The dawn of a new week was a quiet one; with no racing til Wednesday it was a relatively laidback start for the horses and the personnel. This can be particularly useful when dealing with the specifics of logistics and with trips as far as Scotland planned this week it was good for everyone that they could ease themselves gently into the week.
Tuesday was a Ben Pauling invasion of the Lambourn Gallops, we had four lorries headed there, working in two shifts; in total we took 13 horses, and even managed to pick one up to take home, welcome to Dock Road. Nico and Daryl joined our riders and were very happy with the horses they rode.
Oistrakh Le Noir left & Shakem Up'Arry Special Buddy left & Ange Endormi
With plenty of rain overnight and all through the day the ground had changed a lot by racing time on Wednesday. Lifeisahighway was having his first run in 18 months at Fontwell and he jumped out smartly and went clear alongside the unfortunate Van Megeeren, a last flight faller when clear. He travelled and jumped well until three out, in hindsight he’d probably done a bit too much early on on the tacky ground and stopped very quickly.
Unai and Anightinlambourn were taking each other on at Hereford, where again the ground had taken on a fair bit of water, both jumped well, particularly Anightinlambourn who briefly looked to get competitive three fences out but her challenge petered out, interestingly all the horses that finished in front had had the benefit of a run this season already. They finished 5th and 6th respectively, which was a solid starting point for both horses.
Seaside Girl, none the worse for her trip to Wincanton, was strongly fancied for her race at Fontwell, but she’s a good ground girl and the going was all wrong for her, she jumped nicely enough under a patient ride from Luca but was always struggling with the ground and it was great credit to her and Luca that she finished where she did.
Thursday epitomised the ups and downs of racing, starting the day with Jovial Spirit at Ludlow. It was a hot novice hurdle, and with it being his first run over obstacles, he was always going to be slightly up against it. Things didn’t really go to plan and unfortunately some novicey jumps didn’t help, he pulled up 3 out and he’ll need to show a bit more next time he runs.
Granny’s Secret, again at Ludlow and again ridden by Daryl Jacob, showed much improved jumping and travelled nicely for a while but faded towards the end of the race, she’ll come on plenty for the run.
At Lingfield Bryony Frost had the leg up on Not at Present. “Notty”, again over hurdles for the first time, jumped the first two a bit clumsily and struggled to lay up after that. He briefly rallied but ultimately finished down the field. He will have learned an enormous amount from this initial experience and was given a very gentle ride.
Luckily we saved the best til last, super Luca served up a treat on Apple Rock at Carlisle. It certainly wasn’t good ground at Carlisle, with earlier runners coming back coated in mud. Whether Apple Rock likes the mud or not, he certainly went well enough in it. He was taking on a Skelton hotpot and travelled and jumped well throughout, given a super cool ride by Luca Morgan, he gradually made headway through the field, jumping the last in front and staying on well to win by 3/4l. It was a much needed boost in what has been a tricky couple of weeks.
Apple Rock winner at Carlisle ridden by Luca Morgan and led by Paul Tait
The equivalent of Christmas came for jumps folks on Friday with the start of the first Cheltenham Meeting. We had just the one runner there on Friday, Whatsupwithyou, entered in the super competitive Handicap Hurdle. Ridden again by Luca, he smuggled Whatsupwithyou into the race, and despite hitting a few flat spots in the race, he kept finding for pressure and was bang in contention at the last, making a beeline for the rail and running on strongly to the line to finish a highly creditable 7th. All in all it was a great days racing obviously only lacking in the fans but fingers crossed going forward.
Whatsupwithyou at Cheltenham led up by Megan Fox
Two yard favourites ran on Saturday, Cheltenham festival winner Le Breuil up north at Kelso and The Macon Lugnatic at Cheltenham. Both were having their first runs of the season and so entitled to come on for the run. First up was Le Breuil at Kelso; the race started in dramatic fashion with three down at the first fence leaving Breuily in the front pair, he jumped and travelled nicely until three fences out when the tank began to empty, despite that he only finished 5l behind the winner so all in all a very positive run. For some reason or another it was not the Macon’s day at Cheltenham, despite showing his now much improved jumping, and jumping out in front he looked beaten very early on and cruised home in his own time. His first run last season was disappointing and he went on to win his next two so we can hope for better going forward.
