Yorkshire Racing & Breeding News
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31/12/2002 Yorkshire jockey George Duffield has been awarded the MBE in the New Years Honours List.Duffield, at 56 the oldest jockey still riding, is married to Yorkshire trainer Ann Duffield and has ridden 2,394 winners so far.
Lord Allendale, who had a number of good horses with the Elsey family at Malton has died aged 80. His best horses were Tenterhooks (Charles Elsey) who won the Ascot Gold Vase and Goodwood Cup in 1957 and Alignment (Bill Elsey) who won the 1968 Ebor Handicap and was fourth in the St.Leger in the same year.
Ferdy Murphy won the big race of the day, the 15,877 Racecourse Of The Year Handicap Chase at Cheltenham with Historg.
28/12/2002 Another good day for Sue Smith when Tonoco wins the Last Fling Chase at Haydock. On a less happy note it was reported today that promising apprentice Phil Greally, 20, died in hospital yesterday following a freak accident in a paddock at Mick Easterby's Sheriff Hutton yard on Saturday.
26/12/2002 Only the mighty Nicky Henderson yard could prevent Yorkshire trainers claiming a clean sweep at the Boxing Day meeting at Wetherby, traditionally one of the best attended meetings of the season. Brian Rothwell, George Moore and Mick Easterby all had winners, but it was Sue Smith who took the honours, with a double that included Goguenard in the 15,099 Freephone Betting From Sky Bet Handicap Chase, who won by 28 and 13 lengths!
16/12/2002 Following the recent announcement (see 14/11/2002) that Elmaamul will stand at Beechwood Grange Stud next season, the stud received a further boost today when it was announced that the 1998 German Derby winner Robertico will stand as a National Hunt sire next season. This son of Robellino has most recently being successfully competing over fences in France, and will stand at a fee of 1,750.
15/12/2002 If you watched 'Heartbeat' on ITV this evening and were wondering which stables were used for the racing storyline - the answer is the filming took place at Sally Hall's Brecongill yard just outside Middleham.
15/12/2002 Not a good day in Hong Kong for the Yorkshire trainers with both Dandy Nicholls' Continent and Mark Johnston's Gateman finishing last in their respective races.
14/12/2002 Yorkshire runners over jumps did well today at both Haydock and Doncaster. Pride of place must go to the Sue Smith trained Nickel Sun who won the 16,835 Tote Placepot Handicap Hurdle at Haydock. Later on the same card the Peter Beaumont trained Bobby Grant put up his usual strong performance to be second in the Tommy Whittle Chase, and in the next race the George Moore trained Sir Storm was a decent third in the Philip Leverhulme Memorial Novices' Chase. Meanwhile down at Doncaster Tom Tate had a good result with the six-year-old Europa winning the 8,096 Vulrory's Clown Handicap Chase.
13/12/2002 Friday the Thirteenth turns up lucky for Ferdy Murphy when The Quads puts up a brave performance to win the 13,589 Sporting Index Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham. Ballinclay King almost makes it a red letter day for the Middleham trainer when he is third in the Lombard Properties Handicap Chase, later on the same card.
07/12/2002 A good day at Wetherby for Tim Easterby today when he has a 1-2 in the 10,907 Cumbrian Challenge Handicap Chase with Gun'N Roses II coming home ahead of stablemate Monarch's Pursuit. Victory was all the more sweet as Cumbrian Challenge was trained by Tim's father Peter Easterby. This was only Gun'N Roses second run for Easterby, and good things are expected of him for the forthcoming season.
06/12/2002 The Thoroughbred Breeders Association annual awards for 2002 sees a victory for Yorkshire with Sir Neil and Lady Westbrook winning the TBA Flat Breeder of the Year Award. This was mainly due to the success of St.Leger winner Bollin Eric, who was bred and raised at the Easterby's Easthorpe Hall Stud.
05/12/2002 The final day of Tattersalls December Sales and one of the highest prices of the day was achieved by Oaks Farm Stables for the former John Quiin trained Tara's Girl who, in foal to Pivotal for the second year, fetched 40,000gns.
03/12/2002 A terrible day for Richard Whitaker today when it was announced that his stable star, Captain Rio, is to be moved to fellow Yorkshire trainer David Nicholls for next season. Steven Parkin, who bought the colt in July, expressed his thanks to Whitaker and his team, but expressed the believe that the colt's prospects, which are excellent, whould be better served in the Nicholls' yard.
02/12/2002 The opening day of the 'Mares etc' section of the December Sales sees good results for the Burton Agnes Stud, when they sell lots for 115,000gns, 16,000gns, 58,000gns and 50,000gns. The highest price was paid for Bolsena, a four-year-old daughter of Red Ransom and Waya who is in foal to Anabaa.
30/11/2002 From a Yorkshire perspective today the racing was nearly as bad as the weather, with Hussard Collonges' brave attempt to make all in the Hennessy eventually coming to nothing, despite him being right up the front at the last fence. The best results of the day came at Haydock with the George Moore trained Sir Storm coming second in a weak renewal of the One Man Novices' Chase, and the Sue Smith trained Lisdante a creditable third in the Tim Molony Memorial Chase.
29/11/2002 The Theakston Stud was the only Yorkshire based vendor at Newmarket today, but they had good results in the ring with a daughter of Dansili fetching 30,000gns and a daughter of Singspiel 26,000gns.
28/11/2002 A spectacular day for the Yorkshire studs at Newmarket today. The highest price of the day (from anywhere!) is achieved by the Tibthorpe Stud for their daughter of Pivotal, who fetched 75,000gns to the bid of Cheveley Park Stud, which is the home of the sire. The foal was bought in utero for a mere 16,000gns at this sale last year. Also having a good day was the Foston Stud who sold a son of Diktat and Saphire for 45,000gns and a son of Kabool and Valleyrose for 30,000gns. This last foal was the result of yet another shrewd in utero purchase, as the mare was bought by Charlie Booth and his partners for a mere 12,000gns last year. Not to be out done fellow trainer Richard Whitaker's Hellwood Stud, which has enjoyed outstanding commercial success in the last few years, sold consecutive lots for 36,000gns, 32,000gns and 20,000gns.
27/11/2002 Opening day of the foal session at Tattersalls and the highest price of the day for a Yorkshire stud is achieved by Providence Stud, who's son of Mujahid and Stolen Melody fetches 11,000gns to the bid of Catridge Farm Stud, no doubt to be re-offered next year. 'Almost in Yorkshire' stud Hedgeholme Stud also had a good day, selling a son of Compton Place for 20,000gns. Yorkshire was also on target on the track as the Jimmy Fitzgerald trained Star Jack won the 10,917 Convergent Telecom Handicap Chase at Wetherby, with the Tim Easterby duo of Turgeonev and Monarch's Pursuit filling the minor placings. This was a poignant victory as yesterday saw the funeral of Jimmy's wife Jane, who died on Friday at the age of 54 following a long illness.
25/11/2002 Opening day of Tattersalls' marathon December Sales. Today is yearling day and the best price achieved by a Yorkshire vendor is the 35,000gns raised by Oaks Farm Stables for their daughter of Distant View, sold to prominent agents McKeever St. Lawrence.
24/11/2002 A good day for Sue Smith today when Grand National candidate Ardent Scout finally won the Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree, having been placed in the last two years in the 37,700 race. This is one of Smith's biggest wins and Ardent Scout is now firmly on track for the National.
22/11/2002 Mel Brittain's best ever horse, the 'tough as teak' Grey Desire has died following a heart attack on Tuesday. He was twenty-two years of age and was due to cover a handful of mares next season at the Northgate Lodge Stud, where he has been standing since his retirement from the track. Grey Desire won the Duke of York Stakes G3, but probably his best result was second in the July Cup G1. Despite never covering huge books, or many fashionable mares, he still got some good winners at stud including Pride Of Pendle, Heaven-Liegh-Grey and Gold Desire.
20/11/2002 Tom Tate better known as a trainer of durable chasers, had his first 'black type' win on the flat today when Welsh Emperor (owned by longstanding owner Sylvia Clegg) won the Prix Contessina L at Maison-Laffitte by an impressive two lengths. This was the three year olds first attempt at this level, and big things can be expected from him next season.
17/11/2002 A rare Tim Easterby foreign raider pays dividends today when Golden Nun is a decent second in the Premio Ubaldo Pandolfi L at Capannelle under Richard Quinn. Meanwhile at Haydock the Peter Beaumont trained Bobby Grant is third on his seasonal debut (in fact a gap of almost a year since his last run) in the Edward Hanmer Memorial Chase Gd2.
16/11/2002 I'm sure most Scotsmen were at Murrayfield today, which is probably just as well as a Yorkshire trainer scooped Ayr's big race of the day! The Andy Crook trained Ryalux came home ahead in the 9,360 Ronnie MacPherson Birthday Handicap Chase, with Ferdy Murphy's quirky charge Ballinclay King back in third.
15/11/2002 The first day of the Cheltenham meeting sees the Ferdy Murphy trained The Quads come home a decent second in the Sporting Index Cross-Country Chase over 'proper' fences. This was a good effort, given that he probably didn't quite stay the nearly 4 mile trip.
14/11/2002 The Yorkshire breeding industry recieved a major boost today when it was announced that Sheikh Hamdan Al-Maktoum's Shadwell Estate Company will be repatriating Elmaamul from Italy to stand at the Beechwood Grange Stud near York. This game 15 year old son of Diesis has a good record at stud having already sired 10 stakes winners and is sure to be well supported by Yorkshire breeders. Amongst his good performers are Muhtathir (Premio Vittorio di Capua G1, Prix Jacques le Marois G1, Celebration Mile G2, 2nd.French 2000 Guineas G1), Dankeston (Budapest Pokal G3) and Mac Black. The main reason for this decision appears to have been the success of his juveniles Lateen Sails (impressive Newmarket maiden winner) and Salcombe (2nd.Acomb S L, 4th.Champagne S G2) in 2002. Elmaamul will stand at a fee of 2,000 in 2003.
10/11/2002 The end of the 'proper' flat season see's an appropriate 755-1 treble for Mark Johnston, the highlight of which was the victory of Knavesmire Omen in the 17,761 Saffie Joseph & Sons Handicap. The other two winners were in the opening two races and included Marina Park's daughter Marinas Charm, getting her first win on her third attempt. Both these opening Johnston winners were at the expense of Tim Easterby, and he also had to contend with the runner-up slot in the big race of the day with Bollin Nellie filing that position in the November Handicap. The season ends with Johnston in third place in the trainers championship with 131 winners and well over 2 million in win and place prize money, with Tim Easterby and David Nicholls also high up the ranks. Paul Hanagan, who is attached to Richard Fahey's yard, is champion apprentice. There were five group one wins for Yorkshire trainers with Royal Rebel, Yavana's Pace, Continent (2 wins) and Bollin Eric providing the big race wins, this is the largest group one haul in one season for Yorkshire trainers since the introduction of the pattern system, and shows that Yorkshire racing is still on the rise, with the 'defection' of Bryan Smart further strengthening the ranks for next season.
02/11/2002 The flat season is slowly drawing to a close and the big meeting of the day today was at Wetherby. Sue Smith had yet another good win when Goguenard won the 11,190 Rocom Handicap Chase, with Tim Easterby's Turgeonev back in third. The next race was the Wensleydale Novices' Hurle L and Tim Easterby had the second placed Tunstall, having only his second run over hurdles. In the big race of the day, the Charlie Hall Chase G2 Peter Beaumont's promising Hussard Collonges put up a good jumping performance to finish second to Marlborough, owned by Sir Robert Ogden, who only lives just down the road at Sicklinghall. Another Yorkshire owner,Guy Reed, had to travel slightly further to see his Pablo win the big race at Newmarket this afternoon, the 17,400 Littlewoods Bet Direct Mile Handicap. Pablo was bred by Reed at his Copgrove Hall Stud, and comes from his very successful Ardneasken family.
01/11/2002 The highest price achieved at the Tattersalls Autumn Yearling Sales today by a Yorkshire stud was the 7,200gns for the Paris House filly sent up from Beechwood Grange Stud, however the filly was 'bought in' by the vendors, Cooper and Holgate.
31/10/2002 Richard Whitaker's Captain Rio starts a hot favourite for the Prix de Seine-Et-Oise G3 at Maisons-Laffitte and he puts up a good show to be beaten only a head by fellow English raider the battle hardened Danetime. Hopefully Captain Rio will have an injury free 2003 and really show us what he is capable of. The highest price achieved at the Tattersalls Autumn Yearling Sales today by a Yorkshire stud was the 22,000gns made by Garrowby Stud's son of Inchinor and Panorama. In addition Musley Bank Stud got 14,000gns for their son of Fraam.
26/10/2002 Not an especially good day on the level for the Yorkshire trainers. However Bryan Smart who is half way through his move from Lambourn to Hambleton House won the last race at Doncaster, a valuable sprint handicap, if we can claim him as a local yet!! Yorkshire trainers fared much better over jumps however as Sue Smith's Lisdante won the 13,617 Jubilee Grandstand Opening Handicap Chase at Carlisle today, the biggest race on the card. Mrs.Smith has made an excellent start to the season, and is still hanging on to third place in the jumps trainers championship. Down at Kempton today Andy Crook had one of the best results of his short training career when stable star Ryalux was a good third in the skybet.com Gold Cup Handicap Chase.
