Some years the seasonal round-up has needed a bit of help on the positivity stakes – but certainly not this time – it has been a magical year!
Paisley Park was obviously a highlight and his amazing achievements have been well documented but what is also very exciting is the strength in depth of the rest of the team and is certainly the best that we have ever had. Interestingly, even if Paisley Park had not won a pound for us, the team has still earned considerably more in prize money this season compared to last, proving the point that there are some extremely nice horses waiting in the wings.
De Rasher Counter’s victory at Uttoxeter (16 Mar) on the Saturday after Cheltenham was hugely impressive. It was a big disappointment that we were then not able to go to Ayr with him for the valuable novice handicap chase at their April meeting, but we were just not prepared to risk him with the ground being so quick. The Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury will be his early target for next season, he has just got better and better and is a horse we are very excited about going forward.
There have been plenty of other notable success towards the end of the season, with the likes of Highly Prized (14 April Wincanton), Boomarang (20 April Newton Abbot), Forget Me Knot (22 April Chepstow) and Statistical (Kempton 25 April) all getting their heads in front.
Highly Prized looks a smart horse for the summer and has taken an interesting route to arrive here in training via America. His accuracy when jumping and speed makes him look like a potent force for the some of the races later in the summer season.
Boomarang is another pacey horse who jumped so much better when winning at Newton Abbot and gave his owners much to celebrate on the bank holiday weekend. Forget Me Knot, again, jumped well and is the most beautiful filly, but has a large frame, which has yet to be fully furnished and she will definitely jump a fence in time.
Statistical’s race was one of the more entertaining occasions – he went to post in a two-runner race where he jumped off in front, only for his sole adversary to decant her pilot at the first fence. He then had to run over two and a half miles jumping the fences all on his own, a commentator’s nightmare – especially with a name like Statistical! However, a win is a win and was celebrated accordingly.
Pictured L-R; Misty Bloom (second from left), Fox Appeal and Paisley Park
Other recent runners that should be mentioned are; The Sweeney, who so deserves to get his head in-front having run two solid races in valuable handicap hurdles and there is another not far away. Vendredi Trois, following his winter break came back (23 April) and ran a super race to finish second in a valuable handicap at Ludlow, he again will ply his trade through the summer. Misty Bloom has been a model of consistency all year and has given the owners of our Bonita Racing Club so much to shout about this season. She ran a great race in the £50,000 Challenger mares final at Haydock (20 April) finishing second, she is as tough as they come and deserves a break now having done nothing wrong all year. Talent to Amuse is another who looks to be getting back on track and finished fourth in the mares listed race at Cheltenham (18 April), and there is much to look forward to with her.
As ever at this time of the year there will always be a few to say goodbye to. Javert who has struggled with soundness over the years, but not ability, very sadly tweaked his tendon again and will now be retired. Fox Appeal who has been a complete star for us over the years, amassing over £180,000 in prize money and running 54 times – has also been retired. He loves racing and being in training, but he is not as good as he once was, and the time has come for him to retire safe and sound and start an alternative career.
The sales season is about to start and we will be there sourcing the next Paisley Park – as ever we are always happy to take your order!