Rhys Proves He's Worth The Wait
Written by George Gorman, Monday 18th February 2019
We may have lost a good weekend's racing to the equine flu virus but when racing resumed on Wednesday, Cisswood wasted no time in getting amongst the winners, getting on the board four days in a row. The most emotionally charged of these must have been Clearence winning his second race in a row at Kempton and giving our apprentice Rhys Clutterbuck his first ever winner. Rhys has been with us a few years now, riding out during school holidays before he came to join us full time. It's been a pleasure to watch him grow in ability and confidence to the point where he is an integral member of staff and the work rider of BetVictor Chase winner Baron Alco. His keenness to learn and improve is largely to thank for this success as well as his composure on the several occasions he's hit the crossbar on the way to this win. There's much learning still to be done but I have every faith that with continued hard work, this will be the first of many successes for this young jockey. The very next day Le Capricieux was to get off the mark at the fourth time of asking over fences under a brilliant Jamie Moore ride at Fontwell. Having made all the running, this keen going son of Alberto Giacometti set a brisk pace and jumped very well in the most part before Jamie poured the pressure onto the chasing pack, killing any hope they had of bridging the gap to him. This left him to plug on up the home straight to a nine length success for owner Mr. A Foreman. The race also happened to be sponsored by some of our owners, Heart Of The South Racing, advertising shares for sale in Trafalgar Boy, a Mount Nelson gelding who will be making his racecourse debut soon for Cisswood. If anyone is interested in dipping their toe into racehorse ownership I couldn't recommend Heart Of The South more as they are a very friendly bunch of people, with full access to our yard (including an office on site) and have shares available for all budgets. As Saturday came aroung, the winners continued to flow as Eragon De Chanay claimed his second success of the season under the young jockey who has piloted him to them both Niall Houlihan. When winning on the son of Racinger at Sandown, on his very first ride in the UK, Niall showed great intelligence and tactical awareness to make all of the running. This time Niall proved he can do it all by showing strength and fitness to keep pushing away over the last four flights of hurdles, allowing the horses stamina to reel in the leader between three out and the last. These two seem to have struck up a great partnership thanks to owners Five Star Racing Group allowing Niall to take up the ride once more.
On to the week ahead we have Waikiki Waves, who returns to the scene of his chasing debut victory back in January. He seemed to relish the change of obstacles that day, jumping for fun and travelling much better than has often been the case over hurdles. He will have to prove he stays nearly three miles this time however and last time out he competed against a small field of horses who have been chasing maidens for a long while. Having said that, although the field size is larger this time, the competition doesn't look much stronger. His main obstacles will be the extra distance and quite a harsh four pound hike in the weights. On Thursday Thounder will head to Huntingdon in a bid to go one better than at Leicester last month. That day he seemed to have put his first time out unseat behind him as he jumped great right up until he seemed to flatten and make two mistakes during the uphill finish. With that in mind, Huntingdon may be a better track for this speedy son of Hurricane Cat as it must be the flattest, most speed dependent track in the country. With that in mind we're very hopeful of a good run. On Friday King Of The Sand is entered to make his hurdling debut at Warwick. He's from a family we know very well as we train his older brother Rydan and his younger brother Slade King. He reached a rating of 86 less than a year ago and although he is rated nearly a stone lower now, we believe he retains a lot of ability. It will be very interesting to see how he gets on as he will be the first of the family to run under National Hunt rules, who knows we might make a hurdler out of Rydan yet!
My thoughts on our weekend runners available Friday
Cool Proves He's Still King At Kempton
Written by George Gorman, Monday 4th February 2019
The past week has been quiet enough in terms of runners for us, with a few meetings frozen off and a few of our Cheltenham hopes enjoying a slightly easier time of it. Regardless we were still able to get amongst the winners, with King Cool starting the week in style on Monday at Kempton. Dropped out last initially, he made easy progress through the field to take up the running from the second last. After that he was very much in a race of his own, eased down by Josh Moore to a facile six length victory. Hopefully the son of King's Theatre can go on to take advantage of this improved form and provide owner Mr P Mott with further success in the coming weeks. We had to switch codes to find a winner later in the week as, on a day where most turf racing was abandoned, Clearance added to our tally at Wolverhampton under an inspired ride from Hector Crouch. Despite the horse being a sixteen race maiden on the flat for two other stables, Crouch rode him with bags of confidence from the rear of the field, passing the entire field down the inside rail within the last furlong to come out the winner by a length. Hopefully this is a horse that will take some confidence from getting his head in front and could go on to win again this all weather season. One to watch for the coming weeks might be new acquisition Zamperini, who finished an eye-catching second on Saturday night at Kempton. He was formerly quite useful on the flat for Mike Murphy with a career high mark of 89. Doubtless he is not quite up to that level of form at seven years old but with his mark sliding to 59 now his fast finishing second on just his second start for us could be a sign that the change of scenery has reinvigorated this horse somewhat.
