Yorkshire Racing & Breeding News
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Date  
29/12/2003 Three Yorkshire winners over at Haydock today with a double for Sue Smith with Tipsy Mouse and Better Days, and a win from Brian Rothwell with Star Councel.
27/12/2003 A slightly quieter day today. Again the Yorkshire meeting was at Wetherby where Sue Smith's Mister McGoldrick won the Beginners Chase by 16 lengths. In the next race Patrick Haslam's King Revo put up an excellent performance to win the 14,183 Rocom Introductory Juvenile Novices' Hurdle by an impressive 12 lengths. The main race of the day was the Rowland Meyrick Chase, in which two of the Yorkshire favourites Truckers Tavern and Hussard Collognes both fell, and Sue Smith's Arctic Lord (who actually started favourite) could only manage third to Gunner Welburn. In the final race Mick Easterby's adaptable Middlethorpe scored over hurdles. There is also a winner at Leicester for Andy Turnell with Six Pack.
26/12/2003 The usual packed Boxing Day card, and whilst Yorkshire didn't win any of today's big races there were a number of winners. The Yorkshire meeting was, as always, at Wetherby where the Tim Easterby trained Silver Knight won the Novices' Chase from Sue Smith's The Kew Tour and Kevin Ryan's Petrula won the Novices' Handicap Hurdle. Result of the day was perhaps from the small yard of Noel Wilson, who's Pharbeitfrome hacked around to finish a distant (the RP estimates he was 80 lengths behind the winner!) third in the Castleford Chase Gd2, picking up 5,500 for his troubles ! There was a winner at Uttoxeter for Micky Hammond with Maniatis, whilst closer to home there was a winner at Sedgefield for Alan Swinbank with Touch Closer, and winners at Marken Rasen for Sue Smith (Celioso) and Tim Easterby (Barton Hill). Meanwhile it was announced that Mark Johnston has purchased a 260 acre dairy farm in Middleham (close to Chris Thornton's yard) which he intends to convert into a spelling station for horses out of training, this will mean that he will eventually give up his lease on Peter Calver's former yard on the edge of Ripon, which is owned by Lord Zetland.
22/12/2003 The last day's racing before a three day Christmas lull sees only the Wolverhampton meeting survive the weather, and Brian Ellison has a winner here with Ronnie From Donny in the seven furlong handicap.
20/12/2003 Just the two Yorkshire trained winners today when Brian Ellison's Shayadi and Kate Walton's Wildfield Rufo both gained victorties just up the A1 at Newcastle.
19/12/2003 After a couple of quiet days, and a cancelled meeting at Catterick due to the frost, Yorkshire trainers win the last two races at Southwell today, when David Chapman (Headland) and David Barron (Game Guru) are the victorious trainers.
16/12/2003 A grand total of 5 wins today for Yorkshire stables. Two of the wins came over jumps at Musselburgh where Kate Milligan's Mr Laggan and Malcolm Jefferson's Clear Dawn both had odds-defying victories. David Barron continued his good form at Southwell with wins for Pawn In Life and Sir Jasper, and Patrick Haslam also got on the board thanks to Blue Empire winning the nursery.
15/12/2003 One winner today thanks to David Barron's remarkable consistent eight year old Blakeset who won at Southwell under stable jockey Dean Mernagh.
13/12/2003 Again no Yorkshire winners at Cheltenham, but Sue Smith's Simply Supreme is a decent enough third in the 29,000 DBS Future Champions Novices' Chase. At Haydock there is yet another big win for George Moore when Sir Storm wins the 10,182 Gordon Plant Memorial Trophy Handicap Chase, with Mick Easterby's Super Nomad and Peter Beaumont's Sharpastrizam filling second and third places. Later on the same card the first three in the betting finish in the same order on the track in the 34,800 Tommy Whittle Chase Gd2 which means that Ferdy Murphy's Truckers Tavern and Peter Beaumont's Hussard Collognes are only second and third behind Keen Leader, with distances of 17 and 10 lengths! Another Yorkshire performances in a graded race comes all the way down at Lingfield when Brian Ellison's Hope Sound is third in the Summit Junior Hurdle Gd2, albeit 39 lengths behind the winner Mondul. Closer to home at Doncaster Alan Swinbank's Collier Hill can't quite live up to favouritism when second in the 13,553 Introductory Novices' Hurdle, but Sue Smith has a one-two with Meldrum Star and Bushido in the penultimate race, and James Hetherton has one of his best jumping victories for some time when Tyndarius wins the 8,137 Neville Crump Memorial Handicap Chase. On the flat at Southwell there is a double for Bryan Smart with Bold Blade and Mon Secret, and a winner for Brian Ellison with Bethanys Boy.
12/12/2003 No Yorkshire winners at Cheltenham today, but a good day nonetheless for Patrick Haslam with You're Special finishing second in the 9,831 Adrian Maguire Conditionals Handicap Chase, and Positive Profile coming third in the 11,547 Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Qualifier. There is one Yorkshire jumps winner today when Peter Beaumont's Ocean Dancer wins at Doncaster. Meanwhile on the flat there are wins for David Barron (Titus Salt) and Kevin Ryan (Noul) on the all-weather at Southwell.
10/12/2003 Flat and jumping have a winner apiece today with Alan Swinbank's What-A-Dancer scoring at Lingfield, and Brian Ellison's Shayadi winning at Leicester.
09/12/2003 A quiet day yesterday for the Yorkshire trainers at Southwell, but much better today with four winners thanks to Karl Burke (Chispa and Blue Power), John Balding (Playful Spirit) and Nigel Tinkler (Bid For Fame).
