06 Nov November 2018
A fine run and a 6th place for Castle Hill Cassie on first attempt at one mile in Listed race at Lingfield
November kicks off on the very first day of the month with Castle Hill Cassie contesting her second Listed race. Since winning her first such race at Pontefract in August Cassie was beaten, though respectably, in the Group 3 Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster in September. Whilst she already has 2 all-weather wins to her credit ( both at Newcastle ) today’s Listed race sees our star filly race at Lingfield Park for the first time and Ben ups her in trip to one mile also for the first time. Graham Lee, in the saddle for each of her 4 wins to date, takes the ride again today. Graham holds his mount up towards the rear of the 12 runners for much of the race and still has only 2 or 3 behind her turning into the straight. Our 4 year old then runs on well between horses without quite getting to the leaders and finishes a never nearer 6th at the line, beaten less than 4 lengths. The one mile trip does not seem to have been beyond Castle Hill Cassie and once again she has performed very creditably in Listed race company.
Ben reaches century of winners as Hasanoanda scores impressive victory at Redcar in only second race since leaving John Gosden’s yard
6th Nov sees the second appearance for our stable of Hasanoanda, a 3 year old bought out of John Gosden’s stable at the Goffs Doncaster Sales in August. Hasanoanda opened his career at Castle Hill Stables with a 6th place at York in September and today Ben chooses a similar Class 3 handicap over one and a quarter miles, this time at Redcar. One further change being that Andrew Mullen takes the ride today. Andrew holds Hasanoanda up on the inside in the early stages and turning into the straight is only 8th of the 11 runners. Once in the straight though Hasanoanda makes ground nicely and Andrew moves him into 4th place at the 3 furlong marker and quickly goes second 2 furlongs out. Before the furlong marker Hasanoanda goes into a clear lead and inside the final furlong Andrew only has to push him out to score by a comfortable one and a half lengths at odds of 14/1. A lovely ride by Andrew Mullen who got first run on his rivals, but a most impressive performance from Hasanoanda, to achieve a victory against decent rivals in such grand style. A most deserving win for his new owner Mrs Christine Barclay having bought Hasanoanda out of a top Newmarket stable, and the 3 year old showed strong signs today that she will recoup the purchase price paid, and hopefully much more besides ! And to help this Hasanoanda is expected to become a dual purpose horse as Ben intends sending him hurdling this winter.
Great as well to see Ben get a win out of a high-profile horse at only the second time of asking. This is Ben’s 10th Flat winner of 2018, just one behind his best tally of 11 achieved last year, and the victory also pushes the total prize money won at Castle Hill Stables this Flat season to beyond the £100,000 mark, more than double the previous best figure achieved in 2017. And another major achievement for Ben which must not go unnoticed is that Hasanoanda’s victory is Ben’s 100 winner ( Flat and Jumps ) since he took over the licence at Castle Hill Stables from his father Patrick in 2010. And to achieve this with such a potentially top-class horse feels like the icing on the cake — well done Ben !
And just one day later Ben starts his quest for a second century of winners as The Bull opens his account at Newcastle
Just one day later, November 7th, and Ben embarks on his second century of winners. For the second time in 2 weeks no less than 4 horses make the trip to Newcastle for their all-weather meeting and after Calevade and Rey Loopy run unplaced in their respective races ( and before Cherry Oak does likewise in the final race on the card ) it’s the turn of The Bull to contest a 10 runner handicap over 5 furlongs and yesterday’s successful pilot Andrew Mullen is in the saddle. The Bull is drawn on the nearside rails and Andrew has him racing prominently throughout. Entering the final furlong The Bull is in 3rd place but Andrew drives the 3 year old up to lead in the final 100 yards to score by a cosy looking 1/2 length. So that’s now 101 winners for Ben, but the first career success for The Bull, a chestnut gelding out of Camacho. His owners, Excel Racing, J Pak, D Shapiro and L McGarry, will be delighted The Bull has registered his first victory and hopefully the win will give The Bull the confidence to go on from here.
Ritchie Star and Epeius both make the frame at Newcastle meeting
On 9th Nov just 2 of our horses make the same journey to Newcastle, Ritchie Star and Epeius. First away is Ritchie Star, a 2 year old having just his 2nd run. Whilst slowly away in this 7 furlong Novice Stakes race Ritchie Star keeps on nicely in the final furlong to finish 4th of the 10 runners, at 50/1, a considerable improvement on his first run at Ripon in August. In the final race on the card Epeius runs in a 6 furlong handicap under Graham Lee. Epeius, a course and distance winner in 2017, is another of our horses to be drawn on the nearside rails and the 5 year old is held up early but again runs on well inside the final furlong, momentarily getting his head in front, but ultimately has to settle for 2nd place, beaten just 1/2 length, with the remainder of the 12 runners over 4 and a half lengths further back.
Another major race win for Castle Hill Cassie gives Ben a career best 12th Flat winner of the season
No runners for the next week but on the following Friday, 16th Nov, Ben takes just one horse, Castle Hill Cassie, to Wolverhampton for the big race on their evening all-weather card. The race in question is a Fillies’ Conditions Stakes race over 7 furlongs. The race looks ideal for Castle Hill Cassie who has run well, though unplaced, in both a Group 3 race and also a Listed Stakes race over 1 mile, since winning a Listed race over 6 furlongs at Pontefract in August. Already twice a winner over 7 furlongs Castle Hill Cassie is partnered tonight by Graham Lee who has been in the saddle for all the filly’s 4 wins to date.
Castle Hill Cassie is held up at the rear of the 5 runners until turning into the home straight. The runners are in fact at the furlong marker before Castle Hill Cassie moves out of last place as Graham begins a strong run on the outside. Still only 3rd entering the final 1/2 furlong Cassie runs on in tremendous style as Graham times his run to perfection to get his mount up in the shadow of the post to score by a head. Castle Hill Cassie therefore records her 3rd win of the season from 8 races, having started tonight’s race the outsider of the 5 runners at 13/2. This is however the filly’s first success in the colours of her new owners, D Howden, S Lock and D Redvers who purchased the 4 year old in September, and the win has qualified her to run at the All-Weather Championships Finals Day held at Lingfield Park on Good Friday 19th April 2019.
The victory is also Ben’s 12th Flat winner of 2018 which means he has now exceeded his previous personal best of 11 winners achieved last year. Total prize money earned by Ben’s runners in the current Flat season is considerably higher than in any previous year so many congratulations to Ben and the end of the year stats are certainly going to make very interesting and pleasant reading — and, of course, there are still around 6 weeks to go before the end of 2018 ! November has unquestionably been quite a month for Ben and for everyone associated with Castle Hill Stables !
First Breath takes 3rd place at Southwell on the last day of the month
After all this euphoria the second half of the month is quiet by comparison but on the final day of the month, Friday 30th, First Breath, a 3 year old naturally by Bated Breath, runs in a 5 furlong selling race at Southwell. The race is First Breath’s first attempt at the minimum trip but he makes nice headway from 2 furlongs out and stays on well in the final furlong to take 3rd place, the second race this season in which he has made the frame.