Art Breaks Losing Streak In Chelmsford Masterpiece
Written by George Gorman, Thursday August 29th 2019
Despite only joining us at Cisswood at the end of April, Secret Art had already run five times for us with five different jockeys on a variety of goings and surfaces but until Friday we hadn't managed to find the key to breaking his fifteen month losing streak. On Friday he returned to Chelmsford, where he is twice a course winner and once a course an distance winner to see if old habits really do die hard. He tracked the leaders early under Luke Morris, who was taking the reins up for the second time on Secret Art but the first time since he's joined our team. Despite running into traffic two furlongs from home, he was able to launch a tremendous assault down the inside rail approaching the furlong pole. Approaching the finish he began to wear away at the leader, just managing to get up by a short head within the shadow of the line. This son of Excellent Art is now nine years old, so it's encouraging to see that there's still plenty of life left in him, in addition to that the handicapper has only put him up one pound for last week's excertions, so it may not be too long until he's back in the winner's enclosure. Earlier that same evening, Whistler Bowl made the step up to two miles over at Goodwood and it was largely a success. She was settled towards the back under Hector Crouch and made smooth progress into fourth place approaching seven furlongs from home. Having come under a drive over three furlongs from home she continued to close under pressure, finally taking second at the two pole. She continued to keep on well all the way to the line but had no real chance with a well handicapped winner. It's encouraging to see that this daughter of Mukhadram saw out this new trip well although disappointing that she has gone up another two pounds for being beaten four lengths into second. However a combination of these two factors could well turn out to be the answer for her in time, as she could always explore the option of hurdling in years to come.
Charm's Luck Hasn't Run Out Yet
Written by George Gorman, Friday August 23rd 2019
Here at Cisswood we're very lucky to welcome back many of the same horses year in, year out thanks to a wonderful group of loyal owners. However few have returned as regularly and as successfully as Good Luck Charm, who this year returned for his eighth successive, uninterrupted season at Cisswood. On Thursday the son of Doyen headed over to Lingfield with his groom Lizzie for his 81st start and it did not disappoint. Having slightly missed the break, Good Luck Charm was settled towards the rear under Sean Levey. Despite plenty of jostling over two furlongs out, Heart Of The South's charge managed to get on an even keel to launch a powerful run from a furlong out. He soon forged clear inside the final furlong to win by three and a quarter lengths, in doing so recording a ninth career victory. Now ten years old, Good Luck Charm truly owes none of his connections anything but he came out of his race very well and remarkably went on to finish third just five days later at Brighton under our apprentice Rhys Clutterbuck. However much longer this bright and energetic horse will remain with us, what is for sure is that, after winning every single year in his eight year career, he has provided his connections with many unforgettable memories and Cisswood will be a poorer place without him. However he was not our only winner this week as Ragstone Cowboy made his trip to Bath on Friday worthwhile. Held up in touch by his regular pilot Shane Kelly, the son of Slade Power was shaken up two furlongs from home and stayed on well to lead inside the final furlong. This was a first career win for Gallagher Bloodstock Limited's gelding and, having only gone up two pounds in the handicap, it may not be his last this season.
Having been outpaced into second at Salisbury on Thursday, Whistler Bowl will step up in trip and down in class at Goodwood tonight under Hector Crouch. The style in which this Daughter of Mukhadram kept on last week would suggest that two miles should not be beyond her, as would her late, talented hurdler brother Whitby Jack. The only cause for concern may be that she has yet to run twice so close together but this race looks too good an opportunity to miss.
