First Times All Round At Cisswood
Written by George Gorman, Friday 24th May 2019
It was a week for breaking maidens here at Cisswood as three horses recorded first victories within their sphere. Zamperini was the first of these as he won his first race over hurdles at Plumpton on the 12th, having been winless since July 2016. The son of Fast Company arrived with us around the turn of the new year and has hit the cross bar twice since then but the change of codes was the key, seeing him score on just his third hurdles start. He and Josh Moore took up the lead under pressure at the second last flight of hurdles and stayed on strongly to a six length success. Hopefully getting his head in front will give this horse the confidence boost needed to go on and progress under both codes, a starting mark of 115 may make that tough over hurdles although I'm sure he'll continue to give a good account of himself for owner Robert Tillett. The next to break a duck was Argyle at Kempton last Monday, winning his first race over fences despite failing to complete on his previous two attempts at the larger obstacles. Whilst that may have put many punters off his chances, there could be no doubting his ability as he ranged upsides the front runners from three out, travelling much the best. From there it was simple as he powered away to win by six lengths and, in doing so, giving Josh Moore his 200th career winner. Whilst Josh will certainly be winning plenty more races, Argyle doing so will depend largely on his ability to overcome the eight pound rise in the weights given to him. Given the style of his victory and the fact that he is still only six, it is certainly possible that he will continue to improve and progress beyond his new mark for Mr N Roach. The final one of our maiden breakers was Illtellmema, who won her first race under rules at Ludlow on Monday at Josh Moore. Having won an Irish Point-to-point back in January 2018 the daughter of Milan was beaten in her first nine attempts over hurdles but finally scored her first British success on just her second start since joining us at Cisswood at the end of April. What was even more impressive was the style of her success, racing keenly before taking up the running a full five hurdles from home and powereing to an easy five length success. We will have to see what the handicapper does with her before really know what her future holds but, should she stay within the 0-100 bracket, she should have every chance of following up for owner Sarah Parker.
As for the weekend ahead, Rydan looks to follow up on his Goodwood success from earlier this month at the same track. This represents a two furlong step up in trip to two miles but it is a distance that he has thrived over before when victorious at Kempton in December. However what is truly in his favour is the consistency he's finally managed to find. Having previously been very in and out of form for us, this son of Intense Focus has now placed in the first three in his last seven starts, two of those being wins. This is a slight step up in class for Rydan and he is up six pounds in the weights but we are hopeful he can once again put his best foot forward over a distance and track that will suit. On Sunday Zamperini will head to Fontwell in an attempt to win back to back races over hurdles following his Plumpton win 12 days ago. He is slightly wrong at the weights with Paul Nicholls' runner but that may turn out to be preferable to using his tough looking starting mark in a handicap. Beyond Nicholls' charge this looks a very winnable race and there's every chance that getting his head in front will have bought about enough improvement to serve up a challenge to the likely favourite. Moving back to the flat, Journey Of Life was a very eye-catching second at Wolverhampton on Tuesday when seemingly beaten by a smart horse of Sir Michael Stoute's on just his second run for Cisswood Stables. He holds another entry on Monday at Windsor in another Novice Stakes. He seems to be well treated in regards to many of the other entrants and the booking of Ryan Moore can only be a positive. With any luck this son of Exceed And Excell wont run into another horse like he did this week and he can get into the winners enclosure for owner Richard Green.