Sunday, unfortunately didn’t quite go to plan with both One Touch and Sebastian Beach heading up to Aintree. One Touch hit the front early on but jumped markedly right and Nico pulled him up quickly as he thought something had gone wrong, he’d given himself a bang but should be fine. Sebastian Beach has had a great summer and this was probably his last chance before the ground goes against him. Luca jumped him out in front, and he looked happy enough but the ground must have been too wet as he struggled to get home.
Finally on a lighter note, its been a real animal week at BPR and here are some of the images from this week.
An unexpected visitor to the Gallop Cracker supervising the horses work Newest recruits could do with a bath
Time for Some Rain
The weather may have stayed fair for the week but that’s all that did at BPR; it’s been a tricky last 10 days, but fortunately as the weather looks to change for the worse bringing some much needed moisture to the courses so the green shoots of improvement have been shown over the weekend, starting the week with some much needed enthusiasm.
The week started with a trip to Lambourn for another schooling session, including two owned by football legend Harry Redknapp, who came along to watch his horses, Shakem Up’Arry and Bowtogreatness do a piece of work. Whilst Bangers And Cash, Baxter Basics, I’m Spellbound and De La Mar Rocket also came along for a spin. Yard jockeys Nico de Boinville and David Bass rode Bowtogreatness and Shakem Up’Arry respectively and were pleased with how they worked. The other horses looked good too, and we are looking forward to seeing some of them run very soon.
Harry holding Court. Shakem Up'Arry left. Bowtogreatness right. Luca leading on Baxter Basics.
We had three runners at Huntingdon on Tuesday; Your Darling had a nice first run to finish third to one that probably got a bit of a soft lead. In the same race, poor King Erik landed badly at the first and was pulled up quickly afterwards. Unfortunately he has suffered a serious injury will be off for a while now convalescing, we wish him a speedy recovery. Later on, Northern Bound, in a very open race, had to cope with a 12 lb swing from his previous run. He’d been raised 6 lbs for his win, and without Luca’s 6 lb claim he had a tough task. He finished 5th, which was respectable without ever being overly competitive. Finally, Myles Osbourne, one of our stable employees’, had a ride in the final race for his parents and despite being a very big price indeed, ran brilliantly to come 6th.
Wednesday saw horses working home and away, with jockeys Tom Bellamy and Nico de Boinville coming to the yard, and another 6 horses going to Lambourn. All the horses worked well, with Equus Secretus particularly tanking along, much to his jockey’s enjoyment!
With racing at Carlisle and Wincanton on Thursday, we had lorries heading in different directions; Wireless Operator going to Carlisle with Hannah and Glynn, whilst Seaside Girl was heading to Somerset with Ida and Flo.
Unfortunately, Wireless Operator’s race was run at a dawdle with a sprint at the finish, and both the race and the ground didn’t suit, with him finishing down the field. Seaside Girl jumped beautifully for all of two jumps, but some miscommunication between jockey and horse, saw Luca Morgan unshipped at the 3rd fence. Seaside Girl carried on on her jolly way for a bit longer before she was safely caught. However poor Luca stayed down, he was later taken to hospital but luckily there were no serious injuries and he’s back on the yard already. On a happier note, local trainer and friend of the yard, Jennifer Mason’s horse Frilly Frock won that particular race so it wasn’t all doom and gloom!
Luca, Flo and Seaside Girl at Wincanton. Glynn & Wireless Operator at Carlisle.
Friday was a nice quiet day, we had just the one runner at Fakenham in a novice hurdle. Hawk Wind, who was having his first run of any type, was ridden by Bryony Frost. Dropped out the back, he became a little detached to start with, but then really got the swing of things to finish a very pleasing 4th. Softer ground and a longer trip we hope will really bring the best out of him.
All the big action was at Ascot on Saturday with Champion Day’s, the grand finale of the Flat Season going on. Considering the course was flooded a fortnight ago, it was very impressive that racing went ahead. With the flat nearly finished, the jumps season now starts in earnest, and it is very exciting to think the first Cheltenham meeting is only a week away. There was still some competitive jump racing on at Stratford, where Now is the Winter ran, and at Market Rasen where De Barley Basket and For Luck ran in the same race.
Now Is The Winter was running a nice race, jumping and travelling well, until David Bass pulled him up as he felt there was something amiss, luckily he was absolutely fine but better to be safe than sorry. De Barley Basket ran solidly enough to finish midfield, he’s been consistent this season without threatening to get his head in front just yet. For Luck jumped considerably better on his first attempt over fences and there was definitely some improvement.
