Ben PaulingNews

The Winter Season is Nearly here

The new season is nearly upon us and we've been very busy at home. 

It's been a fabulous summer and the horses and staff have returned in great form. We are delighted to welcome new faces to the team. We are also thrilled that going into this season brings new facilities and the all- weather schooling ground has been in full flow and our new sand round gallop will be up and running in the next coupleof weeks. These new facilties allow us to keep improving and provide the horses with further opportunities.


We had a fantastic morning schooling this week with some of the young exciting Novice Hurdlers and some of the season pros. 

It was lovely to see the hero that is Barters Hill back schooling under Nico, as always he does everything in chill mode! We hope he will be out at the begining of November in a Novice Chase.  It will be great to get them all out and look forward to exciting times ahead. Not long now....

I guess the real excitment starts with Jaleo this week as he heads to Farehills USA for the American National on the 20th October. This talented Novice will take on the older horses and we firmly believe he heads there with a great chance.


We'll keep you posted.....


Barters Hill and Nico ping over a hurdle



KILDISART wins at Kempton


I know I know!! I’m sorry we’ve been out of coms for a while! But we needed a break after Cheltenham! Wow, what a week talk about an Irish Invasion!
As we wrote previously we had a team going into Cheltenham where we had hoped there would be plenty of live chances.
Despite some gallant runs and some not going quite according to plan this year. The wet and testing conditions would play a big part and unfortunately, some of them couldn’t quite fire in the ground.
We are happy to report though they all came back safely which is the most important thing and are ready to fight another day.


After the week at Cheltenham KILDISART who had been reserve for both his Festival runs headed to Kempton for consolation day and the valuable Silver plate handicap was on the cards for this talented 6 year old.

He travelled and jump through the race smoothly and took the lead as they jumped the second last he slightly blundered the last but managed to keep momentum going and went away again from the fast finishing Zubayr.
It was great to see this lovely Simon Munir and Isaac Souede owned Novice take a good prize after narrowly missing out on the opportunity to run at the festival.


This last week has been a week of nearly’s all with the likes of CYRIUSOISTRAKHJALEOCAVOKSTAGE SUMMIT all running well and being 2ndor 3rd and just hitting the crossbar. They seem in great form so we look forward to the upcoming weeks.
We look forward to seeing CREEP DESBOIS run at Haydock this weekend as he heads there for the Smarkets Challenger Chase series Final. He seems in good form so fingers crossed he’ll run well.

Look out for next week’s newsletter as we preview the exciting squad heading to Aintree, led by some familiar faces that didn’t run at Cheltenham and some fresh talent looking to make their debut on the big stage.  Let's hope the rain stops and we get some dry ground…..

Updates & Cheltenham Preview


As most of you would have heard our wonderful Willoughby will not be at The Festival this year. Unfortunately, it’s what you call bad timing. He has an infection in his foot which reared its ugly head over the weekend. It has unfortunately rumbled on for a few more days than we had hoped, and he has missed crucial bits of work that were needed for him to get to Cheltenham in the form we would want him in to be able to do himself justice and to be fair to the horse. Ultimately his wellbeing is the most important thing and you must do what’s best by him. He is so special to us and we don’t doubt that there will be many more Cheltenham's. We can not thank his Owners Paul and Clare Rooney and their racing manager Jason Maguire for their support, the kindness they show their horses makes weeks like this easier.


Well, well well! That was pretty impressive wasn’t it! If you haven’t seen the Grade 2 Dovecote then please go to our Facebook page it's worth a look.

This lovely Novice turned up to Kempton in good form off the back of a stylish win at Southwell a few weeks previous. The Dovecote had been touted as a race with plenty of depth. Humphrey Bogart a horse that had been 5th in the Derby and Scarlet Dragon who had been placed in Group company headed the charge of the flat horses.

With so much speed in the race we knew it had to be a good gallop start to finish and along with Mont Des Avaloirs the two led the field at a good pace. By the third flight he had jumped himself to the front and as he went through the gears it really was fantastic to watch this classy individual to win the race in such ease.

We are very lucky to have such an exciting new recruit and a big thank you to The Megsons for sending us such talented and exciting prospect.

All being well he heads to Aintree for the Grade 1 Top Novices and we can’t wait to see him back on the track.


Despite our main man not being amongst the squad this year, we have our biggest contingent heading to the festival, with some exciting chances Amongst them. Here is a little bit about each intended runner.