25/10/2002 A good day at Doncaster today for the local trainers, who won three races, including the big race of the day. This was the 20,795 DBS October Yeasrling Stakes and Tim Easterby continued his good run in these valuable two-year-old 'sales' races by getting a one-two with Golden Nun and Cumbrian Venture. Golden Nun is homebred by the Holdcrofts at their Bearstone Stud and Cumbrian Venture's sire, Mind Games, stands at Bearstone Stud ! Meanwhile at Fakenham Malcom Jefferson won the big jumps race of the day when Moss Harvey, making his chasing debut, won the 8,073 Geoff Hubbard Memorial Novices Chase. Meanwhile in the sales ring at Doncaster the best price achieved by a local stud was for 9,200gns paid by Scorton trainer David Barker for a son of Wolfhound sent up from the Burns Farm Stud, to cap a good sale for East Keswick stud.
24/10/2002 Top 'Yorkshire' honours at the Doncaster October Yearling sales today went to Burns Farm Stud who achieved 11,000gns for a son of Pivotal from the family of Lemon Souffle. Evelyn Stud also managed a highish price with a daughter of Groom Dancer making 9,000gns, but this lot was 'bought in'.
23/10/2002 At the Doncaster October Yearling Sales today the top lot was from a Yorkshire stud. Honours went to Hedgeholme Stud for the daughter of Case Law and Bo'Babbity (and thus half sister to Blue Iris, Abbajabba and Peyto Princess) who fetched 20,000gns. Oaks Farm Stables also had a good day, selling a son of Sri Pekan to David Barron for 10,000gns and a son of Kayrawan for 7,600gns.
18/10/2002 No joy at Newmarket today for the Yorkshire runners. However there were a number of locally trained winners at Redcar, of which the Lynda Ramsden trained Favour stuck out. This nice filly by Gothenberg was making her racecourse debut and won by over three lengths from more experienced rivals. The filly is homebred by Ramden's childhood friend Anne Sigsworth, who owns the West Moor Stud, and this is yet another good winner from their mare Prejudice. Possibly flushed by success the Sigsworth's 'bought in' both their lots selling in the evening session at Newmarket! The best price achieved in the ring today by a Yorkshire stud was the 28,000gns for Oaks Farm Stables son of Joyeux Danseur. The same stud got 27,00gns for a son of Pembroke and Bishop Wilton Stud got the same price for a Muhtarram half sister to listed winner Maycocks Bay.
17/10/2002 The first day of the Newmarket Cesarewitch meeting and there is a good Yorkshire bred winner for the Theakston Stud when Salim Toto wins the Severals Stakes L, her first listed win after a number of placings in stakes races and some valuable handicap wins. The trainers also did well with Richard Whitaker's good run continuing with Steel Blue winning the 7,872 Aylesfield Farms Stud Nursery, his stable star Captain Rio will next go for a six furlong Group race in France in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile events in the sales ring did not scale the heights of yesterday, with the best Yorkshire sale being the 40,000gns achieved by Garrowby Stud for it's son of Desert Style out of a half sister to Border Arrow.
16/10/2002 The second day of the marathon October Yearling Sales at Newmarket and the Yorkshire studs achieve some good results in the ring. The best result was achieved by Burton Agnes Stud for lot 433 a daughter of Night Shift, who fetched 140,000gns. Two other Yorkshire lots reached 100,000gns - Bolton Grange's Daggers Drawn half sister to Wunders Dream and Oaks Farm's Zilzal half brother to Branston Abby.
15/10/2002 Malcom Jefferson, who is better known for his jumpers, had a decent result on the flat today up at Ayr, when Clarinch Claymore won the 8,743 Stena Line Showcase Handicap, with fellow Yorkshire residents Collier Hill (Alan Swinbank) and Nowell House (Mick Easterby) filling the minor placings.
13/10/2002 After a 154 day break the Richard Whitaker trained Captain Rio came back in devastating form today when strolling away from a decent field to win the Waterford Testimonial Stakes L at the Curragh by around 8 lengths. Hopefully he will now be kept to six or seven furlongs and turf, although options are running out for this season, I notice however that he's entered in the Bentinck Stakes at Newmarket next week, although this may come too soon for this excellent son of Pivotal. The Mark Johnston team of continental runners were largely unimpressive, although Mister's Cosmi's fifth in the Premio Vittorio Di Capua G1 was a reasonable performance, the same stable's Murghem was second in the Preis der Ford Werke L at Cologne.
12/10/2002 Just under two weeks ago I made the observation that Mark Johnston hasn't had a group winning filly for over seven years - then today he goes and gets one! The victor was the game Love Everlasting who won the Princess Royal Stakes G3 at Ascot, a track she seems to like. This is good news for her owners the Middlebrook's who are big supporters of Johnston and also breed on a large scale. Johnston followed up with a win in the last when Robandela won the 12,093 Accantia Health & Beauty Rated Handicap, and his My Daisychain was a good second in the opener. Closer to home at York there were no local winners, but the Easterby clan managed three seconds of which the most important was Tim Easterby's Cumbrian Venture coming home in the runner-up spot in the Rockingham Stakes L. Tim also picked up 7,845 when Artie was second in the Coral Eurobet Handicap, and uncle Mick Easterby was second in the opener with Johnson's Point. Lot's of Yorkshire runners abroad tomorrow including the long awaited re-appearance of Captain Rio. Watch this space.
11/10/2002 A quiet week for Yorkshire trainers (apart from Jimmy Fitzgeralds appearance in the infamous Panorama episode!) culminates with York's last week of the season, spread over three days. All local trainers like to get a winner at our best track (a lot of people would say the best track in the country) and today there were two local successes. David Nicholls won the Showcase race with Eton who, like some many others horses, has come on in leaps and bounds since joining Nicholls. Later on the card David Chapman had a decent winner when Paddywack won the five furlong handicap.
07/10/2002 It was announced today that a Yorkshire chasing star of the past, Badsworth Boy, was died at the age of 27 following a heart attack. Trained by three different members of the famous Dickinson family (Tony, Michael and Monica) Badsworth Boy won started out as a decent hurdler, finishing third in the 1979 Triumph Hurdle. However his real forte was 'proper' fences and he won three consecutive Queen Mother Champion Chases at Cheltenham, a feat never achieved before or since.
06/10/2002 Yorkshire had never won the unofficial sprint championship of Europe (or the King George, or the Arc, or a Breeders Cup race), but if anyone was ever likely to do this then it would be the 'sprint king' David 'Dandy' Nicholls and this he achieved today. Continent, the July Cup G1 winner, today won the Prix de l'Abbaye G1 by a nose. This was all the more incredible as he had to overcome a bad draw and insufficient distance, and it was an excellent ride from Darryl Holland to steer the gelding through traffic to land the big prize on the line, although the fact that it took the Longchamp officials nearly 15 minutes to announce the result shows how close it actually was, and a further illustration is that stablemate Bahamian Pirate was a nose, short head and neck back in fourth. That's four group one wins for Yorkshire this season, the same number as back in 1997 which was the previous best in recent history, although that figure includes the dead-heat of Ya Malak and Coastal Bluff in the Nunthorpe counting as two wins, so really 2002 beats the 1997 figure. Of the Yorkshire trainers still plying their trade the score stands at Mark Johnston 8 (Mister Baileys, Double Trigger, Bijou d'Inde, Princely Heir, Lend A Hand, Royal Rebel (2) and Yavana's Pace), Dandy Nicholls 3 (Continent (2) and Ya Malak), Tim Easterby 2 (Bollin Eric and Pipalong), Mick Easterby 2 (Lochnager and Mrs McArdy) and David Barron 1 (Coastal Bluff). Not to be outdone Mark Johnston scored his fifteenth group win of the season when Love Regardless put up an excellent show to win the Grosser Preis der Landeshauptstadt Dusseldorf G3 by four lengths.
05/10/2002 After a week of Mark Johnston leading the way Tim Easterby hits back with an excellent big race double. At Redcar his Somnus capitalises on his previous 'sales' race win by winning the Betabet Two-Year-Old Trophy, picking up 97,585 in the process and taking his career earning over the quarter million mark, not bad for a two-year-old, this grand colt (bred by Scampston Hall Stud) has now won 4 of his 5 races. Meanwhile down at headquarters Easterby's consistent filly Timing wins the 14,007 Greene King Sport of Kings Promotion Handicap under Richard Quinn. Not to be outdone Mark Johnston also has a good result today when, over at Longchamp, Gateman is a good third in the Prix Daniel Wildenstein G2, probably his best result of the season. Furthermore it transpires that the injury to Johnston's stable star Yavana's Pace is not a serious as originally thought, and we may well see the gelding in training next year as an eleven year old!
03/10/2002 A double today at Newmarket for the in-form Mark Johnston team. The first victory was courtesy of the game Desert Deer who won the Joel Stakes L. Johnston followed up when Knavesmire Omen won the claimer later on the card.
02/10/2002 A quiet day on the track with the best results being Mark Johnston's Robandela's coming second in the opener at Newmarket and Dandy Nicolls winning the Apprentice handicap with Eton later on the same card. Across town in the sales ring at Newmarket today the best price from a Yorkshire stud was the 200,000gns achieved by Manor House Stud for their Grand Lodge colt out of Persian Song.
30/09/2002 The Mark Johnston winning steak continues unabated at Hamilton Park today with a three-timer for the Kingsley House trainer (all ridden by Keith Dalgleish). The biggest win was the victory of Robandela in the 12,070 Buttonhook Rated Showcase Handicap. Meanwhile it was announced that Yavana's Pace finished the Canadian International very lame, specifically he is believed to have injured the suspensory ligament just below the knee of his left foreleg. This appears to be a reappearance of the injury he suffered just before his last run in Germany, and it looks increasingly likely that the ten-year-old gelding may be heading towards a long and enjoyable retirement.
29/09/2002 The third and final day of the Ascot festival, and Mark Johnston manages to eclipse his previous efforts with a big race double. In the opening Cumberland Lodge Stakes G3 the ultra-progressive and very game Systematic put up a gutsy post-to-post victory under a good ride from Darryl Holland. This was Johnston's fourteenth group win of the season, which is an excellent total, especially considering that in his previous best season in this respect (1996) he 'only' had eight group winners and as recently as 1999 there were only three. It is also interesting to note that all the winners this year are male, indeed Johnston has not had a female group winner since Millstream won the Ballyogan Stakes G3 in June 1995, although there have been good female performers from Kingsley House since then such as Love Everlasting, Riberac and Littlepacepaddocks. Johnston and Holland struck again in the 40,600 Tote Exacta Handicap with Scott's View putting up a relatively easy display for his eigth win of the season. Later on in Canada the Johnston team was represented by Yavana's Pace (Keith Dalgleish) and Zindabad (Kevin Darley) in the Canadian International G1, where they finished third and fifth respectively. Whilst this was a disappointing run from Zindabad (who reportedly lost quite a lot of weight in travelling) they still picked up 71,121 and 19,397 for their efforts, so not exactly a bad day for Kingsley House - picking up over 162,000 in one day!!
28/09/2002 Another festival winner for Mark Johnston when Ascot specialist Mana d'Argent wins the 13,845 Caplan Gordon Carter Handicap, this is the fourth win of his career, and they have all been at Ascot! In the previous race the Richard Fahey trained Lady Bear picked up some black-type by finishing third in the Kleenex Rosemary Rated Stakes H L to follow up her good win at Ayr last Saturday.
27/09/2002 The first day of the Ascot festival and there is a good start for Yorkshire with Mark Johnston winning the second race, the Harvest Stakes L , with Love Everlasting, this victory took Johnston over the 2 million mark for the season. There is a further notable Johnston success up at Haydock when old hand Murghem wins the 2 runner Halliwell Landau Conditions Stakes and picks up 9,789 for his troubles.
26/09/2002 James Bethell, who has quiely been having a very good season, had a good winner today when Derwent won the 9,836 Dalby Screw-Driver Rated Handicap at Pontefract, with the Richard Whitaker trained Vicious Warrier putting up his usual consistent performance to finish third.
22/09/2002 Not an excellent day for the Mark Johnston team, but not a bad one either. Yavana's Pace put up a typically game performance to finish third in the Deutsche Post Euro Express-Preis con Europa G1 at Cologne. It is believed that this game gelding will now join stablemate Zindabad in the Candian International. Love Regardless was 4th in the Group 2 mile event at Cologne. Pie High (also running in Colgone) and Darasim (running in Dielsdorf) were both unplaced.
21/09/2002 Another excellent weekend for the Yorkshire trainers, who almost completely dominated proceedings up at Ayr. In the opener, the Firth Of Clyde Stakes L the Kevin Ryan trained Miss Takeortwo put up a good effort to finish third and pick up some valuable black type for her eventual stud career. The next race was the Doonside Cup L and the Richard Fahey trained Vintage Premium (surely one of the best horses never to win a stakes race!) was narrowly defeated in a photofinish with Island House. The Fahey team got some compensation in the next race however when Lady Bear won the 23,400 Ayrshire Handicap, with the Tim Easterby trained Style Dancer back in third. The big race of the day, and one of the biggest betting races on the calendar, was the Ayr Gold Cup. Incredibly David Nicholls won the 65,000 race for the third year in a row with a game performance from Funfair Wane, under Nicholls son, Adrian. In addition the Chris Fairhurst trained Abbajabba picked up 10,000 for coming a good third. The next race was the 9,353 McEwan's 70/- Ale Stayers Handicap and this was won by Alan Swinbank's admirable horse Collier Hill. The final race, for the historic Weir Memorial Trophy, was the 9,522 macRoberts Handicap and this was won by the Tim Easterby trained Santisima Trinidad. Mark Johnston never seems to do well, for a Scot, at Ayr, and this year was no exception. However, down at Newbury he had his own double by winning two good races. First up the progressive and game Legal Approach won the Dubai Duty Free Arc Trial L despite being headed twice in the straight, this was his first black type win, at the first attempt. Then later on the card the promising Desert Deer (who must surely be a better horse next season) won the 11,513 conditions race. Both the Johnston winners were ridden by Keith Dalgleish, and this duo must be hoping for good things tomorrow in Germany, where they have three runners, including Yavana's Pace in the group one race.
