For many, the coming of the November Handicap meeting at Doncaster is a sad time as it signals the end of the turf flat season in Britain but for us it means the action has only just got going. Along with Yarmouth, we do like going to Southwell as we seem to be particularly lucky there and have had a great couple of winters on the sand. Hopefully this year will be no different as we have a handful of horses who act particularly well there and who we have freshened up especially for a campaign there.
It all kicks off on Monday and we will be going with a couple of runners. Maazel has been very disappointing since joining us but he has dropped a long way down the weights as a result and is sure to recapture his form sooner or later. After so many defeats, he lacks confidence and only needs a good result to start feeling better again and hopefully stage a bit of a resurgence. His one try at the track was a promising one so hopefully this is the place where he can get competitive again.
Going with him will be Telekinetic. She probably didn't stay the distance in a bumper and then over 1m6f on her flat debut so the drop in trip will help her out. Handicaps might be what she needs but I think the track will be to her liking on this occasion.
No sooner has Southwell come back to life and we'll be back there again on Thursday with a trio of horses entered.
It is no secret that Limerick Lord loves the place with three wins there already this year. He put together another string of good efforts on the turf in the summer before running a bit flat so he has had some time off to freshen up for a winter campaign. It will be a busy winter for him so there will be some improvement from this run but I hope he can still return to his favourite venue with a good effort.
Hopefully the race has enough entries to divide as we also have Candesta in there. He has needed his last two runs after a break to get back fully fit so his return to Southwell is well timed as he does run best at the place. He is also back on his last winning rating so everything is in place for a good run, I just hope that his age isn't starting to catch up with him but his work at home is still good.
Another heading back to her favourite track that day will be Go On Gal. Her two career wins have come at the place and she is in as good a form as ever. The grade of race might be a bit high for her on this occasion but she is sure to pick up a race at Southwell this winter.
As well as this trio, we also have Sunset Bounty entered at Chelmsford on Thursday. With a very low rating, she has been hard to get into a race but it looks like she will on this occasion and hopefully she can start to show the same form on the track that she shows on the gallops at home.
Sunset Bounty was bred by her owners Steve and Tony and we were delighted to welcome their homebred Casamento yearling to the yard this week. He is a big lad and has taken his first few days at the yard very well and will join our other two yearlings that we currently have who are now ridden on the Heath every day.
Talking of new arrivals, I have been delighted with the uptake of shares in our three new syndicate horses with Spanish Mane proving extremely popular. Every one of the trio will give you plenty of fun at an affordable price and the syndicates that are coming together are full of great people who will enjoy some lovely days at the races together. Full details of our syndicate options for 2019 are on our OWNERSHIP page.
The annual Tattersalls Horses in Training Sale came and went this week and I spent more time up the sales ground than I'd like to admit and it was amazing to see that despite nearly 1500 horses going through the ring, trying to find one which was good value proved very hard.
Thankfully I could find one though and I was delighted to come away with Spanish Mane from Richard Fahey's yard like we did last year with Lulu Star who has done very well since then. She has won twice in 2018 but is still unexposed over a mile which will probably be her best distance. She also has plenty of size which suggests there is a bit more to come from her as well.
We have a great selection of horses now available for syndication and you can find them all along with full details and pricing on our OWNERSHIP page. From yearlings to older horses, monthly payments to one-off fees, there is something for everyone and we look forward to you joining our fantastic team of staff and owners.
There are still a couple of months left to play and we hope to bag some more winners before the end of the year but we are already looking forward to 2019 as we have one of our biggest and strongest team of horses yet.
Talking of winners, Boxatricks got us back among them this week when going one better than last time and getting his first win at Newcastle on Thursday. He has improved with every run of his career and was sent off favourite for the first time ever so he had every right to win in the manner that he did. It was a great reward for his syndicate of owners who have had to be patient with this late-developing gelding and now they have an upwardly mobile horse on their hands. The win also put jockey Shelley Birkett just one more victory away from losing her apprentice allowance and hopefully that big day isn't too far away.
I doubt Shelley will be riding out her claim this week though as we don't have any entries but that is only because we have plenty the following week. Southwell racecourse is back in action then and we do save horses specifically for there as we know what type of horse can win on the unique surface. Their fixtures come a bit more regularly from now on and we're looking forward to another profitable winter on the sand.
The horses are coming into form at the right time then as along with Boxatricks, Oud Metha Bridge ran another solid race at Newcastle on the same day. He is at the top of his rating at the moment but is a model of consistency and should be rewarded for that this winter. Another winner in waiting is Wilson who put in his best effort for us at Kempton on Wednesday and looks sure to get his head in front on the all-weather this winter.