Grade 1 Albert Bartlett and Ballymore

With entries in both Grade 1 novice hurdles this lovely horse is likely to go to the Albert Bartlett on the Friday of The Festival.
This smart recruit from the Irish Point to Point Field has shown some impressive form this winter and heads to The Festival off a back of a win up at Doncaster after beating the Grade 2 runner-up Paisley Park. He has some great form against the Nicky Henderson trained Mr Whipped and he heads there in good form we don’t doubt this honest horse will give his all on the day.

Grade 1 Champion Bumper

He is quite simply a gorgeous horse who has shone bright this season and if the ground is soft will take up his place in the Champion Bumper. He won impressively at Ascot after a ding dong up the home straight with Portrush Ted he then was beaten a few lengths in what has been described as the hottest bumper of the year at Newbury in the Listed Contest. He has come out of that race superbly.

Ultima and The Close Brothers

MARKOV's form has been nothing shy of spectacular this year and it has been a pleasure to watch this horse mature into the class animal we had always hoped he was.

Unbeaten until he sadly tipped up at Haydock last time out he goes to the festival in good order. We have our fingers crossed that he gets into The Close Brothers but this might be unlikely so if he doesn’t make the cut for that he will go for the Ultima.

All entered in - Coral and Martin Pipe

These three horses will all head to Cheltenham after impressing this season in big Handicaps. The Simon Munir and Isaac Souede owned Novice Kildisart has shown fantastic form against the Handicappers and whichever route he takes this classy individual has bags of talent.

LE BREUIL a horse that we have always believed could be a graded horse and to be honest we hope he shows this as his season has been a bit chequered. He is great fettle and we hope that he shows what a classy individual we know he is. He is also in the Pertemps handicap hurdle which we will have to give some serious thought.

RED INDIAN has had a cracking season and the form of the Lanzarote has been phenomenal. If it comes up soft watch out he could be a serious contender in whichever race he heads to.

Fred Winter

This lovely French recruit has had two runs for us, he was second on his debut at Ascot and went onto win impressively at Market Rasen. He was given a mark of 128 after that day but has been dropped 4 pounds in his box subsequently so we have everything crossed that he will creep into the bottom of the Fred Winter. 

County Hurdle

As I mentioned in last week's newsletter this lovely horse is better off fresh. He has been seen on the course once and won a Listed hurdle at Sandown back in November, that day he showed the class he has. He heads to The Festival with as good a preparation as we could have hoped for and work fabulously at Kempton on Tuesday.

Martin Pipe

This smart hurdler has had a great campaign this season, he is two from four with a Listed win under his belt. He heads to Cheltenham after an impressive win at Towcester, asserting his authority on good bunch of Novice Hurdlers.
So fingers crossed and let’s hope for a good week.



After the successes of the four at the beginning of the week.
The horses continued with their run of good form towards the end of the week with GOWITHTHEFLOW displaying his class to win a very hot novice up at Doncaster.
He went off second favourite with Paisley Park who had been second in the Grade 2 Lemington Spa behind Mr Whipped as favourite.
We have always thought this talented individual would run very well and he did not disappoint putting in a fine front-running performance with Paisley Park the two battled gallantly up the home straight drawing clear of the chasing pack.
He confirmed himself as a Cheltenham contender and will head there all being well in March to one of the Novice Grade 1 hurdles.


DELIRE D'ESTRUVAL headed to a wintery and hard going Towcester last Thursday. The ground had come up fairly soft, but this French-bred recruit is not a horse to shy away from these conditions. He put on a fine display of jumping led the field from start to finish and put the race to bed in good style. He will very possible head to Kelso for the Grade 2 on the 3rd March.