06/12/2003 The main action today was down at Sandown but there were local victories at Wetherby for Brian Ellison (Great As Gold) and Peter Beaumont (Hunters Tweed) as well as good placings for Tim (Silver Knight) and Mick (The Nomad) Easterby who were second and third respectively in the One Man Novices' Chase behind Our Armageddon. Come the evening meeting at Wolverhampton there was another Yorkshire winner courtesy of David Chapman's Paddywack in the five furlong handicap.
05/12/2003 Again just one winner today, this time thanks to Micky Hammond who's Tee-Jay won the Showcase Handicap Hurdle at Southwell.
04/12/2003 Just one one win today when Sue Smith's Keen To The Last won the handicap chase at Market Rasen. Only a draft from the Hedgeholme Stud at Tattersalls today, the best of which fetched 2,200gns. Amongst the Yorkshire studs who bought new mares at this years sales were Tibthorpe, Providence and Burns Farm Studs.
03/12/2003 With no victories yesterday the Yorkshire trainers made up for it today with five wins - 2 at Catterick and 3 on the all-weather at Southwell. Patrick Haslam (King Revo) and Peter Beaumont (Sharpastrizam) were the victorious trainers at Catterick, and Kevin Ryan (Cardinal Venture), Patrick Haslam (Mr Mischief) and David Barron (Trance) all had winners at Southwell, with Cardinal Venture completing a hat trick. Garrowby Stud was the only Yorkshire stud selling at Tattersalls today and they got 61,000gns for the three mares they sent up, and 110,000gns for Magdalena, an unraced 1/2 sister to Classic Park and Rumpipumpy. One of the the Garrowby mares, Ermine, was bought for 30,000gns by Bishop Wilton Stud, who's owner, John Johnson, was formerly stud groom at Garrowby.
01/12/2003 Three Yorkshire trained winners up at Kelso today where there was a double for Sue Smith thanks to Royal Emperor and Cill Churnain (who took the 11,919 Tote Placepot Champion Chase Handicap), and a winner in the opener for Alan Swinbank with Collier Hill, his first run over hurdles. The December Sales continue at Tattersalls, today Burton Agnes Stud sold three mares for a total of 160,000gns, with the top price being 120,000gns for Lynx, a daughter of Linamix. Also having a good day were the Foston and Providence Studs who sold Valleyrose (whom they owned in partnership) for 95,000gns, a mere two years after buying her here for 12,000gns, her first foal having subsequently been a stakes winner in France.
30/11/2003 Just the one Yorkshire trained winner today when Patrick Haslam's Positive Profile scored at Doncaster. Better news for the Yorkshire racing scene over in Hollywood when Sweet Return won the $600,000 Hollywood Derby. His sire Elmaamul is now based at Beechwood Grange Stud, just outside York. Previously placed in a couple of Grade Two races, Sweet Return has another Yorkshire connection as his dam is by Claude Monet, who started his stud career at the Sledmere Stud, when that famous East Yorkshire nursery briefly stood stallions.
29/11/2003 Unfortunately Jungle Jinks didn't win the Hennessy, and last years Gold Cup second Truckers Tavern was 'only' fourth at Haydock (although he's not a hurdler, and this was his first run for 261 days). However there was a Yorkshire winner over in the Red Rose county as Sue Smith's Artic Jack won the Handicap Chase. There were also four Yorkshire winners up at Newcastle where the victorious trainers were Richard Fahey (Exstoto), Tim Easterby (Edmo Yewkay), Brian Ellison (Great As Gold) and, completing an across-the-card double, Sue Smith (Diceman). A winner on the all-weather at Wolverhampton for Mick Easterby with Strong Hand rounded off a good day on the track. The final session in the foal category at the December Sales today, there were no Yorkshire studs selling however, somewhat unusually, a Yorkshire outfit was amongst the 'big spenders' when Darley and Townsend (of Daleside Stud) paid 165,000gns for a Galileo half sister to Highdown. This filly will probably be resold (via Trickedown Stud) at next years yearling sales. Another Yorkshire stud spending big money on foals was Bolton Grange who purchased six lots for a total of 155,500gns.
28/11/2003 Like yesterday there is just the one Yorkshire trained winner today when Malcolm Jefferson's Pertino wins at Ayr. The only Yorkshire stud to sell at Tattersalls today was the remainder of the Theakston Stud draft, the top price of which was the 7,500gns paid for a daughter of Xaar.
27/11/2003 A winner at Uttoxeter for James Hetherton with Tyndarius, where former Yorkshire trainer Colin Tinkler has his first winner since returning from Spain when Bob Ar Aghaidh wins the Novices Hurdle. More good news down at Tattersalls where the Tibthorpe Stud not only sold a son of Pivotal for 87,000gns, but also, the next lot, a son of Dr Fong for 37,000gns. Manor House Stud also had another good day, selling a son of Grand Lodge for 75,000gns.
26/11/2003 A win on the all-weather at Lingfield for Patrick Haslam thanks to Maunby Raver, but the main action is at Wetherby where Tim Easterby (Silver Knight and Kentucky Blue), George Moore (Sir Storm in the Showcase Handicap), John Quinn (Archie Babe) and Mel Brittain (First Harmony) all have winners. Highest price for a foal at Tattersalls today fell to a Yorkshire stud, thanks to the excellent 40,000gns realised by West Moor Stud for a son of Fraam and Forest Fantasy.
25/11/2003 No luck on the all-weather today, but there are two Yorkshire trained winners over jumps at Sedgefield for Sue Smith (Celioso) and Malcolm Jefferson (Calatagan).
