The Henry Cecil Open Weekend

Well, The Henry Cecil Open Weekend is over for another year and what a lot of fun we had !

We kicked off on Saturday afternoon with the Newmarket Hack Class and the girls did us proud. In the non thoroughbred class Anna and Hugo came first and MJ and Frank came second. Both of the girls rode well and we are very proud of them. Special thanks to MJ who turned both horses out beautifully and her pristine plaits were commented on by judge Chris Wall. Sunday morning we opened the yard and had a steady stream of visitors all morning long. We are grateful to all who made the effort to visit us and it was especially nice to hear people say how impressed they were by our staff's knowledge and love of their horses and what a friendly yard we are. In the afternoon we headed off to the Severals for the team mounted games competition in which we certainly need more practice in ! However, our riders were up for the challenge and it provided much hilarity !

Another success which we are claiming is in the dog show in which our owner Andy Muddyman had an entry. His stunning rhodesian ridgeback, Newton, won the Most Handsome Dog Class, so well done Andy !

We would like to thank everybody who supported us this weekend both at home and at the competitions, including several of our owners. Thank you to those members of our staff who worked extra hard to make this weekend possible and a special thanks to our assistant trainer, Dan O'Neill who has gone above and beyond the last few days with the preparations, his many duties even included ironing ! 

One of our favourite moments was when the picture on the right was taken, the little boy on the right in the green sweater actually thought Hugo was a real life unicorn !

Fabulous Fauvette wins on the turf

Fauvette gained her first win on turf yesterday afternoon in the first race at Yarmouth.

This lightly raced four year old had won last year on the all weather, but improved on her fourth placed finish at Newmarket last time out to win in some style. Owned by Rae and Rachel, this daughter of Dark Angel is a big eye catching filly. She is a Shadwell homebred and Rachel bought her unraced out of last years July Sale. For a four year old she is lightly raced having only had seven outings but she has never been out of the placings.

She headed to Yarmouth yesterday for this six furlong Fillies' Handicap and went off 15/8 favourite under William Buick. She raced towards the rear of the nine runners during the early part of the race where they came up the middle of the track, two furlongs from home she was switched out to get daylight and started to make progress. Under a strong drive from Buick she pulled away to win by a convincing two lengths.

There is obviously more to come from this progressive filly and we look forward to her next run. Rachel rides her out on a daily basis and Fauvette is the apple of her eye ! Rachel's rather excited interview after the race made for some great viewing !

Aramis Grey claims third win

On Saturday evening The Musketeers syndicate enjoyed a third win of the season from their tough filly Aramis Grey.

This was her eighth run of the campaign and her record boasts three wins, four seconds and a fourth place finish. This is a filly who absolutely thrives on her racing and her owners are delighted with her progress. She is an ideal horse for a syndicate as she runs regularly and never disappoints. This most recent success at Lingfield followed up her two previous wins at Kempton and Chelmsford, and similarly was also on the all weather which she seems to enjoy.

The Peter Crane Memorial Fillies' Handicap attracted a small field of only five runners but all came with a decent level of form and therefore it proved a competitive race run just over 6f. Breaking from stall 4 she raced at the rear of the field during the early part of the race and as they turned into the straight she travelled ominously on the inside behind the three in front of her. Jockey Callum Shepherd was hoping to angle out to move alongside the two horses on the rail but the Godolphin runner Tomouh moved up to close the gap and he found himself having to come around the outside to make his run. Aramis Grey rallied well and came storming down the outside to beat the Godolphin trained Tomouh by a neck.

It was an exciting finish and we are sure there was a great deal of noise from the Musketeers as they roared her home ! 


We received a lovely write up from City Saddles after they visited us in July.

Land of Winter gets off the mark

Land of Winter improved on his third place finish at Beverley last month by winning the 2 mile handicap at Ripon last night.

This five year old son of Epsom Derby winner Camelot is out of the winning mare Gaselee, who Rae also trained. She was also placed in Listed company and is from the Niarchos family of Group 1 winners Hernando and Johann Quatz.

It was a struggle to find Land of Winter's favoured soft ground at this time of year and so he headed off to Ripon where the ground was at least good. Ridden by David Allan he was drawn widest of the seven runners and was ridden strongly from the gates to get across to the rail. He led throughout and was headed by Nakeeta a furlong out but battled back and finished strongly to win by half a length.

Congratulations to Paul Smith and Rae who share joint ownership of him and thank you to David Allan for a great ride. Not forgetting a well done to David Brooks who looks after him at home. Land of Winter also holds an entry in the Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket in October so Rae has his eyes on a bigger prize further down the line !