A horse like A HARE BREATH known as ‘Harry’ is a horse you dream of training he has been so fantastic to us and he will always be the horse that provided us with Bens first winner at Cheltenham in the Paddy Power meeting of 2015.
Harry arrived in the summer of 2015 sent to Ben by the Embiricos family and owned by Valda who in her own right is a superb horse woman. The Embiricos family are steeped in racing history having owned many lovely horses but most famously they owned the wonderful Aldaniti who went on to win a fairy tale Grand National with Bob Champion. It is a joy to have a horse for them.
He had shown class before arriving with us and wasn’t hard to see that this was a lovely horse when he turned up. He is powerful to look at a very striking and fantastic looking individual.
As the months of September went on he worked better than any other horse, impossible to get off the bridle and to find anything to go with him he was a two-miler through and through.
His first run for us would be at the Cheltenham Paddy Power meeting. It was no secret that he had been taken to Seven Barrows to work a couple of weeks before with a couple of Nicky's two milers and whispers had gone around as to what this exciting individual was.
To say he was backed on the day was an understatement clearly the cat was firmly out the bag!
Under Nico de Boinville this Novice jumped like an old pro in a race that was run with plenty of speed he came around the home bend and powered his way up the hill to win in good style.
It was not only an exciting win for us all, but it was an emotional day for Valda and the Embiricos family who had been so patient and nursed him back to full health. He had rewarded their patience and care they showed him.
He went on that season to win at Kempton in January, we had hoped he would head for the County at the Festival that year and we firmly believed he would get in, so as you can imagine when he missed it by 1 we were all saddened. Sometimes though these things are meant to be and a few days later he was a bit under the weather.  He would head back to Barkfould Manor for his well-deserved summer and come back next season for his novice chasing campaign.
We would, however, give him one run over hurdles and he was sent into the Greatwood and back to his old stomping ground of Cheltenham. He again flew up the hill landing two lengths down at the last from the eventual winner North Hill Harvey, he was perhaps unlucky in running towards the line where he had the door shut on him finishing 4th with the first 4 finishing within a length and a half of each other. It really was a cracker of a race and once again he showed what a classy horse he is.
After that he headed to Bangor for his Chasing debut, he did this in fine style as we hoped next stop would be up at Doncaster for the Grade 2 Lightning Novice where he ran a gallant third that day and it seemed as though all roads would lead to Cheltenham for the Arkle.
I think its fair to say this day he slightly scared himself and just wasn’t prepared to take on the fences at the speed they go in the Arkle.
The executive decision was made to send him back over hurdles this season, for those of you who follow him you will be fully aware he has only been seen once on the track this year. He is a horse that loves feeling fresh and goes well when lightly raced.
He opened up this terms campaign in emphatic style at Sandown winning the Listed two-mile hurdle he now heads straight to the County at the Festival and we can’t wait to see him back on the track.


Grace/Gracie arrived in May with a wealth of experience in the equine world.
A student at Cirencester and after 3 years of what we can only believe was spent having a lot of fun and heading to the tunnel most nights with perhaps a little time spent on her course! This clever girl graduated with a 2.1.
She headed to Australia to work for Arrowfield Stud in the Hunter Valley where she helped prep yearlings and foals for the sales and after these six months, she realised that working in this world was something she wanted to do and took up a role at Hickstead Show Ground. This role was a massive undertaking and to help put on such huge events running 4 star and 5 star show jumping where the best of the best come from all around the world to compete was a role that would put anyone to the test.
Gracie did 4 seasons at Hickstead and established herself as someone who could be relied on in the workplace but also capable of taking on a huge amount of responsibility at such a young age.
Having done all she could at Hickstead she went to work for Pippa and William Funnell, they take no introduction they are a couple who have succeeded at the highest levels in both Eventing and Show Jumping. It was a fantastic place to work but it soon became apparent that Grace wanted to work in racing, having always had an interest in the industry she came and saw Ben at the beginning of April and was offered the job to start in May and this is where the BPR story begins……
Gracie has since day one been an asset to our yard and the team. She scoops people up when they need it. Her calm attitude, Fantastic sense of humour and professional approach to her day is invaluable.

Four Winners On The Bounce!


As we have been saying for the last few weeks, we have been trying to get the horses back to full health. Finally we think we are there and they have come back with a bang these last two days. Hurray!!

Making it four wins from four starts on Monday and Tuesday.
We headed to Southwell on Monday with three hopefuls; TWO SWALLOWSBOREHAM BILL and GLOBAL CITIZEN. It was the first day we really hoped we had got them back and out the other side of the head cold.


The wonderful mare TWO SWALLOWS would be first to take her chance against the boys which included Get On The Yager who was fresh off the back of a victory in the Roland Merrick Grade 3. He would however be giving her 15 pounds, putting them at about level on ratings.

For those of you who have not seen TWO SWALLOWS; she is as small a racehorse as you’ll come across. She would be no higher than shoulder height on the average person but her heart is bigger than any other.

