Nick Bradley Racing Yard Visit: Part One

By Samantha Martin (@sam_angelina22)

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of visiting Nick Bradley’s farm in North Lincolnshire for their open day. Over the past five years, Nick Bradley Racing has become one of the leading syndicates in the UK with only Godolphin having a better record with two-year-olds this season.

It was an early start for us from our Leicestershire home and, when we arrived at the yard, we were greeted as if they had known us for years. There were sausage cobs (which were delicious), bacon cobs, hot drinks, chocolates and more for us to enjoy!

The yard itself is an ex-haulers yard, which Nick purchased about ten years ago, and they have a total of one hundred acres spread about the picturesque village of Goxhill. There is a barn and individual other stables as well as a lunge pen and horse walker. Within the one hundred acres, there is plenty grazing space for their broodmares and foals.

Nick Bradley watches on as the fillies parade.

Nick’s background is in professional gambling and he was originally a teacher until he began earning more money from gambling than teaching! So, he decided to take everything he’d learned from gambling into purchasing racehorses. Before he started Nick Bradley Racing, one of the first notable horses he bought was Exceptional Art, the Beverley Bullet winner, who later sold for £180,000. In addition, he purchased globetrotting group one-winner Suedois; Sprint Cup winner G Force and British Champion Stakes winner Donjuan Triumphant, who now stands as a stallion in France. There is a nice story with this horse: he had splints (bony growths) on his legs at the sales, which meant that nobody wanted him and, despite this, he went on to win a group one!

Five years ago, in 2015, Nick created ‘Nick Bradley Racing’. This is a syndicate where new owners can buy a 1%/2.5%/5% share in horses with a buy-in fee and monthly payments (some don’t though). Nick is known as being one of the shrewdest buyers of racehorses and extensively examines possible purchases to best suit the syndicate. The aim is to have the highest percentage chance of winning as possible. He invests his own money into the initial purchases and often keeps a percentage share in the horses he buys. In their first year, they had ten two-year-old fillies and they had a group three and listed winner. In the second year, Commissioned won on his first start for Nick Bradley Racing 19 in none other than the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot!

This year, they have had seventeen two-year-old fillies and ten individual winners. The two of their most notable horses this season have been Dandalla and Fev Rover. Dandalla started out her career on the second day of the delayed new season with a brilliant win by two lengths. Next stop for her was the group three Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot, which she won by a huge six lengths. In early July, she ran in the Duchess Of Cambridge on the July Course at Newmarket and the race couldn’t have gone much better for Nick Bradley Racing as she fought out the finish with ‘Nick Bradley Racing 43 & Partner’s’ Fev Rover. Just a neck split them with Dandalla Prevailing. Previously, Fev Rover had been second to smart colt Method on debut. She learnt a lot from her tussle with Dandalla and cosily landed a listed race at Sandown next time out. She went to France on 22nd August and won the group two Shadwell Prix du Calvados in taking style. I found it very interesting that they said “when” Fev Rover wins the Prix de Marcell-Bousac – not if! These two fillies have such big futures and I’m really excited to see them run through the rest of the season.  

Making friends with the Ribchester filly. (Get to know her in Part Two)

Up until the backend of August, ‘Nick Bradley Racing’ was the leading owners for two-year-olds until Godolphin overtook and it is Nick’s aim to be ahead of Godolphin next season and have a whole team of top class, black type performing fillies. I’m really excited to see these fillies hit the track next season as they are a brilliant bunch of horses. Part Two of this article airs Friday 17th at 5pm and that will be introducing you to them! (So, in short, an article full of cute horse pictures!) They are focusing on fillies for a multitude of reasons. Nowadays people generally want colts, which make fillies cheaper at the sales. Overall, it is easier to get black type with fillies as there are less runners in races. This means that they have more value to sell-on as broodmares or for further racing after their two-year-old campaign. The Great British Bonus is a useful, new scheme to boost prizemoney and, in some cases, a filly can get £25,000 extra for winning one of the eligible races.

The new yearling fillies were paraded for us and I learnt so much from listening to Nick talk about them and why he bought them. If you would like to watch the parade, visit this link https://nickbradleyracing.co.uk/open-days.