There was no resting on the day of rest, with Artemision at Ffos Las, and grand servant Raven’s Tower at Kempton. What a contrast in experience, Artemision at 4 yo’s, having his first ever run, whilst Raven’s Tower at 10 yo’s, was having his 58th run in total, 51st for us. Both horses ran absolute stormers, Artemsion having run in the vanguard for the majority of the race came a strong 4th, only 5 lengths behind the winner and ½ a length behind the hot favourite in a strong race. Raven’s Tower, trying a new trip, travelled beautifully, but for suffering for the lack of a clear run when he was making his move, would have finished even closer than the very decent 3rd.
We had three birthdays this week, Gill, our Head Person and Ashton, one of the stable grooms and finally the illustrious man himself, Ben. Plenty of cake was had by all!
Gill Schooling. Ashton after her Birthday dunking. Ben managing the Gallop.
Finally we wish the best of luck to Jazz Chapman, one of our Stable Groom's, who is going to train to be a Veterinary Nurse, thanks for all your hard work.
(Below riding her favourite horse Delahaye Gold)
So Close.... but not to be.
It was a disappointing start to the week, with racing abandoned at Stratford, after the River Avon burst its banks, not surprising after all the rain we have had recently. Luckily, the majority of runners entered there, have been redirected to Newton Abbott this Sunday.
Of the runners this week, Eau Top and Lady Chuffnell ran well at Sedgefield without getting their heads in front, they both ran promisingly for their first runs of the season.
Similarly, Shanroe Tic Tec ran a solid race at Exeter, he is a quirky character that needs his mind focused on the job in hand, but hopefully the penny is dropping
A number of horses have had an away day, schooling at Lambourn, and Ben was pleased with how the horses worked while a lot of their normal jockeys came to sit on them.
On Friday the world-renowned Coach and Instructor Yogi Breisner came to the yard to give some instruction to the young riders, everyone, young and older, learned a great deal from their sessions and can hopefully put some of his instruction to good use going forward.
On Saturday we had just the one runner at Chepstow, Doubly Clever, who tragically suffered a fatal injury when falling, our condolences to the Morgan family. Doubly wasn’t here long but had done brilliantly in a short, busy stint over the summer, we’re all very sad to see him gone.
Sunday didn’t entirely go to plan, we took 3 runners to Newton Abbott but unfortunately everything ran a little bit underwhelmingly. We’ve had a good look at all three this morning and they seem perfectly well in themselves so maybe it was just one of those days! Onwards and upwards.
Luca on Doubly Clever. Yogi Breisner Clinic.
Back to back wins for The Macon Lugnatic at Doncaster!
Having won on this course over this distance on his last start The Macon Lugnatic repeated his fabulous performance, this time on better ground in the Novices’ Hurdle. David Bass gave him another superb ride. He dictated the pace from the front until he was joined at the last and responded to the pressure brilliantly finding plenty to take the race by a length and a quarter. Huge congratulations go to his owners Genesis Racing Partnership II, who weren’t there but watched and celebrated in style from Cheltenham!
The team brought two wonderful winners home from Huntingdon on 1st March!
To kick off the double Equus Secretus won the MansionBet Proud To Support British Racing Beginners Chase. This was a competitive little race in which David Bass gave Equus Secretus and inspirational ride. He lost a shoe and was briefly headed but fought back bravely to get his head in front when it counted. Congratulations to the Bourtoneers and well done Nathan Green who looks after him.
Granny’s Secret went on to win the MansionBet #getitready For Cheltenham Mares' Maiden Hurdle by 5 lengths under another great ride by Nico de Boinville, providing the team with a double! Every winner is exciting but this one was extra special as it’s the first winner Ben’s trained for his mum and her JP girls, who definitely enjoyed it!
What a way to kick things off with our new sponsor Jeremy Houghton! It was the debut outing of our fabulous new kit provided by Jeremy who was with us at Huntingdon on the day.
STOKES WINS ON DEBUT AT WOLVERHAMPTON
Stokes is shaping up to be as good as his namesake. Winning on debut under David Bass at Wolverhampton in the Best Odds Visit novibet.co.uk Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race. He made all, set the pace, saw of the competition and won decisively. He is a very exciting horse who looks to have a bright future and we can’t wait to see what it holds.