Partnered with jockey Nico de Boinville she went off favourite. She sat in behind the leader who was heading out to the right when jumping and the rest of the field followed suit. She dug deep coming up the home straight with Get On The Yager upsides as they had a real battle, the little mare perhaps always just in front put in a good jump at the last to help put the race to bed, winning by about two lengths. She is a very special mare and it was wonderful to see her win over the bigger obstacles.


Mike and Sue Foran’s BOREHAM BILL lined up in the 2mile 4f in what was a competitive Maiden Hurdle with some good form from a few horses coming into the race. He had run well on both his hurdle starts but had jumped left at Huntingdon on Boxing Day so the obvious choice was to go left handed next time out.

He went into this in great form so we were very hopeful he would run a lovely race. He looked fantastic in the paddock and seemed to take the prelims in his stride. Daryl popped him out in front and he looked professional, jumped straight as a dye, and when Daryl asked him to dig deep he responded well and saw it out in style.


Then came the turn of GLOBAL CITIZEN who was the last leg of this treble seeking trio. This lovely horse arrived in the yard at the beginning of January. He had showed plenty of promise in his starts, winning two bumpers, before going hurdling this season. He is not only a lovely horse, he is also the full brother to someone who takes no introduction: the wonderful A HARE BREATH, so we are delighted to have both boys in our team, both horses are lovely, striking individuals.
For those of you that saw his race we think you will agree that he won with the up most style and class. He hurdled well and showed what an exciting prospect he is. We and his owners’ The Megsons look forward to seeing what is to come from this stunning horse and hope the future is bright.
What a great day for all and well done to the team for riding out the storm that was January. Patience has paid off and it’s nice to see the horses repaying this, but more importantly it’s so great to have them better.


Tuesday brought one runner. Simon Munir and Isaac Souede’s OISTRAKH LE NOIR headed to Market Rasen for the Juvenile. This lovely French recruit headed the market, with a front-running performance it was nice to see him win emphatic style for the double green colours.



Over the last month we have profiled horses and staff and today is the turn of the lovely TWO SWALLOWS. They say all good things come in small packages and that certainly is the case in this instance.
This bright as a button mare arrived with us at the beginning of the 2016/2017 season. Her owner Carolyn Walters sent TWO SWALLOWS to us after she had had some time off.
She came back into training with ease, a professional through and through, and she goes about her daily work effortlessly. With her fantastic attitude she soon affirmed herself as a favourite amongst everyone at the yard. Annabel, who rides her everyday, saw that this pint size mare had something about her from day one.
Doncaster was to be the place where she would make her first start for the yard. Tom Cannon took the reins and giving her a patient ride she jumped to the lead after the last and won in style on her yard debut. This would be the start of what can only be described as a dream season for her. Her form read as 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, topping it all off with a win at the Cheltenham April Meeting where she battled tenaciously up the hill to get her head in front just before the line. This was a fantastic ride from Nico de Boinville who has been Swallow’s regular jockey since.
After this she went for a well-deserved summer break at Stowell and came back in looking fabulous. The next year she went hurdling and it couldn’t have gone better and come this season the plan was for her to go Novice Chasing to see what she could over fences, and she has not disappointed. She headed to Fontwell for her first outing over the bigger obstacles and ran a gallant 2nd.  Her next outing was to be in a Listed Race at Newbury where she finished 3rd and gained a most sought after black type. Her last run to date was then the one you’ve just read about: a wonderful win at Southwell earlier this week.
She truly is a gem and is incredibly special to us, if only every horse had the heart that this little mare has.


‘There’s only one man for me and that’s Le Breuil/Brulee’ – Sorry Jack!

Han/Hannahbanna! Has been with us for three years after working at a couple of yards before this blond bombshell took up a place with Ben.

Someone who not only has a huge amount of knowledge but also cares, and does her horses beautifully. She is an asset to any team with the dedication she shows. They are always beautifully produced and best turned out prizes at the likes of Cheltenham have gone her way. However, don’t stand beside her when the race is going on as she’s a bit of a nervous watcher and the odd shriek comes out!

To say Han has a bit of a dream team would be fair with riding the likes of LE BREUIL and A HARE BREATH everyday. She rides very well and whether they’re tricky or chilled she will get on most horses.
She is a laugh on any night out and a great member of our team.


Fawsley & Our Feed Man

As I mentioned last week we have been in midst of a head cold, but we hope yesterday provided us with a turning point. Both horses Fawsley Spirit and Perfect Pirate finished their races and galloped to the line, they all seem well at home so just maybe we have a glimmer of hope that they are turning a corner and coming out the other side!