Prizemoney has been a huge talking point of late. I spoke to Russell Kennedy, Nick’s Racing Operations and Marketing Manager, at length on Sunday about how this ‘issue’ effects their syndicate, he said, “The majority of our owners aren’t interested in the prizemoney. What they want is a runner and to be part of being an owner. They want a winner. They want to go racing. They want to watch their horse run. They want information on what’s happening with the horse.” Another issue should be highlighted more in Russell’s opinion is to do with racecourses, “The big issue for our owners, and I think the bit that has been forgotten about when the press have been talking about these millionaires who are worried about losing a few quid, is the owner experience. People want to have a really good experience when they go racing. They want badges. They want that ‘raceday experience’ that some courses do better than others. Some courses treat you, as they should do, like a VIP, you get really well looked after. There’s great facilities, the best view on track and it’s easy to navigate around – you can go to the preparade ring, parade ring and you get a great view in the grandstand. Some courses are absolutely awful. You literally get put into a portacabin and you’re forgotten about. You might get a cup of tea or a biscuit that’s it. […] If you want to get people interested as owners, and retain owners, I would say don’t put another £500 or £1000 on the prizemoney put that into giving owners the most amazing experience that you can. That’s how you’ll retain owners.”

A wonderful part of my visit was getting to chat to some of the owners about their experiences with ‘Nick Bradley Racing’ and their horses. Nick took a group down to see their foals and I went with another group and Nick’s wife to see the broodmares. A new, one-off syndicate is a breeding syndicate. This involves one of Nick’s mares, who has been put in foal to Arc winner Waldgeist as part of his first book of mares. The owners involved, who were lovely and great to speak to, said that they were given an insight like no other. The bloodstock world can sometimes seem closed off to us regular people so I think something that ‘Nick Bradley Racing’ does well is open up that industry to its owners. For the Goffs Premier Yearling Sale, quite a few owners went and saw the bidding and the horses before the sale.

A stereotype about racehorse owners is that they’re upper class and elite but all of the owners at the open day were just regular people with a passion for the sport! The overall emotion was how much they loved being a part of their horses’ journey on the racetrack. Something that a few people mentioned that they appreciated most was the level of transparency and honesty from Nick and Russell. With the updates and yard visits, they were made to feel like they mattered, which some other syndicates lack. During lockdown when their horses were racing, they had video calls over Zoom to watch the horses and, leading up to the sales, Nick talked everyone through how he was going to approach the various sales. Everything I heard was completely positive and everyone seemed to have a lovely time.

One of the great qualities of horse racing is the whole ‘community’ of fans and, for me, the open day at Glebe Farm completely encapsulated that. Huge thank you to Russell, Nick and family for the invitation and their kindness!

-Samantha x

Keep your eyes out on @reinitinracing’s Twitter around 5pm tomorrow (Friday 18th September) (as long as technology is on my side) for Part Two, where I introduce you all to the yearlings!

“Do you have anything for me?”
Beautiful Ribchester filly.
Gorgeous Sea The Moon filly.
Colts being colts!
Four white socks!

Keep your eyes out on @reinitinracing’s Twitter around 5pm tomorrow (Friday 18th September) for Part Two, where I introduce you all to the yearlings!

Can Cyrname Get Back To Winning Ways This Saturday?


Cyrname (JTW Equine Images)

By Samantha


It’s been a busy week in the racing world! On Tuesday, the Grand National weights were announced. Tiger Roll has seen allotted 170, top weight, and he is declared to run on Sunday in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan, for his seasonal reappearance. Let’s hope Storm Dennis holds off as there’s some awesome racing this weekend.


Due to the threat of weather there are inspections as follows:-


-Ascot 8am
-Haydock 8am
-Wincanton 8am


For updates, please keep a close eye on the @ReinItInRacing Twitter Page. Also, check out our newest podcast while you’re there – https://anchor.fm/rein-it-in-racing/episodes/What-is-your-favourite-racecourse-eaq68s


The feature contest on Saturday is the Betfair Ascot Chase (15:35 Ascot), a grade one, which comes as part of a cracking card of seven races shown live on ITV.


The headline horse on the day is Cyrname. It was in the aforementioned contest twelve months ago that this horse properly burst onto the main stage. Paul Nicholls’ bold-running son of Nickname trounced a good field of rivals, made up of Waiting Patiently, Fox Norton, Politologue, Charbel and Aso, by a huge seventeen lengths. This emphatic victory earned him, controversially, the title of highest-rated chaser. This accolade once sat with Altior. In November, us racing fans were treated to a showdown like no other – Altior Vs Cyrname. Cyrname jumped and travelled a lot better than Altior to beat him by two and a quarter lengths. Then all eyes were on the King George VI Chase. He went off 5/4 favourite but got beat twenty one lengths by Clan Des Obeaux into second. That was a new test but Ascot is where he thrives. A three times course winner, the rest of the runners are at a disadvantage as this is his home turf.