20/09/2002 The Mark Johnston trained Gateman continues to make good progress and is a decent second today in the Dubai Duty Free Cup L down at Newbury. Meanwhile up at Ayr the best Yorkshire result comes from the Tim Easterby trained Go Tech who wins the Conditions race. Go Tech is so named as the syndicate that owns him includes a number of people who work for Racecourse Technical Services ! There are six British trainers wintering horses in Dubai this winter, and five of them are from Yorkshire! Richard Fahey, Patrick Haslam, Richard Whitaker and Karl Burke will be joining Mark Johnston in the gulf state, which should be a bit warmer than Middleham or Malton in December! Each of the trainers will have between 5 and 10 horses based at Nad Al Aheba's stables.
19/09/2002 First day of the Ayr meeting and the best Yorkshire result comes from the Linda Stubbs trained Eastern Magenta who wins the 8,450 Ayrshire Hospice Nursery Handicap. From coast to coast there is also a decent win for Mark Johnston all the way down at Yarmouth where Knavesmire Omen gets back in the winning groove in the 8,132 Roy Tanner Handicap.
15/09/2002 After the Yorkshire based euphoria of the last week there was a downside today when it was announced that the Sledmere Stud, one of the most historic stud's in the country, was to partially close. Basically the boarding side of the operation will be shut-down and the stud will instead concentrate on breeding from it's own small broodmare band (currently two). Sir Tatton Sykes, the owner of Sledmere, is a part owner of Somnus who won the 143,750 St.Leger Yearling Sales Stakes earlier in the week, and he has indicated that some of his share of the prize money may be re-invested in the broodmare band at Sledmere.
14/09/2002 We may have waited 29 years, but it was worth it. Finally a Yorkshire trained winner of the world's oldest classic when the Tim Easterby trained Bollin Eric became the first Yorkshire winner of the St.Leger since Bill Elsey's Peleid back in '73. Not only that, but this was a very Yorkshire victory as the trainer is not only based in Yorkshire, but is a Yorkshireman, the jockey Kevin Darley, is based in Yorkshire and, to cap it all, the winner was actually bred in Yorkshire!! To break the sequence the owners, the Westbrooks, are actually from Cheshire, but I'm sure they will now be awarded honorary citizenship of God's county! It was an excellent true run race with a strong gallop from the start. Bollin Eric powered home in the straight for a one and a quarter length victory over Highest, with the Mark Johnston trained favourite Bandari a further two lengths back in third (and don't ask me when the last time two Yorkshire horses were placed in the same classic - because I don't know!). The Westbrooks have a long association with the Easterby's as they originally had horses in training with Tim's uncle Walter Easterby and then when he retired they moved to Tim's father Peter. Whilst Peter was a legendary trainer of jumpers he never had a runner in a classic, whereas his son has triumped at only his second attempt. The Westbrook's also entrust their breeding stock to the Easterby's as the mares and foals were previously based at Stockwell Stud (owned by Walter's son Henry) and are now at Easthorpe Hall Stud (owned by Peter Easterby). Tim Easterby has now won nearly 400,000 this week and this, financially, is the second biggest win by a Yorkshire trained horse ever. There was another good training/breeding double in the next race when the Richard Whitaker trained Vicious Warrior won the 19,988 ladbrokes.com Handicap. This was Whitaker biggest win of the season, and must be especially sweet as the colt was bred by his Hellwood Stud Farm. Earlier in the day, incredibly, there was a further major Yorkshire breeding success when the Bolton Grange Stud bred Wunder's Dream stormed away with the Flying Childers Stakes G2 to gain her second group win. It is believed the owner John Ellis and trainer James Given (formerly assistant to Mark Johnston) are now contemplating an ambitious tilt at the Prix de l'Abbaye. Could this be the best ever day for Yorkshire breeding?!? Down at Goodwood meanwhile there was small compensation for Mark Johnston when Sir George Turner put up his best run since Chester in the spring to finish second in the Select Stakes G3.
13/09/2002 Another good day at Doncaster, the highlight of which, from a Yorkshire perspective, was the victory of the Mark Johnston trained Systematic in the Troy Stakes L. This progressive colt who has moved up through handicap company was gaining his first black type win, and it is to be hoped that there is more to come from him. Other trainers to do well at Doncaster today included Richard Fahey (second with Vintage Premium), David Barron (second with Queen of Night), David Nicholls (third with Funfair Wane) and John Wainwright, who won the closing race with the tough Beyond The Clouds. Today was possibly Yorkshire best in the sales ring with Evelyn Stud's Pivotal colt making 27,000gns to David Barron and Burns Farm Stud's Primo Dominie colt making 23,000gns to David Redvers.
12/09/2002 Although not quite scaling the heights of yesterday it was still another good day at the St Leger meeting for the local trainers. The opener was the 18,688 Ralph Raper Memorial Prince of Wales Cup Nursery Handicap and the Tim Easterby trained Go Tech was a good second, picking up 5,750 for his efforts. The next race was the GNER Park Stakes G3 and this time it was Mark Johnston's turn for a decent result with his Desert Deer putting up a better performance than he did last week at York to finish second. Johnston also had a good result in the next when Darasim was a decent third in the Doncaster Cup G3. The best result of the day however came in the penultimate race when the Lynda Ramsden trained Bishops Court put up his usual good show to win the Scarbrough Stakes L. In the sales ring the best Yorkshire results of the day (from a limited batch in this session) was the 14,000gns paid by W.Browne for a Desert Sun colt sent up from Colin Tinkler's Musley Bank Stud.
11/09/2002 I love Donnie ..... but probably not as much as Tim Easterby! The Malton trainer won the first two races at the St.Leger meeting for a total haul of over 166,000! First up was the Holdcroft's good filly Golden Nun in the 22,718 Carrie Red Nursery Handicap. Then in the next race Easterby picked up the fifth highest prize ever for a Yorkshire trained horse (after Teleprompter, Sir George Turner, Fruits of Love and Continent) when the Pivotal gelding Somnus picked up 143,750 for winning the 200,000 St Leger Yearling Sales Stakes. Even better, Somnus was homebred by joint-owner Lady Legard at her home near Malton, Scampston Hall and the colt spent his formative years at Sledmere Stud, who's owner, Sir Tatton Sykes, is a part owner in the colt. There was even more good news for Yorkshire in the third race when the Kevin Ryan trained Halmahera finally won a good prize, after a string of second places in major sprint handicaps, when coming home ahead in the 29,120 Tote Portland Showcase Handicap. Meanwhile in the Doncaster Sales ring the best price achieved by a Yorkshire stud was the 28,000gns paid by BBA (Ire) for the Piccolo - Aegean Flame colt sent up from Oaks Farm Stables.
08/09/2002 A good day at York for the local trainers with Dandy Nicholls winning the 9,402 Quentin Gilbey Handicap with old hand Mister Rambo. The next race was the 10,979 Flat Roof Handicap and this was won the by the Richard Fahey trained General Hawk. Fahey finished the day with a double courtesy of Riska King in the valuable two-year-old maiden.
07/09/2002 An excellent day for Yorkshire breeding when the John Dunlop trained Invincible Spirit just lands the Stanley Leisure Sprint Cup G1 at Haydock. Owned by Prince Faisal, the colt is a son of Green Desert and the Prince's excellent mare Rafha, who is based at the Cliff Stud, where Invincible Spirit also spent his formative years. Rafha was named 'Broodmare Of The Year' last year thanks to the exploits of Invincible Spirit, Al Widyan, Aquarius and Massarra, and she has also produced Sadian. Later on at Haydock the Mark Johnston trained Takes Tutu wins the 12,649 Stanley Racing Handicap. Having had no winners in August, James Bethell managed to produce his second in three days when Crathorne won the suprisingly valuable (7,046) maiden race at Thirk, which followed up Fittonia's win at Redcar earlier in the week. For any 'southerners' reading this - it's pronouced Cray-thorne ..... I'm sure attheraces will get the hang of it eventually!!
04/09/2002 A good day at York for Mark Johnston today when Desert Deer puts up a reasonable performance to finish third in the Strensall Stakes L, his first piece of black-type. Later on the same card stablemate Scott's View is involved in the finish of the day when he picks up 12,768 for dead-heating in the Garrowby Rated Handicap.
02/09/2002 Mark Johnston unveiled a promising colt at Hamilton today when Love You Always, a Woodman colt from the family of Royal Abjar and Escaline, won the opener by 10 lengths and 7 lengths. There was more good news later on the same card when Tim Etherington had his first winner since the beginning of July and his second of the season, with Lydia's Look in the 5 furlong handicap.
31/08/2002 Big result of the day fell to David Nicholls when True Night made it four wins in a row in the 14,495 Betdirect Handicap at Chester. In the previous race the Mark Johnston trained Scott's View managed third place in the Bet Direct Chester Rated Stakes Handicap L , his first attempt at listed company. At Sandown the Nigel Tinkler trained Henry Hall had his best result for some time when a decent third in the Sunshine Coach Handicap. Also at Sandown Mamounia, owned and bred by Burton Agnes Stud, was a decent third in the Atalanta Stakes L, this good Green Desert filly was second in a listed race last time out and has also won a couple of decent handicaps this year, since losing her maiden tag at Doncaster in May.
27/08/2002 Only flat racing at Ripon today, and the big race of the day, the 8,327 City of Ripon Showcase Handicap was another 1-2-3 for Yorkshire with Richard Fahey's King's Crest coming home ahead of Mick Easterby's (who's been finding the winner hard to come by this month) Trouble Mountain and Richard Whitaker's Vicious Warrior. In the previous race the Tim Easterby trained Somnus franked his York form with a good win in the Nursery. The final race saw the Chris Thornton trained Oriental Empress continue her winning form, her fifth race win of the season.
26/08/2002 The major race of the day was the 17,400 Tote Exacta Showcase Sprint Handicap all the way down at Epsom - but that didn't stop Yorkshire trainers grabbing the first three places! The David Nicholls trained Atlantic Viking came home ahead of Mick Easterby's Elvington Boy and Lynda Ramsden's Bishops Court. Also at Epsom Andrew Tinkler (son of Colin, nephew of Nigel) won the Burton & Smith Amateurs Derby on Red Lion, trained in Lambourn by Brian Meehan. Closer to home the 11,060 Ripon Rowels Handicap was won by the Richard Fahey trained Lady Bear, with Kevin Ryan's Mystic Man back in second. Up at Newcastle the best Yorkshire performance came from Tim Easterby who's Go Tech was second in the valuable Blaydon Nursery Handicap.
25/08/2002 Another Sunday, and today's destination is Baden-Baden. The Mark Johnston team sent two runners to Germany and Mister Cosmi faired the best winning the Preis des Casino Baden-Baden L under Kevin Darley. Sir George Turner, who's not the most straightforward of horses by all accounts, managed third place in the Furstenberg-Rennen G3.
24/08/2002 A good result for John Wainwright today, when Beyond The Clouds wins the 8,255 Sporting Options Handicap at Beverley. Wainwright is having a good season and, with seven wins already, must be hopeful of breaking last seasons nine winner mark before the end of the year. Meanwhile over in Ireland the Mark Johnston trained Wilful put up a storming performance to just be denied by two necks to finish third in the Futurity Stakes G3.
22/08/2002 The best Yorkshire could manage in the Nunthorpe Stakes G1 at York today was fourth place for the Dandy Nicholls trained Continent. Lynda Ramsden's good run continued as she again won the last race of the day, the 11,245 Blue Bicycle Nursery Handicap, with Bill Gredley's Logsdail. As she also had a win with Offtoworkwego up at Musselburgh, Ramsden may soon be re-considering her decision to go into partial retirement next season !
21/08/2002 A quieter day for Yorkshire trainers at York today, Tim Easterby's useful juvenille Cumbrian Venture has a good run to be second in the Roses Stakes L. In the final race of the day the Lynda Ramsden trained Kangarilla Road wins the 19,377 Falmouth Handicap. Ramsden later announces that next season she will significantly reduce her racing interests and go into partial retirement, with only around 15-20 horses. Ramsden, who 'retired' to France a few seasons ago, before returning again, will be leasing half of the Breckenborough House yard to her current assistant trainer Iona Craig who is only 26. The big race of the Day, The Ebor (NOT the Yorkshire Oaks!) was won by former Mark Johnston assistant James Given, who is now training in Lincolnshire.