Clearence Beaks Hurdling Duck
Written by George Gorman, Tuesday August 13th 2019
It's been a quiet couple of weeks for us here at Cisswood as many horses have been waiting for softer ground which finally looks like it might be on the horizon. However Clearence travelled all the way to Stratford for a seller on the first of the month in search of some cut in the ground. Luckily he found it and was able to keep the ball rolling for Cisswood as he broke his hurdling duck in emphatic style in the heart of Shakespeare country. The son of Authorized raced keenly early as he went twelve lengths clear of the pack to keep tabs on the runaway leader. Having been content to track him for most of the way, Clearence pegged back the long term leader approaching the last and soon forged clear under Josh Moore to win on his second attempt over hurdles. Unfortunately having won three of his last four starts for us this was to be his last for us as he was acquired by new connections and we wish them all the best with him. Last Tuesday saw a horse who only arrived with us last month take a serious step in the right direction, as Ragstone Cowboy was beaten less than two lengths into third at Nottingham. Another to cover plenty of miles in search of soft ground, he raced prominently throughout before seeming a little outpaced at the three pole before running on to secure a solid third placed finish. The style of this run might suggest he could get further in time but even if not, he's shown plenty enough in his first two starts to suggest there are races to be won with him.
Newmarket winner Clara Peeters has a couple of entries this week following a respectable sixth place at Glorious Goodwood. She was beaten just over three lengths in that class three and will step back into class four company this week, either on Wednesday at Salisbury where she is a course winner, or on Friday at Newbury. The daughter of Epaulette remains off a mark just two pounds higher than that which he won off back in June and a run of a similar level to last time could be enough to see her back in the winners enclosure for owner Richard Green. Lingfield Park regular Ban Shoof returns to his stomping ground for a third time in a row on Thursday and has dropped below his last winning mark for the first time since December. Having produced three slightly below performances on the turf, he now returns to what is unquestionably his favoured surface with a strike rate of 25% as opposed to just 5% on the turf. A four pound rise in the weights for winning on his last start on the all weather is undoubtedly also to blame for those lacklustre performances. However now the son of Shirocco has returned to two pounds below his last winning mark and his favoured surface we are hopeful of a big run.
Morpheus Played Late To Break Maiden Tag
Written by George Gorman, Tuesday July 23rd 2019
Last week was another great week for us here at Cisswood with Lady Morpheus breaking her maiden tag at Epsom on Thursday. Having broken slightly slowly from the stalls, this daughter of Morpheus dwelt towards the rear of the field for much of the race. She then made smooth progress to track the leaders approaching the furlong pole where she was shaken up by Hollie Doyle to run on and lead close to the line. Having run three times in her two year old season without placing, it was a great to see this filly show a great deal of improvement when battling hard to finish second at Kempton on her last start prior to this win. So to see a filly that we've always liked take this form and continue to improve is fantastic. With luck this lightly raced filly will continue this improvement for her owner Patrick Moorhead as the season goes on. The Wednesday previous to that saw Chikoko Trail win his first race for Cisswood since arriving with us from Mick Channon's at Christmas. In total contrast to Lady Morpheus, this son of Sixties Icon made all of the running up the near side rail under Hector Crouch. There was scarce cause for concern through the race as he travelled along powerfully in front and went five lengths clear when shaken up a furlong from home and won by that margin despite being heavily eased. He holds another entry at Sandown and, despite going up eight pounds in the handicap, we are very hopeful of another good run from him for his owner Mark Albon.
As for the week ahead, Neff has been declared on Wednesday in the apprentice race at Sandown with Rhys Clutterbuck taking the ride. Having won his first race on English soil back in May, he disappointed on his only subsequent start at Wolverhampton where he trailed in last of ten. However he seemed to find the surface at Wolverhampton too quick and has still won on his only turf start to date in this country. So there is every hope this son of Pastorius will bounce back to winning ways off a mark just three pounds higher than that which he won off back in May. In an ideal world we would have had more rain but we are hopeful the return to turf will make all the difference to the Past The Post Partnership's gelding. The fillies handicap at Newmarket on Friday sees two of our recent winners holding entries in Lady Morpheus and Duchess of Avon. I've talked plenty about Lady Morpheus above and off a now four pound higher mark she could go very close with normal improvement. Duchess of Avon seemed to stay on very well when winning at Brighton two starts ago and was far from disgraced when finishing third at Nottingham on her subsequent start. The four pound rise in the weights from her Brighton win may still make things difficult for her but we're very hopeful she can be competitive once again.