You could say that Cyrname under-performed on Boxing Day and, if he was to do so again, Riders Onthe Storm would be there to take advantage. He’s seemed a new horse since moving to Nigel Twiston-Davies as he is two from two for them. On stable debut, he won at Aintree smartly, despite being keen, beating Cepage and Oldgrangewood, who’ve won three competitive handicaps between them since. Next time, he won a £31k prize over course and distance. He wasted energy at the beginning of the race and the ground was extremely tacky so to win as strongly as he did was ultra-impressive. I don’t think he’ll beat Cyrname in this but all roads lead to Cheltenham and the Ryanair as it appears unlikely Cyrname will go there because he doesn’t go left-handed.


Completing the small but select field of four are Traffic Fluide and Janika. The latter won over a bit further than this on his final start in France before moving to Nicky Henderson. Last season, his best runs were second in the Stable Plate and fourth in the Topham over the National fences. This season, he won at Exeter in the Haldon Gold Cup but he’s struggled since against Defi Du Seuil in two races and Summerville Boy, over hurdles. This is a more appropriate trip but he’s not up to Cyrname’s standards. The same can be said for Traffic Fluide even though he’s a smart horse in his own right, having won a grade two and three. We haven’t seen him for 469 days (when he won the Sodexo Gold Cup) and will need the run.

On the left is Two For Gold. (JTW Equine Images)


The other graded race on the Ascot card is the Sodexo Reynoldstown Novices Chase (13:50 Ascot) (Grade Two). Six exciting young horses go for glory here. Number one is Danny Whizzbang for the Cyrname trainer-jockey combination of Harry Cobden and Paul Nicholls. Before last time, he was unbeaten in three outings, two hurdle races and a chase. The chase was a grade two in which he beat Reserve Tank, who’s a grade one winner. Last time, he was well-beaten into third by Slate House and Black Op in a grade one. He folded tamely that day. Two For Gold’s last run was the complete opposite to that. I was at Warwick when this horse tenaciously won a grade two. He got headed by Hold The Note at one point in the race and but battled back to win by half a length. He runs from the front and won his first two chases in good style. His attitude is just wonderful!


The Altior colours of Patricia Pugh will be worn by Pym. On his second start, he notched up a course and distance victory after being second to Deyrann Du Carjac at Huntingdon. In the Ascot race, he beat a decent field of rivals and then at Cheltenham he won by eight lengths over three miles and a furlong. As a neat jumper, he has a big reputation but he won’t want the ground to be too soft as he was only ninth in the 2018 Aintree Bumper on soft ground behind Portrush Ted. Copperhead won’t mind the going. The six year old won on soft to heavy in February well. He needed his reappearance but won by four lengths, beating subsequent winner Fingerontheswitch, next time. When last seen, he was prominent and cruised into the lead at two out in the Mandarin Handicap Chase at Newbury. This race has thrown up some good horses. He showed signs of being a bit novicey but he’s in the most perfect hands, being from the Colin Tizzard yard as they train the likes of Native River, Thistlecrack and Cue Card.


Sam Brown came off a 750 day absence with a twenty two length victory at Lingfield, beating a subsequent winner. There was no bounce factor and he hacked up by fifteen lengths in a grade two at Haydock. I know the yard is delighted that he’s back – and winning – and they are aiming for the RSA with him. I liked what I saw at Cheltenham and I think he could be a serious horse. Completing the line up is Alsa Mix. She pulled up in the Albert Bartlett before winning on chase debut at Bangor, by a small margin. That was a listed race and she ran in a similar contest at Warwick next time but could only manage third. On her first start of 2020, she ran into the high-class Annie Mc and would’ve convincingly been the winner if the younger mare wasn’t in the race.

The Worlds End (JTW Equine Images)


That race is followed by the Rendlesham Hurdle (14:05 Haydock) (Grade 2) and the race has attracted a decent field. Donna’s Diamond won this in 2018 aged nine. He must have had some sort of issue as he hasn’t been seen for 364 days. He’s ran six times and won once since. He’s up against it with The Worlds End in the line-up. This horse began the season by winning a grade two and then he came third to Paisley Park and Thistlecrack in the Long Distance Hurdle. Next time, Paisley Park pulled out due to the ground and gave The Worlds End a great opportunity to win a grade one. He deserved that and he should relish the test.


His main rivals are Emitom and West Approach. The former is just six years old and won his first five starts under rules. They sent him to the Aintree Grand National Meeting for the Sefton Novices Hurdle when he was only beaten three lengths by Champ. He’s ran once this season when it was obvious he needed the run in the Relkeel Hurdle. He’ll come on for that run. West Approach has ran five times this season. He came second to The Conditional and then won a grade three at Cheltenham, after a long period of being out of the winners enclosure. He unseated in the Ladbrokes Trophy and then followed in Cogry. Last time, he pulled up in the Welsh National and is returning to hurdles for the first time since April 2019.