Flat Season Off To A Flying Start
Written by George Gorman, Sunday 12th May
As our attention turns to the summer version of our fantastic sport we look to the stalwarts of the yard to get the ball rolling. This year was to be no exception as four year Cisswood resident Rydan opened our turf season account in style last Saturday under Liam Keniry at Goodwood. Having been held up early, he closed right up to the heels of the leaders two furlongs from home before bursting through a gap a furlong out and staying on to win by two lengths going away. He is a horse that's struggled to find consistency in his time with us but it's fair to say, as the winner of three of his last six races, he has found it now. Hopefully he can go on to win more this summer for his owners Jacobs Construction Limited Partnership and his groom Phoebe. Whilst Gossiping may not have been with us for quite as long as Rydan, his Chester win on Wednesday was his seventh in thirty starts for us so he has definitely also earned the title of Cisswood stalwart. In winning he was able to avenge his narrow margin class two defeat over course and distance last year as Shane Kelly delivered him to lead in the final strides and back up his Kempton win of five weeks earlier. This son of Dubawi has been a terrific servant for owners The Buckwell Partnership and we can't wait to hopefully see him continuing to run well under his revised mark. On the other side of the coin we also saw a relatively new face open his account for us at Lingfield on Saturday as Neff won convincingly under David Probert. This son of Pastorius was dropped in towards the rear of the field before making smooth progress to challenge over a furlong out. From here he showed a very likeable attitude to keep forging on and win by just over a length on only his second start for us. We are all delighted here for long time owners The Past The Post Partnership and this horse definitely looks like one that can go on and win again.
As for the week ahead we are mob handed as usual at Plumpton on Sunday and at the time of writing Zamperini has just started our day off in style by breaking his maiden over hurdles. Royal Hall could well turn a good day into a great one if he can land the £10,000 Racing Excellence series final under Niall Houlihan. He has now won three races for us ranging from two miles and one furlong up to three miles and one furlong, including a victory and a few places at this track. Whilst he might look high in the weights for a task such as this, Niall's eight pound claim brings him right back down to a winning mark so we are hopeful of a good run. Another who could prove a force to be reckoned with on the same afternoon is Richidish, who runs in the bumper for Galloping On The South Downs Racing under Josh Moore. This imposing son of Spanish Moon ran with great credit on his racecourse debut at Fontwell where he was beaten seven lengths into third by two nice types despite having to make his own running and looking very green in doing so. This race will represent a half a mile step up in trip, which should really suit this horse, if only that he wont have to force the pace up front in order to ensure a staying test. Although he faces a previous winner in the odds on favourite I would have thought this field will be less competitive than that which he faced at Fontwell. One that will doubtless be worth watching towards the middle of the week will be Neff at Yarmouth on Wednesday, should he attempt a quick turn around from Saturday's heroics. His turf and all weather marks are the same and he previously won on the turf at Le Toquet in France so hopefully the change of surface would hold no fears for him should he be able to overcome his penalty.
A Fontwell Double and Larry's Sandown Success round of another jumping season
Written by George Gorman, Tuesday 7th May 2019
A double at Fontwell was nothing unusual for our team in the 2018/19 season but it served as the perfect curtain call for two of the season's star turns in Waikiki Waves and Gleno. Waikiki Waves made short work of his only rival despite having to cut out all of his own running, a tactic that has not tended to suit him but proper racehorses can adapt to all situations and having won four of his five starts in 2019, him being one of those is beyond doubt. This son of Alexandros is now on his summer break and, given that his mark has not gone up too much this year, we are hopeful he can resume winning ways when he returns in the autumn. What is for certain is that he will have bountiful support from his enthusiastic owners at Heart Of The South Racing, regardless of the result. Gleno made up the second leg of this poignant double, bouncing back from defeat at Market Rasen at the start of April. This came off the back of a 15 pound rise in the weights having recorded back to back victories within nine days of each other at the start of March. As a result of this there were many who thought his new mark might have been beyond him. He proved these people wrong emphatically at Fontwell, pulling three and a quarter lengths clear of the second from two out under Josh Moore. This son of Ask has only seemed to keep improving all year and another win off a four pound higher mark may not be beyond him, however it is very possible he could go chasing instead next year and the style with which he cleared the last two hurdles last time would have owners, The Crystal Racing Syndicate rubbing their hands together at the prospect. When the final day of the season came round at Sandown, Cisswood Stables still refused to be left out of the party as Larry provided us with one more winner. Another horse who looked to have suffered from a significant hike in the weights following his January win over course and distance, this son of Midnight Legend came back from his neck defeat at Newbury to come out a winner by the same margin in this Class Two event under top weight of eleven stone twelve. For his Sandown heroics, this Galloping On The South Downs gelding will run under a mark of 143 next year which will open the door to some more prestigious contests for him now.