Peeters Pounces at HQ
Written by George Gorman, Saturday July 13th 2019
The last Saturday of June brought an exceptional afternoon's sport for us here at Cisswood as we sent out two winners within ten minutes of each other. Clara Peeters got the ball rolling up at Newmarket under Rossa Ryan, winning a class three handicap at 5:35. Despite running keen towards the rear of the field, she made fairly easy progress from two furlongs out to hit the front passing the furlong pole. From here the daughter of Epaulette showed a great deal of toughness to hang on to win by a length in spite of the pound of overweight she was carrying. It's great to have her back in the form she showed both when breaking her duck last year at Salisbury and in her tremendous return to action at Goodwood this season. We're hopeful that she will take a lot of confidence from this and continue to progress as the season goes on for Richard Green. We would only have to wait until 5:45 for our second winner of the afternoon as, over at Lingfield, Whistler Bowl made up for not going into the stalls for her intended seasonal debut at Brighton. Having got into and out of the starting stalls without a hitch, this daughter of Mukhadram chased the leaders for most of the way round before being delivered to the front by Joey Haynes two furlongs from home. Despite hanging slightly left, Whistler Bowl steadily drew away under pressure to win her handicap debut by three and a half lengths. Given the winning margin a seven pound rise in the weights does seem excessive but hopefully, given it was her seasonal debut and only her fourth career start, she should be capable progressing much further for her owner and breeder Chris Stedman. One winner that gave us a lot of pleasure at Cisswood was two days previous to the aforementioned double. On the Thursday of that week Stormingin made the long journey to Leicester where he would break a 26 race losing streak stretching back to his second career start in October 2016. Having broken well the son of Clodovil was steadied toward the rear of the field by Adam Kirby who steadily crept through the field from three furlongs out. He was switched towards the outside to deliver a challenge under pressure approaching the furlong pole and under a strong drive reeled in the leaders to lead well inside the final furlong. Although consistent, this gorgeous grey has been frustrating at times since joining us in April last year, placing in eight of his fourteen starts without a win and if you discount his runs over hurdles that record goes to seven places from ten starts. This all made getting his head in front all the more special for everyone involved with him and we're delighted for his owner Catherine Reed.
Newmarket Recovery Mission For Clara Peeters
Written by George Gorman, Saturday 29th June 2019
As the heat wave rolls over the country this weekend, one Cisswood charge looking to make hay while the sun shines will be Clara Peeters. The daughter of Epaulette looked full of promise when narrowly winning a seven furlong novice at Salisbury and did nothing to dispel that impression on her return as a three year old. She was beaten just over a length that day at Goodwood by the well thought of Desirous, who went on to run a great race in the Sandringham at Royal Ascot. What followed was a slightly disappointing effort at Kempton on her next run but that might have come a bit quick, being just eleven days after her seasonal debut. If Robert Green's filly is able to bounce back to form similar to that shown at Goodwood, it is unlikely there'll be something of Desirous' quality to deny her. Journey Of Life once again holds entries, on Tuesday at Brighton and on Wednesday at Kempton. Having been placed on his last three starts by ever diminishing margins, this is a horse that surely deserves to get his head in front more than most. This son of Exceed And Excell has dropped from a mark of 80 to 72 and has settled better with each start, also showing less of a tendency to hang. Perhaps with a bit of luck it could be a good few days for owner Richard Green If Clara Peeters and Journey Of Life can both trouble the judge. On Wednesday Iballisticvin has the option of making the journey to Bath on Wednesday following a great return to form at Lingfield last Saturday. That day he made a bid for home over two furlongs out under Shane Kelly before looking a little short of pace as he was caught late home by the winner. If he is to go one better than that effort it might well be that he needs to come off a stronger pace, in order to make use of his stamina, and at Bath one can virtually guarantee a strong gallop. Fingers crossed this will be another step back towards last season's consistency and perhaps he can find his way back to the winners enclosure for owners Mrs Arnold and Partner.
