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.