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.

A jubilant win for Days Like This

The Derek Willis and Rae Guest owned three year old, Days Like This, broke her maiden over the Jubilee weekend at Chepstow on Saturday evening.

She is by the Darley stallion Iffraaj, the sire of such top horses as Ribchester and Wootten Bassett and a top class seven furlong horse himself. She is an eyecatching dark filly like her sire and further back she is related to Arc winner and French sire Sagamix and Shastye, dam of Japan, Secret Gesture and Mogul. She was a late maturing filly who had just the one run at two, finishing a respectable third of eleven runners at Chelmsford. This was her third run this season having run well at Lingfield and Newmarket prior to heading to Chepstow for this Restricted Novice Stakes over seven furlongs.

Cameron Noble (3) was booked to ride Days Like This and she was drawn 3 from the small field of 4 runners. She raced prominently on the outside and hit the front just over a furlong out where she stayed on well to win by a length and three quarters. Now she may not have been the most popular winner at the Welsh track as the horse that finished second was the well backed Chancery Lane, owned by non other than H.M The Queen ! With the whole country celebrating the Queen's seventy years on the throne we did not intend to be the party poopers ! However, we know the Queen is a proper racing lady and would have been the first to congratulate Derek and Rae had she been there.


A winning debut for Lady Jane Grey !

The Unusual Suspects Syndicate got off to a great start with their first runner on Saturday night when their two year old filly Lady Jane Grey made a winning debut at Lingfield under George Rooke.

The filly was purchased by Rae for the new syndicate back in October at the Tattersalls Book 3 Yearling Sale. She is by the first season sire Havana Grey who has made a fantastic start to his stud career. The dam, Inagh River, had produced five winners by fast stallions with Lady Jane Grey now making it six. She has looked a two year old from the start, small in stature but in proportion and she has now shown that she has an engine to boot. Prior to this maiden run she had been working well at home and showing plenty of speed. Subsequently, she was entered for a Fillies' Restricted Novice Stakes at Lingfield on the turf which was just shy of five furlongs. Her debut had been much anticipated by the Unusual Suspects and quite a few of the excited members were able to make the journey to the Surrey track.

The race itself however was not without drama. Lady Jane Grey was a little slowly away from the stalls and then veered left showing her greenness. At this point the horse behind her unseated its rider so she had the added distraction of a loose horse to contend with. Racing a tad keenly she moved up to join the leaders but due to her wide draw she had no horse on the outside of her to help her stay straight. Despite all of the above she finished the race strongly and won by half a length beating the Daryll Holland trained Grace Angel into second.

Alongside her prize money her owners will also receive a Great British Bonus so happy connections all round. She will improve for the experience and it will be exciting to see where Rae places her next !