Runners Review

We have been very busy at the yearling sales over the past two weeks, acquiring one lot from the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 1 and seven lots at Book 2, as we look to replenish our stocks in preparation for the 2017 season. Another reason to look forward to next year is Mr Jon and Sarah Kelly’s Red Label who built on the promise of his debut at Newmarket when winning what looked a warm maiden at Leicester last Tuesday, relishing the step up from seven furlongs to the extended mile. Red Label is very similar to many of the Dubawis we have had at Bedford House Stables in that, while he has been developed physically for some time, he has taken a while to mature mentally. He very much looks the sort to improve with time and, if that is the case, then he could win nice races next year, though where we start him off will depend on how he comes through the winter.

Another recent winner was Kangyu International Racing (HK) Limited’s Shakopee who bounced back to take a mile and a half handicap at Wolverhampton on Saturday under Martin Lane on his first start on the all-weather. He was much more relaxed than he had been at Newmarket on his penultimate start and duly looked a different horse. Not only did Shakopee’s success take us to 32 domestic winners for the year, not too far off the 50 domestic winners we achieved during 2015, but it also means we have saddled winners at every all-weather track this season bar Southwell (where we have not had a runner for many years). Our strike rate of 27.5% on the all-weather this year is obviously very pleasing although it is hard to put our finger on exactly why it has happened. Perhaps it is simply because all-weather races are, generally, that bit easier to win than those at the bigger tracks where we tend to have runners. Certainly in Shakopee’s case he was helped by running in a less competitive race than he has been this year, and had also dropped 3lb in the handicap, which put him back to the mark off which he was second to Barsanti at York. However, that is not to say he cannot win back off higher marks in the future.

Fittocks Stud’s Bermondsey also got back on track when switched to the all-weather for the first time as he finished fourth in a mile and a quarter handicap at Newcastle on Sunday. After racing too freely on some of his starts this year the plan was to get him settled early and bring him through with a late run. It worked up to a point as he was just unable to peg back the first three home in the closing stages. He could even be worth another try over 12 furlongs now that he is learning to relax. Normandie Stud’s Stanley ran a very good race when third behind a well fancied pair in a 10 furlong maiden on the same card, proving his previous start on soft ground over a mile and a half at Doncaster in July was all wrong. He is bred to stay 12 furlongs but we shall stick at this trip for the time being and he should be able to win regular maiden at least on this evidence.

So Sleek ran well for a long way on her debut when fourth behind a wide margin winner in a maiden at Nottingham last Wednesday but probably got bogged down on the rain softened ground late on. She was bred by Fittocks Stud before being sold to Lordship Stud at Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 1 in 2015and is very similar to the rest of her family, including her half-sisters Silk Sari (who did not run at two) and Dreamlike. So Sleek will probably run again this year and will hopefully prove to be a useful mile and a half filly in the future. Brodie stepped up to a mile and a half, a distance more in keeping with her pedigree, in a maiden at Kempton on the same day and bettered her debut form according to Timeform as she finished fourth. However, she would have fared better with a stronger pace as she is a filly who will probably stay even further in time although we will try to win a similar race over 12 furlongs.

Things went badly for Glorious Rocket from the outset on his nursery debut at Chelmsford last Thursday as his wide draw meant he struggled to get cover. He ended up four or five wide when making his move around the bend while the eventual first and second had been drawn in the first two stalls and, therefore, enjoyed an easier time of it. We suspect Glorious Rocket will now be put away for next year when he should develop into a good handicapper at six and possibly seven furlongs.

A filly we are looking forward to running again is Mr Jon Shack’s Great Court who is set to take on colts and geldings in a mile maiden at Chelmsford on Thursday. She has steadily risen up the pecking order at home and ran very well when a close third at Kempton on her debut, so we are hoping she can provide us with another juvenile winner before the season finishes. The next few weeks tend to be a quiet period for a number of yards at this stage each season, with horses either going to the sales, leaving for stud or their winter break, and it will be no different for us. The likes of Shakopee, Bermondsey and recent winners Archery Peak, Cryptic and Diamond Geyser are all entered in the Tattersalls Horses in Training Sale next week, while the likes of Beautiful Morning, Vanity Queen and Dubara, have already left us for their winter holiday but they will all be back refreshed and ready for 2017.