The New Flat Season is upon us and I am absolutely delighted and incredibly excited with the horses that I am involved with this year. For someone living in Somerset it is rather obtuse that this season all of my Flat Horses (bar one notable exception - more later) are trained in the North of England.
The main reason is that these are brilliant trainers and incredibly nice genuine people, who make you feel as important as any owner with their own string of horses. I hope the following brief summary helps you follow my Dreams and Disasters throughout the 2013 Flat Season.
Our Boy Jack - 4 Yr Old Gelding
Our Boy Jack was amazingly consistent last year, improving from a mark of 67 to 85 by the end of the season.
His first two runs this season have been disappointing, running very free in the Irish Lincoln and then not enjoying the Lingfield surface last time. I'm sure Richard will get him back to his best and Laura Barry struck up an excellent relationship with him last season. 7f and decent ground would be his ideal conditions.
Strange Magic - 3 Yr old Filly
As you all know, Strange Magic is my baby, being both my biggest investment by far and also named by me. She didn't let us down last year, winning on her debut before running behind Maureen in a Gp 3 at Ascot and in two big sales races before a 2nd victory at Catterick. Her season finished in style finishing 2nd and 4th in two Listed Sprints at Longchamp and Fontainbleu. She finished the season rated 95, which is going to make this season really tricky, especially as a sprinter.
The winter hasn't been kind and a lot of Richard's fillies are taking a while to come ready but we hope to see Strange Magic back on the track in next few weeks. Listed Sprints at home and abroad on softish ground would be ideal. Lets hope she progresses even further!!
Lexington Place - 3 Yr old Gelding
Three very promising runs in maidens last year made this boy everybody's 'Talking Horse' over the winter and you can imagine our disappointment when he completely failed to settle and act on very heavy ground on Musselburgh over 7f. One week later, when little expected, he dropped to 6f and made all for victory at Newcastle over 6f under an inspired Tony Hamilton ride. He is very much still learning the game but it looks like he is a sprinter like his 102 rated brother Rex Imperator. Hopefully he will continue to improve with experience. Now rated 4lb higher at 69, he is entered at Newcastle on Thursday over 5f.
Tatlisu - 3 Yr old Gelding
Tatlisu looked extremely promising on his debut, winning at Musselburgh from no other than Hototo, who went on to be the Top Earning 2 yr old in Britain, picking up two sales races. Our lad, however, seemed to pick up some strange quirks, including stalls problems and bucking all the way up the York straight!!. Richard roughed him off quite early to give him time to mature and now he has been brought back slowly and is ready to make his 3 yr old debut.
Richard has entered him in a Claimer at Beverley on Thursday over 5f and this looks a good opportunity to start him off in as he is well in with his rating of 78. Hope he can run very well this week on way to fulfilling his enormous promise as the season progresses.
Sandiva (Footstepsinthesand - Miss Corinne)
2 Year Old Filly
This beautifully bred filly is a Half Sister to none other than Richard Hannon's very exciting 3 yr old colt WENTWORTH as well as Listed placed filly IRISH CLIFF. She was bought for only £18000 at the Doncaster DBS sales in Aug 2012.
Another of Richard's fillies who are waiting for the warm weather, we expect to see her on the track in May. She is already showing that she could be very decent and is entered up in all the big Sales Races. Very hopeful for our girl and her illustrious relatives.
Go Jamesway - (Royal Applause - Tatbeeq)
2 Year Old Colt
This chap has only just come into our hands and I was very lucky to get involved as shares were snapped up extremely quickly. He was picked up for only £20,000 at the Tattersalls Breeze-Up Sales after a very impressive Breeze up the Rowley Mile.
A Ready to run sprinter, I would expect to see him on the course, once Richard has had time to gauge his level of ability.
Stand My Ground - 6 Yr Old Gelding
Last Year, I missed out on the opportunity to buy a share in Penitent, despite thinking that he fitted the bill perfectly of a high class horse who David O'Meara could work his magic with. How right I was!!
I was therefore determined not to miss out again and after watching a piece of work up in North Yorkshire, I agreed to buy a share in the 6yr old Stand My Ground. Previously trained in the French Provinces, he had performed really well at Listed class and run very promising races against a number of horses who went on to perform at a much higher level. This despite being campaigned at a variety of trips and running styles.
Again, Stand My Ground has been entrusted to the brilliant David O'Meara to see if he can work his magic again.
Stand My Ground made his debut for us in a Listed Race at Doncaster over a Mile. Expected to need the run and maybe to struggle to get the Mile, Stand My Ground exceeded all our expectations by running on better than anything to finish 3rd after being boxed in on the rail. He is entered in the Group 2 Bet 365 Mile at Sandown and a Listed race at Leicester over the weekend and I hope he takes me around the world as Penitent has done for his lucky owners.
Maupiti Express (Chineur - Azucar)
2 Yr Old Gelding
Bought by David O'Meara and Nick Bradley at Arqana Sales in November for a mere 12,000 euros, this French Bred sprinter has been bought specifically to target 2 year old sprints in France, where the French Premiums bring Prize Money up to levels not achievable in the UK.
He is showing real promise at home and should be seen out in May probably over 6f.
Victoire de Lyphar
Ruth has done a fantastic job, trying to get Victoire back to his best, with her very relaxed set up and training methods. Vic is finally starting to relax and showed a little promise after a well behaved performance last time out.
He owes us nothing after his 3 year old exploits and we just want him to enjoy his racing again. If he does, we will have a very well handicapped sprinter on our hands.
Mad Moose - 9 Yr Old Gelding (and Worldwide Superstar)
Yes it's true, The Moose will be making his Flat debut at the age of 9 at a course near you soon.
Nigel feels that he needs to enjoy himself again and has put him through the stalls without problem at home. We will run him in a couple of maidens to see how he gets on and who knows we might have another Overturn on our hands. Nige has a ready made Flat jockey in the family in the shape of Willy, who has been a revelation over the winter for Richard Hannon and many others.
The Moose owes us nothing after finishing 2nd in a Gd 1 Chase behind Sprinter Sacre and 4th in a Gd 1 hurdle behind Zarkandar, Rock on Ruby and Grandouet and picking up over £20,000 in prizemoney this year. Easy to forget after his recent exploits. I like the term 'Flawed Genius' .
I hope you enjoy following the exploits of my horses (and Me!!) as we dream our dreams and try and smile at our disasters in 2013.
Enjoy your Racing.