20/08/2002 First day of the "Royal Ascot of the North" - the Ebor meeting at York. Mark Johnston starts as he means to go on when Bourbonnais wins the opening Acomb Stakes L in good style. In the next race Johnston has another good result when Darasim is a respectable third in the Lonsdale Stakes G3. In the fourth race of the day the Johnston 'sure thing' of the meeting - Bandari - obliges when taking the Great Voltigeur Stakes G2 and must surely now have a good chance in the St.Leger. This was Johnston's 100th winner of the season - making him the first person to achieve that level this year (Richard Hannon is hot on his heels) and also making it the ninth year in a row that he has made this landmark. Only Henry Cecil has achieved 100 winners 9 seasons in a row, and if Johnston can do this again next season he will be the first person ever to do it 10 years in a row. In the same race the Tim Easterby trained Bollin Eric is a decent third, but he perhaps needs to be dropped down to listed class to get his first stakes win. In the fifth race, the Knavesmire Handicap, the Alan Swinbank trained Collier Hill puts up a decent performance to be second. In the final race of the day there is another good Yorkshire performance when the Tim Easterby trained Forever Times is second in the Links of London Showcase Handicap. Less welcome is the news that Scott's View, Mark Johnston progressive stayer, has not made the cut for the Ebor Handicap.
18/08/2002 The John Wainwright trained Vita Spericolata continues her mid-summer renaissance when finishing a good second in Pontefract's biggest race of the season, the Slatch Farm Stud Flying Fillies' Stakes L.
17/08/2002 Yorkshire trainers win the two big races at Newmarket today. In the opening 10,894 National Stud Nursery Handicap the Richard Whitaker trained Steel Blue finishes ahead of the Tim Easterby trained Golden Nun. In the third race at HQ, the excellent David Barron trained Impressive Flight lives up to his name when winning the 15,532 National Horse Racing Museum Handicap. Meanwhile at Newbury the Mark Johnston trained Gateman comes third in the Hungerford Stakes G3, and the Alan Swinbank trained What-A-Dancer is a useful second in the Stan James Handicap. Ripon stages it's biggest race of the year, the Great St.Wilfrid Handicap, but the best Yorkshire trained horse is Tim Easterby's Artie, who finishes third. Later in the evening the Johnston trained Love Regardless is very disappointing when running in the Secretariat Stakes G1 at Arlington Park, Chicago.
16/08/2002 Mark Johnston's progressive colt Systematic (who may run at York next week) wins the 12,134 Stan James EBF Classified Stakes at Newbury.
15/08/2002 A good result close to home today for Richard Fahey when Lermontov wins the 8,340 Nick Wilmot-Smith Memorial Handicap at Beverley.
14/08/2002 Up at Hamilton today David Barron, who's been having a relatively quiet (in terms of big winners) but very productive season, has a good win when Dispol Foxtrot wins the 10,189 Tote Bookmakers Handicap Series Final Showcase Handicap.
11/08/2002 The usual busy Pan-European summer Sunday. But this one was a little bit special. Mark Johnston's long time stable star Yavana's Pace created some history today when he became the oldest ever winner of a group one race. This gallant gelding is now aged ten and came home in front in the Credit Suisse Private Banking Pokal G1 at Cologne. Johnston now claims this is his favourite horse of all time (really Mark, what about poor old 'Trigger' ?!?!), not only that but the result gave rising weighing room star Keith Dalgleish his first ever group one win. This was the stables twelth group winner of the year, and their second group one winner. Stablemate Sir George Turner finished a very disappointing second from last. Meanwhile over in Ireland Dandy Nicholls grabbed some of the limelight when July Cup second Bahamian Pirate filled the same place in the Phoenix Sprint Stakes G3 only failing to win by a short head. Another Johnston star, Simeon, was also on show at the Curragh, but also ran disappointingly in the Royal Whip. On a more mundane level Nigel Tinkler showed how quickly a stable can come back into form when Quantica won the last race at Windsor, the teams fourth winner in twelve days.
10/08/2002 Shergar Cup day at Ascot. But they probably should have called it Middleham benefit day! The format of the 'challenge' leads to some rare jockey/trainer combinations, and thus it was in the opening race, the 22,550 Shergar Cup Mile Handicap which was won by the Mark Johnston trained Bouncing Bowlder who was ridden by Richard Hughes. The next race was the Shergar Cup Juvenille Auction and the Patrick Haslam trained Devious Boy continued his fine run by coming second in this race under David Flores, picking up 7,518 in the process. Third race on the card was the Shergar Cup Distaff Rated Handicap, where a blow was struck for the Ryedale region when the John Wainwright trained Vita Spericolata showed she's right back in form by coming second under Andreas Suborics, and collecting a useful 8,500 for her efforts. In the next race Mark Johnston struck again, this time in combination with Pat Eddery, when Mana d'Argent won the 25,000 Shergar Cup Stayers Handicap. The penultimate race was perhaps the best result for Yorkshire racing fans as it was won by the Chris Fairhurst trained King's Welcome, the race being the 25,000 Shergar Cup Challenge Rated Handicap. Fairhurst has had a relatively quiet season so far but this was one of his biggest ever wins. The TimEasterby trained Bollin Nellie was a somewhat unlucky third in the same race. The only race where Yorkshire wasn't involved in the finish was the final one! 'GB&Ire' beat 'Rest Of The World', but the real winner was Middleham!
09/08/2002 At Haydock this evening Tom Tate, usually better known for his jumpers, had one of his biggest ever flat results when Welsh Emperor won the 8,645 Emily May Classified Stakes.
08/08/2002 Very sad news today as it looks like Andy Turnell's stable star Jelani will be out for the rest of the season as the result of an injury he picked up whilst winning at Haydock three weeks ago. The colt has a superficial tendon injury and will be brought back next Autumn, possibly for an audacious tilt at the Arc.
07/08/2002 Two good wins for Yorkshire trainers today. Down at Brighton the Dandy Nicholls trained True Night picks up one of the most valuable races ever staged at the south coast track when he wins the 14,008 Brighton Mile Challenge Trophy Showcase Handicap. Up at Pontefract it is Mark Johnston picking up the big race when Knavesmire Omen wins the 10,296 Rogersthorpe Manor Hotel Handicap. Meanwhile the Johnston trained Scott's View remains favourite for the Ebor depsite his 'flop' (relatively speaking) at Sandown this evening when he could only manage third place.
05/08/2002 Compared to last year's whirlwind it's been a relatively quiet season for Richard Whitaker but he had a good winner today when Vicious Prince won the 8,278 Tommy Shedden Challenge Trophy Rated Handicap at Ripon. Meanwhile it looks likely that stable star Captain Rio will run again this year, as he is making a good recovery from his recent operation.
04/08/2002 Four good results today for Yorkshire trainers, who lifted both the major flat races of the day and the main jumps race. Over at Chester the John Wainwright stable star Vita Spericolata chalked up her first decent result of the season when winning the Queensferry Stakes L., a race she won last year. Down at Newbury the Mark Johnston trained filly Love Everlasting gained some more black-type when winning the Chalice Stakes L. Over jumps up at Perth the Sue Smith trained Aegean won the 16,989 Golden Jubilee City of Perth Gold Cup Chase, to continue that trainers excellent summer jumps season. This was the most valuable race ever run at Perth. Further afield the Johnston team had further success in Germany today when one-time guineas fancy Love Regardless made all the running to take the Jaguar-Meile G3 at Cologne, giving jockey Keith Dalgleish his first ever group winner.
03/08/2002 A case of almost. Almost a Yorkshire 1-2-3 in the Stewards' Cup that is. The race was won by the Bryan Smart (who will soon move to train in Yorkshire) trained Bond Boy with the Kevin Ryan trained Halmahera finishing second and the David Nicholls duo of Undetered and Hurrican Floyd finishing third and fourth. A moral victory for Yorkshire I think! It was a good day for Yorkshire trainers with lots of handlers having good results. Staying at Goodwood the Mark Johnston trained Scott's View won for the second time this week when taking the 9,628 Turf Club Rated Handicap. Staying down south there was a double at Newmarket for Mark Johnston with Pie High and Knavesmire Omen, but it was another Yorkshire trainer, Tim Easterby who took HQ's main race of the day - the 19,500 Tote Scoop6 Nursery Handicap - with Magic Myth. Closer to home at Doncaster Uncle Mick Easterby took the feature race, the 19,500 Weatherbys VAT Services Summer Cup Handicap with Trouble Mountain. This was Mick's best result of the season so far. Second place in the same race was the John Weymes trained Gracious Air, giving this young trainer another good result. Finally over at Thirsk the two principle races went to local trainers with David Barker having one of his best results when winning the 8,294 Baldersby Park Nursery Handicap and David Nicholls continuing his winning ways by taking the 8,268 Racecard Competition Handicap ahead of the Tim Easterby trained Tedstale.
02/08/2002 As has been the norm throughout Goodwood Week it was again Mark Johnston getting the plaudits early on, with David Nicholls taking a major race towards the end of the day. The Johnston team had a good one-three in the Lady O Memorial Glorious Rated Handicap L with Darasim winning under Kevin Darley, and Murghem coming third under Keith Dalgleish. The last race of the day was the 12,586 Stewards Sprint Handicap (aka 'The Consolation Race') and Nicholls managed to fill first, second, third and fifth places! The winner was Flak Jacket, who won this race last year, followed by Zuhair (who won earlier in the week) and Pax. Meanwhile up at Ayr Nigel Tinkler who had not had a winner since the 11th of June had his second winner inside forty-eight hours when Apache Point followed up on the success of Cool Chron two days ago.
01/08/2002 Johnston and Nicholls. Again. The Kingsley House team won the opening race, the 26,100 Stanley Racing Handicap with Takes Tutu, under a strong ride from Keith Dalgleish, who can do no wrong at the moment. The same team could only manage fourth with And Beyond in the Goodwood Cup, a race they have dominated in recent season. The David Nicholls sprinting machine was on form again with Rudi's Pet putting his eight years behind him to finish an excellent second in the King George Stakes G3.
31/07/2002 Not quite the spectacular success of yesterday, but nevertheless a decent day again at Goodwood for Mark Johnston and David Nicholls. Again Johnston got off to a good start when Mana d'Argent was a reasonable third in the opening race. The next race was the Vintage Stakes G3 and Johnston had an excellent second in this with Bourbonnais, who was having only his second race. As was the case yesterday the David Nicholls performance came towards the end of the day when Zuhair won the 9,379 Charlton Stakes Handicap for the fourth time!!
30/07/2002 Mark Johnston usually has an excellent Goodwood. And this year will be no exception. In the opening race the stable's Robandela put up a game performance to finish second in the Bet Direct Summer Showcase Handicap, picking up 11,000 for his efforts. The Bonus King ran his first 'bad' race in the next, but this was more than made up for in the third race. In this Bandari, so disappointing in the Derby, put up a stellar performance to come home seven lengths clear in the Gordon Stakes G3. Bandari led all the way, and presumably Richard Hills will not be letting Willie Supple anywhere near this colt in the future!! That future may encompass the traditonal route of the Great Voltigeur followed by the St.Leger (for which he has been installed as favourite) or even an ambitious tilt at the Arc. The fourth race was the 29,000 Prestige Handicap, and in this the Kingsley House team managed first and second place with Scott's View coming home strongly ahead of Darasim, who collected 11,000. A total of 83,725 for Kingsley House! In the penultimate race of the day another Yorkshire trainer managed to get a look in when the David Nicholls trained True Night came home first in the 12,480 mile handicap.
28/07/2002 For the second day in a row Mark Johnston has a horse placed in a middle-distance Group One race. This time the horses was stable stalwart Yavana's Pace and he managed second place in the WGZ Bank-Deutschlandpreis G1 over in Dusseldorf under a strong ride for Keith Dalgleish, stablemate Sir George Turner finished fourth. Closer to home at Ascot David Nicholls was the man in form, with Atlantic Viking picking up 17,600 for coming second in the main race of the day, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Sprint Stakes Handicap, and True Night winning the closing race.The same team also managed to win the last race art Pontefract with Blackheath. James Bethell had a good day with Mitsuki coming fourth in Atlantic Viking's race and up at Pontefract he also had Derwent who won the Graham Rock Memorial Handicap, and King Harson who was second in the Tote Exacta Handicap.
27/07/2002 Today the Mark Johnston trained Zindabad showed that he is one of the best middle distance horses in training when putting up a battling performance to finish a good third in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes G1, one of the premier races of the season. It must surely be only a matter of time before he picks up a group one race, although it is more likely to be on the continent or Canada than within these shores. Connections will pick up a cool 82,500 for this effort, and this will be useful for Johnston in his effort to hold onto second place in the trainers championship, as the winner, Golan, was trained by Michael Stoute, and this result will bring him very close to Johnston in the table. The Tim Easterby team are pretty unstoppable at the moment, and they had another good result when Night Runner won the Pimms Handicap at Newcastle. Kevin Ryan was the other Yorkshire trainer with good reason to celebrate, as the consistent Platinum Duke brought home another decent prize by winning the main race at Redcar today. Meanwhile Patrick Haslam continued his excellent July by clocking up his eighth and ninth winners of the month, thanks to a double at Redcar.
26/07/2002 Not much happened so far this week although, like last week, there have certainly been plenty of winners. Best result of the week so far came today when the Tim Easterby trained Thewhirlingdervish triumped at Ascot in the Brown Jack Stakes Handicap, worth 12,773 to the winning connections. Easterby almost made it a double when the teams Forever Times was half a length second in the next race. The same team also had a good result at Sandown two days ago, courtesy of Freya's Dream. Up at Thirsk meanwhile the David Barron trained Wahoo Sam put up a good effort to win the valuable Lewis Geipel Challenge Cup Conditions Stakes. Away from the track it was announced today that former leading National Hunt jockey Peter Niven has been granted a mixed training licence and hopes to send out his first runners early next month. Niven has built his own new yard at Barton-Le-Street near Malton, and hopes to kick of with around a dozen horses. Niven, 37, who is the most successful Scottish jump jockey of all time, rode mainly for Mary Reveley and rode over 1,000 winners in his career. He retired from riding in September 2001, and has been putting the finishing touches to his yard since then.
