A win for Top Hat & Tails

The Top Hat & Tails Syndicate had a great win at Newmarket on Saturday afternoon when their two year old filly Divina Grace broke her maiden at the second attempt.

Divina Grace is by the champion 3 year old, Derby and Eclipse winner Golden Horn out of the Nayef mare Beautiful Forest. She boasts a lovely Godolphin page, her second dam is Group 3 winner Baya, the dam of Group winners Birthstone and Songcraft and her half sister Beautiful Secret is a well regarded Godolphin filly who is also a winner. She was purchased at the Tattersalls Ireland Yearling Sale in September last year and despite being a big filly she has not been backward and has taken her training well. She made her debut last month at Newmarket's July course where she finished second to the Godolphin filly Fairy Cross and it was to the July course she returned on Saturday.

Eight runners went to post for this 7f Restricted Maiden Fillies' Stakes and Callum Shepherd took the ride. In the race itself she broke well and settled beautifully conserving her energy for when it mattered most. Coming into the dip they began racing in earnest and with three of them in a line it was a proper battle. Divina Grace is developing a lovely way of racing and got her head down low and refused to be passed by her rivals. She won by a head from the Richard Hannon trained Tessa.

So congratulations to Eamonn, Kevin, Scott and Marisa who make up the Top Hat & Tails, they have a nice filly on their hands with surely plenty more to come from her.

Congratulations Vicky !

We were over the moon yesterday for our owner Vicky Markowiak whose four year old homebred filly Kiss Kiss won at Yarmouth.

Kiss Kiss is by Power who is a tough two year old who won the National Stakes and went on to win the Irish 2,000 Guineas as a three year old. She was homebred by Vicky from a family Rae knows well. Her dam Formidable Guest was out of Fizzy Treat, a two time winner and multiple placed filly for the yard in 2001-2002. She is a nice looking filly who can be a little hot headed but has taken to her racing well despite this. She is very lightly raced as she didn't begin her racing career until this year as a four year old. Rae started her off on the all weather at the beginning of the year where she ran respectably in her first three runs. She then had a break and was turned away for a couple of months which helped her both mentally and physically. Since her break she has had three races, finishing second on her two previous starts before this win, both also at Yarmouth.

James Doyle was booked for this race and she started 11/10 favourite of the 9 runners under top weight of 10 stone. In the race itself they split into two groups and she raced in the group who were on the far side of the track. Two furlongs from home James Doyle got to work on her and she came through horses to be joined by Priscilla's Wish ridden by Hollie Doyle to fight out a good finish. She was able to hold off her opponent and win by three quarters of a length.

We are so delighted for Vicky as this homebred winner is so deserved. There should be more to come from this relatively unexposed filly so keep an eye out for her in future races.

Stable stalwart back on the winning trail

Mr Eamonn Duggan's homebred Jewel In My Crown made a return to the winners circle last night after taking the 1m 2f handicap at Windsor.

The winner of three races last season she had a well deserved long holiday over the winter. When she came back in she had done particularly well for her break and had gained plenty of condition which gave Rae a good starting point to begin her fitness program. He started her off at Brighton at the end of April where she finished a very creditable fourth despite lacking match practice. Since then she has been the runner up at both Windsor and Sandown. The run at Sandown was particularly galling as she was definitely the best horse in the race but met trouble in running and the line came too soon for her.

However, vindication came in the form of yesterdays win at Windsor. With ground conditions to suit (good to firm) and her favoured distance of a mile and a quarter she went to post as the 2-1 favourite. Despite giving away a couple of lengths at the start (thank god it was 1m 2f !) she tacked on to the back of the field and Callum Shepherd kept a cool head and rode her like the best horse in the race. Three furlongs from home they quickened up and she came through the middle of them to win impressively by three and a quarter lengths from the Paul Cole trained Splendent to whom she was giving over a stone in weight.

So congratulations Eamonn we are delighted for you although we will await the handicappers ratings next week with bated breath !

Another winner for Rachel !

Rachel Flynn has had plenty of success with Fauvette but it was her Famous Footsteps who was in the limelight yesterday. The three year old made her handicap debut a winning one at Brighton yesterday afternoon.

Rachel purchased the filly at last years Tattersalls Guineas Breeze Up sale and she has a good pedigree. By the French stallion Dabirsim out of the Smart Strike mare Darysina she hails from a deep Aga Khan family. Her second dam Daryaba won both the Prix Vermeille (Gr 1) and the Prix Diane (Gr 1) while her half sister Ejtyah was third in the Musidora Stakes.

Despite being a breeze up purchase this filly was never going to be an early type and she only had the one run at two on the all weather. This year she has had three runs prior to this win. She had disappointed on her last start when running at Yarmouth on good to soft ground so when she headed to Brighton yesterday there was not a great deal of confidence behind her. However, the ground yesterday was officially described as good to firm and was obviously more to her liking.

Cameron Noble (3) was booked to ride and eight runners headed to post for this Class 6 Handicap. Jumping from stall 8 she settled at the rear of the field and just over a furlong from home she travelled wide of the rest and ran on strongly to beat the Malcolm Saunders trained Redredrobin by half a length. Let's hope this lightly raced filly has a lot more to come.

Congratulations to Rae and Rachel and thanks to Cam Noble for a great ride. A big well done to MJ who looks after Famous Footsteps at home and also won the Best Turned Out award for the race. 

Eklil chalks up another win

 A week on from last weekend's win with Days Like This owner Derek Willis was back in the winners enclosure, this time with his Invincible Spirit three year old Eklil.

This handsome gelding had won at Windsor back in April and had two more runs prior to Saturday's win at Bath. The first of these was at Wetherby where he finished fifth but the first five home all finished within a neck of each other. He then ran again at Windsor at the end of May where he finished second only beaten half a length.

In both of these starts over a mile he was doing his best work at the end of the race and therefore Rae decided to step him up in distance. Twelve days after finishing second at Windsor he made the trip to Bath to contest this Class 6 handicap over a mile and a quarter. Callum Shepherd (who had ridden him in his previous starts) was booked to ride and going to post he went off the 5/2 favourite. Drawn 3 of the 11 runners he raced midfield and started to make progress two furlongs from home. He was ridden strongly over a furlong out and appreciated the extra two furlongs as he was challenged by the Mark Loughnane trained Precision Storm but he wouldn't be denied and won by a short head.

For finishing second in his previous race at Windsor he was put up 3lbs in the ratings but managed to stay ahead of the handicapper for this most recent win. Let's hope that he continues to progress and Derek's winning streak continues. Congratulations to him and Callum Shepherd and well done to Shazad Ahmad who looks after Eklil at home.