October UpdatePosted : November 7th, 2013
It has been an incredible month for us since the last update and, following 13 winners at a strike-rate of 15% in October (by some way our best ever finish to a season), everyone at the yard was both delighted and relieved to see us break through the 100 winner mark for the 2013 season!
It is the first time we have achieved a century of winners in a season and it is both a fantastic achievement, and a fine reward for everyone at the yard for their hard work and dedication.
In a month which saw us enjoy winners at every turn, it was Dungannon that saw us over the line, winning a valuable sprint handicap at Doncaster on Racing Post Trophy day under Oisin Murphy for his third win in four starts this season. He is now fulfilling the ability he has always shown at home and I hope he can improve further next year.
Another huge improver this term has been Highland Colori, who has been kept busy since his brilliant Ayr Gold Cup win, finishing a good fourth in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes on his first attempt at that level, before recording his fourth win of the year for owner Evan Sutherland with a comfortable success at Doncaster under Oisin Murphy, who recorded a hat-trick of wins on the day, his only other ride finishing a head second! The Listed Wentworth Stakes back at Doncaster on the final day of the season could be next for him.
All at Kingsclere were delighted to see Jeff Smith’s Highland Knight back to his best with a short-head success in the Group 3 Darley Stakes at Newmarket under David Probert. We hadn’t enjoyed the smoothest of passages with him this season, but he has always been a tremendously tough and game front-runner and it was a very popular success.
It has been another brilliant month for Oisin Murphy, which started with a very good ride on Ballinderry Boy at Ascot. A three year old son of Kayf Tara, one of the leading National Hunt sires, he already stays particularly well and, having since finished a close 2nd at Newmarket off a mark of 87, there could be a lot more to come from him in the big staying contests next season.
We have a really good team of two year olds this year, giving us plenty to look forward to in 2014! October saw us record seven two year old winners at a strike-rate of 18% and there were some smart performances, including three first time out successes.
Field Of Fame was the first of them, making light of the very heavy ground with a ready success in a mile maiden at Salisbury, won in 2012 by Bonfire. By first-season sire Champs Elysees, who has made a very promising start to his career at stud, he could have a big future.
Qatar Racing’s End Of Line was sent off at 25-1 for his debut at Doncaster but he too appeared to revel in the soft ground on his debut, sprinting clear for Harry Bentley for a six-length success in a competitive 7f maiden. By Pastoral Pursuits and out of a Montjeu half-sister to some useful middle-distance performers, he looks to have a good blend of speed and stamina and is another who I hope can prove capable of going on to better things. Earlier in the month, the promising Pearl Spectre showed the benefit of experience to make all over 7f at Kempton Park to shed his maiden tag at the third time of asking under Jamie Spencer.
Wylye, a daughter of Dalakhani, looks a really nice filly in the making after a taking debut win over a mile in heavy ground at Newbury under David Probert. Out of a half-sister to 2,000 Guineas third Frenchman’s Bay, she is a fine prospect.
Trading Profit supplemented his 6f Windsor maiden win in the summer with a facile success over 7f on soft ground at Leicester, Ryan Moore bringing his record to two from two on him. With the second favourite failing to enter the stalls, it became a match race and the pair laid down a challenge for longest winning distance of the season, stretching 14 lengths clear. Fifth in the Group 3 Horris Hill on his next start, he is a lovely prospect. His owners, Another Bottle Racing 2, had more to cheer this month, with Collaboration winning narrowly at Brighton under a good ride from David Probert. It was a much-improved effort on his third career start, which bodes well for him next year.
Montaly , a son of first-season sire Yeats, registered a first success for the four-time Ascot Gold Cup winner over a mile at Nottingham on soft ground under David Probert. Though no match for an odds-on rival on his next start at Newmarket, he stayed the 1m2f trip well and looks a really nice stayer for next season and beyond.
It was pleasing to see Martial Art finally shed his maiden tag, scoring over 6f at Kempton Park under Liam Keniry. He has since been sold at the Newmarket Horses in Training sale, as has Cape Crossing, who finished her career with us with a win under Liam at Kempton at the start of the month.