One Night In Milan is ultra consistent. He’s ran thirteen times, won four, second twice and third on three occasions. He ran on New Years Day and finished third, beaten one and three quarter lengths by Fred The Foot. His ideal trip is probably shorter. Lastly is Clyne. He last won in March 2018. In his younger days, he placed in this grade but this may be a bit competitive for him.


After this race is the Keltbray Swinley Chase (14:25 Ascot) (Listed). My idea of the winner is Domaine De L’Isle. He’s won his last three, including last time on very soft ground over two furlongs less. That was at Ascot and eventually they’re hoping he’ll be a Welsh National type. He’s won over this trip before so there’s no worried there. Valtor and 2018 winner Regal Encore are course and distance winners. It was excellent to see the latter win in December after he struggled to get his head in front for a while. He doesn’t win all that often though. Valtor is number forty six in the Grand National. He ran in a grade two hurdle at the end of 2019 and then came third in an expensive chase. That was a good run. Ballyoptic is number nineteen in the Grand National but carries top weight here which could be difficult.


Red Indian was really well-fancied in the Peter Marsh on seasonal reappearance. That was over slightly further and this is more of an appropriate trip. Captain Drake won at Exeter in January in a three mile handicap chase on heavy ground so he’ll be suited to this. Jepeck has been cleverly campaigned to win over fences, hurdles and in points. Last time, he won the Veterans Final at Sandown. Even though he’s eleven, he can’t be discounted. Like The Sound fell in the Becher but came third at Cheltenham on New Years Day. He still has a bit to find.


The Betway Kingwell Hurdle (14:45 Wincanton) (Grade Two) is the next race and the sole on shown on ITV. Elgin won this in 2018 but he hasn’t been seen for 582 days. After that, he came fifth in the Champion Hurdle. Next, he ran four times on the flat. He’s a smart horse but this is a long absence to overcome. Grand Sancy won this last year and his stable mate Quel Destin runs in this last year, with James Bowen riding. He won at Cheltenham in October and then found the Greatwood and Relkeel a bit too hot. Last time, he beat a few well-regarded horses, including Zambella, at Sandown in a listed race. He should be on fine form for this. Zambella gets weight and is rated significantly lower then the rest. She won twice in France but unseated on yard debut behind Lady Buttons. She’s got a bit to find.


So does Calgary Tiger who has been well-beaten in four starts. Ch’tibello won the County Hurdle last year and then came third in the Aintree Hurdle. On reappearance, he came third behind Epatante. He’s a smart individual and is my second choice behind Quel Destin. Song For Someone can’t be discounted either though. James Nixon gave him a good ride at Ascot in January. He only got denied a length by Thomas Darby after leading all the way. He’s an interesting runner.


Next up is the fifteen runner Give The Gift Of Ascot Annual Membership Handicap Hurdle (15:00 Ascot). I’ve selected five horses who could be players. Eden De Houx was well regarded at one point and won his first two starts. He ran into I K Brunel on hurdles bow and then came fourth in a grade two. He managed to win last time by a short head but it was nothing spectacular. The Con Man has never been out of the top two in four starts. He won on debut and then came second on two occasions. Last time, he stayed on to win by six and a half lengths and Brian Hughes rides.


Jolly’s Cracked It loves it here but hasn’t won since November 2018. Nordano is very consistent and is still only four years old. He’s followed in Allmankind and Goshen on his last two starts which is excellent form as, even though the margins were wide, the placing was good and these horses are leading contenders for the Triumph Hurdle. Dorking Boy completed a double in the backend of 2019 but was left one-paced at Huntingdon last time out.

Ballyoptic (JTW Equine Images)


The final race to mention is the Unibet Grand National Trial (15:15 Haydock). A few of these are in the National. Bally optic, who won the Charlie Hall Chase, is also entered here as well as Ascot but I’m unsure what the ideal race would be if both meetings were to go ahead. I adore Yala Enki and he’ll definitely get the run after a really good victory at Taunton last time. He won this in 2018. Vintage Clouds got back to winning ways last time but I don’t think he is suited to the Grand National obstacles so this race is more up his street. He doesn’t win very often though. One For Arthur won the Grand National in 2017 but since then he’s unseated a few times and been well-beaten on his other three runs. I’m not sure he’ll make it into the big race this year. Elegant Escape has a weight off 11st2 for the Grand National and people always fancy him to win this kind of race. It’s definitely within his capabilities and Robbie Power rides. This suggests he may have the ride for Aintree as Tizzard is increasingly using him.


Lord Du Mesnil is my selection in the race. He’s won all three of his last three outings. The one that attracts me to him is last time when he won on similar going by nine lengths over course and distance. It’s hard to know how much was taken out if him that day but he looks well at home. Geronimo is also in good form and followed in Vintage Clouds in the Peter Marsh to be third. He ran well all the way but stamina is the question. Steely Addition was last seen coming fourth to Santini at Sandown in the Future Stars Intermediate Chase. This trip is a new test. The Two Amigos was entered in the Denman last weekend but connections favour this. He loves the mud and finished fifth in the Welsh National. He won over this trip in the Sussex National. Pobbles Bay and Smooth Stepper are big prices.

