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.