24/11/2003 Wins on the all-weather at Southwell today for Tim Easterby (Could She Be Magic) and David Barron (Countrywide Flyer). The two week Tattersalls December Sales starts today, with the first day being yearlings, and the best price by a Yorkshire stud was the 20,000gns obtained for a son of Xaar sent down from the Manor House Stud in Middleham.
23/11/2003 Just one notable result today when Sue Smith's top chaser Ardent Scout was a decent third in the 43,500 Becher Handicap Chase (a race he won last year) at Aintree, having been in contention at the last this is a promising run for the rest of his season.
22/11/2003 A very busy day, with England just managing to finally win the Rugby World Cup, and Best Mate being beaten on his seasonal debut at Huntingdon. There was a Yorkshire winner at Aintree thanks to Ferdy Murphy who's Ichi Beau won the two mile chase. However the rest of the Yorkshire winners came closer to home at Catterick with Patrick Haslam's Maunby Rocker winning the opener, and Ferdy Murphy getting an across-the-card double thanks to Looking Forward in the handicap chase. The next race was a mares only maiden hurdle, and after slogging round the track for nearly two and a half miles the judge was under to separate Anne Duffield's Allegedly Red and Brian Rothwell's Lady Netbetsports. Finally George Moore consolidated Middleham's good day when Argento took the Novices' Chase.
21/11/2003 Just the one Yorkshire trained winner today, at Wolverhampton where David Chapman's Sharp Hat scored in the claimer. Two bits of goods news for Mark Johnston today; first he announced that stable juvenille star Attraction has made a good recovery and will now be trained for the 1,000 Guineas, although the liklihood of her making the race is still only about 60/40. Second the leading British owner of the 70's and 80's, Robert Sangster, is to send a yearling to Kingsley House for next season. Sangster, who owned the likes of The Minstrel and El Gran Senor, is still a major player in the racing industry, albeit on a much smaller scale than in his heyday.
20/11/2003 A winner over fences at Hereford for Ferdy Murphy with Ulusaba, and one over hurdles at Wincanton for Mick Easterby with Minster Glory doing the business yet again, the fifth win in a row for this twelve year old, who last raced a mere three days ago. It was announced today that former jockey and Malton trainer Colin Tinkler (junior) will be training from George Ward's Uplands Stables, near Compton in Berkshire as from next season. Tinkler, who only recently sold his Musley Bank Stud in Malton to Richard Fahey, has been training in Spain for the last two years, having given up his Yorkshire training career eight years ago.
19/11/2003 After a quiet day yesterday there are just two Yorkshire winners today - one on the flat for Kevin Ryan with Repeat at Southwell, and one over fences at Hexham for Richard Fahey with Giocomo.
17/11/2003 Three wins for Yorkshire trainers on the all-weather at Southwell where Kevin Ryan had a double thanks to Bridgewater Boys and Cardinal Venture, the other Yorkshire winner being Bryan Smart's Bond Playboy. Meanwhile at Leicester Mick Easterby's brave hurdler Minster Glory notched up his fourth win in a row.
16/11/2003 Sue Smith's Meldrum Star was a good third at Cheltenham today, and the Bingley trainer also had a winner at Haydock with Black Frost, but today's Yorkshire star was the Peter Beaumont trained Hussard Collonges, who showed he was back in good form when finishing second in the Edward Hanmer Memorial Chase at Haydock, conceeding 13lb's to the winner, and surviving a terrible jumping mistake at the second fence. He will now probably go to Kempton for the King George, where he must have a good chance if the ground is soft.
15/11/2003 A couple of local winners at Wetherby today where Ferdy Murphy (Paphian Bay) and Sue Smith (Mister Dave) were, typically, amongst the winning trainers, Tim Easterby's Little Docker was also a reasonable third in the main race on that card. However perhaps the most eye-catching result came at Ayr where Richard Fahey's top notch flat performer Vintage Premium was a good second in the 13,624 Dawn Introductory Novices Hurdle, on his jumps debut, he should win soon. At the Wolverhampton evening meeting there was a winner for Mick Easterby with Strong Hand in the fillies' handicap.
14/11/2003 Two more Yorkshire all weather winners at Wolverhampton thanks to David Barron (Queen Of Night) and Patrick Haslam, who's winner Mr Mischief won the amateur riders' handicap in the hands of his son Ben. Closer to home at Newcastle John Quinn's Jake Black, making his debut, won the Novices Hurdle, and Ferdy Murphy's World Vision won the next.
13/11/2003 Only one Yorkshire winner today, and that was a much needed flat winner for Malton trainer Andy Turnell, who's Dower House won the closing race at Lingfield.
12/11/2003 Young Middleham trainer Jedd O'Keeffe has one of the biggest wins of his short career when Beat The Heat wins the 10,433 Dixon Heaney Handicap Hurdle up at Kelso, where there was a Middleham double thanks to Patrick Haslam's Positive Profile winning the opener.
11/11/2003 The jumps trainers are really firing at the moment and there are four Yorkshire trained winners at Sedgefield with the successful trainers being George Moore (Scotmail Lad and Romil Star), Ferby Murphy (Beacon Of Light) and Alan Swinbank (Liberty Seeker).
10/11/2003 Four Yorkshire trainer jumps winners up at Carlisle thanks to Ferdy Murphy (Riothamus and Island Faith) in the opening two races and Mick Easterby (Minster Glory) and Tim Easterby (Stone Cold) in the closing two races. Meanwhile the nascent Flat All-Weather season starts at Wolverhampton where the first two races are won by Patrick Haslam (Maunby Raver) and Kevin Ryan (Cardinal Venture).