It was not only great to see Fawsley run so well, but just to see him on a race course was a triumph and therefore it's his turn to be in the spotlight this week.
Bought as a store from the Tattersalls June Sale 2016 for the lovely Paul Bush who sadly passed away last year. Paul was simply the perfect owner, he lit up the yard when he came to visit us, with a wonderful sense of humour and someone who was willing to give a horse all the time and patience he needed to mature. This was definitely needed in the case of Fawsley!
He was a lovely horse, who like most of Ben's stores looked like a Chaser in the making.
To say he was tricky in the first six months of having him is an understatement, he was nearly impossible to break and gave a rodeo display that no one could sit! It was soon apparent that there was something upsetting and perhaps hurting him, so very quickly he was sent for an x-ray. He was found to have kissing spine and was operated on straight away that month. He recovered for the next 3 months and was brought back in this time last year.
A big horse, he had matured over his time off, his break had not however helped this quirky horses behaviour and he still behaved like a bucking bronco.
It got to the point where he was sent away to Gary Witheford who specialises in getting a horse to come around to our way of thinking through understanding the horse and working out why they are behaving in a certain way.
This process is by no means easy and Fawsley spent three weeks there. After this Ben went down to see him and Gary recommended that he be ridden in blinkers to help focus his mind.
He hasn’t looked back since! He still maintains his quirks and that fiery 'spirit' definitely raises its head every so often, but he is very much now on the right track and becoming the horse we always hoped.
To get him to a racecourse was a great achievement. But for him to perform and finish third to two very smart horses yesterday is a credit to him and his want to win.
We are so sad that Paul never saw his horse run. We are sure he would have thought yesterday was a huge success. His daughter Rachel who has been with us all of the way on this journey must get the biggest thank you of all. Her patience and belief in the horse has allowed us to get him to where he is today.
We have every faith that he will become a lovely horse and give us all many fun days ahead.


This man needs no introduction, 'Nige' has been with us since day one and we hope he’ll be here for many more years to come.
Ben and Nigel met before Ben acquired his licence in the spring of 2013. He had been working in racing for nearly 30 years. He brought to the yard a wealth of experience and knowledge.
Starting out as a young lad in his teens, this London boy headed to Newmarket where he was an apprentice on the flat. Unfortunately, his weight was against him and he headed to the jumps yard of then Champion Trainer David Nicholson (The Duke) up at Jack Daws where he excelled as a lad. With his Conditional licence, The Duke was keen to give Nigel rides. During his years at the Dukes, he rode 6 winners and was a key part of their team. Twelve years went by up at Jack Daws during which Nigel and his wife Theresa had two children.
The time then came to do something else and go down a different route. This would take Nige completely away from racing and into a different industry for the next 15 years. He would become a postman and we can only imagine that for this bubbly man who always has a smile on his face he excelled doing this, I can’t imagine there was one person who wouldn’t of been warmed by his cheeriness.
A return back to racing was always at the back of his mind, with his family settled in Stow-On-The-Wold and his young son Danny taking after Dad with his riding skills. The sport he loved was calling out again and he took up a position at Martin Keighley’s for the next 3 years before working under Shaun Lycett for a year or so before Ben moved into Bourton Hill Farm when Nigel started as Head Lad. He had two very successful years in the role, we will always attribute the success of the wonderful Malibu Sun to Nige, they seemed to be two peas in a pod!
As the yard grew he decided to take a step back from the role and would become invaluable as the man who feeds the horses. This is as big a responsibility as anything, without this the horses simply wouldn't be able to perform how they have over the last few years.
Nigel is a huge part of our team, he smiles through wind, rain and shine, a true team player and always willing to help those younger members coming through!

