Remarkable run continues...

Although the Racing Post hasn't noticed it yet, the yard's current strike rate is currently an amazing 60% with Cam Artam's newcomer, the recently named Ed De Gas, providing the latest win this afternoon at Lingfield at the rewarding price of 33-1. This Peintre Celebre colt had been going well at home with the other horses who have won, but Rae thought that greenness and inexperience might beat him today.  Happily Ed De Gas and jockey Chris Catlin were having none of it.

As expected he was slow to jump, but was always going well at the rear of the field, tracking the odds on hard-pulling favourite in a race that was run at an unhelpful stop-go pace.  Turning in to the straight he still had all but two to pass but swept through to win convincingly by two lengths, under a hands and heels ride.  The favourite did help him by running wide and erratically but this was a convincing performance to keep up the remarkable strike rate and give us our sixth winner of 2012.  Congratulations to Cam Artam whose first winner from Chestnut Tree Stables this was, to Tony Whelan who rides him and Ali who looks after him.

Kickingthelilly doubles up

Little 'Lilly' won the second race of her life at Kempton this afternoon under a great ride from Chris Catlin.  She had the worst draw of the lot in 10 and Chris had to drop her in in the early stages of the race which meant she had only one behind her.  Then another horse was pulled up in front of her, but she challenged at the cut-away and eventually weaved her way through for an emphatic three length win.  We'll have to see what the handicapper makes of that before making too many plans.  Well done Tony, Lester Piggott, Tim Hailstone and Steve Piper and Arif who rides and looks after her.

Remarkably that gives the yard a + 50% strike rate for the year with only one finishing out of the first three from the nine runs the horses have had.  A fifth winner for 2012.  Excellent.

Sort of makes the riding out in minus 12 degrees worthwhile!

Now Kickingthelilly is off the mark

Rae came back from holiday today to find the place a hive of activity with runners at both Wolverhampton and Southwell.  He was even more pleased to find that clearly all was well without him as game little Kickingthelilly scooted up under Chris Catlin at Southwell this afternoon in a 7 furlong maiden.  She has never run a bad race and is another who shows plenty of grit and determination when push comes to shove.  Although challenged in the final two furlongs, she stayed on well and the outcome was never really in doubt.  She won by about a length and a quarter. Congratulations to owner/breeders Tony Hirschfeld and Lester Piggott and part owners Tim Hailstone and Stephen Piper, whose first winner this was.  What a game little horse, she must be a joy to own.   This was the yard's fourth winner of the year - the four horses we have had run so far in 2012 have done us proud.

Miss Cato doubles up

Miss Cato ran out a convincing four length winner on her handicap debut to make it two wins from two runs for her owner/breeder Bert Bennett on 24 January.  She is really starting to get the hang of it and although slowly away and needing to be pushed along at one point, she showed plenty of gumption under William Carson to give the yard its third winner of the year.  Rae was on holiday in South Africa (riding something a lot slower along the Wild Coast) but listened to it live on the phone and bought champagne to celebrate.  Well done everyone.

Close but no cigar for Kickingthelilly

byron_fillyLittle 'Lilly' showed all her battling qualities this afternoon to finish only a short head behind odds-on favourite Boudoir at Kempton this afternoon, confirming that the horses are in great form at present.  She has run three good races now and is game as a pebble.  This time she had to make her own pace and looked well beaten when the favourite swept by, only to battle back purposefully to close the gap again.  If only her nose had been a couple of inches longer... (she does have a very small head!).  Hopefully the handicapper will not be too harsh on her as she hasn't really got the size to be lumping around a lot of lead.