09/11/2003 Sue Smith's excellent run continues with two wins at Southwell thanks to Better Days and Amptina. It depends who's statistics you believe, but the official standings at the end of the Turf Flat Season show that Mark Johnston narrowly missed out on second place in the trainers championships, finishing a mere 10,000 behind Mick Channon with an overall total of 133 wins for 2,017,072. Channon's end-of-season run of form also saw him overtake Johnston in the wins department as he had 137. The only other Yorkshire trainer in the top 10 was Tim Easterby in an excellent ninth place with 55 wins for 1,156,775, ahead of the likes of Luca Cumani, Andrew Balding, John Dunlop, David Loder, Saeed Bin Suroor and Roger Charlton.
08/11/2003 So the Turf Flat season comes to a close at Doncaster. There was only one Yorkshire trained winner, but it was a good one, with Mark Johnston's Scott's View, dropped back to one and a half miles from his Musselburgh outing earlier in the week, making all the running in winning the Serlby Stakes L by three and a half lengths, Johnston's twenty-first 'black type' winner of the year.
06/11/2003 A solitary Yorkshire trained winner on the flat at Doncaster today thanks to David Nicholls' Locombe Hill winning the closing race, a Lady Riders Handicap. Meanwhile up at Hexham there are four Yorkshire trained winners under National Hunt rules where the successful trainers are James Hetherton (Tyndarius), Ferdy Murphy (Shelu) and Mick Easterby (Real Shady and Marsh Run who who the last two races).
05/11/2003 No Yorkshire trained winners up at Musselburgh, however there were two black-type performance with Mark Johnston's Scott's View a slightly disappointing second in the Wille Park Trophy Stakes L, and Alan Swinbank's Collier Hill coming third in the same race, to give his trainer his first 'black type' placing.
04/11/2003 Again there were two Yorkshire trained winners on the flat today, this time at Catterick and the winning trainers were James Bethell (King Harson in the Showcase Handicap) and David Chapman (Sharp Hat in the claimer).
03/11/2003 The start of the last week of the 'Proper' Flat season sees winners at Redcar for both Mark Johnston (Go Padero in the opener) and for Kevin Ryan who's CD Europe won the main race of the day, the 7,735 Tote BetExpress Showcase Handicap.
02/11/2003 Only the one Yorkshire winner today, and the successful trainer was the in-form Sue Smith, who's Diceman won the main race at Carlisle. Richard Fahey's Lady Bear was withdrawn from the listed race at Lingfield, and it now looks as if this grand mare will go straight to the December Sales without another run for the Malton trainer.
01/11/2003 Although unsuccessful in the feature race, the Charlie Hall Chase, at Wetherby today, the local trainers still dominated proceedings at the 'A1' track. Highlight of the day was the victory of Kevin Ryan's Gralmano in the West Yorkshire Hurdle G2, where he beat Sue Smith's Royal Emperor into second place. Tim Easterby had a one-two in the next race, the 10,290 Rocom Handicap Chase, thanks to his leading jumpers Turgeonev and Barton. Earlier on the same card George Moore's Emerging Star, making his debut, was a good third in the Juvenile Novice Hurdle L. The best Yorkshire result on the flat came courtesy of Mark Johnston's Carte Sauvage, who earned his second 'black type' placing in as many weeks when third in the Zetland Stakes L at Newmarket. In the evening there was a winner for Kevin Ryan at Wolverhampton, with Quiet Times.
31/10/2003 Three local winners at Wetherby today, with pride of place going to the Mick Easterby trained Minster Glory who won the 10,108 White Rose Handicap Chase, the feature race on the card. There was also a double for Sue Smith thanks to The Kew Tour and Mister McGoldrick.
30/10/2003 Following on from the sad death of Teleprompter last week, it was announced today that another Yorkshire star of the eighties, the brilliant chaser Wayward Lad, has been put down in the States at the age of 28. Wayward Lad was trained by all three of the Dickinson family trainers Tony, Michael and Monica. Wayward Lad is most famous for winning three King George VI Chases', but he was also one of the 'Famous Five' when finishing third in the 1983 Cheltenham Gold Cup, the year when Michael Dickinson trained the first five home, led by Bregawn. Probably one of the best chasers never to win the Gold Cup, he was also second to Dawn Run in a memorable renewal at Cheltenham and in total he won 28 races and 218,732 which, at the time, put him second (to Dawn Run) in the all-time list of British or Irish trained jumpers. His other wins included the West Of Scotland Pattern Chase, the Lambert & Butler Final, the Edward Hanmer Chase and the Whitbread Gold Label Chase (twice). Selfishly he was sent to the sales after his last run, to resolve a dispute between his owners. The late Tony Dickinson, always a man to put the horses welfare first, stepped in to buy Wayward Lad for 42,000gns, and promptly sent him out to Maryland, as a hack for Michael, probably the most expensive hack of all time! For many years he was out hunting in Maryland, but for the last eight years he was just turned out to grass.
29/10/2003 Yorkshire trainers dominate over jumps at Sedgefield today with winners from Brian Ellison (Goodbye Goldstone), Ferdy Murphy (Family Venture), Mick Easterby (Moonlit Harbour), Muriel Naughton (Just Strong) and Tim Easterby (County Classic).
28/10/2003 A lot more action today, although Yorkshire trainers only managed a single winner at each of the flat meetings thanks to Richard Fahey's Opening Ceremony winning at Redcar, and Mark Johnston (who's in a neck and neck battle with Mick Channon for the most flat wins this season) winning the Nottingham maiden with Asiatic.
27/10/2003 A quiet day's racing, the only Yorkshire winner coming from the stable of Alan Swinbank who won the National Hunt Flat race at Bangor with Dark Character.