Selections



13:50 Ascot – Sam Brown
14:05 Haydock – The Worlds End
14:25 Ascot – Domaine De L’Isle
14:45 Wincanton – Quel Destin
15:00 Ascot – The Con Man
15:15 Haydock – Lord Du Mesnil
15:35 Ascot – Cyrname

Samantha’s 20 To Watch 2019/20

Farouk De Cheneau (No4)

By Samantha (@sam_angelina22)

Welcome to my 2019/20 Twenty To Watch Blog!

I’m hoping this list of horses is full of future winners and if it can work out as well as last year, I’ll be very pleased! We’ve got lots to look forward to over the next six months and hopefully some of these will prove themselves as superstars but, most importantly, they all come home safe after every run.

Please take some time to check over my list and feel free to share what you think on the @ReinItInRacing twitter page! 🙂

Thanks, Samantha

1.First Flow

7yo Bay Gelding (Primary x Clonroche Wells)
Trainer – Kim Bailey
Owner – Mr A N Solomons

This horse was on last year’s list and I have been waiting for so long to see this horse go chasing so hopefully he’ll actually jump a fence this season! In November 2017, he won by four lengths on hurdling debut and then by twenty lengths in late December. He won the Supreme Trial (Grade Two) in January but pulled up in the big race after making a few little mistakes. He wasn’t seen for over a year but then made his sole run of the campaign when fifth in the Imperial Cup. He’s a big strong horse and was entered at Uttoxeter in a chase in May but was pulled out because he needs soft ground. I’m really looking forward to seeing how he can do!

Target – Red Rum Handicap Chase, Aintree National Meeting

2.Relentless Dreamer

10yo Brown Gelding (Kayf Tara x Full Of Elegance)
Trainer – Rebecca Curtis
Owner – Nigel Morris

Relentless Dreamer is the oldest runner in my list. He made his chase debut all the way back in October 2015 but it took him until the next June to win over the big obstacles. He’s won four times since then, including last time out. That was a brilliant victory in a handicap chase at the Cheltenham October meeting. That was on officially good but probably softer ground and he beat gallant handicapper Cogry, who won a grade three chase subsequently. An injury has put him off the track since then but I like his will to win and is from a yard in incredibly good form. The Rebecca Curtis team sadly lost promising chaser Drovers Lane recently and he was meant to be on this list.

Target – Betway Handicap Chase, Aintree National Meeting

3.Andy Dufresne

5yo Bay Gelding (Doyen x Daytona Lady)
Trainer – Gordon Elliott
Owner – John P McManus

Andy Dufresne caught my eye after an easy as pie win in a NH flat race, in which the second has won twice since but the rest haven’t done as well. He’s a point to point winner and changed hands for £330,000 after that victory. He runs in the green and gold colours of JP McManus and was a non runner due to unsuitable ground in April. He beat the winner of that race in his only race under rules so probably wouldve won that too. He’s out of a mare, who won over hurdles, and I think he’ll be really well suited.

Target- Ballymore Novices Hurdle

4.Farouk De Cheneau

4yo Bay Gelding (Day Flight x Kardamone)
Trainer – Nicky Henderson
Owner – Owners Group 049

I am beyond excited to say that I am a proud part owner within Owners Group 049 as I got him as an early birthday present! He’s by Day Flight, who is the sire of A Toi Phil. His dam has produced three winners over jumps from three runners and she’s a daughter of Network, who’s is the sire of Sprinter Sacre, Le Richebourg and Saint Are. Farouk has already won one race, which was in France at Vittel, so is an exciting recruit to hurdles. I can’t wait!

Target- (To be determined when I know more)

5.Longhouse Poet

5yo Bay Gelding (Yeats x Moscow Madame)
Trainer – Martin Brassil
Owner – Sean and Bernadine Mulryan

This horse is from the same trainer/owner combination of City Island, who won the Ballymore at the Cheltenham Festival and featured in last year’s list. They are similar types. Longhouse Poet won a point to point in January by four lengths, under Derek O’connor. He was prominent on rules debut and extended clear so easily under O’connor again. He should enjoy obstacles and a similar campaign to City Island is expected, providing he’s good enough.