Willoughby and Our Traveling Head Lad



This horse takes no introduction, he is what you dream of training and owning when you go into racing.
His presence was apparent from day one. Bought out of the Goffs Land Rover Sale as a three-year-old in 2014 after Ben's first season by Tessie Greatrex and Ben. He was bought for Paul and Clare Rooney.
Willoughby was broken in that month and then turned away before coming back into full training later that summer. His class was obvious from day one but keeping a lid on this fractious individual was tricky to say the lease. Harry Beswick, Ben's Conditional at the time, rode him and did a brilliant job. ‘Wooohhh Willoughby’ could be heard during first lot most days!
He did everything with ease and as the season went on this striking individual caught the eye of many. He was still a frame of a horse though maturing all the time. He was a big baby and when it came to his racecourse debut in a bumper at Ffos Las he provided a rodeo show to rival any bucking bronco!!
He went on to finish third and was put away for the summer. The only way to describe him when he returned was ‘WOW’! He had grown and he had matured into an even more magnificent individual.
He won his first two bumpers that year and then headed to the Aintree Champion Bumper. Unlucky in running that day, he still managed to finish a fast-finishing fifth. The patience that he was shown over those couple of years by Ben and The Rooney’s, we truly believe allowed him to become the horse and he is today.
Last year was a year dreams are made of. He started his eagerly anticipated hurdling career around Market Rasen followed by Warwick and then onto the Grade 2 Leamington Spa in January where he won this in empathic style. Next stop was the Grade 1 Neptune on Wednesday the 15th March, a date and a day that will forever live in our memory. He led from the start, turning the heat up as the race went on under a textbook front-running ride by David Bass. He showed guts and determination to fend off the sadly late Neon Wolf in which can only be described as one of the closest and thrilling finishes of the week. No words can really describe that day and the joy it brought to so many. It provided memories that will last a lifetime and a celebration (by his trainer) that will be repeated many times leading up to this years’ festival!!
He has started this season in fine style and has taken to fences with ease under the guidance of Nico de Boinville. After what was perhaps a slightly interesting start at Huntingdon, he went on to win the Grade 2 Novice Chase at the Winter Carnival at Newbury. He was then only beaten a few lengths in the Grade 2 Dipper where perhaps its fair to say the race was not run to suit him and he wasn’t quite firing on all cylinders that day. 
All being well and with everything crossed. He will head straight to Cheltenham now.
As Ben said ‘he is the horse that made all my boyhood dreams come true’ he is a treasure to us and we are so grateful to him. He is one in a million.


After profiling Willoughby it seems fitting to talk about the man that looks after him every day.
Nick is the epitome of what a member of staff should be. He is hardworking and dedicated to the yard. He goes above and beyond his role and we’re incredibly lucky this Yorkshire lad applied for one our job roles three years ago!
Nick, a qualified joiner, decided that he wanted to go into racing and therefore took up a position at the Northern Racing School to learn about the game. He did an eight-week course and headed to Tim Vaughan's for a season before heading to the flat yard of Keith Dalgleish in Scotland.
He soon realised that jumps were where he wanted to be and we had put an advert on Careers in Racing at the same time, a lucky coincidence! He applied, was offered a role straight away, and moved down with his lovely Labrador Red, who has become as much part of life at the yard here as anyone.
It soon became apparent that Nick was going to be a big part of the team from the word go. He soon made the role his own, but also he brought so much more to the team. His joinery skills were second to none and he worked overtime helping transform the yard, making improvements and increasing the size of the tack room.
After a couple of Seasons, Nick decided that he’d like to give pointing a go and took on Bath Wells as his pointer. Bath Wells had been in training with Ben and had become high in the handicap, his owners had decided to give him away as a pointer and Ben saw the perfect opportunity to put Bath Wells into training with Sophie for Nick to have some fun on.
He had his first ride in January 2016 at the Heythrop Point-to-Point. Cheered on by the yard they finished a fantastic second. Nick took some outside rides for others and had a lot of fun that season.
As the yard was growing, an opening for Travelling Head Lad became available. Nick took on this role part-time last year with Eloise and he was then appointed Traveling Head at the beginning of this season. His capability to manage staff and horses with a level head has meant that the team that go racing are efficient and always turned out well. He is fantastic with owners and we know that with Nick there the horses will always have the highest level of care.

