Diary: February 1 2007

There are meetings at Wincanton and Towcester tomorrow with 5 of our list runners in action.


I will start with Karello Bay who had her first run over hurdles the other week finishing 3rd at Fontwell.  She should come on for that run and will be difficult to beat in the 1.40 at Wincanton.


Karello Bay will probably be a short price but if you are looking for a bit of an outsider then Anemix may be the answer in the handicap hurdle at 2.40.  He was 2nd only beaten a head over course and distance last April and could go well here at a fair price.  He is ridden by the owner’s son.


Philip Hobbs introduces an interesting newcomer in Mark the Book in the 1.30 at Towcester. A winner of an Irish point to point last February he is a chaser in the making but is worth watching over hurdles in the meantime.


Our list representative in the 3.30 is Ring Back.  She was 2nd at Plumpton last time out and the booking of AP McCoy to ride tomorrow is a positive sign that she may be able to go one better.


Over the Creek has been off the track since March 2005 when finishing 2nd to Moulin Riche in the Brit Insurance novices hurdle.  He makes his chase debut  in the 4.00 and could be very good over fences.


That is it for now.  See you tomorrow.


Continue reading “Diary: February 1 2007”

Diary: January 30 2007

Needless to say I was pleased with Rehearsal’s win at Ludlow.  He did it well I thought and has now won on the flat, over hurdles and fences.  The ground is one of the keys to this one and Lenny Lungo sent him down to Ludlow in search of the better going.

  There are a few runners from our list to follow in action tomorrow.  Nick Gifford won the 1.50 with Straw Bear last year and has Cathedral Rock as his representative this time around.  Cathedral Rock was third behind French Saulaie at Huntingdon a couple, of weeks ago and that horse ran well against Ashley Brook on Saturday.  Cathedral Rock has a good chance but will face stiff opposition from Hobbs Hill and the Jonjo O’Neill runner.



Our runner in the 2.20 is Reach for the Top, a half brother to Rosslea who was also trained by Henrietta Knight.  Reach for the Top has shown enough in his starts over fences to put him in with a shout here and the booking of Tony McCoy is a big plus.  The horse is owned by Jim Lewis.

  I think that Leading Contender is just that in the 2.20 at Taunton.  He was a pleasing 3rd behind Lord Sam last time and the extra distance tomorrow should suit.  A consistent type and should go well.  

Those are the 3 runners from our list to follow.  The best of the rest could be Another Bottle who makes his debut over hurdles for Paul Nicholss in the 3.10.  He was a decent handicapper on the flat winning 5 times, including a valuable handicap at Newbury.  He would probably not want it too soft.


That is about it for tonight.  See you tomorrow.


Continue reading “Diary: January 30 2007”

I see you Juliet

I See You Juliet

I see you, Juliet, still, with your straw hat
Loaded with vines, and with your dear pale face,
On which those thirty years so lightly sat,
And the white outline of your muslin dress.
You wore a litte fichu trimmed with lace
And crossed in the front, as was the fashion then,
Bound at your waist with a broad band or sash,
All white and fresh and virginally plain.
There was a sound of shouting far away
Down in the valley, as they called to us,
And you, with hands clasped seeming still to pray
Patience of fate, stood listening to me thus
With heaving bosom.  There a rose lay curled.
It was the reddest rose in all the world.

Wilfred Scawen Blunt

Continue reading “I see you Juliet”

Diary: January 29 2007

I am not sure that the weekend’s racing has helped to clarify the Cheltenham picture too much.  The Irish are clearly going to hold a strong hand in the Champion Hurdle.  Can Detroit City, Afsoun or Straw Bear keep the title at home?


It is also difficult what to make of Black Jack Ketchum’s run on Saturday.  Was it the ground?  He seemed to be travelling well enough until things got serious. 


Anyway – only 6 weeks to go to the festival when all will be revealed.


The jumps racing tomorrow comes from Ludlow.  There are no runners from our list to follow but I will have a personal interest in the 2.00 where the Elite Racing Club’s Rehearsal makes his chase debut.


He has plenty of ability but has a poor strike arte, only having won twice in his career.  He should appreciate what looks like being good ground so fingers crossed.  The club horses have not had much luck recently.  Trompette was travelling smoothly when falling 2 out at Southwell on Saturday while Dancing Bay ran into a decent sort in Glasker Mill on his chase bow.