Duchess Off The Mark At Brighton
Written by George Gorman, Tuesday 25th June 2019
As another week has passed, yet another of our Cisswood charges has lost it's maiden tag as Duchess Of Avon went in at Brighton last Tuesday. Following her ten previous unsuccessful runs this daughter of Dutch Art was sent off at ten to one at our local track where Hector Crouch did the steering. Having raced to the outer of the field throughout, she made steady progress to challenge under pressure from two out. She finally reeled in the leader well inside the final furlong to grind out a length and a quarter victory to the joy of owners Calpin and Sheridan. Moving forward she has been put up four pounds, which will not make an attempt at back to back wins any easier for her. However, the fact that she seemed to stay on so well may give us options up in trip, especially given that she is quite lightly raced for a four year old. On Saturday we had a couple of runners at another of our local tracks in Lingfield, with the once consistent Iballisticvin running a great race. Having sat prominently throughout, the Rail Link gelding made a bid for home two furlongs from home under Shane Kelly before being headed by the impressive winner within the final furlong. Nonetheless he was able to hang on for second and hopefully this signals a return to the consistentcy of his last summer campaign, which saw him finish no worse than fourth in five of his seven starts for owner Mrs Arnold and Partner. Moving on to the Monday just gone, Journey Of Life journeyed to Wolverhampton once again and continued his good season with his third placing in the four starts he's had since joining us from Godolphin. Having raced towards the outside of the field throughout he began to hang left under pressure before staying on well inside the final furlong to press the winner to within a length and a half. Surely this consistent son of Exceed And Excell will get his head in front before too long, the fact that he settled better under Cieren Fallon definitely gives us and owner Richard Green cause for optimism.
Goshen Delivers a Devastating Double
Written by George Gorman, Tuesday 18th June 2019
Whilst we were only able to trouble the judge with one runner from Cisswood this week, the performance of Goshen was certainly one to sit up and take notice of. Just a week after his hugely impressive Brighton win, Steven Packham's charge headed to Sandown with a six pound penalty and facing a two furlong step up in trip on rain softened ground. All in all it seemed like he had quite a few obstacles to overcome, particularly so soon after his seasonal reappearance, but we were hopeful of a competitive run. So to see an almost carbon copy of his authoritative victory at Brighton was more than many of us could ever have hoped for. Yet again the son of Authorized made pretty much all of the running and drew steadily away from the field from two furlongs out to win by a yawning margin of nine lengths. To see him put two such professional performances together so soon into his three year old career has been highly encouraging, especially after seeming slightly wayward as a two year old. Those habits might not be totally banished as of yet as he was seen to hang around the first bend and looked to be slightly tricky to pull up after the race but he's still a relatively inexperienced gelding and will continue to improve. He has now gone from a mark of 64 up to 80 in his two runs this season and that will definitely make things more tricky for him next time and we will have to consider what his next assignment will be.
Today we have runners all the way across the country and I'll start with our one jumps runner today all the way up at Stratford. Goldslinger last ran over hurdles at Fontwell a few weeks ago where he was seen to good effect under Niall Houlihan where he made all the running before being touched off by a neck. He will now make the step up to the larger obstacles at Stratford under Jamie Moore and clearly wont need fences to improve him too much to win. However he will face competition for the lead this time around from more experienced chasers and, whilst the fences at Stratford aren't the biggest in the country, he will need to jump very well as one of the smaller horses you will see running over fences. Another of our runners today was last seen at Fontwell a few weeks ago, but Not Never's assignment is lightyears away from a jumps meeting at Stratford as he takes on the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot. The son of Notnowcato made a winning chasing debut just under two weeks ago under Jamie Moore so his wellbeing is in no doubt, however he will have to show substantial versatility to win such a prestigious race having not run on the flat in nearly a year and a half. That being said he was competitive when last seen on the turf and the booking of Harry Bentley can only be a positive so we are hopeful he can run with credit, it's just unfortunate the handicapper has put him up two pounds despite not having run in this sphere for some time.