20/07/2002 A quiet week in general, although there have been lots of Yorkshire winners. Popular Middleham trainer George Moore had his best result on the flat for a number of years today when Valdesco won the Ripon Bell-Ringer Handicap, with the John Norton trained Red River Rebel back in second. Down at Market Rasen the soon-to-retire Jimmy Fitzgerald had a decent result when Star Jack was a good second at 20-1 in the valuable Tote Summer Plate Showcase Chase, for which connections picked up 14,300. Tim Easterby managed to get some black type for 25-1 shot Pasithea when she finished fourth in the Food Brokers Aphrodite S L down at Newmarket, but got promoted to third place following a stewards inquiry.
14/07/2002 In what must rank as one of the best weeks ever for Yorkshire trainers (in terms of the breadth of quality results achieved by a wide number of trainers) the last day proves to be no exception! At Haydock the Andy Turnell trained Jelani, fourth in the Derby last time out, continues his St.Leger preparation with a nice confidence boosting win in the July Trophy Stakes L. The Tim Easterby trained Bollin Eric was sent off odds-on favourite in the same race, but could only finish a very disappointing third of only four runners. Meanwhile over at the Curragh there was even a big race double on the Irish Oaks card for Yorkshire trainers. Mark Johnston started things off with the Kennet Valley owened Gateman winning the Minstrel Stakes G3 under Keith Dalgleish. In the next race it was the turn of the sprint king Dandy Nicholls, and he made off with the 36,809 Ladbroke Rockingham Handicap with Awake, a horse formerly trained by Johnston, who was second at Newmarket earlier this week, behind yesterdays winner Brave Burt.
13/07/2002 A string of top results for Yorkshire trainers today, but pride of place must go to Richard Fahey who topped an incredible 24 hours by winning the 87,750 John Smith's Cup with the excellent Vintage Premium, who was winning his third race in his last four outings. There was some delay whilst the stress of a stewards enquiry was dealt with, but this is a well deserved valuable win for Fahey and his former apprentice Paul Hanagan. Another former Yorkshire based apprentice making headline was Keith Dalgleish down at Ascot. He won the opening 17,400 Doubleprint Handicap on Brave Burt (who won at Newmarket earlier in the week) for Dandy Nicholls (who had an across the card big-race double with Flak Jacket winning the 11,554 Miller Beer Handicap at York). Later on the same card he managed to coax a win out of Mana d'Argent (prior to this race one win in forty one attempts!) for Mark Johnston in the 34,800 Tote Exacta Handicap. Dalgleish then finished off the afternoon by winning the closing maiden for Karl Burke aboard Blue Sky Thinking. Over at Chester Lynda Ramsden's stable stalwart Bishop's Court won the City Wall Stakes L (a race he was second in back in 1998), with Joe Fanning having his first ride on David Brotherton's gelding. Finally Tim Easterby was again getting more winners, with two at York (Somnus and Patavium Princess) and one at Chester (Golden Nun finally breaking her maiden), significantly all three were juvenilles. Incidentally Mana d'Argent's win should mean Mark Johnston overtakes Saeed Bin Suroor in the trainers championship and moves into second place. Dandy Nicholls and Tim Easterby are the other Yorkshire trainers in the top ten.
12/07/2002 Some nice results at York today with John Wainwright winning the Mr.Kipling Exceedingly Good Handicap with Tommy Smith and an Easterby 1-2 in the 11,061 John West Tuna Showcase Handicap with Tim Easterby's Bourgeois coming home ahead of uncle Mick's Dancing Phanton. Indeed Tim Easterby is having a good run at the moment, and clocked up two winners today, although Mark Johnston managed to get four at York, Beverley and Chester. There was a memorable day for Richard Fahey when his King's Crest, ridden by Helmsley based solicitor Serena Brotherton, won the special Champagne Victor The Queen's Jubilee Amateur Lady Riders Handicap at Beverely, a race to commemerate the Queen's visit to the course this afternoon. 'New' boy Allan Dickman had a good day as well when his Inter Vision won the 9,832 Birch Cullimore Solicitors Conditions Stakes at Chester. Meanwhile all the way down at Chepstow the Chris Thornton trained Oriental Empress who her third race in a row, could she turn into another Flossy? Meanwhile George Moore had a good result on the flat with Valdesco winning the Tennant Trophy up at Hamilton.
12/07/2002 It was announced today that classic winning trainer Bryan Smart is hoping to buy Les Eyre's historic Hambleton House yard, at the top of Sutton Bank. Yorkshire born Smart, who is 45, trained Sil Sila to win the French Oaks G1 in 1996 (she was also second in the Musidora Stakes G3 and won the Radley Stakes L the previous year) and has also hit the big time recently with 'sales race' winners Don Puccini and Boomerang Blade. Eyre hopes to retire to Spain before the end of this season.
11/07/2002 Phew. What a day. And I don't just mean the weather! First up at Newmarket the Mark Johnston trained filly Celtic Saphire (a full sister to Celtic Silence) gains yet more black type when third in the Superlative Stakes L. The next race was incredible as Dandy Nicolls put in an 'O'Brien' style training performance to have the first two in one of the major sprint races of the year when Continent got home 1/2 a length in front of Bahamian Pirate in the July Cup G1. The combined prize money was 200,000 and both horses are owned by Edward St George (Lucayan Stud). This is Nicholls' second group one win following the dead-heat of Ya Malak in the Nunthorpe in 1997. Both horses may now head for the Breeders Cup, although as today's race looks a rather weak affair chances of a show in the states must be limited.But the action wasn't over as in the next race James Bethell continued with his theme for the season - win lots of big races and hardly any minor ones!! This time he picked up his biggest win for a number of seasons when Mine won the 39,000 Bunbury Cup Handicap. This was an extremely close finish and Mine was originally named as the dead-heat winner with Capricho, but after the weigh-in this horse was found to be carrying the wrong weight, so the Bethell horse gets the coveted winners spot!! That's now 'only' four wins for the season - but three of them 'major' wins!
10/07/2002 A quiet day for the Yorkshire teams although there are some winners at Catterick. At Newmarket the best performance comes from the Mark Johnston trained Bonus King, who runs his usual good race to be third in the July Stakes G3. Dandy Nicholls wins the last at HQ when Brave Burt obliges, followed home by stablemate Awake.
09/07/2002 First day of the July meeting at Newmarket, and a reasonable start for the Yorkshire stables. In the big handicap the Tim Easterby trained Fayr Jag picks up 11,000 when finishing second with the David Barron trained Impressive Flight back in third. The next race is the Princess of Wales's Stakes, and although there is a good run by the Mark Johnston trained Yavana's Pace to finish third, the same stables Simeon runs a very disappointing race to finish fifth. Closer to home the David Nicholls trained Pax wins one of Pontefract's big races, the 11,164 St.Giles Handicap.
08/07/2002 A nice cross-the-card double today for the young Middleham trainer John Weymes with Lapadar winning the Fillies Handicap at Musselburgh, and Crosby Donjohn winning the mile handicap at Ripon. Weymes is doing especially well with his two-year-olds this season.
06/07/2002 Rather like yesterday there are lots of Yorkshire winners today, but only really one worthy of individual comment. That is the good run of the Linda Stubbs trained Arran Pilot when he put a disappointing Ascot run behind him to finish third in the Dragon Stakes L, a track he obviously like, judging by his previous good run there in the National Stakes L.
05/07/2002 A quite week for Yorkshire, but a good result today for the major Yorkshire owner/breeder Guy Reed (of Copgrove Stud) when his homebred Pablo (won won a Goodwood maiden by nine lengths on his last outing) wins by a length the 20,300 Pentax Digital Camera Handicap at Sandown. This colt, having only his fourth start, is trained by Barry Hills, who has long been one of Reed's principal trainers, along with Chris Thornton and, more recently, Mick Easterby. Pablo comes from Reed's longest established family descended from his foundation mare Ardneasken.There were a host of Yorkshire trained winners at Beverley this evening (including Micky Hammond first win since his return to the training ranks), however potentially the most significant Yorkshire training result may have been at Haydock where the Mark Johnston trained Bouncing Bowlder returned to winning form.
02/07/2002 A foray to Germany reaps result for the Mark Johnston team when Double Honour, of whom so much was expected a couple of seasons ago, capitalises on his good placing at Royal Ascot with a win in the Grosser Tenovis-Preis - Langer Hamburger L at Hamburg. Meanwhile slightly closer to home at Hamilton Tim Etherington (who's main yard is for sale), had his first win of the season when Regal Song won the Tote Exacta Showcase Handicap. There was a relatively unusual occurence at Yarmouth today when the Mark Johnston trained Gateman won the conditions race, from his 1/2 brother, the Ed Dunlop trained Surprise Encounter!
01/07/2002 Malton handler Brian Ellison continues his good run of form when Bint Royal wins the 10.871 EBF Park Suite Fillies' Showcase Handicap at Pontefract.
30/06/2002 A decent result for Lynda Ramsden's durable old campaigner Bishop's Court when he is third in the Budweiser FIFA World Cup S L at the Currragh on the Irish Derby day card.
29/06/2002 Today was a day of doubles. For the second Saturday in a row it's the in-form Kevin Ryan hitting the headlines with an across the card big race double at Newcastle and Newmarket. At Newmarket the game filly Miss Mirasol provides the young Hambleton trainer with the second black-type winner of his career (the first being Eastern Purple who won two group races) when coming home ahead in the Empress Stakes L. Later on up at Newcastle it was the wonderfully named Uhoomagoo who did the honours for Ryan when winning the 14,073 Journal 'Good Morning' Handicap from the Alan Swinbank trained What-A-Dancer. The only (small) blot on the landscape for Ryan was that Platinum Duke (who won yesterday) could not make it six wins in a row at Chester. There was a Yorkshire bred group winner up at Newcastle when the Nidd Park Stud bred Tedburrow won the Chipchase Stakes G3, at the grand old age of ten! Also doing well up at Newcastle was Tim Easterby who trained Ragamuffin to notch up a good win in the 19,500 Tote Scoop6 Northern Sprint Handicap, again there was another Yorkshire trained horse in the runner-up spot, this time the Dandy Nicholls trained Onlytime Will Tell. Easterby doubled up later on the same card when Cumbrian Venture won the maiden, and he also had a good winner at Newarket courtesy of Fayr Jag. Across at Chester it was Richard Fahey in the spotlight when the good win of Oldenway was followed up by a win for Sir Sandrovitch in the next race, the 14,690 Halliwell Jones BMW Handicap.
28/06/2002 It was revealed today that Andy Crook will continue to train under his own banner, despite the return of Micky Hammond to Oakwood Stables (see 19th June). He is to commence training from a sixteen box yard owned by the Armstrong family, adjacent to the Ashgill Stables of John Weymes. This is the same yard utilised by Chris Thornton before his new premises were completed last year. Crook, who sent out 18 winners in the 14 months that Hammond was 'retired' has been granted a temporary licence from the 1st July, whilst the formalities of a full licence are sorted out.
22/06/2002 A fantastic last day at Royal Ascot sees the Mark Johnston trained Zindabad win the Hardwicke Stakes G2, and thus make Johnston the leading trainer of the meeting, with four winners. Zindabad was allowed to start at the ridiculous odds of 4-1, and I had my first bet in over four years when the price hit 9-2! He led all the way, and wouldn't be denied in the last furlong, and must surely land a group one race sometime this season. The Johnston trained stayer Double Honour was third in the last race of the day, the Queen Alexandra Stakes. Meanwhile up at Redcar is was a good day for Kevin Ryan. Firstly his excellent Gralmano won the 14,755 Tetley's Handicap, then later on the same card his Platinum Duke won his fourth race in a row when taking the Classified Stakes, both were ridden by John Carroll who landed a treble as he'd won the opener on the very well-bred Mark Johnston trained three-year-old debutante, Katina. Down at Market Rasen Sue Smith continued her excellent start to the season (she's still in third place in the jumps championship) when Billy Nomaite won the 10,349 Associated British Ports Handicap Chase.
21/06/2002 Ever the bridesmaid, the Tim Easterby trained Bollin Eric was a good second today in the King Edward VII Stakes G2 at Royal Ascot. It is believed that the colt will continue to be aimed at the St Leger, probably via the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.
20/06/2002 Today was definately Mark Johnston day, and not just amongst the Yorkshire trainers! The team started off their Ascot day with The Bonus King finishing an excellent second by a head to Baron's Pit in the Norfolk Stakes G3. The next race was the highlight of the day, the Ascot Gold Cup G1 and, incredibly, Johnston won it with Royal Rebel, who won the race last year, and hasn't had a decent run since! It was a very close finish and Royal Rebel, whocan be a bit of a 'character' only got home by a neck under Johnny Murtagh, who unfortunately received a ban for his efforts, which will see him miss the Irish Derby (exactly the same thing happened to Murtagh in the same race on the same horse last year). The race after the Gold Cup was the 31,900 King George V Handicap Stakes, and the stable was also victorious in that, with the Maktoum-Al-Maktoum owned Systematic doing the honours. Hopefully the Johnston runners will put up the same sort of performances through the rest of the meeting. Although they've got runners in some of the supporting races the remaining major Kingsley House runners will be on Saturday with Zindabad and Yavana's Pace who potentially both run in the Hardwicke Stakes. Other Yorkshire hopes in the Group races largely rest with Bollin Eric in the King Edward VII Stakes tomorrow, unless the Nicholls' team sprinters can make a quick reappearance in the Golden Jubilee Stakes on Saturday.