RT & Our Assistant Trainer


As we profiled Barters Hill last week we thought it was only fitting that this week belonged to the little but courageous Raven's Tower.  They were the first two to arrive at BPR and both horses have been a very special part of what can only be described as a whirlwind four years.
Raven's Tower was brought out of Mark Johnson's yard at the Goffs Doncaster Spring 2013 Sale. He was a colt at the time and I think feisty would be the best way to describe him. He was quickly snapped up by Ben's Father-in-law Tim who with his wealth of knowledge in the industry saw something rather special in this little horse. (RT as he’s known) was syndicated out to mainly a group of Tim’s friends all to be known as the Faithful Friends.
After a few months at grass and having been gelded RT came back into training at the beginning of July ridden every day by Tori and it soon became apparent that this little horse had a huge presence and a love for jumping. He seemed to come a light when he saw a hurdle.
He was sent out as Ben's first ever runner with David Bass on board at Plumpton in late September of that year giving his trainer what was (very nearly) a dream start being beaten a length.
The next two runs had the same result with him hitting the crossbar finishing 3rdand 2nd. Then came a day that will always be special to Ben and everyone involved. RT provided the team with our first ever winner at Plumpton. Celebrations were nearly as the same as those matched at Cheltenham last year! This little horse went on to have a superb season.
Winning at Warwick before heading to the Festival in the Fred Winter. To have a horse good enough for Cheltenham was amazing, he ran a gallant 6th again getting us all shouting as they turned for home.
He would go on to win another big handicap at Ascot before the season was out.
RT was the horse that every trainer wishes for in his first season and we will be forever grateful to him.
Fast forward four years and he has run at 3 Cheltenham Festivals 3 Aintree Festivals won 6 times including big races up at Aintree and been placed over 20 times, he has won over £70,000 in prize money, not bad for a horse that cost £2000! Most importantly he has given his wonderful owners some tremendous days out and this season is no different he is having one of the best seasons back over hurdles having won once and been placed in his first 3 starts. We fear the handicapper might have hold of him at the moment, but we look forward to a fun Spring campaign.
He is and always will be an incredibly special horse to us.



It would be fair to say that Tom has been a massive part of this team from day one of his arrival at the beginning of season three.
Tom entered the racing industry at 16 starting out at Charlie Longsdon’s as an Amateur Jockey before heading back to his Welsh roots to Tim Vaughan's yard where he turned Conditional. A talented point to point rider he decided to turn professional under rules riding 24 winners and having some fantastic days, he very nearly tasted Cheltenham Festival glory twice being beaten a short distance both times.
If you ride more than 25 winners under rules you are not allowed to turn back Amateur. Tom after having success in this sphere decided that he wanted the option to remain Amateur so handed in his professional licence and took up pointing again in a major way. He headed to one of the stand out trainers in the pointing world Sheila Crow based in Shropshire, he enjoyed many years of success with Shelia before wanting to take on role where he was more involved in training as well as riding. At the time Zara Phillips was looking for someone to be a right-hand man to assist her with the pointers she had in, this allowed Tom to be more involved in the day to day training of the horses and perhaps leading onto the realisation that he wanted to take his career down a different path.
Tom and Ben had met previously, and Ben was looking for someone to take over as head lad. The yard after it’s first couple of years was increasing in numbers and a knowledgeable head lad was very much required.
Tom's ability to manage people and most importantly his eye for detail when it came to the horses were invaluable, he and Mary (Assistant Trainer 2014-2017) worked as a fantastic team together both young and enthusiastic the yard went from strength to strength over the next couple of years. Tom was able to continue his pointing throughout these couple of years, challenging for the Welsh riders Championship and riding the lovely Silvergrove to be 3rd in the Kim Muir at the Festival in 2016.
Mary left at the end of last season and Tom took up the position of Assistant Trainer, with this he decided that it was time to hang up his riding boots ended his career in style and on a high with a double.
Tom has taken to the role of Assistant with ease, he has been invaluable to Ben and the team and has made the role his own. A man who knows how to have a good time we know that our owners are having a great day at the races.
As we have had a quiet few weeks. He is currently taking a well-earned midseason few days skiing and this has just been posted on Instagram.
Two words UHHHH OHHH!!

