Yorkshire Racing & Breeding News
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20/12/1999 A press release received today from Ferdy Murphy's Wynbury Stables, Middleham:

"Racehorse Trainer Ferdy Murphy has joined the 'Internet Revolution' by launching his own Web Site. Ferdy has always been a forward-thinking trainer and realises the benefits of having a presence on the World Wide Web. The Ferdy Murphy Racing Web Site contains background information on the trainer, Wynbury Stables and the 'backroom staff' who help make Ferdy Murphy Racing one of the most successful training operations in the country. Links to other horseracing-related sites are also included. Everyone with even the slightest of interests in horseracing and those thinking of developing an interest should visit Www.ferdymurphyracing.com "

12/12/1999 Depsite being amongst the favourites, David Nicholl's duo of Proud Native and Rudi's Pet made little impact in the Hong Kong Sprint L at Sha Tin in the early hours of this morning. The Thirsk trainer was confident of a good show, but it was not to be, although Rudi's Pet picks up 8,223 for finishing in 6th place.
11/12/1999 It looks unlikely that Fruits of Love, handled by Middleham trainer Mark Johnston, will participate in the Hong Kong Vase G2 at Sha Tin following a scan which revealed a medical suspensory ligament in his left-fore. Although not too serious an injury it seems likely that the four year old will be withdrawn.
04/12/1999 Takhlid, trained at Stillington by David Chapman wins his eleventh race of the season at Wolverhampton, an incredible record for this eight year old entire, who has gained all his victories this year on the all-weather.
28/11/1999 In the early hours of this morning Fruits of Love, ridden by Michael Roberts and trained in Middleham by Mark Johnston, was a disappointing 9th in the Japan Cup.
27/11/1999 Data Star, trained in Malton by Malcolm Jefferson, won the Grade A 'Fightring Fifth' Hurdle (worth 22,025) at Newcastle for the second year in a row on his seasonal debut.
26/11/1999 Following yet another win (his 6th consecutive) at Southwell on the 22nd, Mark Johnston's Virgin Soldier was finally beaten when 2nd under apprentice P.Dobbs in the last race at Lingfield today.
17/11/1999 Mark Johnston's Virgin Soldier won an incredible 5th consecutive race in only 3 weeks with his new trainer when wnning on the all weather at Wolverhampton.
15/11/1999 Micky Hammond (and wife Alexandra who presents for the Racing Channel) are moving to Oakwood Stables, Middleham, from their previous base at Tupgill Park Stables at Coverham. This modern yard with 45 boxes was purchased after Ferdy Murphy moved up the dale to West Witton and now leaves an empty stable in the famous Tupgill Park Estate.
07/11/1999 Mark Johnston's Spirit of Love (of whom so much was expected in some quarters earlier in the season) gained his first win of the season in the Buchmacher Kottkamp Silbernes Band der Ruhr L at Mulheim under Joe Fanning.
06/11/1999 An excellent final day to the Flat (turf) season at Doncaster for the Yorkshire yards. In the feature race of the day Flossy (trained at Middleham by Chris Thornton and bred at the Copgrove Stud by owner Guy Reed) won the Tote Scoop6 November Handicap - her sixth win of the season. Under a good ride from Tony Beech she swerved in the final two furlongs but kept the race in the stewards room to take her winnings to over 50,000. This is the second time this team have won this top handicap as they previously triumphed with Path of Peace. Flossy also won the Channel Four Trophy for the most wins in the season.
06/11/1999 In the next race, the last turf race of the season, Tim Easterby's game filly Pipalong finally got her head in front in a listed race when she won the Wentworth Stakes L. Previously winner of valuable handicaps and twice placed second in listed company this valuable win will have increased her stud prospects.
05/11/1999 The whole racing world was shocked to learn of the death of French Holly. Ferdy Murphy's star was killed in a schooling accident on Middleham's famous High Moor. It initially looked like a simple fall but his head became trapped and he broke his neck. Fellow trainer (and qualified vet) Mark Johnston was close by and rushed to the scene, but pronounced the horse dead. In all French Holly won 237,000 including victories in the Pertemps Christmas Hurdle, the Sun Alliance Novice's Hurdle and the Prix La Barka. Had it not been for the presence of Istabraq he would have been champion hurdler for the last two seasons. Earlier this week he had made a winning debut over 'proper' fences with a facile win at Wetherby and great things were expected of him in the leading chases this season.