Target- Albert Bartlett

6.Reserve Tank

5yo Bay Gelding
Trainer – Colin Tizzard
Owner – The Reserve Tankers

This guy burst onto the scene quite late last season. It took him three tries to finally win over hurdles but there has been no stopping him since then. They stepped him into grade one company at the Aintree National meeting after his second novice hurdle victory. He won by three and a quarter lengths at 20/1 over two miles four and stayed on quite impressively. To conclude the season, he went over to Ireland and won the Champion Novices Hurdle at Punchestown. He’s a really lovely big horse and looks absolutely tailor-made for fences. He’s in great hands with Colin Tizzard and could be a Gold Cup prospect one day.

Target – JLT Novices Chase

7.Enemy Coast Ahead

5yo Brown Gelding (Malins x Penang Princess)
Trainer – Tom George
Owner – McNeill Family

Enemy Coast Ahead is owned by the McNeill Family and has been seen once on a racetrack. He was held up but led over two furlongs out and the trainer’s son Noel George only has to shake him up to go clear by 10 lengths. He showed a good attitude that day and, judging from the pictures on social media, he’s a cheeky chappy. It will be interesting to see if he can take the next step up over hurdles. The yard brought him along steadily and he seems a speedy horse.

Target—Supreme Novices Hurdle

8.Cepage

7yo Bay Gelding (Saddler Maker x Sience Fiction)
Trainer – Venetia Williams
Owner – The Bellamy Partnership

This horse has been ultra consistent after coming over from Emmanuel Clayeux to Venetia Williams in December 2016. Since then, he’s never been out of the top four, apart from falling. He ran just once last season in the Caspain Caviar Gold Cup. He ran really well and the winner of that race was Frodon. We all know what he’s been up to since! Venetia is extremely good with her chasers and this horse is likely to be a little bit less exposed than some of the more seasoned chasers hell be tackling this term. I think he’ll run very well this season.

Target – Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Stable Plate

Beakstown

9.Beakstown

6yo Bay Gelding (Stowaway x Midnight Reel)
Trainer – Dan Skelton
Owner – Bryan Drew

This horse caught my eye at Warwick Races in January due to the pure size of him. He must be around 17hands and looks like he’s crying out for fences. He’s done pretty well over hurdles, considering this. He won a maiden hurdle, came second to a subsequent grade two placed horse and then won a grade two at Warwick. That was a very impressive victory but he couldn’t back it up at Cheltenham when pulling up before the last. I think he’s better than that and will be a good chaser.

Target – JLT Novices Chase

10.Flanking Maneuver

4yo Bay Gelding (Beat Hollow x Corskeagh Shadow)
Trainer – Colin Bowe
Owner – Gigginstown

I have been watching out for this horse since last June when he was sold at the Goffs Land rover Sale. He’s by Beat Hollow and out of Corskeagh Shadow. He’s a full brother to two NH Flat Race winners and halfs to a listed winner over hurdles so he’s bred to be successful. In his sole point to point, he was fourth and then ran in a race won by the likes of Commander Of Fleet, Vision Des Flos and Petit Muchoir in recent years. He raced in about fourth for most of the way and I thought he’d be well beaten but actually he stayed on to be fourth. There should be a decent prize in him as Gigginstown bought him for €170,000.

Target – Gaskells Handicap Hurdle, Aintree National Meeting

11. Mulcahys Hill

7yo Bay Gelding (Brian Boru x Belsalsa)
Trainer – Warren Greatrex
Owner – McNeill Family and Peodec Networks LTD

I adore Mulcahys Hill. He such a wonderful, gorgeous horse.. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Lambourn Open Day 2019 in March and I fell even more in love with him there. He has had his issues and I’ve been told he can be a bit of a pickle on the gallops by people in Lambourn. For me, he never showed his true potential over fences as a novice last season. He’d been second in the Challow Hurdle in December 2017 so he’s no mug but, other than a second at Bangor behind subsequent multiple grade two placed Jerrysback, he hasn’t gone close. He fell in a horrific race at Cheltenham last time out and I hope he can at least win one race this year. I’ll still love him even if he doesn’t win though.

Target – Silver Trophy Handicap (Grade 2 Limited Handicap), Cheltenham, April

12.Elixir De Nutz

5yo Grey Gelding (Al Namix x Nutz)
Trainer – Colin Tizzard
Owner – Terry Warner

Elixir De Nutz was a new horse last season after two runs for Phillip Hobbs. He was second on debut for the Tizzard yard to Olly Murphy’s Supreme second Thomas Darby. Next time, he won the grade two Supreme Trial, then a novice hurdle and finally the Unibet Tolworth Hurdle. I was all over him for the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Sadly, he missed that race due to an injury. The plan is for him to be a Champion Hurdler this season and he’s still a horse who is improving, so should be successful in the 2019/20 season.

