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Horse Race

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

Q3, 2019
Syndicate Sunday Advertisment Sunday 21st July

Over the last couple of years we’ve become very involved with the Racehorse Syndicates Association (RSA) and are on the Committee.  With the ever-increasing importance of shared ownership and syndication for British Racing, the RSA is raising its profile nationwide and actively pushing for the development of a properly resourced five-year Syndicate Strategy to attract new owners into the sport while retaining the current ones through ongoing improvements in the overall owning experience.  As part of that, we’ve been working directly with Stratford-on-Avon Racecourse to promote the first ever Syndicate Sunday on 21st July 2019.  We’re hoping that it will be a great success and that our OfO trainers, amongst many others, actively support it.

April – June 2019

Lord Condi was a multiple winner for us in 2018, and had won back-to-back races at Plumpton and Ludlow in September and October. He has an absolutely beautiful daisy-cutting action and you would never consider racing him on soft or deeper ground, so after his winter holidays he reappeared in April and May at Fontwell and Worcester. He hasn’t yet hit his stride but it should be only a matter of time and we’re probably going to mix hurdling and chasing over the summer and autumn with him.

Melekhov – schooling impeccably before his
Exeter win and looks a super prospect for
the winter.
Melekhov –what’s all the
fuss about?

Melekhov has been such a consistent horse for us that he’s a joy to follow. He has won money every time he’s been to the races. His tally over seven runs is 2,1,1,4,2,1,2, and after his promising pipe-opener at Taunton he won an Exeter maiden at 2m 1f on 16th April. Somehow he managed to get himself beaten at Plumpton on 12th May in a valuable conditional riders’ race, where the ground was almost certainly a little too quick for him. Swinging into the straight he must have been 1/100, but then decided to kick the last two hurdles out of the way and that cost him the race. He is an exciting 2½ mile handicap hurdler for this winter. When we decided to turn him away for the summer, he took years off all his owners’ lives by trying to get out of the horsebox on the M5 on his way home to Claire Hart in Adlestrop. The emergency services rushed into action, with fire engines, police cars and vets, and managed to extricate him from the back of the box where he'd got himself stuck. Bruised and battered he may have been, but incredibly all the wounds were superficial. Within a couple of days you wouldn’t have known there had been anything wrong with him. On a few occasions we’ve commented that he’s a somewhat immature horse who doesn’t worry about anything. We now think he’s a complete dingbat …. albeit a very talented one. Also, congratulations to Claire, who racked up her 100th point-to-point winner this spring – a fantastic achievement.

After his encouraging run at Uttoxeter, we decided to send Acey Milan to the Punchestown NH Festival in April for a valuable 3m handicap. It provided a super day’s racing for the owners who could make it over to Ireland and we were very well looked after indeed. In the race, Aidan Coleman was convinced he was on the winner, with Ace tanking along and jumping better than anything in the field. Unfortunately, going into the second-last, he cut out and, after scoping him back in the UK, he has been treated for several wind problems. If these operations are successful, he could be a serious prospect in staying handicap hurdles from November onwards. All crossed!

We have quite a few NH youngsters waiting in the wings. A relative of Melekhov, Mozzaro, caught our eye at the Goffs Land Rover Sale in June 2018, but wasn’t able to run as he went through a couple of growth spurts. He’s a notably good-looking horse, an excellent mover with a really athletic swagger about him. He’s on his summer holidays at the moment, out in the Condicote paddocks, but should be running in bumpers later in the year. There are still a few shares available in him, and if that is of interest please contact Jon Hughes on 01451-850780.

Luttrell Lad has just come to the end of his spring break and has started pre-training with Claire. Aiden Murphy, who bought us Melekhov, acquired him at the Tattersalls Foal Sale back in November 2016 and it has been terrific watching his development both at Aiden’s and now at Claire’s. He is by Beat Hollow, who is the best dual-purpose sire in Europe at the moment, and the dam line has produced multiple winners, not least Duke Of Lucca who won the Betfred Chase at Aintree for Philip Hobbs, who is going to train him. He is a well put together, athletic type who we’re hoping could be a junior bumper horse and, who knows, could follow a similar path to Acey Milan.