02/11/1999 Yavana's Pace, ridden by Richard Hughes, was dissapointing in the Melbourne Cup won by Rogan Josh. Trainer Mark Johnston is now questioning the wisdom of sending a horse to the otherside of the world for what is 'only a handicap' (but don't tell the Aussies!). He says that the 50,000 cost of getting to the race is too much. This follows unsuccessful attempts by the trainer with Quick Ransom and Double Trigger. There was some small compenstation at far-away Musselburgh the following day when Yavana's Pace's full sister Littlepacepaddocks was successful in her debut over a mile.
01/11/1999 Fame at last!! This site is featured in a very complimentary article in Pacemaker Magazine, including screen cap of the home page. Unfortunately however the article is extremely mis-leading. The author (Justyn Christer) seems to think that the various studs featured on these pages have paid for the privilege. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact I'm sure most of the stud's on these pages don't even know it exists (until they read the article in Packemaker perhaps!!). The reason I do it is that I'm either sad or mad - take your pick - however no money changes hands. Still if someone wants to slip me a few quid............?!! However I would like to do anything I can to help raise the profile of Yorkshire racing and breeding, so if you have any information/ideas to that end please let me know.
30/10/1999 Tayseer, under a confident ride from Darryl Holland won the 22,900 Autumn Handicap at Newmarket for trainer David Nicholls. This was only Tayseer's second run for his new handler, who has developed a fine reputation for re-vitalising 'tired' horses.
23/10/1999 Louve, raised at Copgrove Stud for Mr.Daniel Wildenstein won the Prix de Flore G3 at Saint-Cloud . Following a winning debut in April her previous best effort was fourth in the Prix de Diane G1 and she may now go for the Breeders Cup Fillies & Mares Turf G1.
23/10/1999 Peter Calver's last runner was, appropriately, old stable stalwart Perryston View. Even more appropriately he managed to win the 10,412 Doncaster Writer's Handicap! Perryston View has now won over 140,000 and it will be interesting to see how this seven-year-old gelding does for his next trainer. Such is Calver's affection for the old horse he has even named his new house 'Perryston' !! Earlier at Doncaster Dancing Phantom, trained by Mick Easterby won the 11,000 Ladbroke Showcase Handicap, whilst at Newbury Mark Johnston's Awake (owned and bred by Lord Hartington) won the valuable Dick Dawson Nursery Handicap.
22/10/1999 Despite there still being seven Yorkshire racedays left, Kevin Darley has won the 'Cock of the North' Jockeys award for the fourth time in five years. Sponsored by Waterford Crystal this award honours the most successful jockey at the eight Yorkshire tracks and Darley has won 61 races so far this season, compared to 34 for Tony Culhane and 33 for Kieren Fallon. Also today it was announced that Dean Mernagh (based with Warthill trainer Mel Brittain) had won won the Cocked Hat Foods Apprentice of the Month award, having gained three winners including Brittain's Grey Kingdom in the Ladbroke Silver Cup at Ayr.
22/10/1999 There was a Yorkshire one-two all the way down at Newbury when Superior Premium (trained by Richard Fahey) just got a neck in front of Gaelic Storm (trained by Mark Johnston) in the Gardner Merchant Rated Showcase Handicap. Gaelic Storm won this race last year and both horses are seasoned overseas campaigners. Superior Premium (who Fahey picked up for 2,600gns as a yearling) has now won over 170,000.
20/10/1999 For the sixth season in succession Mark Johnston has notched up a century of winners, following Kayo's third win from four runs for his new stable. The horse was previously with Tim Etherington who also did well with him earlier on, although his performances have faded recently. Bobby Elliot, former jockey and now Johnston's assistant said the horse had been suffering from the virus whilst with Etherington. As well as the hundred domestic winners the Johnston team have also won six races overseas. Hopefully they will reach the 1m prize-money barrier and a group one win with Fruits of Love in the Japan Cup. The trainers table currently shows two tightly grouped sets of Yorkshire trainers with Johnston (941,908), Tim Easterby (673,811) and David Nicholls (631,627) all near the top and a further group of Yorkshire trainers a bit further down with Richard Fahey (223,754), Mick Easterby (219,590) and Les Eyre (216,708) all adjacent to each other. Johnston is ahead of such prominent trainers as Ian Balding, Luca Cumani, Paul Cole, Clive Brittain and Sir Mark Prescott.