As for the runners for the week ahead, Crystal Lad makes the long journey to Market Rasen on Tuesday, where i think he can start to get his season going. He has run just once so far this season, when pulling up at Kempton on Boxing Day following a 252 day break. He shaped well for much of that race and, although he hasn't won in nearly two years, this is the time he's had a mark of less than 120 since then. With such a big gap between races it's possible he may need the run again but regardless I'm hoping he can run with some promise for owner Chris Stedman. Later in the week Thounder holds an entry at Kempton in a Conditional Jockey's race for owner Tony Head. Following a promising juvenile season, he was sidelined by injury for over a year and struggled to get back on track this season, pulling up and then unseating on his first two starts back. However, he showed he still has no shortage of ability last time when finishing second in a very competitive handicap hurdle at Leicester, where he just needed the run a bit more than the winner. Kempton is a track that will definitely suit this speedy son of Hurricane Cat and our conditional Niall Houlihan will doubtless be more than up to the task. King Cool also has an entry at Kempton on Friday, where he will look to follow up his recent course and distance win under a penalty. This is a slight step up for him as the handicap bracket of the race is 0-110 rather than 0-100 but given the easy nature of his previous win, one would has to say he has every chance of doubling up on that success.
Le Precieux, The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Written by George Gorman, Wednesday 9th January 2019
Apologies for the lack of a blog the last couple of weeks but I'll do my best to cover anything missed here. Sussex Ranger was undoubtedly the highlight of our Boxing Day runners, getting off the mark for the season after a couple of down the field efforts in some very hot contests. He was given a dynamic, front running ride by Jamie Moore, who forced the pace from the word go and despite coming under pressure early, Sussex Ranger as usual found plenty and was able to run out a four and a half length winner for The Tongdean Partnership. Hopefully getting his head in front will have revitalised this plucky little horse as we press on into the middle of the season and we should be able to target sone bigger prizes with him. Beat The Judge was to be our only winner of the two day Christmas meeting at Kempton and he showed a professional attitude to dismiss a pretty decent looking field in the juvenile hurdle on the 27th. The son of Canford Cliffs was held up by Joshua Moore before making smooth progress to lead approaching the last, running on well after the obstacle and leaving the impression that the Ed Babington owned gelding may have a couple more wins in the tank this season. However the star performer of the Christmas/New Year period was undoubtedly Le Precieux, who added two chase wins within a week of each other to his flat maiden victory on the 13th of December. For any chaser to win a 1 mile 5 furlong flat maiden is impressive, but to add back to back wins over fences within three weeks of this shows a constitution that 99% of horses do not possess. It really goes to show that patience is a virtue as Shark Bay Racing had owned him with us for a full, winless year before he ran this sequence up. Congratulations to them and massive thanks to everyone in the yard that have helped to get the horse to the point he's at today. What better way is there to welcome in 2019 than with a Saturday double? That's exactly what happened here at Cisswood as Darebin and Larry showed at Sandown Park that sometimes a new year can really mean a 'new me'. Darebin kicked off the proceedings with a battling attitude only matched by his rider Jamie Moore as he was headed after the last only to dig in and get his nose back in front in the shadow of the line. This was his highest winning mark in 15 months and a repeat of that effort may well be enough to see him win again for Chris Stedman and Mark Albon, the latter of which almost certainly has a bag of carrots waiting with Darebin's name on it! Larry had rather more to prove, having run with promise on his chase debut at Ascot in November, only to fall at Plumpton two weeks later. Two months later it was clear the memories of that fall were very much with him as he made a sprawling error at the first. However Jamie Moore was able to maintain the partnership and gently encouraged him into the next two, where Larry's uncertainty was seen as he continued to jump to his right. As the race went on, his jumping confidence grew to the point where, having progressed through the field, he was able to put the race to bed with a spring-heeled leap at the last. This was a truly exeptional afternoon for Jamie, who gave two totally different horses unquestionably brilliant rides. It was also fantastic to be able to get The Galloping On The South Downs Partnership's new year off to a great start after Ar Mest had closed off their 2018 with his great victory at Leicester on the 28th of December.