Mayfair Rock
Mayfair Rock – our first breeding partnership

Earlier in the year we retired Mayfair Rock, who unfortunately had been unlucky to sustain two fractures which fortunately were not life-threatening. She had always been a very tough, game filly, and a well-bred one by Society Rock, from a dam line containing top sprinters such as Flanders, 2nd in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, and Lethal Force, Champion Older Sprinter in Europe in 2013. Several of her owners, including ourselves, decided to retain her for breeding and sent her to Havana Grey at Whitsbury Manor Stud. Karl Burke trained this horse to win a Gr.2 as a 2yo and then the Gr.1 Flying Five Stakes at The Curragh at 3. He really impressed Karl as a very speedy horse and, indeed, is readily acknowledged to be the fastest horse from the Galileo line, blending the toughness of Galileo with the speed of Dark Angel. She is being looked after by Kirsty and John Weymes in their new yard in Wensleydale and we’re breeding to race – so in time the youngster will go into training just up the road with Karl.

January – March 2019

We came into 2019 with all guns blazing after a superb run over the previous 18 months, particularly in National Hunt, where we had winners all over the place – not least with a total of 10 bumper winners across the Owners for Owners horses and other youngsters with which we are associated. As so often happens in racing, we then had a stop-start midwinter because, unfortunately, a number of horses went down with quite nasty viral infections; and at the same time racing was disrupted with an equine flu scare and a self-imposed trainer boycott.

Society Rock
Acey Milan – relieved owners after his win at
Plumpton. Could improve significantly this winter.

Acey Milan had been our flag-bearer in 2017/18 and the top bumper horse in the UK by at least half a stone. He raced five times; won three, including two Listed bumpers (at Cheltenham and Newbury), before coming 4th in the Cheltenham Champion Bumper. Unfortunately he had to have several months off with an infection and was pretty under the weather, so it pleased us all no end when he bounced back to win a novice hurdle at Plumpton on 13th February. He then ran very creditably to finish 3rd in a £50k handicap at Uttoxeter, stepped up in distance over 2½ miles, on 16th March.

Melekhov had his reappearance at Bangor in the autumn of 2018 but then was laid low by an even worse infection than Acey Milan’s, and we thought for a while that he wouldn’t race again this season. Just as we were thinking of drawing stumps, he turned a corner and reappeared at Taunton in March, finishing 2nd – a most encouraging run and we’re hoping we’re now back on track with him. He’s a most likeable and enthusiastic individual, although still very much a youngster and a bit of a show-off.

Both Ben Buie and Dreamsundermyfeet went to the valuable Goffs UK Spring Bumper at Newbury at the end of March, but it was one of those days when nothing went right and we’re putting a line through the result. It was Ben Buie’s third run, having raced really creditably at Ascot on debut in November to come 2nd to Emitom (who ended the season with five wins to his name and an OR of 147). He got bogged down at Southwell on tacky ground, and he came back from Newbury with a chest infection. By Presenting, he needs good ground and we may try to run him again later in the spring or early summer. His half-brother, Dreamsundermyfeet, is a really big, raw, backward horse and the whole occasion at Newbury got to him. We won’t race him again for a while, as he is so immature physically and mentally. He is a really imposing horse who just needs time.

The very well-bred Scented Lily, from the Best Mate family, is also by Presenting and needs decent ground. Before Christmas she had put in a really impressive run stepped up in trip to 2m 7f at Market Rasen where she spreadeagled the field. Although she ran twice, in March and April, finishing 3rd at Market Rasen and at Fakenham, she didn’t manage to step up on her October wining form. A wind operation may be in the offing. As a late-maturing type who needs a trip, we’ll consider going novice chasing at some stage this year.

Society Rock
Enforcement – as soon as he’s loose, he digs

A horse who I own on my own, Enforcement, managed to get off the mark under a great ride from claimer Harry Stock for Martin Keighley at Plumpton on 18th March 2019. He’s not the best horse in the world by any means, but is an absolutely super chap to be involved with. His stable name, almost since day one, has been “Digger” because when he’s out in the paddocks, all he wants to do is roll and then dig holes. Indeed, he’ll do it all day long. His sire is Lawman and they often have a quirky side, so this endearing habit is clearly part of his nature. My wife and I both love him to bits.

Society Rock
Enforcement – enjoying his breakfast before
winning at Plumpton. A super chap

We always try to make sure that our horses, when they retire, go to good homes, and throughout the winter we had very encouraging updates on a number of them. Thady Quil has really taken to dressage and show jumping, and appears to be over the physical niggles that brought his racing career to an end. Primo Capitano is team chasing, and absolutely adores it, while Future Gilded is a natural at eventing. Finally, He’s A Bully is with Claire Hart and she absolutely adores him. He even took part in a point-to-point at Chaddesley Corbett over Christmas. It’s wonderful to hear that they are all enjoying the latest stage of their careers, and are in super physical condition.

Finally we said goodbye to Sunday Prospect. He won for us at Leicester in October over 1m 2f and went through the ring at Tattersalls Mixed Sale in February. He has gone to race in France.