Divina Grace proves a tough nut to crack

Three months on from her win at Chepstow Divina Grace gained another victory yesterday for the Top Hat & Tails syndicate.

This most recent win came in the form of a fillies' handicap at Bath over a mile and three and a half furlongs. This season she has only been out of the frame twice, once in the Group 2 Lillie Langtry Stakes and on her last run at Newmarket where she didn't stay the one mile and six furlongs. Rae looked for another option where she could be dropped back in distance and this Class 4 race at Bath seemed a suitable choice.

Conditions were tough on the day with the country basking in a heatwave as temperatures reached thirty degrees. Ridden by Darragh Keenan in the race itself Divina Grace was drawn six of the eight runners and raced prominently before settling into fourth. Swinging round the bend into the straight she travelled sweetly on the outside before taking the lead two and a half furlongs from home. However she was not without challengers and she found herself the meat in the sandwich between the favourite Warren Hill and Dovena. This filly loves a scrap though and she battled back gamely after being headed to go and win by a head.

The small syndicate of Top Hat & Tails are having some fun with this classy daughter of Golden Horn and long may it continue as she clearly relishes her racing. Congratulations to Eamonn, Kevin, Scott and Marisa and thank you to Darragh Keenan for a positive ride. Well done to our own Bola who looks after Divina Grace at home.

Two from two for Afloat

Afloat continued her recent good form with another win at Great Yarmouth yesterday.

Jon and Sophie Mills' three year old obviously enjoys the coastal track and did not appear to mind the quick turnaround having won there just nine days before. The ground was quicker than last time but she still went off the 11/10 favourite. Having been put up eight pounds from her last win she ran with a penalty this time which made her two pounds better off. Kieran Shoemark took the reins this time and she was drawn from stall 12. Travelling on the outside she eventually managed to get some cover towards the rear. She was able to get a nice tow through the race and a furlong and a half out she laid down a strong challenge to take the lead and repel the fast finishing Letaba by half a length.

Congratulations to Jon and Sophie once again, it is fantastic to see their patience rewarded.

Back to back wins for One Colour

Rae and Rachel's Teofilo filly One Colour made it back to back wins on Sunday following up her victory at Southwell three weeks ago with a win at Market Rasen.

Rae selected another National Hunt flat race and she went to post the 11/10 favourite. Tabitha Worsley took the ride this time and gave the filly a beautiful ride. The early pace was fairly sedentary and One Colour was tucked in neatly behind the leaders for most of the race. Swinging round the bend and descending the hill the pace quickened up and Tabitha brought the filly round the outside to begin her challenge. She closed them down easily and swept by to win by nearly five lengths. Well done to Tabitha and congratulations to Rae and Rachel.

Congratulations Jon and Sophie !

Congratulations to Jon and Sophie Mitchell whose three year old filly Afloat captured her first win yesterday at Yarmouth.

Afloat is by the Lanwades stallion Sea The Moon out of the winning Dansili mare Planete Bleue and is related to the champion stayer and three time Ascot Gold Cup winner Stradivarius. Jon and Sophie purchased her from last years breeze up sales but she wasn't a typical breeze up two year old as she was always going to need time to mature and develop. They have had to be patient as she never raced last season and this year had four runs on the all-weather earlier in the year before switching to the turf. She has shown steady progression despite conditions not being ideal in her last two races on good to firm ground.

Fortunately the rain came in time for this latest start at Yarmouth and it was good to soft on the day. Callum Shepherd was in the saddle for this mile and a quarter handicap and she was drawn 10 of 10. They settled on the outside towards the rear of the field and Callum was happy to let the front runners dictate the pace and a strong pace it was which suited Afloat perfectly. The early pace told as one by one they came off the bridle with Afloat still travelling well. She was asked to go and win her race at the two furlong pole and win she did, going away by nearly five lengths (let's hope the handicapper went off to make a cup of tea at that point !).

We are delighted for Jon and Sophie and would also like to thank Callum for the ride and to say a big well done to Amelie Davies who looks after Afloat at home and also took home the Best Turned Out prize.

Stayers shine for a double

Ten days on from the yard's double at Nottingham we celebrated another one yesterday with both Land of Winter and One Colour winning their respective races.

It was a day for the stayers to take centre stage and started off with Land of Winter's win at Beverley. Owned jointly by Paul Smith and Rae, the evergreen seven year old headed to a rain soaked Beverley to take advantage of the soft ground he has been waiting for. With a quick turnaround after his run at York on Saturday he was declared for the Watt Memorial Handicap over two miles. Callum Shepherd was booked to ride and Land of Winter relished the conditions underfoot to win by seven and a half lengths. It was lovely to see him back in the winners circle as his last win came in November 2021, so it has been a while and we send our congratulations to Paul and Rae.

We then switched to Southwell where Rae and Rachel's Teofilo filly One Colour was making only her second start. Earmarked at the sales last year by Rachel she came to us unraced from Saeed Bin Suroor and made her first start for us in a National Hunt flat race at Huntingdon back in February. She then had some time off with a setback and this was her first start back. A suitable bumper was selected, this time at Southwell with champion jockey Brian Hughes in the saddle. Settling beautifully at the rear she came from last to first to win convincingly by two and three quarter lengths.

So yet another fantastic double with the horses continuing in great heart. Congratulations to Rae and Rachel and thank you to both Callum Shepherd and Brian Hughes for riding. Well done to all of the staff back home whose hard work is reflected in the yard's current form.