Target – Champion Hurdle

13. O Connell Street

5yo Bay Gelding (Fame And Glory x Victorine)
Trainer – Nicky Henderson
Owner – Magniers/Mrs P Shanahan/Justin Carth

Me and this horse go back to March 2018 when I met him at the Lambourn Open Day. He was such a sweetie but I didn’t hear a word about him until March 2019 when he ran in a NH Flat Race at Market Rasen. He was second that day and, forty two days later, he ran at Warwick in a similar race. He was very keen and was fourth off top weight. He is out of Victorine, who is the dam of the wonderful City Island and multiple chase winners Fort Worth and Easy Street. I’m really excited to see how he can do this year as hurdles will probably be his thing.

Target – Ballymore

O Connell Street

14.Champ

7yo Bay Gelding (King’s Theatre x China Sky)
Trainer—Nicky Henderson
Owner – John P McManus

This horse was one of the stars of last season. He won his first two races, after three starts, in May 2018 then he won the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle after pulling out Aidan Coleman’s arms. Next time, he returned to Newbury and won the Challow Hurdle by two and a half lengths to Getaway Trump. He had a bit of a break and then ran in the Ballymore. He was second to City Island that day and then stepped up to three miles for the Doom Bar Sefton Novices Hurdle, which he won incredibly convincingly. He is built to chase and looks a very good staying chaser in the long run.

Target – RSA Novices Chase

15.Ard Abhainn

5yo Bay Mare (Jeremy x Sheer Frustration)
Trainer – Gordon Elliott
Owner – Mrs Maura Gittins

Ard Abhainn is one of just two mares. She was last seen on the 4th October when she came fourth of sixteen in a listed mares flat race. She got a bit one-paced but only got denied a neck for third, as she was staying on at the end. That was a fair run as she hadn’t been seen for 135 days, on the day when she won a 20 runner flat race at the Punchestown Festival. She was quite far back but ran on very well as they turned for home. She showed a good attitude to peg back two horses that day and that will stand her in good stead.

Target – Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

16.The Big Breakaway

4yo Chestnut Gelding (Getaway x Princess Mairead)
Trainer – Colin Tizzard
Owner -?

I have a feeling that Colin Tizzard likes this horse after I heard him speak passionately about him in an interview. He’s a half brother to an Aintree Grade Three winner Kildisart and he was purchased for a lot of money. This was after a point to point victory over three miles. I don’t know which ownership he’ll be racing for as of yet but he should be a horse to follow in predominantly bumpers this year.

Target – Champion Bumper

*UPDATE- This horse is running over hurdles this season. New target- Ballymore

17 Bannixtown Glory

5yo Bay Mare (Fame And Glory x Me Auld Segosh)
Trainer – Donald McCain Jr
Owner – Miss Charlotte Mccracken

This mare is one of the more obscure runners on my list. She won a point to point and is currently two from five under rules. Her defeats have come behind good mares Nordican Bleue, Oksana and Sid Hoodie, who beat her last time. Her two victories have been very smart and she still seems a bit novice. She took them along last time and just faded towards the end but I’m looking forward to seeing how she progresses.

Target—County hurdle

18.Fakir D’Oudairies

4yo Bay Gelding (Kapgarde x Niagaria Du Bois)
Trainer – Joseph O’Brien
Owner – John P McManus

This horse wasn’t particularly successful in France but came over to the Joseph O’Brien yard and won a 22 runner maiden and then a grade two by thirteen lengths. He was a good fourth against older runners in the Supreme and was then second in Aintree and Punchestown 4yo Grade Ones. He’s currently 25/1 for the Arkle and I think he will go chasing. If not, he’ll have a Champion Hurdle campaign.

Target – Arkle Novices Chase

19. Clara Sorrento

8yo Grey Gelding (Maresca Sorrento x Call Me Clara)
Trainer -?
Owner – Terry Warner Bloodstock

This horse was recently sold from Gigginstown and Noel Meade to Terry Warner Bloodstock so I am not actually sure where he is. He’s won twice over hurdles and switched to fences. In October 2018, he finally opened his account over the bigger obstacles and then came second in a grade three behind a subsequent winner. He hasn’t been seen since and will be one for Irish Handicap Chases.

Target – An Riocht Chase, Killarney, May

20.Manofthemountain

6yo Bay Gelding (Mahler x Womanofthemountain)
Trainer – Emma Lavelle
Owner – Paul G Jacobs

Emma Lavelle had a good season with Paisley Park last year and hopefully this horse cab reach similar heights. He was third in a point to point and was then in training with Jamie Snowden. He ran three times for him but was a new horse with Lavelle. He’s two from two and I really like him. He looks a lovely, traditional chaser and is still quite unexposed.

Target – Kim Muir Challenge Cup.

Whips- What are the rules?

By Samantha

nativebite
Native River won the Cheltenham Gold Cup but his rider gained a whip ban.

