Friday, 30 May 2014

First Ever Across The Card Treble

Thursday 29th May proved to be a red letter day for the yard as we recorded our first ever treble. Ivors Princess and Graphene doubled up at Bath before Master Carpenter ran away to Listed success in the Heron Stakes at Sandown.

Master Carpenter has been the yard's flag bearer so far in 2014, surprising us all by finishing third in the Greenham as an 80/1 shot, staying on strongly behind Kingman and Night Of Thunder, form boosted when they filled first and second in the 2,000 Guineas. Stepped up to ten furlongs, he showed that was no fluke by finishing third in the Sandown Classic Trial on heavy ground and then runner-up to Pinzolo on quick ground at Newmarket. We felt that he did not quite see out the ten furlongs there and a mile with ease in the ground may prove to be his optimum conditions, yet all three that have beaten him over ten furlongs are still engaged in next week's Derby.

Although he has had a busy start to the season, with all the rain that fell over the Bank Holiday weekend, we felt we had to run again, this time in the Listed Heron Stakes at Sandown's high profile Brigadier Gerard evening meeting. Admittedly we were slightly concerned about the heavy ground, as Ryan felt he did not really handle similar conditions in the Classic Trial. Although Master Carpenter had by far the best form going into the race, his rivals were unexposed and could have been anything and he was sent off third favourite at 3/1. Settled out the back by Ryan Moore, the running style which seems to suit him best, the field went extremely wide down the back straight and round the home bend. Ryan Moore is not Champion Jockey and best in the world for no reason and sensing that the other jockeys were needlessly wasting ground, went round the inside, saving plenty of ground and was in front when joining his four rivals three furlongs from home. Asked to quicken inside the final two, Master Carpenter rapidly pulled away from the opposition to record a seven length success. While the move by Ryan certainly aided Master Carpenter, we still feel that he was good enough to have won the race even if he had followed the others but it was by far the easiest race he has had this year and will have done his confidence the world of good. Plans are extremely fluid, mainly due to the fact we would like to run him where there is ease in the ground but he will probably step back into Group 3 company and deserves more success.

This was a first Black-Type success for the Links Partnership, long time supporters of the yard and without such loyal owners, we could not stay involved in the game, While Cheveley Park Stud, who acquired a half-share in him before Royal Ascot last year, have had many Black-type successes, it was very important for the yard to do well for such a high profile owner and hopefully a high-class horse like Master Carpenter will get some more owners into the yard.

While the double at Bath was highly rewarding for the yard as well. Ivors Princess is a tricky mare, who recorded her fourth career success in the 1m4f handicap, showing a surprising amount of stamina as her three previous successes came over six and seven furlongs. However, she clearly enjoyed the steadier pace and was on a going day. She will be capable of winning again, especially in the plethora of fillies races that are open to her over ten to twelve furlongs. Graphene had been very disappointing in three runs on the AW so we were not sure what to expect returned to turf on his fifth start. Slowly away, he enjoyed the strong early pace which spread out the field and was moving into contention when slipping on the home bend. Sean Levey did extremely well to stay on board but it looked as if his chance had gone. However, he did not lose much momentum and hit the front inside the final furlong to win a shade cosily. He is at the right end of the handicap, looks as if he will stay much further and should provide some fun for his owners this season.

We also had impressive Warwick winner Bonnie Grey at Sandown in the National Stakes and we were hoping for a big run. However, the ground was much softer than on her debut and she was not travelling from an early stage, not helped by being stuck in the middle of the track. She still stayed on nicely for fourth, certainly was not disgraced and she will probably step up to six furlongs. It is likely she will miss Royal Ascot and head to a Listed race at Newmarket. While Indaria was not disgraced when finishing fourth on her debut at Bath and showed she has ability, with the benefit of experience a race should certainly come her way.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

More Black Type For Master Carpenter

Stable star Master Carpenter has had a very successful 2014 and proved his Greenham third was no fluke by finishing third in the Sandown Classic Trial and then runner-up in a Newmarket Listed event at the weekend.

As he stayed on strongly in the Greenham, backed up by his pedigree, we felt that Master Carpenter would stay ten furlongs and when the Sandown Classic Trial re-opened, we felt it was worth an entry as we were guaranteed to get ease in the ground. However, we did not expect the ground to be so soft come raceday and like most horses that ran there, Master Carpenter found it pretty hard work and never moved as fluently as normal. He still put up a valiant effort to finish third to Western Hymn (a possible Derby candidate for John Gosden) but it did not really tell us what his optimum conditions were.

Last weekend there were two possible Listed races for him to tackle, one over seven furlongs, the other a mile and a quarter. With the ground drying out so quickly, we felt that we had to tackle the longer trip and with only five runners, it made it an easy decision. In the race he settled nicely off a steady early pace before being asked for his effort approaching the two furlong marker. While he looked to hold every chance coming out of the dip, the superior stamina and perhaps class of Godolphin's Pinzolo enabled his rival to pull two lengths clear. Although he handled the ground and stayed ten furlongs to pretty good effect, we feel as though a mile on easy ground will be his optimum conditions this year. Where such opportunities arise will be down to the British Weather but he certainly looks capable of winning in Pattern company and it is great to have a horse like him in the yard.  

Debut Success For Bonnie Grey

The yard had a rare two-year-old debut winner when Bonnie Grey got off the mark in taking style at Warwick. The Hellvelyn filly only started coming to herself ten days before her debut and is likely to improve plenty for this intial experience. The race was run in a good time and from a family we know well (half-brother Cop Hill Lad was runner-up in the Super Sprint and we also won with half-sister Bahamian Ceildh) she is an exciting prospect that could be anything. She may head to Sandown for the Listed National Stakes next week.

Another two-year-old to shape well on debut was Marcano, a £58,000 Arcano yearling that was the most expensive horse we have ever bought, who finished third in what is traditionally a very hot six furlong maiden at Newbury. He was outpaced mid-race before staying on very strongly in the closing stages. He is another individual we expect to improve plenty from the outing and if all goes well in his maiden next time out, he could be good enough for Royal Ascot. However, he is likely to need further in time and he is certainly a very exciting horse for the future.

Mylaporyours Off The Mark at Bath

Jeremy two-year-old filly Mylaporyours made a promising debut at Windsor, looking likely to run on into a place before getting badly hampered inside the final furlong so we expected a decent run second time out at Bath. Although a little outpaced in the early stages, she stayed on strongly up the hill to claim victory from the Richard Hannon trained Doomah (subsequent winner).

She made a quick reappearance in a Salisbury Condition Stakes on 1000 Guineas Day and ran a solid race to finish third to Tiggy Wiggy (subesequently second in a Listed race at York) where she was outpaced at halfway before staying on inside the closing stages. She needs six furlongs and will head to Pontefract on Friday for a Conditions Event which we have won three times with Cop Hill Lad (2003), Roi De Vitesse (2009) and Master Carpenter (2013) and while she needs to improve to be mentioned in the same breath as that trio, she will benefit from stepping up to six furlongs at a stiff track.