Archive for the ‘News’ Category


ROC D’APSIS (FR) provided the yard with our first win of the new campaign at Kempton yesterday in the 3m Handicap Chase. Plenty looked to have their chance turning for home but he stayed on strongly to regain the lead over the last and secure his 4th win over fences for David Rae and Diane Fudge. He could head up to Perth in June for the valuable Perth Gold Cup.

2016/17 Season

The 2016/17 National Hunt season came to an end at Sandown on Saturday. We had our best season to date taking the yard up to 8th place in the trainers championship. We had 71 winners from 77 individual horses. We would like to thank all of the owners for their continued support and all of the staff for their hard work. Adrian Heskin has proved to be a fantastic addition to the team and ended his first season in GB with 54 winners having had his first win for us in September. .


WHAT’S HAPPENING (IRE) is our last runner of the 2016/17 season at Sandown today in the 3:35 Bet365 Gold Cup over 3m4f. He ran well on his seasonal reapperance at Exeter in February after a year off the track and then finished midfield in the Kim Muir. He won over 3m4f at Cheltenham two years ago and the good ground is in his favour. Adrian rides.


GOD’S OWN (IRE) & SIR VALENTINO (FR) arrived back in the yard this morning after their trip to Ireland for the Grade 1 Champion Chase. GOD’S OWN (IRE) stayed on well in the closing stages to finish two lengths behind the winner in 3rd and SIR VALENTINO (FR) ran a credible race to finish 6th. Both horses will now enjoy a well deserved holiday.

Weekend Results

STORMING STRUMPET (FR) got off the mark over fences at Stratford yesterday in the 2m3f Confined Handicap Chase. The race came only 3 days after her third in the Mares Listed Chase at Cheltenham but everything looked to be in her favour so we felt she should take her chance. The decision paid off, she travelled well throughout and was well in command when hitting the front approaching the last. She will now be retired to stud and will make a lovely broodmare. She ends her racing career with a win in a bumper, novice hurdle and over fences.

BARAZA (FR) made it a double on the day in the competitive 2m1f Novices Handicap Chase, providing the yard with our 70th winner of the campaign. The first time blinkers helped him focus and he won with a bit in hand. He will now enjoy a summer at grass and is sure to show further improvement next season now he has the hang of things.


We have a busy final week of the season ahead before it draws to a close at Sandown next Saturday. GOD’S OWN (IRE) will bid to defend his crown in the Champion Chase at Punchestown tomorrow will be joined by SIR VALENTINO (FR).

STAMP YOUR FEET (IRE) will run in the JLT Handicap Hurdle on Thursday.

We also have 6 runners heading to Perth for their enjoyable three day festival.

Weekend Runners

We have 3 runners declared this weekend.

BATTLE OF SHILOH (IRE) heads up to Ayr tomorrow for the Scottish Grand National. He took a heavy fall 4 from home at Chepstow last time out when he was never really travelling. It looked like the race came too soon and the ground was very soft so he’s had a nice break since then. Prior to that he was unbeaten, winning on all 6 of his starts. He’s a lightly raced individual and we are confident there’s further progress in him. He stays well but this will be his first attempt at the 4m trip and as expected it looks a very competitive race.

STORMING STRUMPET (FR) has been declared at Stratford on Sunday in the 3:35 Confined Handicap Chase over 2m3f (0-125). We were delighted with her finishing third at Cheltenham yesterday in the 2m5f Mares Listed Novices Handicap Chase. Since joining the yard back in 2014 she’s won a national hunt flat race, a novice hurdle and now has black type form over fences. She has all the credentials to make a lovely broodmare so this will be her last start for PJL Racing before she is retired to stud. She has every chance of ending her career with a win but we will see how she is on Sunday morning before making a final decision.

BARAZA (FR) also goes to Stratford on Sunday for the 4:40 Novices Handicap Chase over 2m1f (0-105). He got off the mark over fences in January and has been placed on both of his starts since then. We have declared him in blinkers which will hopefully sharpen him up as he seems to be lacking concentration in the final part of his races.


