16 Apr April 2016
Lady Lekki scores second career win at Redcar under masterful Graham Lee ride
On Mon 11th April Ben takes 2 horses to Redcar and whilst Charlie’s Approval is unable to trouble the judge Lady Lekki returns to form and gives Ben his second win of 2016 and also records the second win of her own career, from just 4 starts.
Lady Lekki runs in a 1 mile 1 furlong Fillies handicap at the Teesside course with top Jockey Graham Lee taking the ride. Graham sensibly sets a strong pace from the front on Lady Lekki as our filly’s last two runs in 2015 were over 12 and 14 furlongs respectively, whilst her main market rival in the field of 4 had not run over more than a mile and not won over a distance greater than 7 furlongs and therefore her stamina could not be assured.
Graham continues to make all the running as the race progresses but inside the final furlong her market rival belies the view of her being a doubtful stayer by challenging strongly and even leading very briefly but Graham, giving Lady Lekki a tremendously determined ride, ekes out more in the run to the line and our filly prevails by a head.
A masterful ride from Graham Lee but Lady Lekki herself has shown tremendous battling qualities to record her second career win from just 4 starts, her first win having been on her racecourse debut in a Flat meeting at Wetherby in April 2015.
The win will surely have done Lady Lekki’s confidence for the new season the power of good, and the win, coming as it does just a couple of weeks into the new turf Flat season, will give a boost to everyone at Castle Hill Stables, and perhaps even a welcome, and only slightly belated, wedding present for Ben and Alice !
Moon Over Rio starts her season with a fine 3rd place at Catterick
Wed 20th April sees Moon Over Rio have her first outing of 2016 in a mile and a half handicap at Catterick. Partnered by Joey Haynes the mare races in midfield throughout the early part of the race before making progress in the straight. Three furlongs out Moon Over Rio goes second but can then only run on at one pace and eventually has to settle for 3rd place of the 12 runners. Nevertheless this is a good run and a promising start to the 2016 season for the 5 year old who runs in the colours of our own Blue Lion Racing syndicate.
Any Joy shows great promise on her racecourse debut at Doncaster
2 days later Any Joy, unraced as a 2 year old, makes her racecourse debut in a Class 5 Maiden Fillies race at Doncaster under 6 furlongs with Graham Lee taking the ride. Despite the large field of 17 runners Any Joy is not fazed by the experience and immediately takes a prominent position alongside the leaders and remains there until halfway. 2 furlongs out Any Joy is ridden and gradually weakens in the final 2 furlongs but still runs on well to finish 5th, beaten just over 6 lengths.
This is an impressive first run and start to Any Joy’s 3 year old career. The filly who is out of Zoffany, one of last season’s leading first season sires, is owned by Sue Milner, one of our long standing owners, and Marcus Rees for whom this is a first venture into racehorse ownership. We wish them both well and hope Any Joy can bring them plenty of success and fun during the 2016 season. Ben is naturally delighted with this debut run as well and is keen to have the filly back on the racecourse very soon.
Another placing for Freeze A Crowd at Southwell
4 horses make the journey from Castle Hill Stables to Southwell on 25th April and the best placing is achieved by the 3 year old Freeze A Crowd in a 7 furlong handicap, her first attempt at this trip. Close up 2 furlongs out Freeze A Crowd keeps on at one pace in the final furlong and has to settle for 3rd place. This is the 3rd occasion the filly has made the frame in her 4 races to date in 2016 but frustratingly she is still seeking that elusive first victory.