The Macon Lugnatic wins the 1st Security Solutions EBF "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle (Qualifier) at Doncaster
The Macon Lugnatic made all and kept finding out in front for David Bass who gave him a truly superb ride. Their timing was perfect as was the way they controlled the pace and they thoroughly deserved the win. The Macon Lugnatic was always a nice bumper horse but it was evident after his first run of the season at Leicester that his jumping needed work, so we sent him to Lucy Jackson who has done a fantastic job of schooling him. It's been a big team effort to get him back to this sort of level so it was great to see. He’s an improving horse and it’s always exciting when they win a qualifier like this. Congratulations to his owners The Genesis Racing Partnership II and to all connections!
Notice how clean they are.. one of the many perks of never being headed!
Legal Eyes wins the Every Race Live On Racing TV Handicap Chase at Kempton in style!
What a horse! The beautiful Legal Eyes was given a superb ride by Nico De Boinville, whos talent for reading races and hard work schooling the horses here at home to ensure their jumping is confident and accurate on the racecourse was as evident as ever. Having won at Plumpton in October this was Legal Eyes’ first run since having his wind operation. He rewarded The OAP Syndicate’s faith in him in spectacular style, winning this competitive race by 11 lengths! He jumped and galloped his rivals into submission and truly deserved the win, having led from the 3rd fence and given his all.
Your Darling wins the Premier Food Courts Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race at Newbury
The hugely exciting Your Darling looks to have a very bright future, winning on debut at Newbury for his owner Lord Vestey under Nico De Boinville. He was up against some strong competition including the incredibly well bred Flinteur Sacre (full brother to the famous Sprinter Sacre) making the win all the more impressive. The brilliant Henrietta Knight, who sourced him from Ireland thinks that he ‘is as good a horse as Best Mate’. It is safe to say that we are all incredibly excited about him!
29th December 2019 - One Touch serves up a festive treat to win at Doncaster!
One Touch made light work of the competition in the CWS Plumbing and Heating British EBF ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) at Doncaster. He was given a peach of a ride from David Bass who did what he does best and bounced him out to make all. One Touch went clear two out and was (to quote the commentator on the day) a ‘touch too good’. He was eased down to win by a convincing eight lengths for his brilliant owner Mr Martin Jones having jumped like a stag throughout. He won his only Point To Point start, a bumper and now he has also won over hurdles. We are anticipating a bright future for this classy horse over the bigger obstacles.
27th December - Global Citizen wins at Kempton!
Global Citizen produced a fabulous front-running display to win the Ladbrokes Wayward Lad Novices' Chase (G2, C1) at Kempton. He made all and set a good galloping pace which was 4 seconds faster than the Desert Orchid Chase. He has really stepped up and returned to form after making his chasing debut in October. In spite of the unfavourable ground we knew he was a brave and gutsy horse with the necessary class to win this competitive renewal.
David Bass rode him very positively settling him in a good rhythm and getting him jumping fantastically. Going into the last he had seen off all of his rivals except for Rouge Vif, however Global Citizen's valiant leap over the final fence and gallop to the line made him impossible for any of the others to get on terms with, let alone past.
His owners, The Megsons, have plenty to be excited about for the rest of the season as with this win under his belt we will now set his sights on the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival or Aintree. The winners of the Grade 2 Ladbrokes Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase in recent seasons include the likes of Sprinter Sacre, Altior and Cyrname, five of the last eight winners have gone on to win the Arkle.
20th December - Whatsupwithyou and Cavok provided Ben with a welcome double
Whatsupwithyou won the eventmasters.co.uk Maiden Hurdle at Ascot for his owner Co-foundations Ltd. David Bass gave him a fantastic, expertly timed ride. He has made the perfect start to his hurdling career, taking the inside line and jumping brilliantly throughout the race. He coped with the testing conditions very well and stayed on brilliantly to win this strong maiden hurdle convincingly by 3.5 lengths.
Cavok won the Richard Winterton Auctioneers Novices' Handicap Chase at Uttoxeter under Luca Morgan for her owner Mrs Carrie Zetter-Wells. This was Cavok’s season and chasing debut. Cavok won her Irish Point to Point on heavy ground so we knew she would be able to cope with the conditions. Luca Morgan gave her an excellent ride taking on the leader two out and seeing off the favourites challenge.
Espoir De Loire wins at Musselburgh