04 Jan January 2019
Festive greetings from Castle Stables
We hope all readers of Ben’s website had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. May we also wish that all our owners ( past, present and prospective ! ), and all our website readers, have a happy, successful and profitable 2019 !
Ben certainly had an excellent year in 2018 with a number of magnificent achievements. These included: Highest ever Flat prize money earned. Highest ever Jumps prize money earned. Most ever wins in a Flat season. Most ever runners in a Flat season. Most ever winners ( Flat and Jumps ) in a calendar year. First runner in a Group race. First runner in a Listed race. First winner in a Listed race. 100th career win ( Flat and Jumps ).
Excellent though those achievements were Ben will naturally be keen to better them, where possible, during 2019 !
Please note the full 2018 stats appear under December 2018 page.
Good 2nd place for Castle Hill Cassie in Conditions race at Wolverhampton
The New Year quickly gets under way as 3 horses leave Castle Hill Stables on Wed 2nd January, one heading down to Wolverhampton, the other two going north to Newcastle.
Castle Hill Cassie, who had such a wonderful 2018, is our runner at Wolverhampton in a fillies’ Conditions Stakes race over 7 furlongs, a Fast-Track Qualifier for the All-Weather Championships at Lingfield Park on Good Friday. The 2018 champion apprentice Jason Watson is in the saddle, having just his second ride for Ben. Castle Hill Cassie is kept in midfield for much of the race but in the straight challenges between runners and takes second place without being able to get to the comfortable winner who beats our now 5 year old mare by 3/4 lengths. The winner of this Class 2 Conditions race looks extremely useful and this is unquestionably another good run from Cassie.
Ben opens his account for 2019 on the second day of the new year as Rey Loopy scores for the 4th time at Newcastle
On a late afternoon card both Rey Loopy and Funkadelic contest races at Newcastle. Rey Loopy who, like Castle Hill Cassie, became a 5 year old yesterday and is already a 3 time winner, all at Newcastle, runs in a 7 furlong handicap, ridden for the first time by Andrew Mullen. Rey Loopy races in last place until the 2 furlong marker when Andrew drives his mount forward. Rey Loopy runs on well taking 3rd place entering the final furlong and in the run to the line shows a lovely attitude to eventually pass his rivals and win unchallenged by 2 and a quarter lengths. This is a most pleasing performance by Rey Loopy and owners Daniel Shapiro, David Clifford and Mrs Christine Barclay can look forward to another good season from their horse, especially no doubt at Newcastle where he has now won no less than 4 times. It’s only the second day of the new year but Ben has already now opened his account for 2019.
Later on the card Funkadelic runs unplaced in a 5 furlong handicap.
Much improved performance from Call The Cops to take 2nd place in Newcastle handicap hurdle
Ben is back at Newcastle the following Saturday, 5th January, but this time it’s with two of our jumpers, both owned by J P McManus. First away is Call The Cops in a 2 mile 6 furlong handicap hurdle. The 10 year old returned at Sedgefield a month ago following a 15 month break but finished a well beaten 7th of 11. His rider today is again Richie McLernon. Richie holds Call The Cops up towards the rear of the 10 runners for much of the race before making headway 4 out and going 3rd at the second last. Call The Cops then moves into 2nd place jumping the last but cannot make any impression on the winner, 2nd place though, beaten 3 and a quarter lengths, is nevertheless a substantial improvement on his comeback run a month ago.
35 minutes later Ever So Much is pulled up in a chase over just short of 3 miles. This distance is slightly longer than his optimum trip and the good to soft ground not entirely ideal. This is the second consecutive race Ever So Much has failed to complete but hopefully better can be expected next time in what will be his 50th race under rules !
Our third 2nd place of the year as Rey Loopy goes close again at Newcastle
Just one week later, Sat 12th January, and Ben is again back at Newcastle but it’s a return to Flat racing today as Rey Loopy seeks to add to his already impressive 4 wins on their all-weather track. As in his previous winning race 10 days ago Andrew Mullen is again in the saddle but on this occasion Rey Loopy is upped in trip to a mile, a distance over which he’s already been successful twice on this course. As in his previous race Rey Loopy is held towards the back of the runners in the first half of the race before Andrew makes his move from the 2 furlong marker. Rey Loopy runs on well inside the final furlong and catches the leaders but is frustratingly run out of it by another rival coming even later on the scene, on the outside of the runners. In the last 100 yards Rey Loopy runs on at one pace to finish 2nd of the 7 runners, beaten one and three quarter lengths. Another good consistent run from Rey Loopy but annoyingly that now 3 second places for our runners already this year, thankfully Rey Loopy got his head in front in his previous race on January 2nd !