More To Come From 2018


There won’t ever be another horse who will do as much for my career as BARTERS HILL has done. I bought him (expertly guided by my agent Tessie) at the Tattersalls Derby sale before I had even got my trainers license. He was exceptionally backward as a 3yr old and really showed very little indeed in his first season. He was bought at my first open/owners day by an amalgamation of family and close friends of them, who became the 'Circle of Friends'. They have shown huge patience with 'Lenny' or 'Bart', as he is known in the yard, right from the start. A lot of people would have outed him as slow or useless, but that is certainly not what he turned out as! It was quite amazing the transformation in him after a summers break. When we turned up for his first bumper run at Huntingdon I apologised to his owners as he looked like he was ‘’In Foal’’ in the paddock but that didn’t appear to stop him! The first of four bumper wins that season, that included the Listed bumper at Newbury and the Aintree Champion bumper. Amazing to think he beat BUVEUR D'AIR twice that season and ALTIOR once!
His Novice Hurdle campaign couldn’t have started any better with an effortless win at Huntingdon. He then went straight to Newbury for the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle. He duly won very well and showed how good he could be. It was a landmark success for the yard and his jockey David Bass as it was our first success at Grade 1 level. He then won the Grade 2 River Don at Doncaster, but had to fight hard to win. Things couldn’t have been better in the lead up to the Cheltenham Festival and he was hot favourite for the Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle. On the Wednesday (two days before the race) he was found lame in his box at home after exercise and to this day we don’t know what went wrong, but he was sore. Amazingly he was sound on the day of the race but he wasn’t himself from the back of the last but was a gallant in defeat still finishing 4th.
His chasing career was due to start in October but the ground was very quick and we missed our first three intended starting points and ended up running at Cheltenham at the November meeting. It was a strange day filled with nerves but he soon settled them by jumping brilliantly. Unfortunately, the day wasn’t to end happily with him being pulled up quickly in front of the stands. He had slipped his tendon off of his hock, an injury not alien to racing, but certainly not one of the more common injuries. The prognosis for such an injury is very uncertain, so it was just a case of trying our best to help him in any way possible. After a stretch on box rest, followed by a large amount of walker work, it was apparent the swelling wasn’t reducing enough and he was sent for a small operation to tidy up the area around where the tendon now sat. Still sore he went out to grass at Stowell Park, where he summers every year, to see if being out in the field helped at all. Amazingly it helped a huge amount and it was decided that he would go for eight weeks on the water treadmill at Jamie and Judy Magee’s in Lambourn. This again brought him forward in leaps and bounds and he returned to gentle training. Amazingly he has gone from strength to strength and although not rushed he has been improving all the time.
We are now fast approaching the next chapter of his career as we are hopefully days if not weeks away from his return to the racecourse. He has worked nicely in Lambourn twice and appears to hold plenty of his old ability. We will not know exactly what ability he retains until he runs but all we can try to do is have him as well prepared as possible and the rest will be up to him. If he doesn’t have his old enthusiasm for the game then we will not continue. He is such a kind horse and so easy in every way that there will be a lot to life once his racing days are finished with.
But then of course if he is back for more with the old fire burning in his belly………who knows what could happen…..


Gill joined us this summer as my Head Lass. She had been running her own pre-training and breaking yard on the farm here for several years with her partner Vince Slattery. They had built up a very successful and hugely well-regarded business so I can only count myself very lucky that she has joined us here at Ben Pauling Racing. Her knowledge of horses and her stable management is second to none. It is hard for us all to keep up with her work rate but I think the best thing is not to try because it is almost impossible to do! It is not only on the floor where she excels, she has a background in eventing and rides very well indeed. Both, WILLOUGHBY COURT and BARTERS HILL both reap the rewards of being ridden by Gill on a daily basis. The staff quite clearly respect her and she will always do her best for them to make their lives in the yard as smooth as possible. I am thrilled to have her here and she is a huge part of a well-oiled machine and it would already be a strange place without her.



I hope you have all had the most wonderful Christmas with your families and friends. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy New Year and a prosperous 2018. As you are all aware the festive period is a very busy time for a racing yard and I cannot thank my staff enough for their hard work and commitment to the yard. The weather has been particularly trying over the last few weeks which hasn't made it any easier. We had a great yard Christmas party a week ago today, where spirits were high to say the least!


MARKOV made it two from two over fences as he won nicely at Doncaster for his owner Alan Marsh. He is a very economical jumper and he didn't put a foot wrong over the extended 2m3f. The handicapper has put him up 12lbs for his 6 length win which I feel is very harsh. Only time will tell, but it looks a tough mark to win off of to me. He has been a horse who has thrived all season and he continues to do so which is great to see. If he was to creep up a few pounds he may be one you might see line up in the 2m5f Close Brothers Novice Handicap Chase at the festival.


We had outlined the Silver Fox Trophy at Leicester on the 28th of December for Creep for quite a while, but I put him in at Fakenham simply to have a look at the entries. I honestly didn't think the track would suit or the fact that the ground went soft but I thought it was a good opportunity for a winner and thankfully we were right. It wasn't made easy though as they omitted 4 fences which really isn't what he needs as he is such a good little jumper. Despite that he knuckled down and showed plenty of guts to win by 2 lengths. He is a horse we all adore at home and I am looking forward to hopefully seeing him progress over fences throughout the season.

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