I hope you all enjoyed the festive period and especially the great racing on offer. I was back at Cheltenham for their December meeting although I watched the January meeting on TV. The one thing that is really noticeable is how important course form is at the track. Coole Cody might have won the Paddy Power but for falling two out, and he was back in December where he gained compensation with a big handicap win.
A horse from one of my yards, the veteran Kansas City Chief, has taken a big liking to the track this season. He won again in December, before finishing 2nd on New Years Day for a form line of 1312 at the course this season. He is surely worth a look in the Pertemps final at the festival…
There were some great performances on the track over the festive period as well. Surely the most impressive was Shishkin, who took on the winner of the Tingle Creek, Greaneteen, and barely needed to come off the bridle to win!
I hope some of you found Tornado Flyer in the King George. I must admit he would have been stone last on my list of possible bets for the race, so thankfully I do not need to make a living as a tipster!
We seem to have proper winter ground now and no real sign that it will be firming-up soon. Definitely very different from a lot of the races in the last couple of months, and worth considering when evaluating what will be fairly recent form, which would have been on a very different surface.
BG Racing – On and Off The Track
Both my two BG Racing horses are having a break, with Dynamic Kate recovering from a minor op, and Far Too Beautiful waiting for the flat turf season. To provide shareholders with some action, I agreed to help Michael Attwater with the costs of a hurdler that he owns and trains himself. In exchange for this, he was happy for me to use the owners’ badges. So seven BG Racing shareholders had a nice day at Newbury on the 29th, where we saw the Challow Hurdle, and were well looked after in the Owners and Trainers Restaurant where we had lunch.
“Our” horse, Joeys Gift, was pulled-up as, while we had thought he would enjoy soft ground, it was clear that he hated it and was never travelling on it. Despite the disappointing result, it was still good fun to be in the paddock chatting to our jockey, Niall Houlihan, and getting his feedback after the race.
We will try to find Joey some better ground this month for another try!
Visiting the Yards
Being a shareholder in a syndicate is not all about race days though, and on a Sunday before Christmas we had a group down at Neil Mulholland’s yard to see Dynamic Kate. It was great to be out on the gallops, where shareholders got to spend some time chatting to Neil, asking him questions about all sorts of racing related subjects.
We followed the visit with a Christmas Lunch at a local pub and a good time was had by all.
I am organising a similar event up at Epsom later this month, where we will visit Michael Attwater’s stable and see Far Too Beautiful and Joeys Gift. We are heading on afterwards to the Winter Million meeting at Lingfield Park where we hope to have a box and lunch. It should be a really enjoyable day.
Have you managed to listen to my “Inside The Rails” podcast yet? We interviewed Tony Hind in December. Tony is the agent who booked all the rides for William Buick’s title challenge this season. It was fascinating to learn about his role, and how he manages to keep several top jockeys happy whilst booking their rides. Tony is a top man and I really enjoyed chatting to him.
We are in the studio again this week for a festive racing review, and an interview with Di Arbuthnot, the Chief Exec of Retraining of Racehorses. She spoke at a meeting I was at in December, and was really interesting, so we invited her into the podcast! The episode should be released before 10th January and you can find us by searching for “Inside The Rails” on Apple or Google podcasts, or on Spotify and other podcast apps that you may use. All previous episodes can be downloaded and played at any time.
As ever, if you have any questions about racehorse ownership or about anything I mention in these monthly articles, please feel free to get in touch. I am always happy to chat about racing, and I would be happy to answer your questions personally, or even write a future article, on whatever subject you are interested in!