A birthday win for Derek !

Eklil gave his owner Derek Willis the best birthday present he could wish for with a win at Lingfield yesterday.

The four year old son of Invincible Spirit was on the back burner for a while in the spring while we waited for better ground to come. When he eventually made his re-appearance at Lingfield at the end of May he ran a fine race to finish second and was only beaten a head. He disappointed at Beverley ten days later but a return to Lingfield yesterday proved more to his liking.

Rossa Ryan was in the saddle for this first race on the card, a Class 5 handicap over a mile and a quarter and in the early part of the race they travelled in second on the heels of the leader. Two furlongs out he was shaken up and took the lead to stay on stoutly and repel the challenge of the Dean Ivory trained Moonlit Cloud by half a length.

We are delighted for Derek and would like to thank Rossa Ryan for the ride. Happy Birthday Derek ! 

Bondi Bay gets off the mark

BB Thoroughbreds homebred three year old Bondi Bay broke her maiden at the second attempt at Ripon yesterday.

This attractive filly is by top Coolmore sire Australia, sire of several Group winners (including Galileo Chrome, Order of Australia and Broome). This is a family Rae knows well as he trained her two sisters Waltzing Queen and Waltzing Intime who were both out of the Russell family's mare Alsaaden, a winning Acclamation daughter of Bahia Breeze. The owners have had to bide their time with her as she never made it to the racecourse last year after undergoing two bouts of colic surgery. However their patience has been rewarded this year as she made a promising debut at Salisbury last month where she finished second prior to this win yesterday at Ripon.

Callum Shepherd was booked for this six furlong maiden and she went off the 10/11 favourite drawn from stall 2. She broke well and travelled on the outside of the six runners just shading the leaders. A furlong and a half out she was asked to go and win her race and quickened up nicely to win by an impressive two and three-quarter lengths from the Harry and Roger Charlton trained Bright.

We are delighted for BB Thoroughbreds that Bondi Bay has made such an encouraging start to her racing career and she will surely improve on what she has done so far.

Wetherby win for War Chant

War Chant followed up his win at Nottingham nine days ago with another success last night, this time at Wetherby.

Owned and bred by Vicky Markowiak with a share held by Vicky's friend Richard Climpson, the son of War Command is becoming a model of consistency and from his last six starts he now boasts three wins and a second. Vicky and Richard made the trip to the West Yorkshire track yesterday evening and were over the moon with his latest win so congratulations to them both.

Connor Beasley was in the saddle for this Class 6 handicap over a mile and War Chant went to post under top weight of ten stone. He broke smartly from the stalls to make virtually all the running from the inside rail. He had plenty of challengers from two furlongs out but showed plenty of grit to battle all the way to the line to win by a short head from the Grant Tuer trained Mr Jetman.

Hopefully this narrow win will not be judged too harshly by the handicapper unlike his Nottingham win from which he went up seven pounds !

Winning War Chant

It was only a matter of time before War Chant returned to the winners enclosure as the three year old War Command gelding who is owned and bred by Vicky Markowiak had run well in his previous three starts this season. 

Vicky was in attendance at Nottingham on Sunday accompanied by her good friend Richard Climpson who also holds a share in War Chant. Ray Dawson was booked to ride in this Class 6 handicap over a mile but due to illness had to miss out on a second winner this week for us and James Doyle was able to step in. Drawn 1 of the 9 runners War Chant went off the 11-8 favourite. He broke smartly from the stalls and took the lead shortly after and at the three furlong marker was asked to quicken. He soon put daylight between himself and his rivals and won impressively going away by four and a quarter lengths.

Congratulations to Vicky and Richard and thank you to James Doyle for the ride. Let's hope the handicapper is not too harsh on War Chant for this victory !

A solid start for Divina Grace

It has been a slow start to the season this year but things have been heading in the right direction with the horses running well and yesterday Divina Grace confirmed her well being with a win on her seasonal re-appearance at Chepstow.

The daughter of Golden Horn owned by the Top Hat & Tails Syndicate had made a good start to her racing career last year, running five times with a win at Newmarket plus two placings. She was a big two year old and a winter under her belt was always going to be of benefit allowing her to strengthen up and fill her frame. She prefers fast ground and with the wet early spring we had she has had to wait for her first start of the year. Eventually the ground dried out and a mile and a quarter handicap at Chepstow was chosen to start her off. Ray Dawson was booked to ride but had to step down due to illness and an able substitute in Hector Crouch was found.

In the race itself she raced prominently from the start before settling in to third place. When they quickened up she was initially taken off her feet a fraction but stayed on well and finished strongly to win by three quarters of a length. She looks like a step up in distance will be appreciated and will more than likely be seen out next time over a mile and a half.

Thank you to the in form Hector Crouch for the ride (he rode a treble on the day !) and congratulations to Eamonn, Kevin, Scott and Marisa for their first winner of 2023.