Take care


Continue reading “Diary: January 29 2007”

Hussard Collonges

Hussard Collonges (Video Rock – Araine Collonges [Quart de Vin]

25 March 1995


Bought as a 4 year old at the Goffs sales at St Cloud for 120,000 Francs he won his only point to point in Ireland at Inch in April 2000.  He was then acquired by Peter Beaumont for 46,000 gns but did not show much in 3 bumpers.  However when he tackled hurdles it was a different story as he galloped his rivals into the ground at Wetherby to score at odds of 33/1.


Tackling 3 miles for the first time at Perth he again showed signs that he was an above average performer and finished runner up to Tyneandthyneagain.



The Peter Beaumont-trained gelding, enjoyed his finest moment when winning the 2002 Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Chase under Russ Garritty at 33/1. This was a fine performance and he jumped soundly to account for Iznogoud and Chives.



He went on top finish second to Marlborough in the Charlie Hall Chase and fourth to Gingembre in the Hennessy Gold Cup the following season before being pulled up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.



He then suffered a crashing fall at Wetherby in the Rowland Meyrick Chase in December 2003, which left him with a fractured pelvis and sidelined him for 14 months.



Sadly, he never got back to where he was and connections took the decision to retire him after he had trailed home well beaten at Ayr in February 2006.



“For over two miles, he looked as good as ever and was really enjoying it, but then he caught the top of a fence and that was it – it’s as though something is hurting is him when that happens,” explained Beaumont.



He went to his owner, who lives near Gargrave, will the plan that he might do a spot of hunting.  A big old fashioned chasing sort, Hussard Collonges will be best remembered for that gutsy win at the Cheltenham Festival.




Continue reading “Hussard Collonges”

Diary: January 28 2007

It was a slightly disappointing day for my list to follow but we did get a  couple of winners.


Ashley Brook put up a scintillating front running display to take full advantage of a favourable hurdles mark in the last at Cheltenham.  Our other winner was David Pipe’s Madision De Berlais at Southwell. 


French Saulaie, Tidal Bay and Ballytrim all finished runner up while Neptune Collonges was running a big race when coming down at the last in the Cotswold Chase.  I also thought Roman Ark ran really well at Cheltenham.  Unfortunately a number of the fences were omitted because of the low sun which counted against him as he jumps really well.


Trompette was one of my main hopes for the day and she travelled well only to fall 2 out when looking a likely winner at Southwell.


The big race tomorrow is the Irish Champion Hurdle.  This is a real who’s who of Irish hurdling.  Brave Inca is probably the percentage call with Iktitaf likely to give him most to do.


See you tomorrow.


Continue reading “Diary: January 28 2007”

Two year olds 2006 part 1

Two year olds of 2006 – Part 1



This is the first of 4 sections where I will be highlighting some of the 2 year olds that caught my eye during thye 2006 season.   All pictures are by kind permission of the excellent web site www.b2yor.co.uk which is highly recommended.







When compiling the list of horses to include in this feature the first thing that I noticed was that 4 of them were sired by the former Haydock Sprint Cup winner Invincible Spirit (picture opposite).  His first crop included the following quartet that I have grouped together.  The remainder are covered in alphabetical order.


Bahama Mama (Invincible Spirit) This filly showed a smart turn of foot to win 3 of her 8 starts.  She is not over big but ran consistently, particularly over the minimum trip on fast ground.  Wins at Newmarket and Brighton were followed by a listed success at Sandown where she accounted for Mood Music.  She suffered traffic problems when runner up in the Group 2 Flying Childers at York.  Her biggest winning starting price was 15/2. She is trained by Jeremy Noseda. (Picture below – No 8)



















Captain Marvellous (Invincible Spirit) Described by trainer Barry Hills as a “straightforward horse” he won 3 of his 9 starts.  He put up a good performance when carrying top weight to victory in a 6F nursery at Newbury at 20/1.  He came from first to last in this race as he had done earlier in the season at Chester. He went on to finished 3rd in the Group 1 Middle Park and ended the season winning a Group 2 at Maisons-Laffitte. (Pictire below – number 1)























Conquest (Invincible Spirit) A big strong imposing colt trained by Willie Haggas, showed promise on his debut at Newmarket finishing a close up second.  He was then just a shade disappointing when 5th behind Major Cadeaux at Newbury.  He carried his head high that day and connections fitted him with blinkers next time when he was second at Ascot in the Windsor Castle Stakes.  A bloodless victory at Nottingham when long odds on followed and then Conquest finally fulfilled the promise he had been showing all season when winning the Gimcrack at York. (Picture below – number 4)









He ran on strongly with his rider giving several strong cracks before collaring the runner-up close home. Conquest carried his head high and it took all Jimmy Fortune’s strength to persuade him to go through with his challenge. He clearly has plenty of talent but with a temperament to match.  He was then last of 6 in the Middle Park on his final start.


