yard more), brush hurdles or fences and a good, fast pace rather than a tactically run affair.  When he finds those conditions again, even though he’s gone a long way up the handicap, he should be able to win another Class 4 or better.  Very encouraging to see a horse such as this come right, and it just shows that sometimes all of us as owners have to be extremely patient.  Well done, Dr D!

April – June 2018

As well as the Owners for Owners horses, we are closely associated with the Martin Keighley yard where we run a number of syndicates.  One of the horses there is Buckle Street, for whom the description “a right character” is extremely apt.  Beautifully bred, by the excellent sire Cacique, he carried Belinda Keighley to a memorable win at the Macmillan Charity Race at York in June 2017, and has gone on to afford his owners a lot of pleasure.  He is a versatile dual-purpose horse who won staying handicap hurdles at both Catterick and Doncaster over the winter, and now has an OR of 132.  He could develop into a really nice staying chaser in time, and possibly even a cross-country horse.

Lord Condi
Lord Condi – A Lovely Prospect.  This was the
Nickname of Belinda Keighley’s Father

Another horse, under the OfO banner, with Martin is Lord Condi.  By Papal Bull, he looks the sort of horse who should be running 1½ miles on the Flat for Sir Michael Stoute, and he has a lovely combination of both speed and stamina.  He is a 5yo who has only had a few runs, winning a bumper at Fontwell on 5th May and then, at the end of the summer, running 3rd in his debut novice hurdle at Fontwell on 9th September where he was very lucky not to be brought down, having been “murdered” by a horse who kept jumping into him.  He looks a super prospect, but needs good or quicker ground, so he’s not a horse we’re likely to see out in the depths of winter.

Through the association with Martin we have become very involved in buying young horses, particularly from foals through to 3yos.  In the current bloodstock market the price of winning ex-point-to-pointers has become prohibitive so we switched several years ago to buying unraced youngsters and, as we’ve seen with the likes of Acey Milan and Melekhov, that policy has definitely paid off.  We have a lovely unraced Presenting youngster in Ben Buie, a Morozov 3yo, another rather enigmatic 3yo in Enforcement  and a big 3yo mare by Mahler who will be running under the Martin Keighley Racing Partnerships banner.

Scented Lily
Scented Lily – Unlucky Not to have Won So Far.
One To Follow

We also have a lovely 5yo Presenting mare, Scented Lily, with Charlie Longsdon.  After a number of races we decided to step her up to 2m 4f at Market Rasen and she was really unlucky not to win, beaten into 2nd by only a length.  Alas she fell next time out at Ludlow on 8th May, and had clearly trained off for her final run at Huntingdon later that month.  She went to Claire Hart for a holiday and has summered incredibly well.  Off an OR of 106 and in mares’ and fillies’ handicap hurdles, she looks a winner waiting to happen.  As she has grown and strengthened, she also now has the size to jump a fence at some stage, and it will be very exciting when that day arrives.  From the Best Mate family, if we are able to put these sorts of wins on her, she should become an excellent and valuable broodmare.  As a tough and hardy type she takes her racing well but has a preference for better ground so is likely to be more of a spring and autumn horse than one for mid-winter.

The spring and early summer proved to be a very quiet time, as two of our three horses with Karl Burke, Mayfair Rock and Sunday Prospect, were both out with injuries which was incredibly frustrating as both had shown a really good attitude and decent form, both at home and on the track.  Everything crossed that we can get them back on to the racecourse in the autumn / winter.

January – March 2018
Acey Milan
Dual Listed Winner Acey Milan –
The Top Bumper Horse in the UK, 2017-18

Towards the end of the Latest News update in 2017 I mentioned that we were saying farewell to four old friends in Future Gilded, He’s A Bully, Thady Quil and Timeless Art, while welcoming the new Gang of Four:  Acey Milan, Lord Condi, Melekhov and Scented Lily.  We’ve added a couple more to that gang as we’ve gone through 2018 and I don’t think I could have expected such an excellent set of NH performances as Owners for Owners have achieved this year.

2018 started on the best possible note with Acey Milan winning the Listed juvenile bumper at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.  This horse had shown a lot at home, and after coming 2nd on debut, put in a 9l winning performance to get off the mark at Wincanton in December.  We bought him privately in Ireland and throughout the first couple of years he remained quite a small horse, which put a number of prospective owners off linking up with us in the horse.  Without doubt they regret that decision now, as Ace has turned out to be the leading English bumper horse by at least half a stone.  After the 3¾l never-headed win at Cheltenham he took a big step forward in what is often one of the best bumper races of the season at Newbury on 10th February.  Brian Hughes rode him that day to an 11l victory and couldn’t believe the way in which he galloped away from a top-quality field.  Although 4yos have a poor track record of winning the Champion Bumper, we decided to give it a go, and on the basis of the top form shown our horse started 9/2 favourite.  He possibly wasn’t quite at his best that day, but was still the best English horse, finishing 4th with Irish horses all around him.  Of the first seven home, five were trained by Willie Mullins and one by Gordon Elliott, which just about says everything.  We could have been tempted to go to Aintree for their bumper, but decided to err on the side of caution and give Ace a nice long summer holiday out in the paddocks.  He had a long season for a youngster in the end, and probably won’t reappear until October, on softer ground in a novice hurdle.  It may be far too early to have a target, but Anthony likes the look of the Challow Hurdle at Newbury after Christmas.  Although he has been running at 2m, we think that a step up in distance will suit, though obviously it depends on what happens over the autumn.

Nobby - First runner in point-to-point
Nobby – Our First Runner in a Point-to-Point is
a Winning One

A bumper horse who wasn’t initially on the Gang of Four list is the somewhat unusually-named Nobby (after Nobby Styles, the footballer, who was a friend of the owner-breeder, Ray Bailey).  Ray and I had been owners in the much missed Lord Ben Stack with Karl Burke, and this horse, by the excellent dual-purpose stallion Authorized, went there to be trained for the Flat but was clearly a big, backward type so was switched to NH and won on his debut at the Barbury Castle International Point-to-Point on 20th January.  We are a sleeping partner in the horse, having fallen in love with him as a foal at Ray’s stud.  His second outing was at Warwick on 11th March, finishing 2nd beaten a length, and he went back there on 12th May, winning a decent 14-runner bumper for Alan King.  This horse could also be a nice staying novice hurdler in the new season.

Dual Winner Melekhov – Beautiful Picture :
Beautiful Horse

Also throughout the period January to April we had another top-quality youngster running in bumpers in the form of Melekhov for Philip Hobbs.  Again he is a horse we bought as a foal, and all his owners have had tremendous pleasure in watching him develop.  He was always a completely different type to Acey Milan – a much bigger horse and a very exuberant one.  He went to Ludlow on 18th January for his debut and finished a close 2nd before travelling all the way from Minehead to Fakenham on 16th February where he secured his first win, albeit in a very close finish.  Richard Johnson reported that all the way up the Fakenham straight he wouldn’t concentrate on the winning post but instead was eyeing the fences alongside.  He is a horse who has already schooled brilliantly and Richard was adamant that if he had been pointed at the fences, he would have flown them.  He became a long-distance traveller, going up to Hexham for his next outing on 23rd April, where he stayed on really well up and around the hill to win cosily.  Again, he looks a smart prospect for novice hurdling.