26/10/2003 Following up from yesterday's flat successes it was a good day at Aintree today for theYorkshire trainers. Sue Smith had a double with Shardante and Cill Churnain, the later winning the main race of the day, the 15,531 bonusprint.com Chase Showcase Handicap. There was also a winner of Merseyside for Jedd O'Keeffe with Beat The Heat winning the maiden hurdle.
25/10/2003 Although they didn't have any runners in the season's final Group One race, the Racing Post Trophy, Yorkshire trainers nevertheless had an excellent day on Town Moor today. Tim Easterby's Jeepstar started proceedings by coming a useful third in the main handicap on the card. Immediately after the big race Mark Johnston showed yet again what an excellent juvenille team he has this season when Nero's Return, a bargain buy at 17,000gns, pluckily won the Doncaster Stakes L by a short head. Lynda Ramsden won the penultimate race, a claimer, with Distant Country. In the final race there was a Yorkshire 1-2-3 with John Quinn getting first and second with stable star's Smart Hostess and Smart Predator, and Nigel Tinkler's grand old servant Henry Hall filling third place. Over the sticks at Carlisle Sue Smith's Free To Run was a decent enough third in that meeting's main race.
24/10/2003 A quiet day for the locals on the track at Doncaster, with lot's of Yorkshire trained places, including David Barron's Dispol Katie a good second in the DBS October Yearling Stakes, but no 'local' winners. It was also a quieter day across the road at the Doncaster Sales, but the Evelyn Stud got 10,500gns (from Richard Fahey) and 10,000gns for sons of Wolfhound and Komaite.
23/10/2003 Three Yorkshire winners over jumps at Haydock today thanks to Ferdy Murphy (Ragu), Edwin Tuer (Fishki's Lad) and Sue Smith (Rival Bidder). There was also a much better day at the Doncaster October Yearling Sales with Norton Grove Stud in Malton again leading the way obtaining 15,000gns (to Mick Easterby's son David Easterby) and 26,000gns (to Richard Fahey) for consecutive lots by Namid and Shinko Forest repectively. A few lots previously Oaks Farm Stables banked 18,000gns and 21,000gns (to Mick Easterby's assistant Robin O'Ryan) for lots by Mark Of Esteem and Diktat respectively.
22/10/2003 Sad news today as it is announced that Teleprompter, one of the best horses trained inYorkshire in the Eighties, has been put down at the age of 24. Teleprompter, owned and bred by Lord Derby, was trained at Richmond by Bill Watts, and won numerous top class races, but his most famous victory was undoubtably in the 1985 Arlington Million G1. Amongst his other victories were the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes G2, the Pacemaker International Stakes G3, the Desmond Stakes G3 and the Prix Quincey G3. In all he won eleven races and over 750,000 in win and place prize money, he was also placed in races such as the Lockinge Stakes G2, and the Eclipse Stakes G1. Retired to Lord Derby's nephews' New England Stud in Newmarket, Teleprompter still spent part of the year in Richmond, leading out Watt's string of two-year-olds, until that trainers retirement. The only two Yorkshire trained winners today both came on the flat at Newcastle, and both came from trainers better known for their jump racing performances. Malton's Brian Ellison won the claimer with Scramble, and Middleham's Micky Hammond won the mile and a quarter handicap with Border Terrier. Today was also the opening day of the Doncaster October Yearling sales and the best price achieved by a Yorkshire stud was a mere 4,500gns obtained by Norton Grove Stud for their son on Timeless Times and Nice Spice.
21/10/2003 Bryan Smart has his second winner in as many days when Ellen Mooney wins the mile handicap at Southwell, the sole Yorkshire trained winner of the day.
20/10/2003 A good day at Pontefract today for the local trainers. The day's feature race was the Tote Bookmakers Silver Tankard Stakes L, for juvenilles, and this saw Lynda Ramsden's New Mexican win nicely with Mark Johnston's Carte Sauvage picking up minor honours in third place. Earler Johnston had picked up a winner with Denise Best. John Quinn won the other main race of the day, the showcase handicap with his tough handicapper Smart Hostess. Later in the card there were even more local winners when John Weymes (Attacca) and Bryan Smart (Alice Blackthorn) won both divisions of the Maiden Auction Stakes.
19/10/2003 And so it comes to pass ..... with time running out Mark Johnston finally grabs his first elusive Group One winner of the season when Pearl Of Love put up a hardy performance to win the Gran Criterium G1 at San Siro this afternoon, winning by half a length. He has now been cut to 12-1 for the 2,000 Guineas and, like Mister Baileys, Bijou d'Inde and Lend A Hand, will go straight for that race. This was Johnston's twelve group winner of the season, and the ninth Group One win of his career, following Mister Baileys, Double Trigger, Bijou d'Inde, Lend A Hand, Princely Heir, Royal Rebel and Yavana's Pace. This victory was also the ninth Yorkshire trained Group One winner of the century, all of which have been trained by either Johnston, Tim Easterby or David Nicholls.
18/10/2003 A very disappointing run from Mark Johnston's Duke Of Venice in the Dewhurst Stakes G1, he galloped along nicely in a good position throughout, but didn't really find an extra gear in the closing stages, hopefully stablemate Pearl Of Love will do better in Italy tomorrow. Four local winners at Catterick with Tim Easterby (Cheeky Girl), James Bethell (Granston), Mark Johnston (Chase The Rainbow) and David Nicholls (Compton Arrow) being the winning trainers. There were also two Yorkshire trained winners under National Hunt rules down at Market Rasen with Alan Swinbank's Virgin Soldier taking the main jump race of the day, and Mick Easterby's Marsh Run winning the last.
