Lilly runs another great race

Kickingthelilly has been a real revelation this year, continuing to improve with every run.  Rated 79, the lowest of all the 11 runners in the Spring Cup (Listed), she ran a great race under regular jockey Chris Catlin, to finish a very creditable seventh.  This was a massive step up in class, a strong Listed race and it is likely that most of the horses in front of her will be (or already are) black type horses.

flynns_boy_albany_roseIn the meantime the yard is a busy place at the moment, despite the lack of runners, as the main group of three year olds continue to go through their paces on the gallops.  Due to the lack of rain in Newmarket we have been confined to the all weather again so three groups went up the Cambridge Road gallop yesterday morning.  Jockeys Ted Durcan, Tony Whelan and Ryan Clark were in to ride out.  Flynn's Boy (Ryan Clark) and Albany Rose (Ted Durcan) are pictured.  The majority of these horses will have entries in April all being well.

Build up to turf now in focus

albany_rose_workingSaturday morning saw the focus turn to the main group of horses who are gradually picking up their work regime, with a few (Albany Rose, Flynn's Boy and Shamardal/Daniella) doing a stronger canter on the Cambridge Road with the main group of three year olds and older horses now first lot going up Long Hill polytrack.  Albany Rose is pictured right under Tony Whelan.

The inexperienced pair Sushi and El Corredor/Beyond Price are further forward than the others and worked, while the rest cantered up behind.  It is a testing climb and will have helped their fitness significantly without having to go too fast.   The all weather horses are coming to the end of their respective campaigns and we can never recall a group being so successful - all four horses winning and (where they had the chance to), winning more than once. Even Reachforthebucks, who was working with them all winter but left to join Jane Chapple-Hyam in January, has shown his well being by winning three weeks or so after leaving.

Lilly carries on amazing run

byron_fillyThe baton passed to Tony Hirschfeld and partners' homebred Byron filly Kickingthelilly this afternoon at Lingfield and she did not disappoint with another decisive 1 3/4 length win.  This takes her winning total to three and the yard's for the yard to 8 from 12 runners in 2012 (67%).

It wasn't the best race in the world, but there were two other last time out winners and it was run at a good pace so this effort is not to be sniffed at.  Ridden by Chris Catlin, Lilly tracked the leader covering his move three out and stretching away to beat what looked like her principal rival.  Lilly might be a due a break now depending on how she takes the race, but she has done her owners Tony. Steve Piper, Tim Hailstone and Lester Piggott proud.

Sun shines on long hill

princess_of_orange_canteringA beautifully sunny Saturday morning saw most of the older horses make their first visit of the year over to Bury side of the Heath, to try out Long Hill polytrack, an 8 furlong testing climb.  Princess of Orange is pictured right cantering and then walking back down the hill under rider Nick McKee.

This was their first time up a real hill this year and it represents a first step up on the steady canters they have been doing.


In 2/3 weeks all being well the main group will start on steady bits of work.  With fillies especially it is important not to overdo them too early but it is so far so good this year and they are all looking well.

Other than that, First Class is off home for a break this week and Kickingthelilly has an entry on Friday.  She also worked on Long Hill on Saturday and is in good form.

First Class scores again

Brian and Elaine Cooper's home bred First Class won the second race of his career this evening at Kempton, taking the yard's win to run percentage for the year to an incredible 64% - seven runners from just 11 runners.  Only one of those 11 has not been in the first three.  Considering that the yard had 16 winners in total in 2011, seven before the end of February is pretty amazing.

first-class'Ronnie', as Brian and Elaine call him, ran a great race under David Probert, swooping through the field in the final furlong to win by a neck.  Had he not had a troubled run he may have won more easily.  He couldn't have chosen a better day to win as it was a big birthday for Elaine which she was celebrating at the races.  Many happy returns and congratulations to Elaine, Ronnie's devoted breeder, Ali who looks after him and to me (!) his erstwhile work rider.