November UpdatePosted : November 19th, 2014
We have finished what has been a spectacular, record-breaking season for the yard with a real flourish, adding 16 winners to our tally in October and one in the first week of November to finish the 2014 campaign with 107 winners and prize-money earnings of £1,947,693.
Elm Park cemented his position as one of this year’s leading two year olds colts with a very impressive success in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy, making all the running to win in great style and, in doing so, becoming the first horse in 32 years to record the Royal Lodge/Racing Post Trophy double. He has firmly established himself as one of the leading domestic Classic contenders and he will be prepared for a tilt at the 2,000 Guineas. It is tremendously exciting to have such a tremendous Classic prospect in the yard for Sheikh Fahad (Qatar Racing) and there is so much to look forward to with him next year.
A confirmed soft-ground performer, Here Comes When showed what he is capable of granted his preferred surface when readily accounting for a good field in Germany in September and he made it back-to-back wins in Group 2 company with a fine win in the Challenge Stakes at Newmarket under an excellent ride from Jim Crowley, despite carrying a penalty for his previous win. I hope he can make his mark at the top level next term for owners Jim and Fitri Hay.
The Kingsclere Racing Club have enjoyed an incredible season, with 13 winners in the Club colours, and Intransigent provided members with a big prize-money pot when landing the £150,000 Challenge Cup Handicap at Ascot without jockey Oisin Murphy really having to get serious with him. Intransigent has really fulfilled his promise this term and could now be aimed at the valuable All-Weather Championships day at Lingfield Park in the spring.
Young stayers Chesil Beach and Spectator also contributed to that tally in impressive fashion last month, the former recording her fifth success of the year and the latter winning for the second time in 2014.Both are very progressive indeed and they will be contesting some of the big staying
Dungannon rattled up a hat-trick of wins last autumn and made a bold bid to repeat the dose this time around, finding only one too good at Chester in August before recording valuable handicap wins at Ascot and Doncaster under Oisin Murphy, who is now three from four on the horse. He was provided the first and second legs of doubles for the yard (initiated by Intransigent at Ascot on the first occasion and completed by Elm Park at Doncaster on the second) and has developed into a real stable star for his owner Dr Elizabeth Harris.
Nabatean had run very well in defeat in an ultra-competitive handicap at Ascot in the summer and again at Newmarket on his return from a break in October, so he thoroughly deserved his win at Nottingham under David Probert. An exciting young stayer, he looks set for a successful year in 2015.
Though a relatively late starter, having made his debut in September, Geordan Murphy has quickly made up for any lost time with two wins over an extended mile at Windsor, on the first occasion by five lengths in maiden company and on the second showing a good attitude to win on his handicap debut. He looks the type to progress further next year.
Melvin The Grate returned to us in July and has bounced back to form in great style, finishing a close second on his reappearance at Windsor at the beginning of October before going one better at Haydock the following week. He found the heavy ground at Doncaster on the final day of the season just too much for him but remains on a mark off which he can be very competitive.
I was very pleased to see Mymatechris return to form on his return from a two-month break, recording his second career win in comfortable fashion at Kempton Park. The 6lbs rise is far from insurmountable and hopefully he can follow up in the coming weeks.
Our final winner of the season came courtesy of Stybba. Previously a maiden after 10 starts, she has plenty of ability and it was a relief to see her finally get her head in front under a well-judged ride from amateur rider Hugo Hunt. A sister to a Listed winner and half-sister to three further black-type performers including King Edward VII winner Plea Bargain, she is a beautifully-bred filly.
A son of the excellent young sire Mastercraftsman, Master Apprentice has always shown us plenty at home so it was no surprise to see him get off the mark at the third attempt, relishing the soft ground at Windsor to win in good style from a subsequent winner. Though faced with a very tough task in the Group 1 Criterium International at Saint-Cloud, he didn’t give his running there and remains a very high-class prospect for next term.
Rocky Rider finished fourth on his debut in a hot maiden at Haydock in September and duly went one better on his next start, providing us with a third juvenile winner of the month at Windsor. Though the winning margin was just a nose, the second has won since and the pair were clear of the remainder, so it looks strong form and this son of Galileo looks likely to make up into a very useful three year old.
A son of Phoenix Reach (sire of Elm Park), Cosmic Ray had shown promise in four previous starts and was deservedly getting off the mark on his nursery debut at Windsor, providing a double on the day after Geordan Murphy’s win. Out of the Fillies™ Mile fourth Beat Seven, he can progress further.
Rattling Jewel was a little slowly away and green on his debut but he showed marked improvement on his second outing at Lingfield Park, making all the running and staying on gamely to win narrowly. A well-related son of Royal Applause, he should get a bit further next year.