Albany Rose wins at Wolverhampton

Eamonn Duggan's Albany Rose ran a great race to win at Wolves on Friday, fulfilling the promise she had shown on her previous starts and at home, and becoming, somewhat belatedly, the yard's first two year old winner of the year.  She is the first foal of Eamonn's mare Teide Lady and has already done rather better than her dam by winning at two and, in fact, actually winning a race (Teide Lady's win at Newcastle was achieved on disqualification of the winner).  Not to say that TD was untalented - quite the reverse - she just had her own ideas about how things should be done.  Her daughter proved a real battler on Friday, leading from start to finish.  Let's hope she can go on to better things.  Congratulations to all concerned.

It's freezing at Newmarket


No surprise there as the rest of the country is under snow as well, but here's what it looks like in Newmarket riding out at the moment.  These are the just broken in yearlings walking back from exercise after trotting and cantering six furlongs behind Montecristo, their not-very-sensible lead horse.  From left to right they are Montecristo, the Lurys' un-named Manduro filly, un-named Lawman filly (for lease), Pivotal (hidden, for sale), Eamonn Duggan's Discreet Cat filly and the un-named Antonius Pius filly (for sale). 


Here's another of the Antonius Pius filly who looked quite nice as she was passing.  Boy it was cold and it doesn't look set to improve this week. 

PS Hope you like the new website - all constructive feedback welcome!

Goodbye Mark, hello Liz

From Monday 29 November you will hear a different voice picking up the phone when you call 01638 661508.  Mark Burrows, Rae's trusty yard secretary and office administrator has left to become a trainee accountant with a firm near Cambridge.  Mark has done a great job and we are very sorry to see him go.  Everyone will miss his wry sense of humour, enthusiasm for racing, reliable nature and dedication, characteristics that will serve him well in his new career (all apart, that is, from the racing bit - your new colleagues will all want tips).

Replacing Mark is Liz Kilfeather.  Liz used to be yard secretary for Mark Wallace, who emigrated to Australia to train, then she worked on computers for Mark Madgwick and most recently for Rent Right.  Liz has been working with Mark for the last two weeks to ensure a smooth handover.  Liz does not ride out but keeps busy with three ex racehorses of her own.   A very warm welcome to Liz.

More sad news to report: Rae's assistant Emma Jenkins has also left to travel the world - she has a job with Gai Waterhouse in Australia and she flew out last Tuesday.  Emma has done an absolutely fantastic job as Rae's assistant causing him to say once 'I wouldn't need 30 staff if I had ten of her'!  Seriously, Emma's enthusiasm, work ethic, attention to detail and pleasant way with both staff and owners have made her a great person to have around and we wish her well for the future - it really was a not to be missed opportunity.  We hope that they will both stay in touch.   

Lastroseofsummer scores spectacular hurdling success at Musselburgh

You can expect to see the 12.25 from Musselburgh shown a lot in the next few days and in a few months time turn up on A Question of Sport. Eamonn Duggan's Lastroseofsummer was having her second run over hurdles under 7 pound claimer Matt Crawley (attached to Lucy Wadham's Newmarket yard) when his saddle slipped in dramatic fashion after the 7th flight causing him to lose both stirrups and perform an acrobatic feat to keep the partnership intact, involving as it did his having both legs on one side at one point. Not only did he stay on her and keep her in a good position, coming to two out he showed that he had no intention of not having a go at winning the race, giving her a couple of slaps when she pricked her ears, and she went on to win easily in the end, only to be unceremoniously deposited on the turf when trying to pull up. It will probably be one of Matt's most memorable rides although he looked remarkably unruffled afterwards and gave 'Rosie' a lot of credit, more or less saying she had been fancied and he had expected her to win. To be fair to her the only thing she did wrong was to be a bit careful and jump a bit high over the early flights; and considering what was going on on her back she ran straight as a die and he could not have had a more co-operative partner. The press have been on to Rae and Matt, and John Francome will be interviewing Matt and looking at the video on The Morning Line tomorrow morning. Very well done to Matt for a remarkable performance and thanks very much to all concerned for giving Rae his first jumps winner since Run Free in 1989, Rae's very first winner.

Serious Attitude's in the news

The $1.85 million sale of Serious Attitude at the Fasig-Tipton November sale on Sunday was a dream conclusion to a fairytale story for trainer Rae Guest and joint-owner Derek Willis. Bought privately for just 7,500gns from Tattersalls October Book 3 in 2007, the daughter of Mtoto landed the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes in an unbeaten juvenile campaign and last month took the Grade 1 Nearctic Stakes over 6f at Woodbine.

On Sunday she was knocked down to the Japanese Shadai Farm, with Coolmore the underbidders. "I'm pleased that she was well appreciated," said Guest, who owns a quarter share. "When Coolmore try to buy her you know you've got a good one." Bred by Paddy Twomey, Serious Attitude is the first foal out of the dual 1m winner Zameyla, a half-sister to Lowther Stakes runner-up Seraphina by Cape Cross. Guest said: "She was bought back by Paddy. After the sale he came to me and said she was a nice filly, what did I think of her? I said I liked her but she looked a bit backward - she looked like a late season two-year-old or a three-year-old. He said we could do a deal, which we did, and I brought her back from Tattersalls."

Serious Attitude is from the final crop of Mtoto, a sire who was "past his sellby date", according to Guest, another factor in her bargain price. The son of Busted is normally a strong influence for stamina, but Serious Attitude's dam line features several sprint winners including Haydock Park Sprint Cup second Mount Abu. Guest added: "She grew into a really nice horse. She is a fantastic walker, has a great temperament and has always been the easiest horse in the world to do anything with. She didn't run until August; she was a good two-year-old but a late enough one. She retired sound as a bell." Guest specialises in buying and training fillies from his Newmarket yard. "It's very difficult to buy a nice colt," he said. "Fillies get the weight allowance and have their own race programme, and have residual value." He trained My Emma to win two Group 1s, the Prix Vermeille and Yorkshire Oaks of 1997, before she sold for 1.3 million guineas at the 2005 Tattersalls December Sale, though he added: "This one's a little bit more special because I own part of her."

Guest and Willis could have taken a large profit on their star filly after her Cheveley Park win. "But we've had horses all our lives and didn't want to say goodbye to a good one," the trainer said. But later in her racing career the time was right to look to her retirement. "Agents Richard Brown and Tom Goff came to us and said Fasig-Tipton would love to sell her, would I be interested?" Guest explained. "Fasig-Tipton made us feel very welcome and really pushed the boat out for us. If I ever have a horse as good again I'll have no problem in coming back."

The association between Guest and Willis stretches back for decades, from when Guest was a jockey. Willis said: "I met Rae 30 years ago. He used to ride for me when I had horses with Michael Madgwick, and I supported him when he started training. He rang me regarding Serious Attitude and said 'I think I've got a good one and I want you to have her'. "I said 'I'd like you to keep a quarter share if she's as good as you think she is”. He's just a genius with fillies. "This one is irreplaceable, just special. Although she is a dual Group 1 winner she could have won about four. It was a great coup for Rae to pull off at Woodbine, and it's a fairytale ending. I wasn't interested in the money, I just wanted to live the dream."