Whilst we have been relatively quiet on the runners front over the last couple of weeks – typical trainer headaches of soft ground when hard is needed and vice versa! – this has, at least, given Ben a chance to study the Sales Catalogues that have been dropping through the letter box with reckless abandon. Unbelievable as it may seem, it is once again time to go and try and search for those hidden gems at the yearling sales. We decided against selling all our worldly belongings to go to Deauville this year (the mojitos cost nearly as much as the horses!) and made the wise decision to stay here and bag ourselves a winner!
Though runners are thin on the ground, the six year old gelding Ever So Much (Westerner X Beautiful World) was busy keeping the smiles on our faces when he made the long trip to Bangor well worthwhile. This gorgeous horse always takes a little time to get to full fitness (a weight-watchers nightmare, he only has to look at a blade of grass!) but a bit of patience this season saw him reach the winners enclosure here for the fifth time for Castle Hill Stables. Andrew Tinkler gave him a peach of a ride for owner JP McManus, winding him up from three out to hit the front just before the finishing line in the 2 mile 3 furlong hurdle. The length and a half victory has only seen him go up 6lb, and I am sure there will be another opportunity for him in the near future – it would be nice if he could repeat his four in a row effort from last year!
Last weekend was lots of fun, with plenty of owners coming up to visit before Doncaster Sales. They watched some of their two year old’s do some nice pieces of work ,and we will be seeing a couple of those out in the next few weeks – starting with Epeius (Arakan X Gilda Lilly) who is hopefully heading to Newcastle on Monday in a 7 furlong maiden for owners The Trojan Horse Partnership. Named after the man who built the wooden horse, he looks a nice horse, particularly for his three year old career, and will learn plenty for the run.
Finally, we made it to the Doncaster Sales and have returned home with two smart looking horses to go to war with next year! Ben has had plenty of success with first season sires – buying a Fast Company for £11000 in 2014, Fugleman, who went on to win his maiden and sold a month later for £75,000. We also picked up two very nice Zoffanys last year (now leading first season sire) and both will be making their debuts in the next month. This year, we purchased a colt by first-season sire Sir Prancealot, a Group 2 winning sprinter. Sir Prancealot X Beguiler is a stunning stamp, with plenty of size and scope and a real presence. He looks sharp as anything, and has settled in really well – indeed, on his first day here Ben already had the roller on him whilst lunging and he took it all in his (large!) stride. Speedy looking, we are wanting to syndicate him with an eye on the Doncaster Sales race at the Ebor Meeting at York next year. Worth about £150,000 to the winner, he is bred for the job and ready to crack on with his preparation. If interested, please contact Ben.
We also found a nice filly, another with a speedy pedigree who may join him in the same syndicate. By Hellvelyn and out of the two time winning Ball Burst, also a Group 2 winning sprinter, she also looks a precocious type, so we have plenty to keep us busy before Tattersalls!