Another Flat Season has come to a close and it’s time to reflect on the year we have had. The team have amassed nearly £3 million in prize money and 185 winners which is a credit to their hard work and commitment during the year.
Dubai to Doncaster
We start all the way back last winter when Richard sent two horses out to Dubai in the shape of TUPI and OH THIS IS US, two yard favourites. It was the latter who came closest to getting his head in front going down by a nose and a short head on his seasonal reappearance. Although the horses ran well it did not turn into a victory, however on their return from sunnier climates they both were ready to go on the first day of the year at Doncaster. The first of these was TUPI who was sent to post in the Listed Cammidge Trophy and he managed to win in very impressive style under Ryan Moore. He never looked like getting beat as he travelled smoothly into the race. His season went from strength to strength ultimately ending in a career best effort finishing third in the Group 1 Prix Maurice De Gheest.
KOOL KOMPANY was also back in action on day one of the year in the Listed Doncaster Mile. Ridden under different tactics again by Ryan Moore, he relaxed off the pace and came with a strong challenge late on to get his head up on the line. He has been a horse that has represented the yard at the top for over three years. The son of Jeremy is a multiple Group 2 winner and has been placed at Group 1 level has now been retired to stud and will live out the rest of his days in Northern Spain for Felipe Hinojosa.
The Lincoln Handicap came next and OH THIS IS US was lining up and was sent off favourite to bring up the yard four timer. He was always to the fore in behind the leaders and looked to get his head in front before being worn down close to the line. He was just beaten in one of the biggest handicaps of the year but it proves his winter sun had done the trick. He also continued on an upward spiral during the year including winning a Listed contest at Haydock under Tom Marquand.
After what proved a very healthy start to the year the next chapter revolved around a very useful son of Excelebration, BARNEY ROY. Having only raced once at two and also changing hands to Godolphin, he made his seasonal reappearance in the Group 3 Greenham Stakes at Newbury under his soon to be regular rider James Doyle. He had been talked about as a Guineas contender over the winter and at half way that looked a long way off before he surged clear in the closing stages drawing clear of the field. On face value this looked a very impressive performance and the step up to the mile was always going to suit.
He had only ever raced on flat tracks having won at Haydock and Newbury, so his trip to Newmarket for the Guineas was always going to be his first proper test in terms of class of race and also type of track. His humungous stride was always going to create a challenge hitting the ridges and the way the race was run meant he got himself in all sorts of trouble. He ran a very valiant second and continued to show the racing world that he was a horse to be reckoned with.
The rivalry continued at Royal Ascot where Barney Roy managed to get his own back on Churchill in impressive fashion. The ground was ideal, the track was perfect and he put up an incredible performance to win breaking the track record in the Group 1 St James Palace Stakes. He stamped his class on the race and continued to look a horse that would stay beyond the mile which lead the trail onto the Eclipse at Sandown.
This proved another test stepping up to the mile and a quarter but he is a horse that has had plenty more experience heading into the clash against the older horses for the first time. He managed to get his head in front and within seconds looked beat before staying on again up to the line. He lost in the closest of finishes by a nose to Ulysses.
A third in the Juddmonte international on ground that proved sub-standard was a solid effort before running in desperate conditions at Ascot where James looked after him in the closing stages. He heads for his winter break in good order and is a horse that will be putting it up to the very best there is to offer next year. The starting point is currently the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.
Two Year Olds
With another solid bunch of two year olds it was the fillies this year that flew the flag for the yard. Between three fillies they all picked up a race at Group 3 level. TAJAANUS was the first in the Sweet Solera at Newmarket. Having ran a few weeks’ earlier over six furlongs the step up to seven was always going to suit. She travelled very easily in running and had the race won a fair way from home.
The next was BILLESDON BROOK who proved she had a big liking for Goodwood, winning both at the Glorious meeting and also at Group 3 level later on. She is owned by the Pall Mall Partners who also had the pleasure of having BILLESDON BESS who managed to win a day later at the July meeting. She went on to win at Listed level and was part of a very good year not only for her owner Janet McCreery who also had ANNA NERIUM but also for Hollie Doyle who bagged her first race in Listed Company.
Anna Nerium landed the Group 3 Dick Poole Stakes which produced Tom Marquands first pattern winner and also meant all three horses owned or part owned by Janet managed to bag black type. Hollie Doyle and Tom Marquand have both had very successful years and look to continue their success over the winter into next season.
Other notable performances from the two year olds include TANGLED who won the valuable Goffs Premier Yearling Sales Stakes under Sean Levey and went on to finish a very good second in the Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury. ELYSIUM DREAM also backed up with a Tattersalls Sales race at Newmarket and proved she will be a filly to have fun with for the Racing Cricketers. DE BRUYNE HORSE landed a Listed event in France and also managed to win the Woodcote Stakes on Derby Day.
The final one to mention is OUT OF THE FLAMES who having been Listed Placed in England flew the flag for the Hannon team in California where she ran a very nice third behind some solid performing colts. She will remain in America for the rest of her racing career.
Older Horse Brigade
Barney Roy and the two year olds were also backed up by some impressive results in the older horse category. STEEL OF MADRID won nicely in the Group 3 Earl Of Sefton earlier on in the year and has now been sold to Australia. Both TABARRAK and KHAFOO SHEMIMI won twice in Listed company proving very valuable horses to have in the yard and will continue to perform at that level.
The final part of this review goes to DANEHILL KODIAC who having been off in the early part of the season came back with a bang to win his first start at Newmarket. He went on from there to land the Group 3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes before finishing a solid third in the Group 3 St Simons Stakes under a penalty. He has a few options going forward and is a very exciting horse to have in the yard for next year.
With both Hong Kong and Dubai still to come plans are being hatched as to who will get their names on the planes. A winter full of promise with the new lot of yearlings arriving and a well-deserved break for the older horses.
We thank all our owners and staff for their continued support during the year and we look forward to next season with only 4 months to go.