As our season draws to a close I am thrilled that we finished with an incredible set of figures as we had 35 winners coming from a 21% strike rate with over £310k in prize money. I am very proud to say that there are just 5 trainers in the top 40 in the country with a better strike rate. We finished in the top 40 in the league table in terms of total prize money won, and 27th in terms of numbers of winners. Credit to all our wonderful staff who have fought through a terribly wet and cold winter; and thank you to all of our owners for their continued support over the year. We are lucky to have an exciting team of horses and I really hope we can build on this and move even further up the ladder next season.
Another 5 winners throughout April including a winner at the Scottish National meeting and the Perth Festival has rounded off a truly fabulous season. Floral Bouquet was our final runner of the season and she defied her penalty to follow up her recent Ludlow win after a wind operation. She was given a fine ride by Tom O’Brien who was deputising for Gavin Sheehan who unfortunately broke his arm in the Grand National. Gavin has been a huge part of our success this season, and we wish him a speedy recovery.
Floral Bouquet adds two winners to our tally this month.
We took a couple up to Ayr last weekend where Naranja was most courageous to stick her neck out to win the valuable Class 2 Mares Staying Hurdle under a great ride by Sean Bowen. In turn she became our highest earning horse this season having won twice earlier this season as well. Meanwhile, we all got quite excited when Fact of the Matter crept into 4th approaching 4 out in the Scottish National, but his stamina looked to give way over the last two fences. It was still a fantastic run to be 9th in the Scottish National!
Naranja wins at the Scottish National meeting.
I was delighted that Monbeg Theatre provided us all with another Cheltenham winner last week when given a fantastic ride by Page Fuller. She led from pillar to post and he jumped from hurdle to hurdle and stormed up the famous hill to give Page her first taste of a Cheltenham winner. It was just reward for Tim Dykes and Lynda Lovell’s patience, as Monbeg has always threatened to pull a performance like that out of the bag, but his career has been interrupted by injuries and jumping errors! It was also lovely for Page to ride a big winner as she has been instrumental in our set up for a few years now.
Monbeg Theatre wins at Cheltenham under a strong Page Fuller.
We started the month on the right foot as Lunar Flow continued his love affair with Uttoxeter as he won again for the third time in as many visits to the track. He jumps and he gallops and the dream is that he might develop into a Midlands National horse one day.
Lunar Flow wins again at Uttoxeter.
Of our other runners this month, the majority have been placed with Scorpion Sid finishing 2nd in the Class 1 Listed contest at Perth on Wednesday. He lost his unbeaten record in the process but didn’t lose much in defeat and will be a cracking novice chaser next season. Oscar Star was 3rd once again under a penalty at Huntingdon, whilst Shockingtimes also filled the runner up spot at Market Rasen, where Midnight Chill was 3rd. Risk and Co was 4th on his racecourse debut at Fakenham, and will improve on the back of that as he found the track far too sharp for him. I was thrilled with the performance of Alrightjack on his racecourse debut at Wincanton where he was 3rd, but only beaten a length, and think he could be something special next season after his summer holiday.
We took a couple up to the Aintree Festival in the middle of the month, where we threw both Hogans Height and Dans Le Vent into Grade 1 Novice events. Both finished 6th but ran with huge credit, and I look forward to seeing them next season after their holidays too.
Talking of next season, we have already been looking to purchase some more recruits and I have bought two recently from the Irish Pointing field, where so many good horses come from including this year’s Gold Cup winner.
Kiltealy Briggs is a 4 year old gelding by Fame and Glory (the Ascot Gold Cup winner, who has already produced some decent bumper performers in his first NH season including the Land Rover Bumper winner at Punchestown this week) and is out of an unraced sister to the Grand National winner, Ballabriggs and graded performer Letterman, and closely related to the Grade 1 winner Hi Cloy.
Kiltealy Briggs has had one start in an Irish Point-to-Point where he finished 2nd (beaten a neck) and duly received an Irish Pointing rating of 91+ which is a very decent rating. The pointing website commented:
“In a truly-run contest, the newcomer Prince Kayf posted a fine staying performance by grinding it out best from the front to beat favourite Kiltealy Briggs.
KILTEALY BRIGGS (IRE) is an eyefilling newcomer by Fame And Glory that was sent off favourite and he always travelled well. He eased his way into contention from four out and he moved through to challenge the winner from three out. He couldn't however quite get past Prince Kayf and he only gave best inside the final 50 yards. This was still an outstanding debut effort and, whilst he will atone in a maiden point, he's a naturally speedy sort that also stays quite well. A bright track career seeems assured.”
The link below will take you to his pedigree and the video of his point-to-point.
Kiltealy Briggs has a lovely pedigree, and the picture shows what a cracking looking individual he is as well.
Redbridge Gold put in the fastest time of the day to win her maiden Point-to-Point at Lingstown on 11th March on soft ground. The report commented "REDBRIDGE GOLD (IRE) quickened from the second last and she readily asserted from the final fence."
You can view her winning on the link below:
Her brother won a bumper whilst her dam is a sister to the prolific flat winner Marilaya who was the dam of the smart 2m Grade 2 winning chaser, Maralan. There is plenty of black type littered through her pedigree both on the flat and over jumps and being by Gold Well she will be a valuable broodmare in time herself.
We bought Scorpion Sid from this sale last year and he has won two novice hurdles this season and is rated 135. Redbridge Gold is an absolutely cracking 5 year old mare and looks like she'll be capable of winning her bumper before taking higher order over hurdles next winter.