Eklil chalks up another win

 A week on from last weekend's win with Days Like This owner Derek Willis was back in the winners enclosure, this time with his Invincible Spirit three year old Eklil.

This handsome gelding had won at Windsor back in April and had two more runs prior to Saturday's win at Bath. The first of these was at Wetherby where he finished fifth but the first five home all finished within a neck of each other. He then ran again at Windsor at the end of May where he finished second only beaten half a length.

In both of these starts over a mile he was doing his best work at the end of the race and therefore Rae decided to step him up in distance. Twelve days after finishing second at Windsor he made the trip to Bath to contest this Class 6 handicap over a mile and a quarter. Callum Shepherd (who had ridden him in his previous starts) was booked to ride and going to post he went off the 5/2 favourite. Drawn 3 of the 11 runners he raced midfield and started to make progress two furlongs from home. He was ridden strongly over a furlong out and appreciated the extra two furlongs as he was challenged by the Mark Loughnane trained Precision Storm but he wouldn't be denied and won by a short head.

For finishing second in his previous race at Windsor he was put up 3lbs in the ratings but managed to stay ahead of the handicapper for this most recent win. Let's hope that he continues to progress and Derek's winning streak continues. Congratulations to him and Callum Shepherd and well done to Shazad Ahmad who looks after Eklil at home.

A jubilant win for Days Like This

The Derek Willis and Rae Guest owned three year old, Days Like This, broke her maiden over the Jubilee weekend at Chepstow on Saturday evening.

She is by the Darley stallion Iffraaj, the sire of such top horses as Ribchester and Wootten Bassett and a top class seven furlong horse himself. She is an eyecatching dark filly like her sire and further back she is related to Arc winner and French sire Sagamix and Shastye, dam of Japan, Secret Gesture and Mogul. She was a late maturing filly who had just the one run at two, finishing a respectable third of eleven runners at Chelmsford. This was her third run this season having run well at Lingfield and Newmarket prior to heading to Chepstow for this Restricted Novice Stakes over seven furlongs.

Cameron Noble (3) was booked to ride Days Like This and she was drawn 3 from the small field of 4 runners. She raced prominently on the outside and hit the front just over a furlong out where she stayed on well to win by a length and three quarters. Now she may not have been the most popular winner at the Welsh track as the horse that finished second was the well backed Chancery Lane, owned by non other than H.M The Queen ! With the whole country celebrating the Queen's seventy years on the throne we did not intend to be the party poopers ! However, we know the Queen is a proper racing lady and would have been the first to congratulate Derek and Rae had she been there.


A winning debut for Lady Jane Grey !

The Unusual Suspects Syndicate got off to a great start with their first runner on Saturday night when their two year old filly Lady Jane Grey made a winning debut at Lingfield under George Rooke.

The filly was purchased by Rae for the new syndicate back in October at the Tattersalls Book 3 Yearling Sale. She is by the first season sire Havana Grey who has made a fantastic start to his stud career. The dam, Inagh River, had produced five winners by fast stallions with Lady Jane Grey now making it six. She has looked a two year old from the start, small in stature but in proportion and she has now shown that she has an engine to boot. Prior to this maiden run she had been working well at home and showing plenty of speed. Subsequently, she was entered for a Fillies' Restricted Novice Stakes at Lingfield on the turf which was just shy of five furlongs. Her debut had been much anticipated by the Unusual Suspects and quite a few of the excited members were able to make the journey to the Surrey track.

The race itself however was not without drama. Lady Jane Grey was a little slowly away from the stalls and then veered left showing her greenness. At this point the horse behind her unseated its rider so she had the added distraction of a loose horse to contend with. Racing a tad keenly she moved up to join the leaders but due to her wide draw she had no horse on the outside of her to help her stay straight. Despite all of the above she finished the race strongly and won by half a length beating the Daryll Holland trained Grace Angel into second.

Alongside her prize money her owners will also receive a Great British Bonus so happy connections all round. She will improve for the experience and it will be exciting to see where Rae places her next !

Another win for Say Grace

The three year old filly Say Grace gained her second career win yesterday at Lingfield. Owned by the Rainy Day Partnership this was her first run after a break of 101 days and followed up her win at Wolverhampton back in February (pictured).

This was her first race on turf this year and she did it in good style. Eight runners went to post for this seven and a half furlong Claiming Stakes on ground officially described as good. Say Grace was drawn 4 and ridden by Jim Crowley. She broke smartly from the stalls and travelled just behind the leaders. Approaching the two furlong marker she had the rest of the field off the bridle and once Jim got to work on her she quickened away to win by an easy four and a quarter lengths.

The owners have put her in the July Sale but as that is a while off yet there may be another race to target in the meantime. Congratulations to the Rainy Day Partnership and many thanks to Jim Crowley for the ride.

Super Seven for Aramis Grey

Aramis Grey gained her seventh career win yesterday evening at Windsor. What an amazing mare she is !

This was her first run on turf since July last year when she finished fourth at Salisbury. She has become a bit of an all weather specialist but showed her versatility on this good to firm ground at Windsor. 

Callum Shepherd was jocked up again and he knows her inside out by now. She was drawn 5 of the 8 runners and raced in her usual position at the rear of the field. She travelled strongly throughout and hit the front just before the half furlong marker where she went on to win cosily by a neck from the Rod Millman trained Crazy Luck. This win was off an official rating of 82, let's hope the handicapper isn't too harsh ! The race was a qualifier for the Windsor Sprint Series Final which is on 1st August with prize money totalling £75,000 so she will be aimed at this.

When buying racehorses we look at conformation, pedigree and movement but the one thing we cannot see is the will to win and Aramis has it in spades. If we could make a template for a syndicate horse then she is the ideal model. She has given the Musketeers so much pleasure and long may it continue.

Photography credit - Francesca Altoft Photography