17/10/2003 Tim Easterby's 'other' star sprinter, Fayr Jag stumbled and fell in the Bentinck Stakes G3 at Newmarket today, unfortunately also ruining the chances of Kevin Ryan's Halmahera in the process. Ryan's Uhoomagoo continued his good season to be third in the following race. There was also some small consolation for Easterby at Redcar where his Just One Smile won the maiden, and was thus the only Yorkshire trained winner of the day. Also at Newmarket the top price from a Yorkshire Stud on the last day of the October Sales was the 11,000gns achieved by Garrowby Stud for their daughter of Diktat.
16/10/2003 John Quinn's tough money-spinner Smart Predator continued his good season by winning the 10,389 Thoroughbred Breeders' Association Rated Handicap on the first day of Newmarket's Champions Meeting. He was the sole Yorkshire winner at HQ, although Patrick Haslam's So Sure won the claiming hurdle at Towcester. On the all-weather there was a double at Southwell for David Barron with Count Cougar and Queen Of Night,and Foxies Future provided John Weymes with a much needed winner in the opener. The highest Yorkshire price at the sales today came late in the evening session when Evelyn Stud's filly by Sri Pekan fetched 22,000gns to the bid of Mary Reveley.
15/10/2003 The jumping crowd again kept things ticking over today with winners for Linda Stubbs (Blushing Prince) and Micky Hammond (Nandoo) at Wetherby. The main flat news was that Mark Johnston's Lucky Story will no longer run in Saturday's Dewhurst Stakes G1, following a disappointing gallop on Middleham Moor yesterday. This leaves Duke Of Venice as the only Johnston runner in the race, although Pearl Of Love will be aiming for the Gran Criterium G1 in Italy on Sunday. Better news was that Johnston's star filly Attraction is making a better recovery than expected, and it now looks slightly more likely (although by no means certain) that she could race again. Meanwhile Tattersall's mammoth October Sales resumed today (this section used to be the Autumn Yearling Sales) and the best selling Yorkshire lot was the 18,000gns Lend A Hand filly from Pam Cockerill's Providence Stud.
14/10/2003 A good day for the Yorkshire trainers, with winners at three different meetings, one of which they completely dominated. On the flat Mark Johnston had a winner (Penrith) at Leicester and doubled up with a winner at Ayr (Mukuria) where Mick Easterby also had a winner (Nowell House). However it was a Sedgefield where the Yorkshire trainers really triumphed today, winning five of the seven races at the jumps meeting thanks to Alan Swinbank (Liberty Seeker), Lynn Siddall (Silent Snipe), Chris Thornton (Raise Your Glass), Ferdy Murphy (Urban Hymn) and Mick Easterby (One Five Eight).
13/10/2003 A couple of Yorkshire winners today - one at Ayr for Kevin Ryan (Raymond's Pride in the sprint handicap) and one at Leicester for Bryan Smart (Mon Secret in the apprentice handicap).
12/10/2003 The best Yorkshire results of today took place over the Irish Sea at the Curragh where Mark Johnston's Scott's View was a decent second in the Rathbarry Stud's Barathea Finale Stakes L , and Tim Easterby's Golden Nun was an equally good third in the Waterford Testimonial Stakes L. At a more mundane level there were Yorkshire winners at Newcastle for Bryan Smart (Vademecum) and Alan Swinbank (Pop Up Again).
11/10/2003 Finish of the day today was at Ascot where the fast finishing Halmahera trained by Kevin Ryan swooped in the final stages to catch Speed Cop in the 14,239 ladbrokes.com Handicap. After some delay the judges were unable to split them, and the race was declared a dead-heat. The only other flat winner today was at York where Patrick Haslam's Positive Profile won the closing race, although earlier on the same card Kevin Ryan's CD Europe had put up a good effort to be second in the Coral Trophy Showcase Handicap. To cap an excellent day Ryan had a jumps winner at Hexham (Dilsaa) where Chris Fairhurst also had a much needed winner with Gilou. There were also jumps winners at Bangor for Malcom Jefferson (Cumbrian Knight) and Mick Easterby (Minster Glory).
10/10/2003 A much better day at the races today, with three local winners at York. The first of these is the James Bethell trained Stretton who wins the 8,353 Garbutt & Elliot Handicap. Tim Easterby's Flighty Fellow in second in the day's big race, the Showcase Handicap, but the best result of the day comes from the Mark Johnston trained Nero's Return who, making his racecourse debut, strolls away with the maiden race by a massive ten lengths, earning a quote of 33-1 for next years 2,000 Guineas. The other Yorkshire winner at York comes courtesy of Bryan Smart who's Twice Up A Time wins the sprint handicap. The final session of this week's October sales stint sees Oaks Farm Stables' colt by Spectrum achieve the top price for a Yorkshire stud, he made 55,000gns. So Manor House's 110,000gns Royal Applause colt 'topped' the Yorkshire list, although the prize for consistency must go to Garrowby Stud who's six lot's averaged 49,500gns, despite only having one sell for more than 58,000gns.
09/10/2003 No Yorkshire trained winners at York (or anywhere else!) today. The best price achieved by a Yorkshire stud at the marathon (it continues next week!) October sales was the 50,000gns made by Garrowby Stud's son of Desert Style.
08/10/2003 No Yorkshire trained winners today. But there is much better news down at Newmarket, where there is much better representation for the Yorkshire stud's at the October Sales today, and two of 'our' lot's made over 100,000gns. The highest Yorkshire lot today came from the Manor House Stud (as is often the case!) when their son of Royal Applause fetched an excellent 110,000gns. Later on 'Darley & Townsend' (aka Daleside Stud) achieved an equally good 105,000gns for their son of Indian Danehill.
