10 Sep September 2018
All 3 horses from Castle Hill Stables make the frame at Newcastle
September gets under way on Monday 3rd when Ben takes 3 horses to the evening meeting on Newcastle’s all-weather track and is rewarded with each of the horses making the frame, though none actually return home winners ! All 3 horses were ridden by Graham Lee.
First away is our 2 year old Blazing Dreams who hasn’t made the frame in his 5 races to date. Tonight Ben ups him in trip to 7 furlongs and having been held up early keeps on well in the final furlong to finish a good 4th of the 14 runners and belie his starting price of 80/1 !
Half an hour later it’s the turn of Rey Loopy, our 3 time winning ( all at Newcastle ) 4 year old who is having his first run for 2 months, having broken a blood vessel and been pulled up in his latest run. Rey Loopy clearly loves Newcastle and again runs well in this one mile handicap keeping on in good style in the later stages of the race. Rey Loopy cannot though get to the easy winner, a well-handicapped odds-on favourite, but puts the issues of his previous race behind him to finish a very creditable 2nd of 13 runners, considering his 2 month break.
Our final runner of the evening is Cherry Oak running in a 5 furlong handicap, the same course and distance therefore over which she recorded her sole victory to date in March. Cherry Oak dwells slight coming out of the stalls but makes headway on the leaders over a furlong out and keeps on well to take 3rd place of the 14 runners at the line, at odds of 25/1, and being beaten little over a length.
2nd place for Ever So Much against all the way winner at Sedgefield
It’s back to our jumpers as 6th Sept sees Ever So Much make the short journey to Sedgefield. A 3 time winner already at the Durham track our 9 year old today contests a 2 mile 5 furlong chase under regular partner Richie McLernon. Ever So Much races in third, just behind the leaders, in the early stages before moving into second place entering the final circuit. Ever So Much then stays in second, often racing almost alongside the leader, but cannot quite get to his rival, the hot favourite, who eventually makes all and defeats our boy by 3 and a half lengths at the line. Another good run though from Ever So Much, especially considering he was allowed to start the 11/1 outsider of the 6 runners.
Improved run sees Elysee Star also finish 2nd at Newcastle
The following day our maiden 3 year old filly Elysee Star goes to Newcastle for a 7 furlong handicap on their all-weather track, and today Graham Lee is back in the saddle. Elysee Star is down a furlong in trip from his previous race and Graham keeps his mount towards the rear of the 12 runners in the early stages before making his move from the 2 furlong marker. Elysee Star runs on well and is one of 5 horses spread across the track competing for the lead entering the final furlong. Despite her maiden status Elysee Star gives plenty on the run to the line without being able to find that little extra needed to get her head in front and for the third time in her career has to be content with a 2nd place, but this is clearly an improved run.
New purchase Hasanoanda makes debut for our stable at York’s Sunday meeting
Excitement mounts at Castle Hill Stables on Sunday 9th Sept as Hasanoanda makes his debut for Ben. The 3 year old was an expensive purchase from John Gosden’s stable at the Goffs Doncaster Sales in August and now runs in the colours of Mrs Christine Barclay. For his first run for our yard Ben chooses a Class 3 handicap over an extended mile and a quarter at York with Graham Lee in the saddle. Hasanoanda runs a nice race and pleases Ben on ground which is not ideal, keeping on in the closing stages to finish 6th of the 19 runner field. Connections will have learned a lot from this first run and there will undoubtedly be better to come. A fine introduction and Hasanoanda is, of course, a tremendously exciting horse to have at Castle Hill Stables.
Much improved run from The Bull in first handicap at Catterick
2 days later, Sept 11th, our 3 year old chestnut gelding The Bull makes the short trip to Catterick to take in his first handicap, a 5 furlong race, following 3 unplaced efforts in novice races and Graham Lee rides for the first time. Drawn wide, Graham keeps his mount on the outside of the 13 runners throughout the race. The Bull makes progress in the later stages and inside the final furlong finds a great turn of foot to run past a number of horses in the last 100 yards to finish 4th, beaten only a length and three-quarters, in a blanket finish for the places at odds of 50/1 ! This is a great improvement in form and hopefully The Bull will now be able to build on this.
Ben has first crack at a Group race as Castle Hill Cassie aims high in Doncaster’s Sceptre Stakes
Another momentous day comes along on Fri 14th Sept as Ben has his first runner in a Group race, the Group 3 Japan Racing Association Sceptre Stakes ( for Fillies and Mares ) at Doncaster over 7 furlongs. Our ultra consistent Castle Hill Cassie is the runner in question and he is partnered today by Graham Lee who has been in the saddle for each of the filly’s 4 wins to date. Castle Hill Cassie, now carrying the colours of new owners D Howden, S Lock and D Redvers, won a Listed Race at Pontefract last time out in August and fully deserves to take her chance in this Group race but unfortunately her connections ambitious target is not rewarded on this occasion and having been held up in the early stages Cassie can never quite get into the race and ultimately finishes 8th of the 9 runners, though still only beaten a little over 6 lengths at the line.
Sadly therefore Castle Hill Cassie loses her record of having finished in the frame in all her races ( now 14 in total ) but surely there is no better way to lose that record than by virtue of the enterprise shown by connections and full credit to them for running Cassie in a Group race.
4th place for Lord Caprio at Pontefract on his return to the Flat
20 Sept sees Lord Caprio return to the Flat for the first time since April. Lord Caprio is another 4 time winner to date, from just 10 races, and his latest 2 runs have both been in Juvenile Hurdles, resulting in one win and one third place. Today Lord Caprio contests a Class 4 handicap at Pontefract over one and a quarter miles, partnered by Cam Hardie. Lord Caprio is held up towards the rails in the early stages but once in the home straight, after the 2 furlong marker, starts to make headway and keeps on well inside the final furlong without being able to get to the leaders to take 4th place of the 11 runners at the line, at odds of 20/1. A pleasing return to the Flat but Ben may revert to Juvenile Hurdles for the 3 year old’s next run.
First career win for Displaying Amber at Newcastle
One day later and another of our 3 year olds, Displaying Amber, makes the trip north for a 13 runner 5 furlong handicap at Newcastle’s all-weather track. This is, in fact, Displaying Amber first venture into all-aged company and tonight Andrew Mullen is in the saddle. Displaying Amber races in midfield until making headway over a furlong out. He then takes a narrow lead inside the final furlong and is driven out by his rider to record a victory by 1/2 length. This is a first career win for Displaying Amber who was allowed to start at the generous odds of 28/1. The win is also Andrew Mullen’s first success for Ben from only a handful of rides. All-aged company clearly held no fears for Displaying Amber and it’s always good to provide the filly’s owners, Middleham Park Racing, long-standing owners at our stable, with another winner. The win is also Ben’s 9th Flat winner of 2018, putting him just 2 short of equalling his best seasonal tally of 11 achieved last year, with still over 3 months of the year remaining.
Consistent Cherry Oak finishes 3rd in Newcastle apprentice handicap
One week later, Friday 28th Sept, Ben returns to Newcastle this time with 3 runners, Cherry Oak, Epeius, and Elysee Star. First away is Cherry Oak in a 5 furlong apprentice handicap under Callum Rodriguez, having just his second ride for Ben. Cherry Oak, a course and distance winner in March, is held up in the early stages before making headway over a furlong out. The 3 year old keeps on well in the final furlong to finish 3rd of the 8 runners. Another good run from the consistent Cherry Oak and it’s now the 8th time the filly has reached the frame in just 9 all-weather races.
Later on the card Epeius and Elysee Star run unplaced in their races.