Resignation (Invincible Spirit) Only won once from 8 starts when dotting up at Bath in a 4 runner event on firm ground.  He ran well in defeat when close up 2nd at Newmarket and Salisbury.










Resignation was 4th in a listed race at Lingfield on his final start.  He was short of room as the field turned for home and when the gap came he quickened up quite nicely to finish on the heels of the front three and pull clear of the remainder.  He can be found further opportunities.


Dazed and Amazed (Averti) Richard Hannon’s colt won twice early on and ran 9 times altogether.  He quickened well to pull clear of Vital Statistic on his second run at HQ and went on to win a listed race at Newbury on his first attempt at 6 furlongs.  He was highly tried in his remaining 5 outings and failed to win again.


Excellent Art (Pivotal) Was quite a star for his trainer Neville Callaghan.  He won on his debut under a hands and heels Dettori ride at Newmarket, with Captain Marvellous 3rd. He was then eased down to win the National Stakes at Sandown by 9 lengths.  He ran with credit when 3rde behind Holy Roman Emperor in a Group 2 at The Curragh and was also 3rd in the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville. (Picture below – number 6)


In his final run of the season he prevailed by a short head from Doctor Brown in the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury.















Fool Me (Mull of Kintyre) Described by his trainer Ed McMahon as a “pocket rocket” he showed some promise when 4th on his debut at Leicester in April and he returned to that track to win 3 weeks later, justifying favouritism.  He returned after an absence to finish 2nd of 5 at Ripon.



  Gremlin (Mujahid) I have included Alan King’s Gremlin even though he didn’t win a race last season. His form figures read 24223, with his best effort arguably his last, when 3rd to Cheap Street in a Newmarket nursery. He seems the type that may have the scope to win a race or two in 2007.  



Greyt Big Stuff (Aljabr)  Made a decent start when 4th in  a Yarmouth maiden.  Other placed efforts followed and he eventually got off the mark at the 5th attempt on his fibresand debut in a 7F Southwell maiden.


Hoh Mike (Intikhab)  A powerful sprinting type he won twice at Windsor over 5F.  He ran well in Group company when 3rd in the Flying Childers (Bahama Mama was 2nd), and runner up on his last start in the Cornwallis Stakes at Ascot.  He could be difficult to place next season off a high mark.


Lipocco (Piccolo) Won once from 6 outings defying top weight in a nursery at Leicester.  Had earlier posted a couple of placed efforts at Bath.


Majestic Roi (Street Cry) Mick Channon’s filly only beat one home on her debut at Goodwood in soft ground.  Clearly better was expected that day as she started favourite.  Although not looking entirely straightforward she won well next time out at Hamilton  when an odds on favourite.  She carried her head at a very awkward angle and jockey Robert Winston did well to eventually get her to settle reasonably well.  She looks the sort to improve further but she will need to race less keenly.


Major Cadeaux (Cadeau Genereux) Got off the mark at the first time of asking in an 18 runner maiden in soft going at Newbury.  Lost nothing in defeat when 2nd in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Ascot and should be one to watch next season. (Picture below – number 1)






















Many Volumes (Chester House) A well bred colt with Henry Cecil he was 3rd in a Newmarket maiden on his debut. He was then made odds on favourite back at Newmarket in August but could only finish 6th.  It is possible that he was not suited by the ease in the ground that day.


Maslak ( In the Wings)  Ran 3 times with his best effort a 2nd to Roger Charlton’s Monzante on the all weather at Kempton. Could be one for middle distance handicaps next season. (Picture below – number 5)





























Mesbaah (Noverre) Made all on his 3rd start to win a Beverley maiden with plenty in hand in first time cheekpieces.