18/10/1999 Agnes Hall (widow of trainer Tom Hall and mother of trainer Sally Hall) died at the weekend at the age of 95. Based at her daughter's Brecongill Stables she was a successful owner-breeder in her own right, having bred over 100 winners, with her most recent major success being Lord Lamb who was sold for 125,000gns (a record for a bumper) at Doncaster three years ago.
18/10/1999 Northern based jockey Fergal Lynch will be heading off for South Africa in November until Christmas. He will be based at trainer Joey Ramsden's (son of Jack and Lynda Ramsden) stable's in Cape Town. Lynch is currently working as a freelance and has ridden 34 winners to date this season, having set himself a target of 30 at the start of the season. He is currently dating leading amateur jockey Emma Ramsden, sister of Joey.
17/10/1999 The best Yorkshire results of the season so far was, strangely, a second place and also a touch dissapointing! Fruits of Love picked up 117,118 in the Canadian International G1 for trainer Mark Johnston after finishing second to the locally trained outsider Thornfield. Johnston felt that Fruits of Love was in good form, but that he wasn't in a winning position heading for home, the pace wasn't fast enough and the ground a touch on the soft side. Fruits of Love, who started favourite, now heads for the Japan Cup G1.
16/10/1999 A dissapointing 'Champions Day' at Newmarket for the Yorkshire trainers with Sugarfoot (he thankfully stays in training next year) coming fifth in the Challenge S G2 and the Johnston trio not troubling the judges in the Cesarewitch Handicap. However Mark Johnston did win the last race of the meeting with Kayo, a former Tim Etherington charge, in the NGK Spark Plugs Handicap over seven furlongs. All fingers crossed for Fruits of Love tomorrow night!
16/10/1999 A fairly good Tattersalls October Yearling Sales at Newmarket for the Yorkshire studs, with pride of place going to Garrowby Stud's son of Shirley Heights and Hocus (sent up from Side Hill Stud) who fetched 92,000gns to Charles O'Brien.
15/10/1999 Gaelic Storm (trained at Middleham by Mark Johnston) gets the better of Pipalong (trained nr.Malton by Tim Easterby) in the Bentinck Stakes L at Newmarket's Cesarewitch meeting.
15/10/1999 Ask Tom, formerly trained by Tom Tate at Tadcaster has been put down. He was one of the best two mile chasers in the UK for the past 2 seasons, but was retired in March after finishing lame at Cheltenham. He finished second in the 1997 Champion Chase at Cheltenham and had earlier won the Tingle Creek Chase and Victor Chandler Chase for his former trainer.
11/10/1999 "It was be a misprint, I'm supposed to be a turf trainer" - former Yorkshire trainer Michael Dickinson after winning $450,000 in 2 dirt races in the States over the weekend!
10/10/1999 The Mark Johnston winter overseas assault is undergoing it's final preparations with Yavana's Pace destined for the Melbourne Cup and Fruits of Love aiming for the Canadian International a week today, probably with the Japan Cup to follow up.
10/10/1999 River Keen, sired by Beechwood Grange resident Keen, won $600,000 in the Jockey Club Gold Cup S G1 at Belmont Park, where he finished over 3 lengths ahead of Behrens in soft going.
09/10/1999 After a relatively poor final York meeting for the Yorkshire trainers the Easterby family made amends today. Tim Easterby won the Autumn Stakes L at Ascot with French Fellow who has progressed through the ranks from nursery's, and just managed to hold on by a head in the dying strides under a forceful Pat Eddery. Easterby had another good two year old running at York when Bally Pride made up for some recent dissapointments with a fine second in the Rockingham Stakes L. Meanwhile, back at Ascot, Easterby's brother-in-law, Richard Fahey, won the 18,481 Kleenex Handicap with the consistent Superior Premium who cost 2,800 gns as a yearling and has now won over 150,000 in his three seasons of racing.
03/10/1999 The ultra game and consistent Sugarfoot just missed out on giving trainer Nigel Tinkler the biggest success of his training career to date when he finished a fast closing second in the Prix du Rond-Point G2 at Longchamp, the race after the Arc. There was little in it at the finish, with Sugarfoot under Pat Eddery closing in on Trans Island all the way to the line, but in the end the winning post came ten yards and a nod of the head too soon. However it was still an excellent result and it is to be hoped that we see Sugarfoot again this season, possibly in a rematch with the winner in the Celebration Stakes. In fact it occurs to me that he'd be exactly the sort of horse to do well in the Hong Kong International Bowl over seven furlongs, which Mark Johnston's Marina Park was second in six years ago.
