2016 felt like it was a ‘nearly’ year. Although we had seven horses win pattern races a Group 1 eluded us, however Cotai Glory, Magical Memory and Jallota all came close. Like most yards our horses were definitely under the weather for a lot of the season, so we were delighted that we managed to have our best year winners wise. We have a lot of unknowns among the newly turned three year old generation, and hopefully plenty to look forward to.
Dutch Connection, Magical Memory, Cotai Glory and Jallota will all be back this year to fly the flag for the older horses. However, we have one potentially very dark horse amongst the older horses in Mootaharer (Muhaarar’s half brother). He had to miss the whole of last season due to a recurring sinus problem, but hopefully it has been cleared up now and on what he showed us as a two year old he could be anything. Shanghai Glory ended last season winning a listed race and has transferred to the ownership of Jim and Fitri Hay. We were delighted to get him back as he was very progressive last season, and hopefully there is scope for more. Free Handicap winner Ibn Malik will also return this year. He had issues in the second half of the year and we thought it was better to stop and rectify them. He’s a very talented horse who hopefully will be able to show everyone what he is capable of this year. Cheshire Oaks runner up Moorside has also stayed in training. She’s probably only just beginning to fill her frame now and we will be looking at fillies staying races with her.
As mentioned we have a lot of unknowns in the three year old division, with plenty of well bred nice looking horses who have yet to run. Of those that did run last year Rosarno impressed us with his win at Newbury. He is a lovely looking horse who will prefer much better ground than he got that day. A Derby trial will probably be his aim. We have quite a few speedy types headed by the very quick Battaash. Fingers crossed his issues with the stalls are behind him now, and as he grows up will be more controllable in a race. One thing is for sure he can run fast! We had to stop with Waqaas after the Richmond Stakes as he picked up a problem. He is due back from Shadwell very soon and is a horse we are looking forward to. You can ignore Rebel De Lope’s last run as he was sick after it. To be fair to the horse he was on and off sick all year, but when he was right he was very good. Unusually for a Lope De Vega he loves fast ground and could be a very nice horse this summer. Barrington was another who suffered really badly from the sickness that affected the horses, and was never right after his win at Windsor. He has been bug free so far this winter, and touching lots of wood will remain so. He showed us plenty last year and we’re very hopeful he can translate it onto the track this year. Tai Sing Yeh is a lovely big horse who won his maiden well at Lingfield despite not really handling the track. He could be anything. Hilario looked good when winning his maiden at Kempton. He’s a half brother to The Tin Man who has improved with age, and hopefully Hilario can do the same.
We have over 80 two year olds and as always at this time of year they’re all champions! We have a nice mixture of types that will hold their own in all the different spheres, and have some well related types including a Shamardal half sister to Camelot and a Dubawi half brother to Muhaarar.
Unfortunately our venture into the National Hunt sphere was sadly cut short when Carry Me Home injured himself schooling. He was not far off a run and had been impressing everyone (including the team at Nicky Henderson’s), however he will be back for a campaign on the flat.
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