Thoughts on the weekends runners available here later in the week
Gossiping Grabs Oaks Day Glory
Written by George Gorman, Thursday 6th June 2019
I wrote a few weeks ago about what a tremendous servant Gossiping has been for Cisswood over the two and a half years he's been with us and in winning his third race in a row last Friday he achieved a career defining success. Having sat handy early in the race, The son of Dubawi made eye-catching progress around Tattenham corner to lead a full two furlongs from home before bursting clear of his pursuers to win with abject ease under Andrea Atzeni. Not many horses achieve a career high rating at seven years of age but that's exactly what Gossiping did and to do it at Epsom on Oaks day is a landmark success that this talented horse thoroughly deserved. His new mark of 98 will undoubtedly make things harder for him in the future but it will also allow him a guaranteed run in some prestigious races, either way Oaks day 2019 will live long in the memory of all involved in the Buckwell Partnership. A seven year old who's career has taken a very different path is Not Never, who made a huge impression on his chasing debut at Fontwell on Wednesday. Having taken a very keen hold early, he took up the running three fences from home and drew away to win by six lengths, with a further thirty six back to the third. This son of Notnowcato has been yet another very successful purchase for Hail, Sargent and Evans who have enjoyed winners with Knocknanuss, Kloud Gate and this horse back in January at Fontwell. The winning margin of this chasing debut suggests he will be up to winning again next time even without normal progression but should he be able to cut out a few of the novicey errors that were evident on Wednesday and learn to settle a bit better in future, he could be a real force to be reckoned with over fences. Moving on to the Friday just gone Goshen joined the winners club at Brighton under Hector Crouch on his first run as a three year old. Having taken up the running two furlongs in, the result was never in doubt as he began to draw away from the field at the two pole, winning by an eventual twelve lengths. Having been very babyish and keen at times as a two year old, this son of Authorised has clearly improved massively for another summer to mature and strengthen. Understandably winning by this distance will not go unpunished by the handicapper but this was only Goshen's fourth career start and should continue to improve and hopefully be competitive of this mark sometime soon for owner Steven Packham and his groom and work rider Niall Houlihan.
One runner we'll be hoping for a better result from this weekend is Guns Of Leros who heads to Goodwood for a class three handicap on Sunday. The step up to two miles at York a few weeks ago seemed to bring about some improvement after an underwhelming seasonal debut at Epsom. The hope here at Cisswood is that with another run under his belt this trip and return to an undulating track could now provide an opportunity for this son of Cape Blanco to replicate the form that saw him win in a similar grade a year ago. He was six pounds higher in the weights that day at Newmarket so it shouldn't be beyond him to be competitive for owner Paul Hunt tomorrow. Neff could turn out again quickly at Salisbury on Tuesday after finishing down the field at Wolverhampton earlier this week. Having won at Lingfield on soft turf over the same trip the faster surface left him struggling to lay up with the fast pace. Consequently he has now been entered over a full two furlongs further this week which should see him more able to travel within himself and use his stamina to the effect seen at Lingfield just over a month ago. Also engaged on Tuesday is recent Goodwood winner Age Of Wisdom who will make the short trip to Lingfield to run on the turf course. His four pound higher mark doesn't seem insurmountable as, despite winning by just a length a few weeks ago, he stayed on in great style to do so. The likely booking of that day's winning jockey Harry Bentley can also only serve as a positive for this son of Pivotal and his owners The 1901 Partnership.