20th October 2021
Melly’s Flyer has taken a huge step forward mentally. This translated onto the track with a powerful performance at Kempton, winning comfortably off the front. He was purchased with Billy Jackson-Stops and has always been a character at home, however as time has gone on, he’s gradually started to really enjoy his work and I was confident he could take a big step forward. Dropping him back to 6 furlongs clearly suited.
He’s owned by my good friend Liam Melly who is thoroughly enjoying his first experience as an owner. I would think he will have a short break now before taking advantage of some weaker races in January and February.
Prydwen jumped and travelled smoothly behind the pace and was delivered perfectly under Champion Apprentice Marco Ghaini, who rides particularly well. He’s been a slow burner and his owners’ Bluestarr Racing have been very patient. The handicapper will certainly have his say as he and another unexposed three year from Tom Clover’s yard pulled clear of a competitive field. That being said I expect Prydwen to continue to improve as he strengthens up. He will now be finished for the year. I see no reason why he cant give his Owners a huge amount of fun next season.
Kick on Girl
25th September 2021
Kick on Girl put her experience to good use, winning a competitive Fillies Novice at Haydock under David Egan. David executed a well thought out plan, kicking at the 3 pole and as result none of the regally bred fillies behind her were able to land a blow. Kick on Girl has always been a filly I’ve been excited about. She’s tall and athletic, with plenty of improvement left in her both physically and mentally. She’s taken a step forward with every start and looks a bright prospect for next year, where we might consider starting her back in an Oaks trial. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed training her for good friends Ryan Lucas & Ed Babbington and I know they are excited about her prospects for next year. She will now go for a well earned break, before returning to us in around six weeks’ time.
22nd September 2021
Strawberry Jack bounced back to winning ways, under a confident Ben Curtis. He was down in grade and duly took advantage of an open goal. He travelled smoothly and never looked under pressure at any stage, winning by 4 ½ lengths. Strawberry has been a stable favourite for a long time now, partly because he is owned by two good friends, Mark Birkett & Jack Stephenson, but also because he tries very hard and enjoys his training. Sadly, at this stage it looks like he will head off to the October HIT sale. I’ve no doubt that he has plenty of mileage left on the clock. He’s versatile on ground and may stretch out further than a mile under the right conditions.
Au Clair de Lune
11 August 2021
Au Clair de Lune put in a determined effort to win under an excellent Hayley Turner ride at Chester on ITV last Saturday. She broke smartly but found herself near the back of the field and was fortunately able to sidestep an ill fated runner, before Hayley made a race winning move sneaking down onto the rail. She always looked like winning turning in and duly ran down a solid performer in Hochfeld.
It has always been my intention to step Clair up to this trip. She’ll have a busy Autumn and I see no reason why she wont continue to improve on the Autumn ground. Congratulations to her wonderful owner breeders the Hutches
5 August 2021
Mistrix went one better than on her previous two starts by winning nicely at York under a confident Dan Muscutt. She travelled smoothly and put the race to bed comfortably before idling in front of a packed house on the Knavesmire. She’s an attractive filly who’s bound to improve physically for a Winter on her back. In the meantime, we have options throughout the Autumn.
She was very well bought by Hubie de Burgh and I was delighted to train a winner for friends of the yard David McGuiness and Anthony Rogers of Airlie Stud.
Mistrix is a filly we’ve always liked and I’m expecting her to be competitive in Black type races further down the line.
15th July 2021
Miss Mulligan has had a frustrating season up until this point however showed her customary battling attitude to win at Epsom under a fine ride from Callum Shepherd. She has a fantastic constitution and gives everything each time she runs and has the capability to run over a mile to a mile and a half handling any ground. I was delighted for her owner- breeder Charlie Hanbury who has been very sporting keeping her in training. Providing her season continues to go in the right direction, we may look to France at the end of the year and have a crack at some black type.
15th July 2021
Melly’s Flyer got off the mark nicely at Epsom on Thursday. He’s been a difficult horse to train since joining us from the Breeze Ups last year and a lot of credit must go to his regular rider Darren, who has found the key to him between runs. He jumped and travelled smoothly under Marco Ghaini and never looked like getting beat. I’m delighted for his owner Liam Melly who’s become a good friend over the last year. Melly’s Flyer is his first horse in training, hopefully it’s the start of a long and successful journey in racing for Liam.
SHOOT TO KILL
5th July 2021
Shoot to Kill produced a tidy performance under Callum Shepherd at Nottingham. He travelled easily off a strong pace before going away to win well. He’s a horse that is growing up physically and mentally and I’m confident that he will be able to step up in class as his career progresses Congratulations to Ed Ware, Matt Bartram & David Kilburn who have been patient with him. Admittedly, he’s been frustrating at times, however, I’m sure he can step forward from this and the valuable Racing League looks ideal.