19/06/2002 The Yorkshire trainer with the most to shout about at Ascot today was Mark Johnston. Although his first runner of the day (Desert Deer in the Prince of Wales's Stakes G1) ran too bad to be true the next, Mana d'Argent, ran his usual good race to finish third in the Ascot Handicap. The stable then did even better in the last race, the Chesham Stakes L, with first and third, albeit in the 'wrong' order. The winner was the 25-1 Helm Bank (giving Keith Dalgleish his first Royal Ascot winner) with much better fancied stablemate Celtic Sapphire back in third. Meanwhile former Middleham trainer Micky Hammond makes a suprise return to the training ranks today with a runer at Ripon and one at Southwell. Micky retired from training just over a year ago, handing the reins at Oakwood Stables over to his assistant Andy Crook, who made a strong start to his training career. Oakwood has since been bought by a Scottish syndicate known as Sunstar Racing, and it is believed they made the approach to Hammond. It is unclear at the present whether Crook will return as Hammond's assistant or go it alone at different premises.
18/06/2002 As far as Yorkshire trainers go it's definately David Nicholl's day at the start of Royal Ascot. The Thirsk trainer starts out with an excellent second for Continent in the King's Stand Stakes G2 and later on, in the final race of the day, the stable again fills the runner-up berth when Fire Up The Band collects 11,000 for second place in the Balmoral Handicap, one of the new races to celebrate Jubilee year.
16/06/2002 Mark Johnston caps what has been a quiet week (by his high standards, only one winner - Affray at Bath yesterday ) with a good result when Murghem finishes second in the Leicester Mercury Stakes L. Meanwhile over at Carlisle Sally Hall becomes the second Middleham trainer this week to chalk up their first flat winner of the season when her homebred Turn Back wins the three-year-old maiden. Chris Thornton was the other trainer off the mark earlier in the week when Minstrel Hall won at Hamilton. Roll on Royal Ascot.
15/06/2002 A good day at the races with Yorkshire trainers winning the feature races at both York and Sandown. Up at York the hero of the day was Tim Easterby (who's had a good week) who trained 25-1 shot Artie to win the big race, the 49,010 William Hill Trophy Handicap, just ahead of the David Barron trained ImpressiveFlight with the David Nicholls charge Fire Up The Band back in third. Easterby had also won the previous race when his Bollin Nellie won the 11,310 Queen Mother's Cup under a good ride from former Malton trainer Bill Elsey's daughter Annie Elsey. Down at Sandown meanwhile Yorkshire also dominated the finish of the main race with the James Bethell trained Mine finishing ahead of the Mark Johnston trained Bouncing Bowdler (putting up an increasingly rare good run) in the 14,024 Tote Scoop6 Handicap. Incredibly it's the middle of June, James Bethell has 'only' had two winners all year, but they're both 'major' winners!!? Allegedly England won a football game or something as well.
14/06/2002 A quiet week (assorted drugs and gambling revalations aside) between the Derby and Ascot. At York today Wetherby trainer Robin Bastiman has one of the best wins of his career when Maromito wins the valuable Alan Black & Co Handicap.
09/06/2002 It has now been reported that Mark Johnston's Derby fifth, Fight Your Corner, fractured a hind cannon-bone sometime yesterday, although as he did not appear to be lame immediately after the race there is some confusion over when exactly this occured. Either way the colt went straight to Newmarket from Epsom, and he was operated on this morning. It is believed there is a good chance the colt will race again, although whether that will be this season remains to be seen. Meanwhile Andy Turnell has suggested that his Derby fourth, Jelani, will possibly only have one run between now and the Leger, presumably this will be in either the King Edward VII Stakes, Gordon Stakes or the Great Voltigeur, with perhaps the last named at York the preferred option.
08/06/2002 The big day comes at last! Unfortunately neither of the Mark Johnston runners looked comfortable in the Epsom Derby G1 with Fight Your Corner plugging on for fifth, and Bandari, who missed the break from the stalls and appeared to be running off the bridle most of the way, only finishing eighth....... BUT Yorkshire still had a 'placed' horses when, incredibly, the Andy Turnell trained 100-1 outsider Jelani finished a gallant fourth and thus picked up a cool 69,000, which is more than the Highfield House trainer has won in any season since he's been based in Yorkshire! This was a really good result and hopefully this game colt can capitalise on this later in the season, perhaps even in the St.Leger!! Derby aside it was definately Yorkshire's day at Epsom. The opening race was the 29,000 EDS Handicap which was won by the Richard Fahey trained Vintage Premium, incredibly Fahey also won the opening races at Doncaster (Love Thing) and Haydock (Dakota Sioux) !!. The next race was the Woodcote Stakes L which was won in good style by the Mark Johnston trained The Bonus King. This means that of the three juvenille stakes races so far, Yorkshire has won two and been second in the other. The race after the Derby was the Vodafone 'Dash' Rated Handicap L and this represented a one-two for trainer Dandy Nicholls when Rudi's Pet led from start to finish and his stable companion Watching weaved his way through traffic to fill the runner-up spot. The two Johnston runners struggled under top weights in the next race, the 29,000 Vodafone Rated Stakes Handicap, but this was still a Yorkshire result as the winner, Salim Toto, was bred at the Theakston Stud, near Bedale. This was the fillies third victory, and she has already picked up some black type by finishing second in the Middleton Stakes L at the Dante meeting. The last race on the card was the 23,200 Vizzavi Handicap and this was another good sprint win for Dandy Nicholls when the stables Onlytime Will Tell (bred by the Sigworth's of West Moor Stud) came home ahead, with John Wainwright's Beyond The Clouds back in third. So a good day all around really, but a Derby winner would have been nice!!
07/06/2002 The first day of the Epsom meeting and there are some good Yorkshire results at the Surry track. Pride of place must go to the Mark Johnston trained Zindabad who came home a good third in unsuitable conditions in the Coronation Cup G1, which was his first placing in a Group One race since joining the Kingsley House team from Ben Hanbury at the start of last season. In the opening race of the day Jedd O'Keeffe had the first 'major' result of his short training career when the policy of pursuing black type with Borders Belle paid off as she managed to get third place in the Princess Elizabeth S L, and thus considerably enhance her paddock value. Later on the card there was a Yorkshire 1-2 in the 19,500 Vodafone Handicap with the Lynda Ramsden trained Lingo coming home 2 1/2 lengths clear of the Mark Johnston trained Systematic. There were further placings later in the day in valuable handicaps for Brian Ellison (3rd with Torrid Kentavr) and again for Mark Johnston (2nd with Flur Na H Alba) in the last.
06/06/2002 Tim Etherington's Wold House Stables is up for sale for 700,000. The family have owned the property since 1967 when Tim's father Jimmy (former leading jockey and trainer of Fear Naught, Tesoro Mio, Palmvinnia, Whipper In and Haunting Beauty) bought the historic yard. The yard will be split into two and Tim (trainer of Soba Up, Vagabond Chanteuse and Kayo) will continue to train from the lower yard which has been rented out to a number of people in the past, most recently Allan Dickman. The part to be sold includes the 5 bedroomed Georgian house and four ranges of stables totally 35 boxes. The lower yard includes a large indoor school and an equine swimming pool. Before the Etherington's took over the property it's best known occupant was the late Rufus Beasley who sent out winners of the Middle Park Stakes, July Cup, Jersey Stakes and three Cambridgeshire Handicaps from here. Tim Etherington has had 6 individual winners so far this flat season, with no winners so far, although last season he won nine races on the flat. As recently ago as 1998 he had 20 individual runners on the flat.
05/06/2002 A good day at Beverley this evening for Tim Easterby when he gets 1st and 3rd in the Hilary Needler Trophy L. In first place is the Mind Games filly On The Brink who started favourite and back in third is 20-1 outsider Golden Nun. Both horses are owned by the Holdcrofts and bred at their Bearstone Stud in Shropshire, where Mind Games stands. Meanwhile earlier in the day at Newcastle the Easterby family had a good 1-2-3 in the otherwise unremarkable 4:35 race with the older generation coming of best! The full result was 1st Cat's Whiskers (Mick Easterby), 2nd Blythe Spirit (Richard Fahey) and 3rd Forest Prize (Tim Easterby).
04/06/2002 One of the smaller Yorkshire trainers to the fore today when Arran Pilot, trained by Malton resident Linda Stubbs, finished a good second in the National Stakes L at Sandown. Stubbs is having an excellent season and has already chalked up seven winners from only sixty-five runners. With the patronage of former Kevin Ryan Mr.Chiang owner it seems likely the Beverley House team will have many more triumphs this season. Stubbs bought the 22 box Beverley House towards the end of last year from Neville Bycroft, the yard was formerly part of the Elsey families Highfield complex. She was previously based in Newmarket from where she sent out Mrs.P to win the Flying Childers Stakes in 1999. Linda's husband Bill is a former Yorkshire trainer (they originally operated out of part of Mel Brittain's yard) who now works as a bloodstock agent. Hopefully this formidable team will be staying in Yorkshire! Whilst Mark Johnston's runner in the National Stakes fared less well I note that he is still clinging on to the top of the trainers table with his 44 wins grossing 543,0587, however with the Derby worth nearly 700,000 to the winner it seems certain that events at Epsom later in the week, with the Oaks and Coronation Cup also up for grabs, will have a decisive effect on the table. Meanwhile Sue Smith is in an excellent third place on the jumps trainers table after a good start to the new season with 12 winners collecting 69,580 so far.
03/06/2002 Another timely boost for the Kingsley House morale today when the Mark Johnston trained Akbar wins the Henry II Stakes G2 at Sandown. As his three better fancied stablemates all finished much further down the field it could be argued that this was a bit of a freak result as, although Akbar has some good form, he has sometimes struggled in listed company and has never been tried at this level before, apart from last time out when he was fifth in the Yorkshire Cup. Either way this is a nice result for long standing Johnston owner Markus Graff. Up at Redcar the Brian Ellison trained Court Appeal is second by a head in the valuable Zetland Gold Cup, with the Richard Fahey trained Chief Monarch in third.
02/06/2002 An exciting day trip to Paris today for the Mark Johnston team with Simeon running a solid race to finish third in the Prix du Jockey Club G1, albeit some distance behind Sulamani and Act One. Having said that Frankie Dettori seemed to ease the horse down once it become obvious he wasn't going to get to the first two, and it seems highly likely that Simeon will triumph in a group one race (although possibly in Italy or Germany rather than England, Ireland or France) before the end of the season. This run bodes well for the two Kingsley House Epsom runners, Bandari and Fight Your Corner, who are now third and fourth favourties. Indeed with Andy Turnell planning to run Jelani at Epsom it seems likely that Yorkshire will be providing 3 of the probable 11 runners at Epsom! At Epsom Fight Your Corner will be ridden by Kevin Darley and Bandari by Sheikh Hamdan's retained jockey Richard Hills.
24/05/2002 It now looks increasingly certain that Mark Johnston will have two Derby runners as both Fight Your Corner (recently bought by Sheikh Mohammed on behalf of his son Sheikh Hamdan Mohammed al Maktoum ) and Bandari (recently bought by Sheikh Hamdam al Maktoum) look like they will be supplemented for Epsom, leaving Simeon to represent Yorkshire at Chantilly. Yorkshire with third and fifth favourites for the Derby - when was the last time that happened??
18/05//2002 Lots of racing today, and although there are plenty of good wins the best Yorkshire result of the day comes from the small Middleham stable of Chris Fairhurst when his Peyto Princess is a game second (at 40-1) in the Kilvington Fillies' Stakes L at Nottingham, thus gaining some useful black-type for her owner/breeders North Cheshire Trading & Storage, who keep their breeding stock at the Hedgeholme Stud. The Hambleton House stables of trainer Les Eyre goes on the market today at a price of 950,000 for the House, 3 cottages, a flat, 72 boxes and gallops within 82 acres of land. It will be interesting to see who buys it, but with the likes of Patrick Haslam, James Bethell and Karl Burke all moving to Yorkshire from 'down south' in recent times it could well be an established southern trainer who starts to enjoy the view from the top of Sutton Bank!
17/05/2002 It was announced today that Mark Johnston (currently looking down from the heady heights at the top of the trainers table, some 80,000 ahead of John Dunlop!!) intends to have around ten horses based in Dubai next winter. These horses will be over a spread of ability and age ranges and will be sent out to the Emirates on a rota basis.
16/05/2002 I think Mark Johnston is in danger of becoming a little blase about his group races successes as there was yet another one today! This time the Kingsley House baton was carried by Zindabad who stormed past Persian Punch to take home the 78,300 first prize in the Yorkshire Cup G2. The winner will now be aimed for the Hardwicke Stakes, with the Canadian International again his long-term primary objective. The previous race was the Duke of York Stakes G3 which was won by Invincible Spirit, who was bred by the Nawara Stud (the trading name of Prince Faisal) at Cliff Stud. Nothing to do with Yorkshire racing; check out the 4:10 at Salisbury, a 12,511 classified race with 2 runners!!
