A first win for War Chant

Vicky Markowiak's homebred two year old colt War Chant gained his first win yesterday at Brighton.

This striking colt is by War Command out of Vicki's mare Fanci That who was also trained by Rae and bred by Vicki. War Chant always looked forward and this was his fourth run of the year. He made his debut back in June at Nottingham over six furlongs where he ran very green and also received a hefty bump in the race which did not help him. He didn't run again until the end of August when he ran at Newmarket's July course, this time over seven furlongs and again showed his greenness by jumping slowly from the stalls and not really getting into the race. His next run was at Leicester where the penny was starting to drop and he travelled much better in the early part of the race despite weakening two furlongs out and dropping off the pace. These first three runs on first glance at the form book look poor efforts but they were all competitive Novice races so when he was given a rating of 50 for his handicap debut he stood every chance among horses of the same level as himself. 

Vicky and Rae decided to target a Nursery Handicap at Brighton over seven furlongs and David Probert was booked to ride. He raced handily during the early part of the race and as they drew into the straight they fanned out across the track and with just over a furlong to go they moved across to the near side rail. With half a furlong to go David Probert got to work on War Chant who responded well to pressure to win by a length and three quarters. This was a determined effort from the colt as he was also hampered slightly by Bold as Brass who hung right and gave him a bump as they turned into the straight.

His win is another homebred success for Vicky and we are delighted for her as she is a great supporter of the yard and thoroughly deserves this win. We would like to extend our grateful thanks to David Probert for the ride and and to say well done to Steven Ford who looks after War Chant.

Two out of two for Jewel in My Crown

Eamonn Duggan's homebred Jewel In My Crown won her second race in a fortnight yesterday, this time at Epsom following up on her win at Kempton on the 12th September.

Showcasing her versatility once again she made a return to the turf after her all weather win earlier in the month. This was her sixth win overall and she shows no sign of losing her enthusiasm for racing. Her target this time was a Class 3 Handicap over Epsom's helter skelter track. Dropping back a furlong to a mile and a quarter from her win two weeks ago, she was able to get decent ground for the time of year with it officially described as good. Callum Shepherd was booked again after piloting her to the Kempton win and she was drawn 3 of the 7 runners.

Breaking a tad slowly she travelled towards the rear in the early part of the race and once they swung around Tattenham Corner and started the descent she dropped to the inside rail and began her challenge. With three rivals on her outside she battled gamely and refused to lie down eventually beating the Jim Boyle trained Bad Company by a head. An official photo finish was called but it was never in doubt and this tough, genuine filly had nailed the win.

We are delighted for Eamonn as he is a great supporter of the yard and we would like to thank Callum Shepherd for a brilliant ride. Well done also to Shazad Ahmad (Bola) who looks after her at home and to Nasir Bashir who rides her every day. We haven't got a winners picture yet to accompany this article so we thought we would show you a photograph of her in her other role as a children's entertainer !

A busy ten days for Chestnut Tree Stables

We have had a hectic time over the last ten days with various events being held at the yard.

On Saturday 10th September we held a long overdue Owners Morning which was very well attended. It was lovely to finally meet Tim and Debi Oliver who have a share in the two year old filly Friends Together as members of the 'Can't Say No' syndicate. The weather was great and fabulous food as always was provided by Jo at Newmarket Secret Kitchen. We had joined forces with Discover Newmarket to offer a private tour of the National Stud at the end of the morning and several of our owners took part and very much enjoyed it.

On Wednesday 14th September we hosted a community event as part of National Racehorse Week. We invited pupils from Exning Primary School to join us for 'Evening Stables' and what a fun evening it was ! Parents, children and deputy head Ruth Clifford-Turner arrived at 4pm and enjoyed orange squash and biscuits followed by a tour of the yard. The children had fun dressing up in jockey's silks and they all had a ride on the Equiciser. They were also given activity booklets to fill in with a Q & A about what they had seen during their visit. It was a super evening and the children seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. A big thank you to Great British Racing who provided free tickets for Newmarket races for the parents of the children.

National Racehorse Week concluded with us opening the yard to the public for the Henry Cecil Open Weekend on Sunday 18th September and we had a steady stream of visitors throughout the morning. All who came to see us were most complimentary about our staff and how welcome they were made to feel so well done to the members of our team who worked hard to make the morning a success. We just have time to catch our breath now before the October Yearling Sales begin and it all starts again !

Versatile Jewel In My Crown gains first all weather win

In the week when we lost our beloved Queen Elizabeth ll and the Crown passed to King Charles lll then it seemed fitting that if we had a winner it would be the aptly named Jewel In My Crown.

Eamonn Duggan's homebred grey filly proved her versatility by winning on her all weather debut at Kempton last night. This was her second win this season and her fifth overall and Eamonn must be delighted with this effort. The recent rain has made it difficult to run her on the turf with conditions being softer than she would like so the all weather was the obvious option. A Class 3 Fillies' Handicap over 1m 3f at Kempton was targeted and Callum Shepherd was booked to ride. During the race she travelled sweetly at the rear of the small, four runner field and rounding the home turn she was positioned inside on the rail. They quickened off a pedestrian pace two and a half furlongs from home and with the front pair racing tightly together plus a horse on her outside it looked like she would struggle to get a gap. However, under a brilliant ride from Callum Shepherd, who bided his time and waited for the gap to come, this brave filly didn't shirk from her task and split the front two. She went on to win by three quarters of a length from the George Boughey trained Pretty Sweet.

The only downside was that Eamonn and Lesley were not there to see it but they had able substitutes in Eamonn's brother-in-law Stan and his wife Linda. They must be lucky omens Eamonn, you will have to send them again !

First yearling arrival !

Sales season is upon us and Rae wasted no time at all in purchasing our first yearling. 

On Tuesday he headed up to Tattersalls to attend the Somerville Yearling Sale. This sale was formerly the Ascot Yearling Sale but relocated to Newmarket in 2020 and last years sale produced plenty of winners most notably the Group 2 Coventry Stakes winner, Bradsell. 

Rae looked at plenty of horses throughout the day but his eye was caught by a striking bay filly with a white face and two white socks. She is by the first season sire Havana Grey who has made such an impressive start to his stud career. He was a brilliant two year old himself and his first crop of two year olds appear to have inherited his precociousness. The dam is the Ifraaj mare Soul Searching and this is her first foal. Further back on the dam's side is the excellent broodmare Zomaradah, herself the dam of super sire Dubawi and also in there is High Tern, the dam of Epsom Derby winner High Rise.

So we are excited to see what the future holds for this filly and we are looking forward to her beginning her first steps on the training ladder.