Flat season review 2019
Our star turn this season has been two year old filly Mild Illusion. Placed in all but one of her eight starts including three wins and three seconds, including the shortest short head defeat in the £150k Tattersalls Auction Stakes at Newmarket in October. Her season ended on a high when she dominated to decisively win the Listed EBF Bosra Sham Stakes at Newmarket on November 1. She subsequently received a nomination for the Racehorse Owners Association Special Achievement Award.
She was selected and purchased by Jonathan for just 1000 guineas as a yearling and subsequently leased to the Henry Kimbell managed Old Stoics Racing Club who have been marvellously enthusiastic throughout and include Sky Sports presenter Robert Cooper among their members.
Win tally stood at 21 mid November but hopefully that can rise further by New Year’s eve. A come down from the 33 wins scored in 2018 but we will be working hard to get back to that level in 2020! Prizemoney though exceeded last season and the figure now won for owners (not including jumping) since starting out in 1998 has edged past the £2.3m mark, half of that coming within the last five seasons.
The older horses have been in charge, led by 5 year old mare Ashazuri who won three races including the £20k EBF Fillies Stakes at Brighton in April first time out. Other wins came at Epsom and Sandown. Five year old Mancini gave owner Laurence Bellman a lovely day in the sun when winning at York in July. The same owner also enjoyed the efforts of yard favourite Orin Swift who won first time out at Nottingham after which the handicapper had his say but he still managed three seconds. Four year old Walk On Walter gave owner Philip Simpson three wins. Four year old Quick Breath was given a busy season with 13 runs but he was honourably placed in 8 of those including a win at Kempton.
The three year olds is not always our strongest division. Devils Roc, who joined us from another trainer last winter scored two wins and another 6 places from 12 runs for her wonderful owners the Roc Steady Partnership.She is tough but now needs some help from the handicapper. Swiss Cheer had to sit the summer out with a minor fracture after teasing us with some promise and hasn’t been the easiest to train but he came good when running away with a Chelmsford handicap in early November.
Aside from Mild Illusion the two year old £5k purchase filly Lethal Talent won two races. Many of the two year olds have yet to run and some of those that have will be seen to much better effect next season so look out for those mentions in our 2020 preview when that comes around. We have been busy at the autumn yearling sales so keep an eye out for shares to buy in next year’s stars!
On the staff front head lad Gordon Storrie has plied his experience to good effect during the season though sadly he was lured to a big Newmarket in October but we are very grateful to him for the two seasons he has spent with us. His place has been taken by former trainer Matt Salaman who brings a mixture of keen enthusiasm and experience. Senior Racing lad Reg Payne has driven the length and breath of the country in his usual marvellous way mopping up Best Turned Out awards along the way. Long serving amateur rider James Harding tied for the Amateur Riders Championship for the second time. Apprentice Tyler Saunders has ridden a fair share of our winners this season and we look forward to him doing the same next season. Rob Hornby has given us weekly attendance riding work throughout the season and we are very grateful for that contribution to our success. Jeremy Brownlee of Pump Technology Ltd has remained as our yard sponsor since 2000.
Winning races at whatever level never gets any easier and getting one’s hands on a headline horse doesn’t either but we feel in the circumstances we have done our best this season and with the help of our wonderful staff and loyal owners along with a handful of new ones we will strive for more achievements in 2020. Join us now!