07/10/2003 A big improvement on yesterday, there were three Yorkshire trained winners today. The local winning trainers at Catterick were David Barron (Moyanna in the maiden) and David Barker (Celtic Mill in the classified race). In addition there was a Yorkshire winner down on the all-weather at Southwell, courtesy of Richard Fahey's Turf Princess, shouldn't that be Dirt Princess if she breaks her maiden on the all-weather?!? Only one Yorkshire yearling for sale on the opening day of Tattersalls October Sales, and Burns Farm Stud's In The Wings filly made a faintly disappointing 30,000gns.
06/10/2003 Lot's of Yorkshire runners at Pontefract today, as you would expect, and not a single 'local' winner.
05/10/2003 Arc day at Longchamp. Things start of fairly well for the Yorkshire raiders, with Mark Johnston's Darasim a respectable third in the Prix du Cadran G1. However events take a downward spiral after that with Bahamian Pirate and Somus finishing sixth and seventh respectively in the Prix de l'Abbaye G1, Bollin Eric puts up a reasonable performance to be eighth in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe G1 itself. On a more mundane level there are two Yorkshire winners under National Hunt rules - Mick Easterby's One Five Eight in the NH Flat Race at Market Rasen, and George Moore's Prince Adjal in the Juvenile Novices' Hurdle at Kelso. Also I note that you can get 16-1 for Peter Beaumont's Hussards Collonges in next years Cheltenham Gold Cup, and the same odd's for Ferdy Murphy's Truckers Tavern, food for thought .......!
04/10/2003 The start of one of the biggest racing weekends of the year. The best Yorkshire finisher in the Cambridgeshire is Richard Fahey's Lady Bear who is a decent enough fourth. Meanwhile over at Longchamp Mark Johnston's Gateman is a slightly disappointing third in the Prix Daniel Wildenstein G2. The best local runner in Redcar's 2yo Trophy is the David Barron trained Imperial Echo, who finishes third, netting connections a useful 20,834. Later on the same card Smart Hostess wins for John Quinn, to complete his good week. There is also a winner at Epsom for Nigel Tinkler when the seven year old Henry Hall wins the Andy Capp Handicap, a well deserved victory as he has been running well with no reward for a couple of months. Hopefully Darasim, Somnus, Bahamian Pirate and Bollin Eric will put up a good show tomorrow! Come the evening Karl Burke's Zarzu wins the claimer at Wolverhampton. In further news it was announced that Beechwood Grange Stud would next year be standing the decent Alleged sire Muhtarram, who is sire of a number of good horses including Mark Johnston's Fight Your Corner. Muhtarram, like fellow Beechwood Grange stallion Elmaamul, is owned by Shadwell Stud, and the Knowles' certainly seem to have struck up a profitable association with Sheikh Hamdan's operation, as they could now lay claim to standing the two of the best stallions in Yorkshire.
03/10/2003 Only jumps winners for the Yorkshire trainers today and all three are at Hexham where John Quinn's Direct Descendant wins the opener, John Hetherton's Valeureux the Novices' Hurdle and Mick Easterby's Moonlit Harbour the NH Flat Race.
02/10/2003 Not a good day at Newmarket racecourse for Yorkshire with Mark Johnston's Gold History soundly beaten in the Somerville Tattersall Stakes G3. Come the evening on the other side of town however it was a different story when Mark Dwyer's Oaks Farm Stables consigned a Sadler's Wells filly who fetched a massive 750,000gns at the Tattersalls Houghton Yearling Sales. The filly is an own sister to group one winner Sequoyah and her dam is a half sister to the dam of Saffron Walden and Dolphin Street. OK, so the filly was actually bred at the Brittas House Stud, but nevertheless this is an excellent result, and by far the largest amount ever bid for a horse sent up to the sales from a Yorkshire stud, the next highest I believe being the 400,000gns realised by Cliff Stud in 2000 for a son of Sadler's Wells at this same sale. Yesterday Bolton Grange achieved a good 70,000gns for their half brother to Mensa and Firebolt, the winning bidder being James Given, trainer of Bolton Grange's own Wunders Dream, whether this was a 'buy in' or not remains to be seen.
01/10/2003 A packed card a Newcastle today, and a flurry of winners for the Yorkshire trainers. Richard Fahey won the opening maiden race with Rising Shadow, and Chris Thornton followed up in the next with Lets Roll, division 2 of that race was won by Bryan Smart's Redwood Rocks. Finally the sixth race was won by John Quinn's talisman, the game Fantasy Believer. There was also a winner for Patrick Haslam at Nottingham when his So Sure won the Apprentice Seller.
30/09/2003 I today received my copy of an excellent book entitled "Early Horse Racing In Yorkshire and the Origins of the Thoroughbred" by David Wilkinson. I would thoroughly recommend the book to anyone who is interested in the early development of the Thoroughbred in Yorkshire (and if you're reading this you probably are interested), and it's a bargain at 9.95 inc.P&P from Old Bald Peg Publications (if you 'get' the name then you should 'get' the book!) who's website (with order form) is here. There are an abundance of pictures, diagrams and maps and it includes plenty of history on York and Doncaster racecourses as well as information on early breeders, trainers and horses, further information on the book is given on the website.