15/05/2002 Middle day of the Dante meeting, and there were a lot of good results by Yorkshire trained horses, but not the win in the race that mattered most. It's rare for a York meeting to conclude without a Mick Easterby win in a major handicap, and this was true today when his Elvington Boy won the opening race, the 18,363 Convergent Systems Avaya Handicap. Later on the very progressive Bollin Eric, trained by Tim Easterby, was an excellent second (picking up over 30,000) in the Dante Stakes G2, but unfortunately the Mark Johnston trained Sir George Turner was very disappointing and his trainer has ruled him out of Epsom. Bollin Eric (who is looking more and more like a Leger horse) is not entered at Epsom, but he is in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot. In the next race Richard Fahey completed a good day for the Easterby family (he's Tim's brother-in-law) when his Vintage Premium, making his seasonal re-appearance, picked up some black type when finishing third in the Pricewaterhousecoopers Hambleton Showcase Handicap L. The last two races on the card were won by Mark Johnston (Royal Beacon in the two-year-old maiden) and a second winner of the day for Mick Easterby (Sarangani in the Datel Handicap). Meanwhile the Racing Post reports that Fight Your Corner has been sold to Sheikh Mohammed for an undisclosed sum. They believe the colt is worth around 2m, but that seems rather on the high side to me.
14/05/2002 The first day of York's Dante meeting, and there are some good runs by the locally trained runners. Mark Johnston starts things off when Systematic wins the opener, the 15,935 Newton Investment Management Handicap, a race the stable won last year with Saratov. In the next race the Tim Easterby filly White Rabbit (home bred by Lord Halifax at his Garrowby Stud), dropped considerably in distance, is a good second in the Showcase Handicap. Finally later on the card there is another good handicap win for Kevin Ryan when Gralmano wins the 10,871 Simon Storage Handicap from Mark Johnston's Mana d'Argent, who will win a race one day! Meanwhile it is widely rumoured that Sheikh Mohammed may buy Johnston's (not yet entered in the) Derby colt Fight Your Corner.
12/05/2002 For a short, sweet, moment it looked like the Richard Whitaker trained Captain Rio could steal the Poule d’Essai des Poulains G1 (French 2000 Guineas) from the more obvious (and predictable) candidates as he was leading as they entered the straight and Thierry Jarnet set him off for home. Unfortunately he weakened in the final furlong and was engulfed by the chasing pack, with the Aidan O'Brien trained Landseer eventually winning.Captain Rio seems sure to be tried over shorter distances now.
11/05/2002 Crikey, there was finally a quiet day yesterday! But this was made up for today when, incredibly, Mark Johnston won yet another Derby trial - this time the Lingfield Derby Trial G3 with Bandari, who powered home by a record-breaking, and ever increasing, thirteen lengths! This is Johnston's third trial winner who is not entered in the big race itself, and there's still the Dante and some 'lesser' trials such as the Predominate and the Glasgow Stakes to come. Bookmaker reaction suggests that, if we were to be supplemented, Bandari would currently be third favourite for the Derby, ahead of his three stablemates with Derby claims.
Johnston now only needs to win one more group race to equal his total for the whole of last season! However he still has some way to go to match his 1996 tally of 8 group wins. It's interesting to note that all his group winners so far this season are middle-distance colts. Indeed, although there have been strong showings from fillies such as Riberac, Love Everlasting and Littlepacepaddocks in recent years, he hasn't won a group race with a filly since Land Of Dreams won the 1998 King George Stakes. This is strange as, whilst not ignoring Mister Baileys and Double Trigger, his early career was, to some extent, built on the success of fillies such as Marina Park, Branston Abby (who famously never manged to win a group race in her illustrious career), Millstream and Jural. Indeed his last group winning filly excluding Land Of Dreams was Millstream as long ago as 1995. But I'm being picky really, in the last 10 and a bit seasons Johnston has won 52 group races (12 by Double Trigger), his nearest Yorkshire rival (since 1980, long before Johnston even started training!) is Bill Watts with 9 group wins (6 by Teleprompter), Steve Norton and David Nicolls are both on 7 wins each and Tim Easterby is on 6 in only 4 seasons, there's then a big gap to Lynda Ramsden with 3 and then a host of Yorkshire trainers on 2 group wins.
Tomorrow all eyes will be on Longchamp where Captain Rio runs in the French 2000 Guineas.
09/05/2002 Close, but not close enough. The Mark Johnston trained Sir George Turner was defeated by the shortest of heads in the Dee Stakes L at Chester today by the Barry Hills trained Sohaib. The Nashwan colt came from behind to catch the front runner but couldn't seem to get past him and was possibly 'eye-balling' the opposition instead of pushing on to the finish. The trainer is now contemplating a quick reappearance in the Dante at York next week, but with the addition of blinkers. This result slightly dents the form of the Tim Easterby trained Bollin Eric, as his Newmarket conqueror, Playapart, was back in third place, but he's another possible for the Dante as well. Later on the Chester card the David Nicholls trained Hormuz was succesful in the 9,126 Stratstone Aston Martin Handicap, with his stable mate Mister Rambo filling the runner-up berth.
08/05/2002 The main Yorkshire results at Chester today are in the first and last races. In the first the Richard Fahey trained Marshallspark wins the 10,969 Tess Graham Memorial Handicap under claimer Paul Hanagan. At the end of the day the last race, an unusually valuable two-year-old maiden, is won by the Lynda Ramsden trained Fortune Bay.
07/05/2002 Some compensation for Love Regardless today when the Mark Johnston trained Fight Your Corner wins the stable it's second Derby trial of the year with a battling victory in the Chester Vase G3. Incredibly neither of the stables trial winners are in the Epsom Derby, and it looks like both Simeon and Fight Your Corner will be heading for Chantilly instead. Whilst it has to be said that neither of these colts have (yet) beaten anything special they certainly both look to have a good chance in France. Meanwhile the stable still has further classic trial hopes to come with entries in the Dee Stakes (Sir George Turner), Lingfield Derby Trial (Bandari and Sir George Turner) and the Dante (Bandari, Sir George Turner and possibly Simeon). Sir George Turner DOES hold an Epsom Derby entry! Johnston is really on a roll: this time last year he'd had 15 winners (13 on the turf) and no black type wins (although he had won a couple of decent handicaps), so far this year he's scored 31 winners (18 on the turf) including a listed winner and three group three winners! But I digress ..... the race immediately after the Chester Vase was the 12,265 Walker Smith & Way Handicap, and this was won nicely by the James Bethell trained Stretton, giving Middleham two of the biggest races of the day and James his first winner of the season.
05/05/2002 Mark Johnston's Atlantic Quest, on only his fourth career outing wins the 14,352 Tote Mile Handicap on the final day of the Guineas meeting. Meanwhile over in Germany stable stalwart Yavana's Pace, having his second run of the season, finishes a good third in the Gerling-Preis G2 at Cologne. He'll probably be over on the continent again in a couple of weeks if conditions underfoot are suitable.
04/05/2002 The Mark Johnston trained Love Regardless was ultimately disappointing when finishing half way down the field in the 2,000 Guineas, but hopefully will come on for the race and he should pick up a decent prize before the end of the season. Earlier on the Newmarket card the David Nicholls trained Bahamian Pirate was involved in the very tight finish for the Palace House Stakes G3 and was eventually judged to have come third, two short heads behind the winner. 3 short heads and a neck covered the first five home. This result shows hopefully indicates that he will, yet again, be featuring prominently in the seasons top sprints. There was some compensation for the Mark Johnston team in the last race when the progressive Desert Deer won the 9,651 attheraces.co.uk Conditions Stakes, I suspect we'll be seeing this game half-brother to Branston Abby in a listed or group race next time out. Closer to home at Haydock, Kevin Ryan had one of his best results over jumps when Gralmano was second in the Swinton Handicap Hurdle Gd3. At Thirsk Tim Easterby's Tedstale won the historic Thirsk Hunt Cup Handicap, worth 11,830 to the winner. Finally Sue Smith had a good result at Uttoxeter when Ardent Scout won the 10,665 John Smith's Handicap Chase. So lots of good results all over the country - but not the big one we were hoping for!
03/05/2002 A lot of fourth and fifth places for Yorkshire trainers on the opening day of the Newmarket Guineas festival! However the Mark Johnston trained Takes Tutu does win one of the day's big handicaps - the 10,764 H&K Commissions Showcase Handicap. Incidentally one of the aforementioned fourths was the former James Bethell charge Borders Belle who is now trained by his Middleham neighbour Jedd O'Keeffe. This likeable filly ran way above her official rating to be fourth in the Dahlia S L, unfortunately this probably means the handicapper will clobber her, but if the plan is to pick up some black-type that won't bother connections too much.
01/05/2002 Best result of the day is at Ascot where the David Nicholls newcomer (trained by Alec Stewart last season) Scotty's Future wins the day's main betting race, the 20,300 Victoria Cup Handicap. His best result last season was over 10 furlongs, and this race was over 7, so that would indicate a large number of potential targets for him later in the season! Earlier on the same card the Mark Johnston trained Double Honor, already having his third race of the turf season, finished third in the Sagaro Stakes G3. Meanwhile up at Kelso there was yet another good victory for Edwin Tuer when Jowoody won the 6,754 (deep breath....) Red Marauder Celebration Handicap Chase (for the Haddington Jubilee Cup).
27/04/2002 Yet again the best Yorkshire result of the day is 'up north' and over jumps - this time the Brian Ellison trained Fatehalkhair wins the 14,105 Foster's Durham National Handicap from the Malcolm Jefferson trained Shuildante. Closer to home at Ripon the Easterby family win the opening two big handicaps with Tim Easterby's Fayr Jag winning the netbetsports.com Handicap and his uncle Mick Easterby winning the C.B.Hutchinson Memorial Challenge Cup Handicap with Sarangani. Later on the same card it's a case of the wrong one winning for Mark Johnston when Darasim triumps over his better fancied stablemate Akbar (both also owned by Marcus Graff) in the conditions race.
26/04/2002 Mark Johnston's cup runneth over. Another group winner - this time Simeon makes a smooth progression from handicap to group company when he wins the Heathorns Classic Trial S G3 at Sandown by leading all the way and coming home clear by four lengths. What happens next is a tricky one, he's in the Dante but has already had 3 races this season. He's also not entered in the Epsom Derby, but can be supplemented. Personally I'd be temped to put him in the French Derby and not give him another race before then. I wonder how his home work compares with Love Regardless, who remains third favourite for the 2,000 Guineas.?!?!? Also I don't remember the stable ever winning one of the main classic trials before, although I may be wrong (unless you count Mister Baileys winning the 2,000 Guineas as a trial for the Derby!!). Let's not forget the jumpers though as up at Perth the Andy Crook trained Rylaux wins the 12,203 Press & Journal Handicap Chase from the Ferdy Murphy trained Occold. Meanwhile over at Punchestown Yorkshire has it's first win of the Festival when Brian Ellison's stable star Batswing wins the 9,969 Killashee House Hotel Handicap Chase by an excellent seven lengths.
25/04/2002 Yet another good end of season result over jumps when the Peter Beaumont trained Sharpastrizam wins the Perfect Centre Chase (Showcase) Handicap up at Perth. Tim Easterby wins the big flat race of the day when Tough Love triumphs off a low weight to win the 7,092 handicap at Beverley.
24/04/2002 Lots of winners close to home at Catterick, including the Mark Johnston trained Fashionable Man in the three-year-old conditions race, but the big Yorkshire win of the day is up at Perth where the Sue Smith trained Dream Of Nurmi wins the 8,684 ladbrokes.com Handicap Chase.
22/04/2002 Yorkshire trainer David Barker wins the big race of the day the 7,898 Tote Placepot Showcase Handicap at Pontefract with Grey Cossack.
20/04/2002 After a week of disappointments (Falcon Hill, Double Honour, Leo's Luckyman, Fight Your Corner and, later on today, Mister Cosmi) there is finally some good news for Mark Johnston when Zindabad puts up his usual strong display to win the John Porter S G3, the first of what will hopefully be numerous group winners for Yorkshire in 2002! Meanwhile up at Ayr there are two second places ; the Ferdy Murphy trained Man On The Hill in the Future Champions Novices' Chase Gd2 and the Tim Easterby trained Turgeonev in the valuable Class B handicap chase.
19/04/2002 Malton stalwart Jimmy Fitzgerald, due to retire later this year, has a good win up at Ayr when outsider Star Jack wins the 10,397 Hillhouse Quarry Handicap Chase.
18/04/2002 Still at Newmarket and the Tim Easterby trained Bollin Eric puts up a strong performance to finish a close third in the Feilden S L,.possibly a Leger horse in the making?!? At the same track David Nicholls has another good result when his Fire Up The Band wins the 10,530 Exning H.
17/04/2002 A number of Yorkshire winners up at Bevereley, including a double for Richard Fahey. However potentially the most siginificant result cames from the out of form Nigel Tinkler who registered what is, for him, a very early juvenille win when the Raphane filly Razotti wins nicely by a length on her debut. Does this indicate that the Malton trainer is now back in fom, or that Razotti is a seriously precocious two-year-old ?? Only time will tell!!
16/04/2002 Newmarket in the spring. The David Nicholls trained Continent is a good second in the Abernant S L.
13/04/2002 A quite week, the real fun of the flat season starts next week!! However there was yet another promising win for the Mark Johnston trained Simeon at Haydock today, which bodes well for the future. This son of Lammtarra holds a Dante entry, although whether he's upto that class remains to be seen. I notice in today's Racing Post that Richard Whitaker is advertising 2 x quarter shares for sale in stable star Captain Rio.