LIVIA THE EMPRESS
3rd July 2021
Livia The Empress has always been a joy to train, she’s incredibly straight forward and a sound filly. She had previously been knocking on the doo, but put in a polished display at Beverley under Daniel Muscutt. She travelled smoothly and was always looking like the winner. She seems versatile on ground but relished the underfoot conditions, I’m hoping that this can be a springboard for her to progress as the season develops.
3rd May 2021
Strawberry Jack bounced back to winning ways under a power packed ride from Hollie Doyle. He travelled smoothly and looked in command of the race from a long way out, clearly relishing the fast ground. He‘s slipped to a handy mark and was entitled to win off the back of a good effort at Windsor last time out. I’m hoping this will be a springboard for him for the coming months. He’s a lovely big horse who’s given his owners Jack Stephenson & Mark Birkett a huge amount of pleasure.
17th April 2021
George Peabody made it two wins from three starts when stepping up to a mile convincingly at Thirsk on Saturday. Hetravelled smoothly and was able to keep the market principles in front of him. Turning into the home straight he never looked like getting beaten; showing an impressive turn of foot to win comfortably on fast ground. Its now likely that we won’t see him before Royal Ascot as he should be a perfect candidate for the Britannia. However, its important to note that he has plenty of stamina in the pedigree and I’m very much looking forward to stepping him up to a mile and a quarter later in the year. He has the most incredible temperament and I’m hoping he’s a horse to fly the flag for many years to come.
AU CLAIR DE LUNE
31st March 2021
The beautifully bred Au Clair de Lune got her season off to the perfect start under crack Apprentice Benoit de la Sayette at Kempton on Wednesday evening. She jumped smartly from the gate and led the race throughout; finding plenty for pressure, she was always holding the second to the line. Throughout last year we were confident that she was a lovely filly however, she just needed some time to mature, which she certainly did over the winter with her owner-breeders the Hutch family. She now looks certain for a step up in trip and I see no reason why she won’t continue to improve through the year. I have a real soft spot for this filly and I’m looking forward to the season ahead with her.
Many congratulations to Mr & Mrs Hutch who bred and raised her out of their wonder mare Missunited. They have been incredibly patient and I’m very grateful for their support.
27/28th March 2021
Too Friendly kicked off a wonderful weekend at Doncaster in exciting style winning the 10 furlong 3yr old Maiden. He’s a horse that has always shown plenty of ability, although he’s been slow to come to hand. He travelled strongly under Callum Shepherd and won in commanding fashion showing some signs of inexperience. We’ll now look at a Derby trial. A tall scopey son of Camelot, he’s bred to stay at least a mile and a half.
Unlike homebred Too Friendly, George Peabody was purchased at the October Yearling sale in 2019. He’s a beautiful horse but was very weak last year. I was pleased with his debut run however he took a massive step forward when pulverising a decent field over 7 furlongs at Doncaster. Callum gave him a perfect ride, creeping him into the race before pulling away to win by 3 1/2 lengths. Being out of a champion German two-year-old and by the excellent Holy Roman Emperor, he has a pedigree to match his performance. Its early days however he’ll be pointed towards Royal Ascot. It’s likely he’ll take in another Novice on his way to the Royal Meeting.
SHOOT TO KILL
18th March 2021
Shoot to Kill earned a deserved victory under an excellent ride from Callum Shepherd at Chelmsford. He was a little gassy early on, however settled after a couple of furlongs and was able to see his race out strongly down the middle of the track. He’s had a slightly frustrating few months, he was very unlucky under William Buick at Doncaster and unshipped Ben Curtis at the start last time out. He’s a horse that has always worked ahead of his handicap mark and I’m hoping this is the catalyst for more success in the future. A big thank you must go to Matt Bartram, Ed Ware & David Kilburn for their patience, I have to admit he has been frustrating at times; some nice race on the grass await.
JACK THE TRUTH
4th February 2021
The wonderful Jack The Truth registered his ninth career victory under a superb ride from Callum Shepherd. He travelled so smoothly that Callum was able to take a pull a furlong and a half out. It’s clear that he enjoys a turning 5 furlongs and I have to admit it was entirely my fault that he disappointed at Newcastle last time as I was keen to try a little bit further. Jack is enormously special to us, being the first horse I purchased when starting training. He will certainly have a home for life. A huge amount of his success can be apportioned to his owner Jack Stephenson who has always been incredibly patient. As with many young horses, he suffered from a few set backs. Jack was totally unfazed and gave JTT all the time he needed to develop into the horse he has now become.
31st January 2021
Ibn Arabi proved himself to be an exciting prospect, winning very handsomely under Ben Curtis at Wolverhampton. He was a shrewd Breeze Up purchase by Billy Jackson-Stops and always looked like being a lovely horse last year, despite needing to strengthen and fill his frame. Ibn Arabi travelled smoothly over 6 furlongs and never looked like getting beaten, given his pedigree it’s entirely possible that we can see him step up in trip as he matures, however all options remain open. I was even more delighted to train a winner for Ebrahim Al-Afoo who in a short time has become a good friend of the yard. I’m very much looking forward to seeing where this son of No Nay Never could end up.