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.

Double Delight at Nottingham

I'm So Dizzy and Bondi Bay both won their respective races at Nottingham on Saturday evening to give the yard a fabulous double.

The Rainy Day Partnership's two year old Camelot filly out of Whirlygig is from a family Rae knows well as he trained Poet's Dance (out of Whirly Dancer, her second dam) for her breeder Joyce Wallsgrove. This was her third race and she had shown improvement each time finishing third last time out at Ripon. This was a tricky little Novice race on paper with a couple of strongly fancied rivals reflected in I'm So Dizzy's price of 16-1. The filly has plenty of speed and showed this by breaking smartly and racing in second in the early stages. She had several challengers a furlong and a half out but showed good tenacity to fend them off and stayed on well to win by a length.

The Russell familys' homebred Bondi Bay continues to go from strength to strength. This filly is obviously pretty smart and now has back to back wins with this being only her third career start. This was her handicap debut but she took it all in her stride. She has a lovely style of racing and had them all off the bridle well before the furlong marker. With a shake of the reins she was in front and it was all over and she won with plenty in hand by two and a quarter lengths.

Congratulations to both sets of owners, we are delighted for all of you and we would also like to thank Callum Shepherd who piloted both fillies and rode a treble on the night. Well done to Georgia and Pat who led them both up at the races, Georgia is also our apprentice and rides Bondi Bay out. She must be a lucky omen as she has led up our last three winners ! Good job all round team !

First win for Daytona Beach

Rae and Rachel's Daytona Beach gained her first win yesterday in a Mares' National Hunt Flat race at Worcester.

On first glance at her pedigree you would be forgiven for thinking that Worcester would be an unlikely hunting ground and should read Ascot or Newmarket, as this filly is bred in the purple to race on the flat. This daughter of super sire Dubawi is out of the Listed winning mare Dalkova, herself by Coolmore legend Galileo. Previously trained by Simon and Ed Crisford (unraced) she was spotted by an eagle eyed Rachel at the December Mares Sale last year and was duly purchased. She made her debut in early February in a bumper at Market Rasen where she finished a creditable fifth behind the eventual winner of the mares' bumper at this years Grand National festival at Aintree. However she was unable to build on this early promise when she disappointed at Southwell on her next outing which left us scratching our heads. Rae and Rachel decided to turn her away for a break and this has paid dividends as she appears to have benefited from her holiday.

A suitable race was found to start her off again in the shape of a mares' bumper at Worcester. Brian Hughes rang up for the ride so had obviously been impressed when he rode her at Market Rasen and thankfully this time she was able to show what she was capable of. Hunted in behind for most of the race she travelled well but rounding the final turn she was caught a bit flat footed and three furlongs out her jockey had to keep her up to her work but she stayed on strongly to win by an impressive six lengths.

Congratulations to Rae and Rachel for this win and let's hope Daytona Beach continues to progress. We would also like to say well done to Georgia Lea for turning her out so beautifully and taking home the best turned out prize.

War Chant's winning streak continues

Vicky Markowiak's progressive War Chant completed a hatrick of wins last night at Bath when taking the mile handicap in some style.

This is War Chant's third win this month and he seems to be thoroughly enjoying his racing and improving with each run. Now rated 68 he was put up 4lbs by the handicapper from his win at Wetherby a fortnight earlier and looks like he still has more improvement to come. He showed his increasing versatility as these last three wins have come at three different tracks in the shape of Nottingham, Wetherby and now Bath.

Connor Planas took 5lbs off his back which helped make his task easier and he went to post the well backed 9-4 favourite (incidentally Connor is the grandson of Rae's cousin !). Drawn from stall 6 he broke swiftly and contested the lead with Natzor early on before settling into second place. He travelled sweetly on the outside before they quickened up the hill and soon asserted a furlong and a half out, despite drifting left under pressure he did not cause any interference as he had the race won.

Vicky is understandably ecstatic with this latest victory and this is her first hatrick of wins as an owner. We are so pleased for her and for War Chant who will soon be vying with Aramis Grey for the title of stable star if he continues in this rich vein of form !