06/04/2002 No luck in the National (although at least the fourth placed Kingsmark is trained in the North - Cumbria!!!) and no runners on the flat.
05/04/2002 Second day at Aintree and the admirable Barton, trained by Tim Easterby, puts his poor Arkle Trophy run behind him when he storms away with the Martell Mildmay Novices Chase G2 by 10 lengths, picking up a useful 43,500 for his troubles! This was his third win at the festival in four seasons, and he must stand a chance at Chelteham next year if he runs to his best form, possibly even the Gold Cup.
04/04/2002 The first day of the Aintree festival and the best Yorkshire result comes from the Grant Tuer trained Son Of Anshan who is third in the Foxhunters Chase over the National fences. Meanwhile the Mark Johnston team clocks up another win at Leicester with Systematic, making it 6 for the turf season already, and 11 in the last month in total.
03/04/2002 Popular Middleham trainer Patrick Haslam, who is no stranger to top class results on the flat, scored one of his better wins over jumps today when old favourite Nigel's Lad won the 6,273 Rosling King Handicap Hurdle at Ascot.
02/04/2002 For the record - Julie 'will I / won't I retire' Camacho is still churning out the runners. One day perhaps ........ !!
01/04/2002 The usual bank holiday chaos, but the most significant 'Yorkshire connection' was probably the victory of Border Arrow in the Magnolia S L down at Kempton. Although trained by John Dunlop this useful gelding was bred in Yorkshire at the Garrowby Stud, and has shown here that he could be a force to reckoned with in 2002. From a training perspective there were some winners on the flat, but the best results were close to home over jumps at Wetherby where the Richard Fahey trained Exstoto won the Rocom Handicap Hurdle, and the Andy Crook trained Heidi III was 2nd in the Tote Betxpress Handicap Chase, with the Mick Easterby trained Meadowbank back in third.
29/03/2002 Middleham Open Day appears to have been a great success today with around 5,000 visitors ....... the first one I've missed !!
27/03/2002 The David Chapman trained Paddywak today chalked up his fourth win of the season when winning the 5,044 Churchill Group Handicap at Lingfield. Mark Johnston is having his best March ever and had his eighth winner of the month (including all-weather) in the next race with Fortunate Dave. Meanwhile at Catterick Tim Easterby (Timing) and Kevin Ryan (Loughlorien) both had their first turf winners of the new season.
23/03/2002 Not a bad day, Mark Johnston showed his team is on top class early season form with a double at Doncaster:- Falcon Hill giving Yorkshire it's first stakes win of the season when impressively winning the Cammidge Trophy L and Double Honour showing how strong he'll be in the 'Cup' races this year when he easily won the 10,920 Doncaster Shield. Things went less well in Dubai where the Johnston pair of Scottish River and Leo's Luckyman filled the last two places in the UAE Derby. The Richard Whitaker trained Captain Rio fared a little better in the Dubai Golden Shaheen, finishing just out of the prize money in seventh place. Meanwhile down at Newbury Mick Easterby had another good jumps winner when Flat Top won the 15,637 Stan James Telebetting Handicap Chase. The Lynda Ramsden team also got off to an early start to the (turf) season by winning the last at Doncaster with Lingo.
22/03/2002 The second day of the season - and already we have a 'major' Yorkshire trained winner - Lady Bear, trained by Richard Fahey wins the 18,200 Spring Mile Showcase Handicap by 3 lengths, after some hefty bets in the ring by connections. Karl Burke also got off the mark in the next race when Miracle Island won the 6,988 Ordert-onlime.com Handicap. Roll on tomorrow when Yorkshire horses are up for some serious money in Dubai and at Doncaster, Newbury and even Fontwell!
21/03/2002 Is it just me, or does the start of the 'proper' flat season at Doncaster no longer seem as exciting since the advent of 'all-weather' flat racing? Anyway, it was a good start for the Yorkshire trainers as Mick Easterby won the first turf race of the season when Middlethorpe triumped in the opening apprentice handicap, this was especially promising as most of the other runners had been active over hurdles or on the all-weather, whereas the Easterby charge was having his first run for 156 days. There were also two wins for Middleham on the opening day of the season with Mark Johnston (Systematic) and Jedd O'Keeffe (Aberkeen) also being successful.
16/03/2002 A quite day compared to Cheltenham but there are a couple of decent Yorkshire trained places at Uttoxeter. The Ferdy Murphy trained Rainbow Times is a good second in the wonderfully named (deep breath) E.B.F.Tattersalls (Ireland) Mares' Novices' Chase Final (Handicap) (Listed Race). Later on the same card the Tim Easterby trained Scotton Green is third in the Marston Pedigree Midlands Grand National Chase (Showcase Handicap) (Grade 3), a name whch is just a mouthful! This is a race he was second in a couple of years ago, but it shows this good chaser (who hasn't won since 2000) is in good heart.
14/03/2002 The final day of Cheltenham - and another Yorkshire winner! This time it was very much a family affair when Last Option won the 26,000 Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup by half a length. This gelding is owned, and trained by Robin Tate at Boltby (the same village as Colin Tinkler Snr used to train from) near Thirsk, bred by his eife Patricia and ridden by his daughter Fiona Needham. Although a fully licensed trainer, Tate has strong links with the hunting world, indeed he rode in his last point-to-point aged 60! Last Option has been a grand servant to the Tate's, finishing second in the 1999 Horse & Hound Cup, third in the 2000 version of the same race and fourth in last years Scottish National, he has been ridden by Mrs.Needham in all his races. Roll on Aintree, when Last Option will be aimed at the Foxhunters' there.
13/03/2002 Some second day cheer at the Cheltenham Festival for Yorkshire when the previously largely unheralded Hussard Collonges trained by Peter Beaumont wins the Grade One Royal & Sun Alliance Chase, one of the main races of the festival, worth a cool 72,500 to the winner. In heavy ground Hussard Collonges put up a gutsy performance to hold off Iznogood in second place by 2 lengths.
12/03/2002 Cheltenham, Day One. Hmmmm. No wins for Yorkshire, even with Barton and Truckers Tavern running. Some days you just wish you were Irish! 'Best' Yorkshire performance of the day; Truckers Tavern (Ferdy Murphy), 4th in the Arkle.
09/03/2002 Another fairly dull week from a Yorkshire perspective. The best result of the day was the Ferdy Murphy trained Sea Drifting finishing third in the EBF 'National Hunt' Novices' Handicap Hurdle Final (a Grade 3 race) at Sandown, although there was some more cheer at the Esher course when the Edwin Tuer (who has only nine horses at his farm at Great Smeaton) trained Through The Rye (who incidentally finished last in the 1999 Epsom Derby) was fourth in a close finish in the days big race, the Sunderlands Imperial Handicap Hurdle. There was some bad news today in that Ferdy Murphy's stable jockey Adrian Macquire has hurt his arm in a fall at Warwick and it looks like he may miss the Cheltenham festival.
03/03/2002 The Richard Whitaker trained Captain Rio (the highest rated British trained two-year-old of last season) was a good fourth on his seasonal debut in the Mahab Al Shimaal L at Dubai today. Earlier the same trainers Vicious Dancer had been unplaced in a 7 furlong event.
02/03/2002 A good result for the Tim Easterby's Great Habton (near Malton) stable today at Doncaster when Skillwise won the 20,641 Grimthorpe Handicap Chase by three lengths from the favourite Samuel Wilderspin. This gelding has now come in to 40-1 for the Grand National at Aintree, but it should be pointed out that Skillwise was bottom weight in this staying handicap.
23/02/2002 The end to yet another quiet week for Yorkshire trainers. Unfortunately Haydock, where a number of stables had good chances, was abandoned due to waterlogging, and the best result of the day was at Kempton where the Ferdy Murphy trained Ichi Beau was second in the Emblem Chase.
21/02/2002 A good win for Malton trainer Malcom Jefferson at Huntingdon today when Another Chance wins the 10,504 Sidney Banks Memorial Hurdle.
16/02/2002 Another fairly quiet week, although there were lots of all-weather winners for Yorkshire trainers, mostly notably Massey for David Barron. Over jumps the best result of the day falls to Ferdy Murphy who's Ackzo is a decent third (under top weight) in the Eider Showcase Handicap Chase up at Newcastle, whether he'll now be aimed for the Grand National remains to be seen. It was announced yesterday that Mark Johnston's former stable jockey Jason Weaver is to retire from riding, at only 30, Weaver's number of winners and overall quality of horses have slowly declined since he split with the Middleham trainer ...... Keith Dalgleish take note !
10/02/2002 Ferdy Murhpy's promising chaser Truckers Tavern was a good second in the 43,865 Dr.P.J.Moriarty Novice Chase Gd2 at Leopardstown today, albeit 6 lengths behind local hero Pilot Harbour, but 15 lengths in front of the third placed favourite Youlneverwalkalone.
09/02/2002 A very quiet week over the fences this week for Yorkshire trainers. We were well represented today, but no wins in any of the big races, with probably the best result coming for Les Eyre when his Benbyas was third in th valuable Tote Gold Trophy Handicap at Newbury. Hopefully Truckers Tavern can do better at Leopardstown tomorrow!
02/02/2002 The excellent week for Ferdy Murphy and Adrian Maguire was capped at Uttoxeter today when Streamstown won the 40,600 Singer & Friedlander National Trial Handicap. Streamstown is now 25-1 for the Grand National, and is definately being aimed at the great race.
31/01/2002 Middleham trainer Ferdy Murphy and his stable jockey Adrian Maguire had a good day at Towcester when Occold won the 8,366 Webby Gibson Memorial Chase Showcase Handicap, and the team followed up in the next race, the 13,553 Barrie Cope Champagne & Seafood Novices Chase, with the promising Truckers Tavern prevailing. Maguire completed a treble by winning the last.
30/01/2002 Leading Malton trainer Jimmy Fitzgerald today announced that he would be retiring from his long training career sometime later this year, and handing over to his son Tim. Jimmy, who is 66, has held a licence for 32 years and, in a golden period around the mid-eighties, was one of the leading National Hunt trainers in the country. His best horses include Forgive n'Forget (Chelteham Gold Cup 1985 and Vincent O'Brien Irish Gold Cup Chase), Androma (Scottish National - twice), Galway Blaze (Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup), Sybillin (Tingle Creek Chase and Victor Chandler Chase). On the flat his best horses would be Sapience (Princess of Wales' S G2, Tote Ebor H, 2nd. St.Leger G1) and Trainglot (Cesarwewitch H), who was also useful over hurdles. He has trained over 1,200 winners including 343 on the flat, with his best season being 86/87, when he had 73 winners.
24/01/2002 Birkdale, trained by Ferdy Murphy, finished a good second in the IAWS Thyestes Handicap Chase at Gowran Park today, picking up over 9,000 pounds for his efforts, he finished 13 lengths ahead of the next horse. Birkdale, who was previously with Len Lungo, has been a model of consistency over hurdles and hedges, and should improve further.
17/01/2002 Thirk trainer David Barron sent four horses to Southwell today, and returned with three winners! The three were; Sudra, Massey (who won the feature race) and Bolshoi Ballet.
16/01/2002 Richard Whitaker, the Scarcroft trainer, announced today that stable star Captain Rio (who won Whitaker his first group race - the Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte last season) will accept an invitation to run in at the Dubai World Cup meeting in the Dubai Golden Shaheen, run on the dirt over six furlongs. There was further good news for the team as Captain Rio was officially rated the fourth best two-year-old of Europe in 2001.
14/01/2002 Kevin Ryan's stable star Eastern Purple is to go to be trained in Hong Kong for the next year, it is believed the horse will go back to Hambleton Lodge after this period. Eastern Purple has done a lot to help Ryan's career in it's early stages, but he believes he has a worthy replacement in Halmahera who was purchased out of Ian Balding's yard at the December Sales, and was second in last years Stewards Cup.
13/01/2002 The site has been given an overhaul. Firstly I've changed it to 'frames' so there is now a toolbar at the top of the page which should hopefully make it much easier to navigate your way around. I've also changed the font and background into something a bit more pleasant. I've also taken this opportunity to alter the way the 'other' studs are handled - there is now one page per letter of the alphabet, this makes maintenance easier, and should also mean those pages load quicker. This may mean there are some 'dead' links - if so please let me know.
12/01/2002 What a day. An excellent set of results for Yorkshire trainers over jumps today. Pride of place must go to the Tim Easterby yard with the ever improving Turgeonev winning the Victor Chandler Chase Gd2 at Ascot impressively by 4 lengths. Meanwhile Easterby's former star hurdler was equally impressive in winning his first pattern race over the bigger fences when he took the Dipper Novices' Chase Gd2 up at Newcastle. The Sue Smith team also had a good day as their Errand Boy was second to Barton and down at Warwick the teams The Last Fling won the 40,383 Tote Scoop6 Handicap Chase. Finally the Les Eyre trained Benbyas failed to make it four wins in a row in the Victor Chandler Handicap Hurdle, but was still a creditable third.
05/01/2002 A quiet start to the year, with all the jump racing falling victim to the frost. David Barron has been leading the way for Yorkshire trainers on the flat with four winners so far this season. He was overshadowed today however by Patrick Haslam who won four races at Lingfield and Southwell, an excellent achievement in one day. Even more impressive he even managed a second and a third as well!

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