07 May May 2018
Ultra consistent Castle Hill Cassie maintains her impressive record with a 3rd place at Wetherby
The first Saturday of May ( 5th ) sees our ultra consistent 4 year old chestnut filly, Castle Hill Cassie, contest a Class 4 fillies handicap over 7 furlongs at one of Wetherby’s new Flat meetings. Tom Eaves rides Castle Hill Cassie for the first time today and he keeps the filly in the pairing at the rear of the 5 runners in the early part of the race. Once in the home straight and from the 3 furlong pole Castle Hill Cassie begins her move alongside the rails and entering the final furlong briefly gains second place, but she can only run on at one pace thereafter and has to settle for 3rd place at the line. Nonetheless Castle Hill Cassie maintains her record of never having finished out of the frame in 10 career starts ( 3 of which have been victories ).
4th place for Ever So Much in Southwell hurdle race
Sun 13th sees Ever So Much attempt to replicate his win at Sedgefield 3 weeks ago when he runs in a 3 mile handicap hurdle at Southwell under regular partner Richie McLernon. this is 1/4 mile further than the 9 year old has competed over to date and he is also up 5 lbs for his Sedgefield victory. Maybe both factors combined don’t play to his strengths but Ever So Much cannot repeat his earlier win and, whilst he enters the home straight in 2nd place, he weakens from the last but still finishes in a creditable 4th place.
Lester Kris takes 3rd place on first run for Ben after 6 month absence
One day later and Lester Kris makes his first appearance for Ben having moved here from Richard Hannon’s yard during the winter. Still owned, however, by Middleham Park Racing the 4 year old, a maiden, is having his first run for over 6 months and Ben introduces him in a 1 mile 4 furlong claiming race at nearby Catterick. Paul Mulrennan takes the ride and has Lester Kris prominent throughout and moves into the lead coming into the home straight. Lester Kris runs on well but is headed at the furlong marker and weakens inside the final furlong to finish in 3rd place. A satisfactory run after his absence and after the race Lester Kris is claimed and leaves Castle Hill Stables.
Castle Hill Cassie copes admirably in higher grade company with a 2nd place at high profile York meeting
Always nice to have runners at the big high profile meetings so it’s good to see our consistent 4 year old Castle Hill Cassie contest a valuable Class 3 fillies’ handicap over 7 furlongs at the big York meeting on Friday 18th May. This is certainly the highest class race she has competed in and regular partner Graham Lee is back in the saddle today. Graham keeps his mount towards the rear of the 12 runners in the early stages before starting to make his move after the 3 furlong marker. There are still only 2 or 3 runners behind Castle Hill Cassie at the 2 furlong pole but she is nicely positioned and only about 3 lengths behind the leaders. Entering the final furlong Graham delivers Castle Hill Cassie between rivals, quickly passing a number of horses, but despite running on really well she cannot quite get to the leader and finishes in second place, going down by just a length and a quarter at the generous odds of 20/1.
This is yet another fine run from Castle Hill Cassie, still never out of the frame now in 11 races ! She has coped admirably in a higher class race and her owners the Ontoawinner syndicate, James Pak and Mrs Christine Barclay will be delighted to have such a willing, consistent, and now even classy filly, such as Castle Hill Cassie !
Displaying Amber has to settle for 3rd place at Redcar under champion jockey Silvestre De Sousa
21st May and two of our 3 year old fillies make the journey over to Redcar. Displaying Amber contests a 5 furlong handicap under champion jockey Silvestre De Sousa having his first ride of the season for Ben. Displaying Amber races just behind the leaders for much of the race and takes third entering the final furlong. She can however only run on at one pace and has to settle for 3rd place of the 7 runners at the line and our chestnut filly is still awaiting her first win after 7 starts to date.
In the final race on Redcar’s card Elysee Star runs unplaced in a mile and a quarter handicap.
Hat trick of second places for frustrating Eponina, runner-up again in Redcar seller
One week later and Ben finds yet another opportunity for our 4 year old filly Eponina to finally rid herself of her maiden tag courtesy of a 7 furlong selling race at Redcar. Graham Lee takes the ride today and settles Eponina into midfield of the 9 runners before a move 2 furlongs out. Entering the final furlong Eponina joins the leaders but despite keeping on well she yet again finds just one horse too good on the day and takes 2nd place at the line, beaten just 1/2 length. More frustration for our filly — that’s now 4 times she finished 2nd, including each of her last 3 races, though the first time she’s taken the runners-up spot on turf. She has also, in fact, never finished outside the first 6 in any of her 12 career starts. It is however the last time Eponina will run for Ben as she is claimed after the race and leaves Castle Hill Stables.
Second career win, though first on turf, as Prancing Oscar scores at Hamilton
The final day of the month, 31st May, ultimately turns out to be the best day of the month for Castle Hill Stables as 3 of our horses make the journey up to Hamilton. In a contest over 5 furlongs for novice 2 year olds our filly Pinarella runs a nice second race until weakening in the final furlong, before Epeius takes in a 6 furlong handicap under Paul Mulrennan. The 5 year old dwells slightly leaving the stalls but is quickly driven up to race in midfield. Despite being momentarily short of room Epeius stays on well inside the final furlong to take 3rd place of the 7 runners at 14/1.
Our final runner at the Lanarkshire course today is Prancing Oscar, also ridden by Paul Mulrennan. Prancing Oscar is dropped in trip by Ben to contest a 1 mile 1 furlong handicap and carries joint top weight of the 9 runner field. Paul rides Prancing Oscar prominently throughout the race, in second place on the heels of the leader. Entering the final furlong Paul moves Prancing Oscar into the lead. The 4 year old runs on well but is immediately challenged by another rival though he keeps up to his work well to prevail at the line by a neck at odds of 7/1. Prancing Oscar has shown a great attitude to win this race, his second victiory, though his first on turf, of his 11 race career to date. On this display there should be more to come from Prancing Oscar, who carries the colours of long time supporters of our stable Middleham Park Racing, and Ben is considering trying the horse over hurdles before too long. This is also Ben’s 6th Flat winner of 2018, though his first on turf, leaving him just 5 behind his last season’s score of 11 winners which itself was Ben’s best total to date.