Mirza scores in grand style

Chris and Lesley Mills' four year old Mirza, out of foundation mare Millyant, won this afternoon at Haydock in convincing style under Adam Kirby.  Absolutely key to this horse is the ground - he must have it soft - and he has been a long time waiting for his ideal conditions (6 furlongs on soft ground).  Today he got them and showed everyone what he can do when things go right.

Mirza is a lovely little horse, a great character and yard favourite.  He looked held in a pocket with 2 furlongs left to run, but jockey Adam Kirby weaved through horses into the clear and Mirza showed a brilliant turn of foot to come clear of the field.  Rae and Chris will pick the ground carefully and there could be more to come from him.

Chris and Lesley are in the Scillies on holiday but youngest son Robbie was on hand to report back this family success.  Well done to Robbie and Farman who looks after him.

Conciliatory wins feature at Brighton

Kirsten Rausing's cleverly named grey filly, Conciliatory, won her first race of 2011 at Brighton today in the feature mile contest on the opening day of the Brighton festival under jockey Adam Bechizza claiming three pounds.  Conciliatory (Cozzene - Condoleeza) has always shown plenty of ability, although was perhaps a little over-faced in the Listed contests she contested earlier in the year, and possibly benefited from the first time application of an enormous sheepskin noseband and cheekpieces today.  Hopefully she will continue to show this sort of improvement.

Well done Kirsten, Adam and Conciliatory's most recent home jockey Tony Whelan.

Of the other two runners today, Rae reports that Border Abby went too fast early on to finish her race off at Newcastle; and Alice Rose did not handle the firm ground at Yarmouth as well as he had hoped she would.  All the same Alice ran a creditable, and fairly close, third.

Just the one runner tomorrow, Cool Water Oasis at Chepstow - going all that way in search of soft ground.  Mirza has also been declared for Friday at Newmarket, more in hope than expectation of the heavy rain that is forecast.

After an enormous storm threatening Newmarket this evening it has fizzled out into no more than a short but heavy shower.

Roses continue to bloom for Eamonn

On Friday both Albany Rose and Lastroseofsummer ran with great credit, the first named finishing a very honourable second in a handicap at Goodwood, dealing with a 24lb rise in the handicap; and the other Rosie doing one better at Bath, stretching out the field from the front under Martin Lane.  Lastroseofsummer is a lovely filly who is already popular with everyone here and the further her winning spree continues (now three on the trot, counting one over hurdles) the more popular she is likely to become!

Owner Eamonn Duggan has now had two horses win three races on the trot this year, so a heavy weight of expectation is falling on Rose of Sarratt and My Colleen, his other two horses...

Counting from yesterday every runner we have had in the last 14 days (excepting poor old Mirza for whom the ground was too firm at Ascot) has been in the first three and, considering we have as yet had just one two year old run, you have to be pleased with eleven winners at this stage.

Princess of Orange (2 year old Dutch Art - Radiate) makes her debut at Windsor tomorrow evening for owner Colin Joseph.

Flynn's Boy strikes again

Given that the yard is suffering from a paucity of three year olds in 2011, it is great news that we have two who have been able to rack up three wins each.  The first to step forward was the pocket rocket that is Albany Rose and today Colin Murfitt's Flynn's Boy (who must be starting to be Colin's most successful homebred) excelled in Salisbury's 8.40 to post what was probably his easiest win yet.  He really is a lovely, likeable, kind horse and he and Colin deserve every success.  Well done to him and Arif who led him up and also rides him regularly.

Border Abby and Noel strike

A great result in the last race at Newcastle today when yard apprentice Noel Garbutt rode the syndicate owned Selkirk filly Border Abby to her maiden success. She has had a couple of near misses aready, finishing second twice and third, but this time she secured a last gasp win by a rapidly diminishing nose.  Many congratulations to Noel who is riding well at the moment, Border Abby herself, who is a real trier, and her owners Beadle, Davies, Jennings and Drew.