27 April 2019
What a season, the weather has played havoc with running plans throughout the season and combined with the equine flu outbreak made for a frustrating season. Our prizemoney is great at over £500,000 however the number of winners is slightly down on normal. We have retired a few of the old guard who will be greatly missed at Hull Farm and the youngsters are beginning to shine through and give us something to get excited about for the new season.
The season started well with Mrs Flory’s homebred brother and sister, Nightfly and Nightline winning at Ludlow and Bangor. Nightfly followed up with a second win of the season at Wetherby as well as finishing fourth in a listed chase at Huntingdon. Nightline was his tenth race over fences and it was gratifying to finally get his head in front after being placed numerous times. Unfortunately he picked up an injury which ruled him out of this season however I look forward to him returning this summer. Way Out West was consistent and finally settled to win at Southwell in May, when he returned to training he was keen again and after trialling him over fences we reverted back to hurdles and after a wind operation, he finished second at Ludlow and fourth at Wincanton. We kickstarted July with a double at Cartmel with Kilfinichen Bay and Hammersly Lake. Bestwork kept the ball rolling with a fantastic win of the revived Worcester Grand Annual whilst Aunty Ann completed the month with a fantastic win at Uttoxeter.
August was very quiet with runners, however Midnight Shot managed to win at Cartmel, bringing back some more Sticky Toffee Pudding. September was quickly upon us with our annual Owners Drinks and Open Day. Cardigan Bay won her bumper at Fontwell and Hammersly Lake retained his crown at Perth. Treackle Tart won her novice chase at Worcester in fine style and has continued to progress over fences. Ortenzia has been frustrating, however everything fell her way at Bangor on her first start over the larger obstacles. Vivas won three chases through the Autumn, starting at Fontwell, following up in a three-runner race at Plumpton and completing the hat trick at Doncaster in December. The mares have been fantastic this season over fences, Aunty Ann may only be little, but she is tough as a terrier and has formed a fantastic partnership with Jordan, which was seen to great effect at Wincanton in October when she was beaten going into the last, however Jordan didn’t give up and she stuck her head in front on the line! She followed this run up with a brilliant fourth in the Badger Ales Trophy. Midnight Shot won his second race of the season at Fakenham, enjoying the varying track to keep him interested. Scented Lily lost her maiden tag over hurdles at Market Rasen in fine style, she jumps well and could be one to go over fences shortly. Monty’s Award had been frustrating since winning his bumper at Worcester in October 2016, however he enjoyed a early return to work, running late August over the fixed brush hurdles which qualified him for the Fixed Brush Hurdle Final at Worcester which he duly won. This was a great prize to win and rewarded the faith and patience everyone has given him.
Nightfly won her second chase of the season at Wetherby at the beginning of November. Loose Chips won a Veterans Qualifier at Sandown, his favourite track, he then returned to Sandown, over hurdles for the first time since March 2013, finishing third in a Pertemps Qualifier. He has struggled since going up in the weights but has now been given a chance for the new season when he will head back to Sandown for the Veterans Final. Kilfinichen Bay will be greatly missed now he has been retired, however his 13th and final win came at Sedgefield at the end of November, he won 5 chases, 8 hurdle races and a grand total of £94,270, he is enjoying his well-deserved retirement with Fred and Caroline Hutsby. Diger Daudaie won his Novice Hurdle at Newcastle in December before finishing fourth under a penalty at Lingfield. An across the card double on Boxing Day was the perfect Christmas Present for the Team, Willie Boy joined us in the Autumn and won well at Wetherby, he then ran a fantastic race at Doncaster in the Sky Bet Chase to finish fourth. Castafiore was the second half of the double, winning on her second start over fences at Wincanton. Treackle Tart won her second chase of the season at Doncaster and was our final winner of 2018.
Just Don’t Ask was our first winner of 2019, he loves soft ground so this season hasn’t played to his strengths, however he won well at Wetherby under Brian Hughes. Castafiore had a fantastic season, the pinnacle of which was her Grade 2 win at Haydock, it was slightly unexpected however she followed it up with a good second in the Pendil Novices’ Chase at Kempton in February. She struggled in the step up in class for the JLT before running disappointingly at Ayr, however she has fractured her pedal bone which would explain the poor run. Whether she will return to the racecourse is another matter, however she is well bred and has listed and Grade 2 success so would make a valuable broodmare. Storm Goddess has a brilliant attitude to racing and won her novice hurdle at Doncaster. I look forward to her returning next season to run in decent handicap hurdles. February was extremely quiet with the ‘flu outbreak shutting racing down and although the horses ran well, winners were hard to come by. However March proved fruitful, Diger Daudaie has flourished with training and racing, proving to be a hardy type, his win at Uttoxeter was brilliant and Abbie McCain gave him a fantastic ride. Forth Bridge had a case of Seconditis having filled the runner up spot 6 times over fences. Nico gave him a fantastic ride to win the Silver Bowl at Kempton, he then stepped up in class to finish fourth at Ayr. He is a gentleman to deal with in everyway and there are more races to be won with him next season. Stormy Milan is a horse we have always liked and looked forward to jumping a fence, he ran well on his debut at Leicester and appreciated the better ground and a step up in trip to win at Huntingdon. Old Jeroboam has now won two bumpers from two starts, he surprised us first time out as most of my bumper horses run a bit green however the penny dropped in the final furlong and he galloped all the way to the line.
Cardigan Bay has proved consistent when she runs, if slightly tricky to train, she has locked her stifle twice on arrival at the racecourse but having had it treated, she won on her handicap debut at Southwell under a great ride by Aidan Coleman. This was her second win of the season after winning her bumper at Fontwell in September. She jumped well and just held onto the lead when crossing the finish line. Hammersly Lake has been a great, fun horse to be involved with, he has boundless enthusiasm and his win of the Veterans chase at Fakenham was his third of the season. Jordan gave him a terrific ride, taking up the lead with a circuit to go and winning comfortably. He will follow his normal summer plan and look at races back at Cartmel and Perth. Old Jeroboam won his second bumper with Jordan taking off a good 7lbs at Southwell. He travelled well throughout the race and galloped all the way through the line, getting the lead in the final furlong. This is a brilliant result for this son of the late Jeremy. Treackle Tart ran a brilliant race at Perth in The Fair Maid of Perth Mares’ Chase, finishing second and gaining some valuable black type.
With this dry weather, and little prospect of rain in the near future we have started to turn horses away for their summer breaks. They have been lucky to enjoy a few days of glorious sunshine over the Easter weekend and Dr Green is doing its best on these lucky horses.
Our focus now shifts to the summer racing and the likes of Aunty Ann, Bestwork and Hammersly Lake are now in their prime time. Rob Aplin has started up a new Racing Club for the Summer Jumping called Sharp Rise Racing, named after the brilliant Sharp Rise. He has got Jacobite Rising ready to run. He is currently rated 97 and is potentially very well handicapped. If you are interested in some more information, please contact us as soon as possible as the deadline is 10th May!