02/10/1999 In winning the Roulette Claiming Stakes over 7 furlongs at Wolverhampton the David Chapman trained Takhlid took his number of wins for the season to an amazing nine from sixteen runs. All his victories have come on the all-weather, and the last six have all been in claimers.
30/09/1999 On the final day of an astounding Tattersalls Houghton Sales the best priced yearling sent from Yorkshire was the 100,000gns achieved for Dr.Anne Gillespie's bay colt by Be My Chief - Oh So Well (Sadler's Wells). Sent up from the Manor House Stud this February colt is a half brother to Dark Moondancer (Prix Ganey G1, GP di Milano G1, Prix d'Harcourt G2) and a full brother to Dances With Dreams (listed placed winner).
27/09/1999 Yorkshire or, to be precise, Middleham, scored a 1-2-3 in one of the richest races of the year at Hamilton Park - the Tote Hamilton Park 2-Y-O Nursery Handicap Final. The winner, picking up 10,699, was the Mark Johnston trained Golden Miracle, the same trainer produced second placed Glenwhargen, and third was Chris Thornton trained Papagena.
18/09/1999 The result of the day from a Yorkshire perspective was undoubtably the performance of Yavana's Pace at the Curragh. This seven year old gelding, trained at Middleham by Mark Johnston was a game second in the Irish St.Leger G1, the final classic of the season. Ridden by Joe Fanning he hung badly in the straight, but was never going to catch Godolphin's Champion Stayer elect (and winner of this contest last year) Kayf Tara. He did however finish well ahead of good horses such as Silver Patriarch, Enzeli and Genghis Khan.
18/09/1999 Meanwhile at Newbury the Mark Johnston team (Mr.Johnston is currently attending the September Sales at Keeneland) had further reason to celebrate when David Abell's horse Alberich (ridden for the first time by Royston Ffrench) won 18,400 in the Autumn Handicap. This was his first victory of the season, although last year he was successful in the valuable Garrowby Handicap at York.
18/09/1999 It has been a good, if unspectacular, Ayr Western meeting for the Yorkshire stables and this was continued in the final day. The feature race of the meeting, the Ayr Gold Cup, fell to the southern trained Grangeville, although David Nicholl's Royal Result picked up nearly 10,000 for finishing third. Earlier the Mel Brittain owned, trained and bred Grey Kingdom picked up 12,428 for winning the Ayr Silver Cup, a consolation race for those eliminated from the Gold Cup. Grey Kingdom was bred at Brittain's Northgate Lodge Stud and is by the resident stallion, also formerly trained by Brittain, Grey Desire. After the Gold Cup, Tayseer, having his first run (he was claimed for only 10,000 seventeen days ago!) for David Nicholl's, won the 20,340 Ayrshire Handicap. Unfortunately Flossy (see 3/9) was unplaced in the last race of the meeting, but is hopefully still on course for the November Handicap, as both the going and distance were probably not to her liking today.
18/09/1999 River Keen, sired by Beechwood Grange resident Keen, won $500,000 in the Woodward S G1 at Belmont Park.
13/09/1999 Yorkshire trainer Peter Calver, based near Ripon, who is handing in his licence at the end of October, is to become the British Bloodstock Agency's (BBA) Northern representative. He is also taking up a new position as roving Northern ambassador for the National Trainers' Federation (NTF). He will however step down as Chairman of the Northern Racing College (to be replaced by fellow trainer Tim Etherington), but will remain the NTF's nominee on the board. Mr.Calver (who is a qualified vet) will continue to act as the Racehorse Owners Association's veterinary adviser. A highly respected figure in racing Mr.Calver has been an advisor at the sales for a number of people in the past, most notably Robert Sangster.
13/09/1999 Leading NH owner, Robert Ogden, based at Sicklinghall, Nr.Wetherby, has announced that he will have no retained jockey in the forecoming jumps season. The previous encumbent, former champion jockey Richard Dunwoody, ceased to be Mr.Ogden's retained jockey in June of this year, by mutual agreement.
12/09/1999 A mixed day at Taby, Sweden. David Nicholls' flying machine Proud Native, ridden by his wife Alex Greaves put up a strong performance to win the 31,000 Taby Open Sprint G3 to add to his victory in the Ballyogan Stakes G3 earlier in the season. Mark Johnston's Swedish runners fared less well with both Royal Rebel and Acicula finishing well out of the action in their respective races.