Monte Alto (Danehill Dancer) 3rd in maidens at Yarmouth and Leicester.  He was putting in his best work at the finish in both races and looks a potential improver.


OldJoeSaid (Royal Applause) A speedy and potentially useful gelding who won on his 3rd and 4th starts. A maiden at Sandown and a Windsor nursery.  He looks a promising sprinter. (Picture below – number 5)





















Orange (Giant’s Causeway) Was always behind on only start when 11th at Newmarket.  The dam won 6 times in the States and is a half sister to 7 winners so this filly may well be capable of better things.


Parks Girl (Averti) Ran 3 times with easily the best effort when 3rd in a 6F York maiden at the end of July.


Pelican Key (Mujadil) Won first time up at Windsor at 13/2 but didn’t really build on that in 3 subsequent runs.


Petara Bay (Peintre Celebre) Half brother to Percussionist and Echoes in Eternity.  After an inauspicious debut he created a good impression when landing a 14 runner maiden at Haydock.  10th of 14 in the Racing Post Trophy behind Authorized and remains a good prospect.


Radical Views (Machiavellian) Ran 3 times and was 2nd in a 7F Warwick maiden on his last outing.


Silca Chiave (Pivotal) Showing plenty of promise when 3rd on her debut at Ascot and was an odds on favourite when making rather hard work of landing the odds at Newbury next time out.  Upped in class in a Group 1 at the Curragh she was only pipped on the line by a short head. She made good progress in the final 3 furlongs when 3rd to Indian Ink in the Group 1 Cheveley Park at Newmarket.  Should be winning races in 2007. (Picture below – number 11)
























Striving Storm (Stormin Fever) A commanding individual on looks he ran consistently in his 4 outings.  A facile win at Haydock in heavy ground was followed by a 3rd in the Horris Hill (Group 3) at Newbury.  He had earlier finished 2nd in a listed race at Deauville. If appearance is anything to go by he could have sound prospects as a 3 year old. (Picture below – number 10)















Sues Surprise (Montjeu) Travelled nicely for 5f or so and was just pushed out when 4th on her debut at Newbury over 7F.  Runner up in a listed contest at Newmarket and looks open to further improvement. (See picture – number 12)











Tudor Prince (Cape Cross) Made all in bottomless ground to win on his 7th start over 6F at Newmarket with plenty to spare.  He was not winning out of turn as he had been 2nd on his 3 previous outings. (See picture – number 2) 













Vital Statistics (Indian Ridge) Had an excellent season winning 2 of her 8 starts and running well in other races. She was runner up to Dazed and Amazed on her second start at Newmarket.  She ran a sound race and was not beaten far when 6th in Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes and got off the mark in a 15 runner maiden at Newbury.  She was 2nd in the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes back at Ascot where she returned with a gash on a hind leg after an incident at the start, but there was no suggestion it made a material difference.  Her 2nd win came in a 6F listed race at Salisbury.  John Egan kept her covered up and delivered a late challenge to collar the favourite close home.  She should get further.


Water Mill (Unbridleds Song) A well bred type who won his only start in a conditions event on the all weather at Kempton making all to beat the well regarded Black Rock by a short head.  Likely to stay a mile and open to improvement. (Picture below)








Continue reading “Two year olds 2006 part 1”

Diary: January 27 2007

With the Charlie Egerton runner an absentee Wyldello was left with an easier task at Hereford today but by all accounts she won well.  Ursis won the beginner’s chase from Fountain Hill, both “listers” from previous seasons.  Fountain Hill, who always threatened to be a better chaser than hurdler was coming back from a long absence, so all the more credit to him.


Former winning Irish pointer Miss Mitch won for Robert Alner.  She was one I considered for this years list.


Cheltenham  1.00 Tidal Bay followed up some smart bumper form last season by notching a quick hat trick of wins over hurdles.  Wichita Lineman, who is a half brother to Rhinestone Cowboy, looks the main danger, even though he has been beaten on both his previous visits to Cheltenham.


1.35 Six of the last 9 winners of this handicap have carried 11 stone or more, which is rather surprising. Yes Sir and Good Citizen represent our list to follow in this.  Yes Sir won 7 times in the summer but was well beaten last time on Boxing Day and although he seems to act on any surface he may have too much on his plate here.  Good Citizen, trained by Tom George, won in heavy ground at Sedgefield earlier in the season but was a faller last time out.  He is 2 lbs out of the handicap and has quite a bit to find but he is lightly raced and could well have scope for improvement.  He comes from a yard that does well with chasers, Lord of Illusion and Idle Talk for example. A bit of a dark horse in this race could be Ofarel D’Airy, a lightly raced type apparently well regarded by connections.