 

Over the past few weeks, there has been lots of controversy and outrage about whip bans in the media with lots of the winning jockeys of some of the biggest races in the National Hunt calendar picking up bans.

Over the course of Cheltenham, six whip bans, totalling thirty four days, were handed out to five different jockeys. All bar one of the jockeys have had the majority of their rides in Ireland this season. The reasons for the bans issued were varied. The majority were because the jockey used their whip over the permitted rate allowed. As well as this, some were for not allowing the horse to respond between hits, using the whip with excessive force and using the whip at an incorrect place up the run-in.

Arguably, the most high profile whip ban given out this season was given out in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Richard Johnson rode the winner, Native River, but picked up a seven day ban and was fined £6550 because he exceeded the permitted amount of smacks allowed in a race.

At the Aintree Grand National meeting, less bans were given out as there was only four. In total, twenty five days were given out to four different jockeys. Jamie Codd picked up the largest ban of the two meetings after his winning ride on Getaway Katie Mai in the Mares’ Flat Race on the first day of the meeting. The mare won the race by one and a quarter lengths but her jockey was handed a seventeen day suspension and a £400 fine because he used his whip above the permitted amount after the wings of the second last.

There are lots of things jockeys have to think about when riding to make sure they abide by the rules and not compromise the horse’s welfare. So, what are the rules?

What should the whip be used for?

In the rules of racing, it is mandatory for all jockeys to carry a whip. Despite this, jockeys don’t have to use the whip if they don’t feel obliged to. Its main purpose is for safety and to encourage the horse. It can be used to keep the horse focused and concentrating but the stimulus provided by the whip must be limited so it doesn’t compromise the welfare of the horse. The whip must be used appropriately and jockeys have to take into account the rules of racing.

What do jockeys need to think about whilst riding?

A big thing jockeys need to remember is to consider how much of the race is left to run before picking up their whip so they don’t run out of hits allowed before the closing stages and cause the horse to not get the best position possible. Before that, it is recommended that the jockey uses hands and heels to lengthen the horse’s stride and increase their speed. They are asked to show the horse the whip first and give them the opportunity to respond before hitting them with it. It is important that jockeys use their whips in a backhand position and in rhythm with the horse’s stride. Both hands need to stay on the reins if the jockey is hitting them on the shoulder in a backhand position.

terrefort
In National Hunt races, jockeys can whip their horses a maximum of eight times.

 

What rules do the jockeys have to follow?

In flat races, as they are a shorter distance, jockeys are allowed to hit their horses a maximum of seven times whereas, in a national hunt race, jockeys are allowed to hit their horses a maximum of eight times. If that amount is exceeded, stewards can decide whether to hold an enquiry and they will consider how many times they have used the whip throughout the race, particularly in the closing stages and all the relevant factors. These can include looking into the manner of which the whip is used and with what force, the purpose if using it, whether the horse was still responding and that the distance over which the whip was used was reasonable ands necessary.

Sometimes, providing that the manner in which the whip had been used was measured, Stewards may choose to disregard occasions when the whip has been used in the following circumstances:-

ALL RACES

  • To keep the horse in contention or to maintain a challenging position prior to what would be considered as the closing stages of a race.
  • To maintain focus/concentration.
  • To correct a horse that is hanging.
  • Where there is only light contact with the horse.

JUMP RACES

  • Following a mistake at an obstacle.
  • To correct a horse that is running down an obstacle.

Stewards may be less tolerant about a rider using the whip more when:-

  • The horse is young or inexperienced.
  • A rider continues to use the whip when not being directly challenged for a position.
  • A rider fails to recognise that his use of the whip is not having the intended effect.

Should the result of a race be changed because the winning jockey exceeded the whip limit?

We ran this as a poll on our Twitter page (@ReinItInRacing) and fifty-six percent said no. Twenty-five percent said yes and nineteen percent said depending on the margin. As a follow up question, we asked which distance would cause it to be reversed and the majority (forty-four percent) said that a head is the largest distance that a race result should be changed because of.

whip
In flat racing, jockeys are only allowed to whip their horses seven times.

 

So… Should riders be allowed to have a whip?

There are lots of debates on this subject. Animal rights activists like to say that jockeys force the horses to run by whipping them so it is abuse. Whips are made of a foam material so the horses don’t get hurt by it. Mainly, it is the sight of it in the corner of their eye that sends them forward. Looking at it from a riders’ safety point of view, horses are extremely strong animals and can be very hard to control. The whip is a necessity when it comes to keeping jockeys safe as the whip can work to reinforce leg aids. A poll Rein It In ran on twitter had the result of ninety-seven percent of voters saying that jockeys should carry a whip.

Comment your thoughts below or on our twitter page.