14 Feb February 2018
Porrima returns from 7 month break with excellent 2nd place at Newcastle
First action of the new month from Castle Hill Stables is Thurs 8th Feb as two of our maiden 3 year olds, Porrima and Canufeelthelove, make the trip up the A1 to contest a 6 furlong Fillies Novice Stakes race at Newcastle’s all-weather track.
It’s especially good to see Porrima, a grey filly by Kodiac, back on the racecourse as she has not run since her hugely impressive debut race at Thirsk last June when she was a fast finishing 3rd of 11, having missed the break. Today’s field again comprises 11 runners and Andrew Mullen is in the saddle this time. Andrew keeps Porrima towards the rear of the field in the early part of the race before chasing the leaders 2 furlongs out. After switching our filly to the right Porrima runs on really well again inside the final furlong this time taking 2nd place, beaten just 1/2 length at the line. That’s a second excellent run in only 2 races from Porrima and her owners, Daniel Shapiro and partners, will be delighted at the start their filly has made to her racing career.
Canufeelthelove runs unplaced in the same race but will certainly come on for the run.
And also a 2nd place at Newcastle for dual course winner Lord Caprio
The following day it’s back to Newcastle for Ben with two more of our 3 year olds, Lord Caprio and the unraced The Bull. First away in an apprentice handicap over 1 mile is Lord Caprio who is partnered by the experienced apprentice Edward Greatrex who also rides The Bull later, his first two rides for Ben. Lord Caprio finished 2017 by winning his final 2 races, both at Newcastle, but has had a 10 week break since his last run. Just 5 horses contest the race and Lord Caprio is sent off a hot favourite. Making nice headway over 2 furlongs from home Lord Caprio also stays on well in the final furlong to take 2nd place, and yet again like Porrima, beaten only 1/2 length. Lord Caprio too will come on for this run following her break but it is certainly another good performance, particularly considering he was giving more than a stone to the winner.
Later on the card The Bull, a chestnut gelding by Camacho, makes her racecourse debut in a 7 furlong Novice Auction Stakes race. The Bull runs unplaced but will benefit from the experience.
Two 4th places for two of our 3 year olds at Wolverhampton
On to Wed 14th Feb and another pair of our 3 year olds are out, Musbaq and Cherry Oak — but this time it’s down to Wolverhampton. Musbaq, who ran twice for Mark Johnston in 2017 finishing 5th on each occasion, has his first run for Ben in a 7 furlong maiden race. In the saddle today is Cam Hardie who having held Musbaq up in the early stages pushes on from halfway and his partner runs on well in the final furlong to finish 4th of the 8 runners. A pleasing introduction, and as well as a first run for Ben this is also Musbaq’s first experience of an all-weather surface.
Two hours later it’s the turn of Cherry Oak, already unlucky not to have won a race as she twice finished 2nd in races at Newcastle in January. This time it’s a 5 furlong handicap at Wolverhampton and Cherry Oak is partnered by leading lady rider Josephine Gordon, having her first ever ride for Ben. Again Cherry Oak is held at the rear of the 7 runners in the early part of the race before moving forward from halfway. Our filly runs on well inside the final furlong finishing a never nearer 4th at the line, though beaten around 7 lengths by the comfortable winner. In 7 runs following her racecourse debut Cherry Oak has never finished out of the first 5, and her winning turn will surely come !
Just a 3rd place this time as Cash Again bids to follow up Sedgefield victory
Our first jumps runner of the month is not until Feb 22nd when Cash Again bids to follow up his Sedgefield win a month ago. It’s back to Sedgefield today for the 6 year old who contests a novices’ limited handicap over 2 miles 5 furlongs, just 2 furlongs further than his January win. Richie McLernon, his usual rider, is in the saddle today and he holds Cash Again up for the first part of the race before making headway just past halfway and quickly moving into 3rd place. Cash Again can today find no more though and cannot get to the two leaders, having to settle for 3rd place on this occasion.