2.10 Black Jack Ketchum should maintain his unbeaten record here with the slick jumping Inglis Drever the one most likely to benefit is he has an off day.


Of the rest Fire Dragon is better than his form this season and at 50/1 is over priced.  Blazing Bailey would probably prefer better ground but Flight Leader will act on the ground and could take a hand.


2.45 Halcon Generlardais, Neptune Collonges, Fundamentalist and Idle Talk are the runners from our list to follow in a very competitive renewal.  This race almost invariably goes to a top class horse and I think we can narrow it down to 4. Our Vic has only been beaten 3 times when completing and looks a very likely contender.  He won the Charlie Hall which has been a good trial for this race over the years.  He can be a bit of a fragile customer but he has oodles of talent and is strongly fancied.  Neptune Collonges loves this ground and won the Rehearsal chase last time.  He looks held by Our Vic on their running at Wetherby though.


Exotic Dancer bagged the two big handicaps at Cheltenham before Christmas and did little wrong when chasing home Kauto Star in the King George. I just think that this trip and stiffer track might put a bit too much strain on his stamina.  Stamina is something that Halcon Generlardais has in spades, having won the Welsh National.  He jumps well and if he is able to lay up with the pace might just expose any flaws in Our Vic in the closing stages.


Of the others Idle Talk will like the conditions and the track and could run into a place.  Fundamentalist looked a great prospect before injury struck but it is hard to be optimistic about his chances .


3.35 Roman Ark and Bold Bishop are our list runners in this one.  Bold Bishop has yet to find his form this season and Roman Ark looks to have the better chance of the two.  He has gone up in the weights as a result of his two easy wins this season but he revels in the mud and has proved he acts of the track.  He has an each way chance.  No Full is another I like the look of in this race.


4.30 Ashley Brook is having his first run for well over a year but is thrown in on his chase rating.  Could take some beating if fully would up.  French Saulaie won easily at Huntingdon last time and looks on an upward curve.  Proven on the ground and in with a chance.  Both have each way chances.


Southwell 1.50 Madison Du Berlais won in heavy ground at Warwick a fortnight ago and the second that day has since franked the form. 


3.05 Trompette has to carry 11 stone 10 in testing conditions.  She won really easily at Ludlow last time though and may well be up to the task.


3.35 Opera de Coeur also has 11 stone 12 but I am going to tip him as well.  He is back over hurdles after not really taking to fences but has a touch of class and can defy the big weight.


There is only one runner from our list to follow in action at Navan tomorrow, Ballytrim in the 4.25.


See you tomorrow evening


Continue reading “Diary: January 27 2007”

Diary: January 26 2007

Glasker Mill kept the scoreboard ticking over for my list to follow today, winning the beginners chase at Fontwell. He won over the fixed brush hurdles at Haydock last season and I always think that is an encouraging sign for a would be chaser.  Dancing Bay made a pleasing start to his career over fences in second place and hopefully he will be placed to win soon.


The jumps racing tomorrow comes from Hereford as Lingfield is off.


The best chance of another winner for our list tomorrow is probably Wyldello in the 1.40.  He has very solid bumper form last season and was second on his hur5dles debut at Warwick. Hobbs Hill worries me.  When Charlie Egerton books Tony McCoy to ride it tends to be significant.


The beginner’s chase at 2.20 looks interesting.  Ursis won a couple of times over hurdles last season and his 3rtd to Trouble at Bay here on his chase debut reads quite well.  Fountain Hill represents Paul Nicholls and returns to the track after an absence of 658 days.  He was a fair hurdler and I remember him only going down narrowly to Supreme Serenade at Sandown on one occasion.  He has looked a top of the ground performer4 though and the conditions may not suit.  Molostiep is a runner from our list to follow.  He is a former point to point winner who won over hurdles at Towcester last season.  Trained by the underrated Susan Nock he looked a promising youngster.


See you tomorrow for a look at the weekend’s racing.


Continue reading “Diary: January 26 2007”