11/09/1999 An exciting day's racing at Doncaster, but again little show from Yorkshire horses at the St.Leger meeting, the best perfromance again being a Mark Johnston runner coming second in a valuable handicap - this time Robin Lane in the Ladbrokes Showcase H. There were four good Yorkshire trained horses in the Flying Childers Stakes G2, but all dissappointed, with Fez the best performer in fourth place. There was better news from Goodwood where Brecongill Lad trained nr.Thirsk by David Nicholls won the 15,000 London Metro Handicap - his fourth win in five starts since joining Nicholl's. In addition Mark Johnston's admirable stayer Star Rage, now aged nine, won his fourth race of the season - the 7,200 Highland Spring Handicap, under his former regular partner Jason Weaver. Hopefully some good news from Sweden tomorrow.............?
10/09/1999 A dissapointing day in the big races at Doncaster today with the best Yorkshire performance being Mardani, trained at Middleham by Mark Johnston, coming 2nd in the 20,000 Mallard Showcase Handicap. The same trainers Dramatic Quest was disappointing in the Champagne Stakes G2.
09/09/1999 A much better day at Doncaster was kicked of by a victory for the Tim Easterby trained Flanders in the Scarbrough S L. This win by a short head confirmed the promise she had shown earlier in the season when second in the King's Stand S G2 at Royal Ascot. Flanders also won the 68,000 Weatherby's Super Sprint last year. Easterby followed up with a victory for the well backed French Fellow in the valuable nursery later in the day.
09/09/1999 Better was to come as the second race, the GNER Park S G3 was won, in a photo finish, by the admirable Sugarfoot, trained by Nigel Tinkler at Malton. This was Tinkler's well deserved first group win, and it is to be hoped that Sugarfoot, a son of Thatching, has now done enough to earn a place at stud.
08/09/1999 A fairly disappointing opening day to the St.Leger meeting at Doncaster, there were no Yorkshire trained winners. However Astonished (Weldnaas - Indigo by Primo Dominie) won the 22,000 Portland Handicap. Astonished was bred by his owner Mr.David Brotherton at his home at Whitwell- On-The-Hill, near York and was formerley trained by Thirsk handler Lynda Ramsden before she handing in her license at the end of last year. Now trained in France by John Hammond he won a race at Deauville last time out. Astonished will be based with Richard Fahey for the next week before heading to Scotland for the Ayr Gold Cup. Indigo has a remarkable record having already produced Bishops Court (Prix de Petit Couvert G3, Rous S L, Vodafone Dash L), Surprise Mission (Hill Dickinson Rated Hcap) and Surprised (winner this year for Richard Fahey) for the same owner, these are the first four foals from this mare.
04/09/1999 Yavana's Pace, trained at Middleham by Mark Johnston wins the September S G3 over the Derby course and distance at Epsom. This seven year old, with Joe Fanning up, battled down the straight in his usual determined fashion and just held off the hot favourite, the HM Queen's Blueprint. This is the stables third group win of the season so far following Fruits of Love in the Hardwicke S G2 at Royal Ascot and White Heart in the Oettingen-Rennen G3 at Baden-Baden only four days prior to this Epsom victory. Yavana's Pace now goes for the Irish St Leger G1.
03/09/1999 Ernie Weymes is set to retire in February 2000. One of Britain's longest serving trainers he has been based at Ashgill, Middleham since 1958 (when he became the youngest trainer in the country), following the untimely death of his father, Jack Weymes. He will be succeeded by his son, 29 year old John. Ernie Weymes has trained over 550 winners in his long career, but the stable is down to 11 horses and John hopes to attract younger owners into the yard, which has 23 boxes.
03/09/1999 Flossy, trained at Spigot Lodge, Middleham by Chris Thornton and homebred by Guy Reed at his Copgrove Hall Stud won the 7685 Scoop6 Showcase Handicap at Haydock, her fifth win of the season. Unraced at 2 this daughter of Efisio will now be aimed at the valuable November Handicap, previously won by the same owner/trainer combination in 1980 with Path of Peace.

2024 ~2023 ~ 2022 ~ 2021 ~ 2020 ~ 2019 ~ 2018 ~ 2017 ~ 2016 ~ 2015 ~ 2014 ~ 2013 ~ 2012
2011 ~2010 ~ 2009 ~ 2008 ~ 2007 ~ 2006 ~ 2005 ~ 2004 ~ 2003 ~ 2002 ~ 2001 ~ 2000 ~ 1999

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Copyright 1999 Stephen George-Powell

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