STAMP YOUR FEET (IRE) earned a valuable prize for his owner J P McManus at Haydock on Saturday in the Two Mile Hurdle Challenger Series Final. He was in fifth place jumping the last and stayed on strongly to take the lead just before the line. He’s proved he has plenty of ability when a race is run to suit and is very good at keeping himself low down in the handicap! He has come out of the race well and is only up 5 pounds for the win. He has two entries at Punchestown next week, the 2m Kilashee Graded Hurdle on Tuesday or the 2m JLT Handicap Hurdle on Thursday.

SOME BUCKLE (IRE) and SONG SAA both ran well to finish third and pick up £4,500 each for their connections.

Challenger Series Final Day

After a fairly quiet week recovering from Aintree we have a busy day ahead tomorrow with eight runners heading up to Haydock for the 2017 Challenger Series Final Day. The series is designed for middle tier horses rated 0-135 and each final offers £50,000 in prize money. We have targeted several horses for the finals and have more entries than any other yard, let’s hope some enjoy a big pay day!

£1,000,000 Prize Money Mark

It’s been a week to remember in the yard. Our success at Aintree took us past the £1 million mark for the first time with 68 winners to date. Thank you to all the owners, staff and horses who made it possible.

BIG FELLA THANKS was heroic in the Fox Hunters at Aintree on Thursday. He proved age was just a number and put in a fantastic round of jumping under Noel George to finish a close third. He’s jumped over 175 Grand National course fences during his career so we were delighted to see him say goodbye to his favourite course with such a marvellous performance. He has come out of the race unbelievably well, there is a possibility he could head back to Cheltenham for the Hunter Chase Meeting in May before a well deserved retirement here at Down Farm, continuing his role as Toms hack.

BUN DORAN (IRE) ran well to finish third in the competitive 2m Red Rum Handicap Chase. He looked to appreciate the drop back down to 2m and travelled strongly for a long way. He’s only six so we are sure to see improvement next season after a good summer at grass.

MAX WARD (IRE) also ran a great race in defeat to finish fourth in the Grade 1 Manifesto Novices Chase. He relished the good ground and stayed with his classy rivals for a long way before weakening after the last. He ends the season on a mark of 147 and is sure to have a big race in him.  He will now enjoy a summer at home with his owners Heather Haddock and Neal Griffith.

THE WORLD’S END (IRE) provided the yard with our fifth Grade 1 winner in the Doom Bar Sefton Novices Hurdle at Aintree on Friday. He was always travelling smoothly for Adrian and found plenty for pressure on the run in to see off his strong rivals. It was a very tough performance after taking such a heavy fall at the Cheltenham Festival and we were delighted he was able to provide the McNeill Family with some compensation. He has all the credentials to make a top class chaser but we still feel there is plenty of improvement left in him over hurdles. He has been roughed off to enjoy a summer on the Slad Valley and looks a very exciting prospect for the World Hurdle next season. As you can see from the photos Aintree never fails to produce a fun atmosphere for the owners and the celebrations continued in the famous Cavern Club that evening.

We are immensely proud of SAINT ARE (FR) who finished an admirable third on his fourth attempt at the Grand National. Davy Russell gave him a master class ride, he bravely took the short route at Bechers Brook and saved a lot of ground on the inside during the race. He struggled to quicken with the field on the last circuit but his stamina was never in doubt. He wisely kept a little in reserve and flew home after the last to grab third place and pocket £105,000 for his owner David Fox. We see no reason why he shouldn’t have another go at the race next year.

DOUBLE SHUFFLE (IRE) was the youngest horse in the 40 runner field but jumped like an old pro. He tracked the leaders for a long way but was caught out by the stamina sapping trip two from home. He ends the campaign on a mark of 152 which puts him out of most handicaps and into graded company next season.

Most importantly we were very pleased to see all of the horses and riders return home safely.  Not long after the Grand National Tom had to divert his attention to Chepstow where Noel George rode his first double aboard former Irish pointers FORGOT TO ASK (IRE) and TRUCKERS LODGE (IRE).  We were very fortunate that the bumper divided as both horses came home in splendid isolation. TRUCKERS LODGE (IRE) is the first horse owned by Gordon and Su Hall so it’s fantastic that they could enjoy such a great start to racehorse ownership (pictured left). It’s our third successive win in this bumper after THE WORLD’S END (IRE) won this race in similar style last year. Both horses look very exciting prospects and will now enjoy a summer at grass before they embark on a novice hurdle campaign next season.

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