A few flat runners from Yorkshire at Nottingham today but no winners. As will increasingly become the case over the next few weeks there was more success over jumps with winners for Brian Ellison (Zibeline making a winner debut over hurdles), Sue Smith (Celioso in the Novices' Chase) and George Moore (Prize Ring in the closing race) at Sedgefield. There was also a winner for Mary Reveley with Double Blade in the claiming hurdle. I've occasionally receive emails asking why I don't mention Mrs.Reveley and have I got something against her!?! Nothing could be further from the truth, however with the frequent boundary changes of recent years it is hard to keep track of what county she is actually in - the current Horses In Training states that Saltburn is in Cleveland, so on that basis I'm afraid the admirable Mrs.Reveley doesn't count as coming from God's Own County ...... on the other hand the Racing Post website claims she is in Lingdale, North Yorkshire ! So I give Multimap the final say - and on that basis (see here) she is definately in Cleveland! Sorry Mary!
29/09/2003 It was announced today that Tim Easterby's stable star Bollin Eric (who may yet run in the Arc) will be retired to stand at the National Stud next season. Bollin Eric, who has won or been placed in all his seventeen starts, will be standing predominantely as a Nationa Hunt sire. Meanwhile there was a valuable day's racing at Hamilton the first 'big'(ish) race was the 11,194 Sam Collingwood-Cameron Conditions Stakes which saw a second place for Bryan Smart's Bond Boy. The next race was the 12,557 Famous Grouse Hamilton Nursery Handicap Final and this brought further proof of the excellent season David Barron is having when his Partners In Jazz came home in front, with David Barker's Fox Covert a decent third. Alan Swinbank's Collier Hill was a reasonable third in the 12,186 Tote Buttonhook Rated Handicap, and James Hetherton won the final race, a 5,346 mile handicap, with Qualitair Wings.
28/09/2003 Not a good day for Yorkshire racing, not only are there no winners from three meetings, but news filters through that Mark Johnston's stable star, Attraction, is out for the rest of the season and will miss the Cheveley Park Stakes G1. Indeed she will be confined to her box for the next six weeks after cracking a pedal bone in her foot, and there is a possibility she will never race again. This awful set back is unrelated to the over reach she suffered in August which caused her to miss the Prix Morny G1.
27/09/2003 Day two of the Ascot festival and Mark Johnston's Leicester Square was a reasonable fourth in the Royal Lodge Stakes G2, with the same teams' Penny Cross picking up some useful black-type when third in the Kotex Rosemary Rated Stakes L. Over at Haydock the best Yorkshire performance came in the opening race courtesy of George Moore's La Sylphide who nicely won the 14,092 EBF Reprocolor Fillies Handicap, her third win of the season, to give Moore one of his best results on the flat since Highflyer won the Northumberland Plate ten years ago. Later on the same card Tim Easterby's Flighty Fellow was a good second in the 12,463 Akzo Nobel Rated Handicap. There were only two local winner at Ripon where Richard Fahey's Philharmonic confirmed the promise of his maiden win by taking the Novice Stakes. John Quinn's Smart Hostess won the next race over six furlongs. It was a good day over jumps for the Yorkshire trainers with Brian Ellison's Torrid Kentavr winning the 12,267 Cantor Mobile Handicap Hurdle at Plumpton. There were also three Yorkshire jumps winners down at Market Rasen with Sue Smith's Cill Churnain winning the main race on the card and Alan Lockwood (with Pompeii, his second winner from six runners over jumps this season) and Brian Rothwell (with Risky Way) also having winners.
26/09/2003 Not much Yorkshire representation on the first day of the Ascot Festival, but the Yorkshire bred (by Sir Robert Ogden at his Sicklinghall Stud) Flying Wanda puts up a good run to be third in the Harvest Fillies Stakes L. Indeed there were no Yorkshire winners at Haydock either, but luckily the all-weather came to the rescue as both Patrick Haslam (Blue Empire in the second) and Mick Easterby (Parknasilla in the three year old maiden) had winners at Southwell.
25/09/2003 The only Yorkshire trained winner today was George Moore's Sir Storm who won the main race over fences today at Perth. However Bryan Smart's excellent flag-bearer Monsieur Bond ran a cracking race to be a good second in the Charlton Hunt Supreme Stakes G3 at Goodwood, hopefully a group race can be found for this son of Danehill Dancer before the end of the season.
24/09/2003 No Yorkshire trained winners today although Guy Reed's homebred (at his Copgrove Stud) Go Solo won his second race of the year when taking the nursery at Chester. Later on the same card Tim Easterby's Golden Nun earned some more black-type by finishing second, a neck behind the winner, in a new race - the Jardine Lloyd Thompson Henry Gee Fillies Stakes L.
23/09/2003 A plethora of local winners at Beverley today, with Thornton-le-Clay trainer Bill Tinning kicking off proceedings by winning the opening seller with Life Is Beautiful, his second winning horse of the season, from only five individual runners, an excellent ratio. Bryan Smart continued the good work when his Creskeld won the third race and this was followed up by John Quinn winning the next with Smart Predator. The following race was won by Mel Brittain with Melodian, and the last by Mick Easterby's Acomb. So five local winners from six races!
20/09/2003 Twenty years on since the glory days of Soba, and fourteen years since Chaplins Club was second in the Ayr Gold Cup (1988 and 89), Stillington trainer David Chapman is back in the big time when Quito narrowly triumphs in the 65,000 Ayr Gold Cup Handicap. Drawn in the right group Quito, under Tony Culhane, found a gap at just the right time to beat Seel Of Approval by a head, with David Nicholls' Fire Up The Band in third, and John Quinn's Fantasy Believer back in fourth. The result could be considered somewhat ironic as Nicholls (who rode the great Soba) was attempting to win the race for a record fourth consecutive year, and was beaten in his attempt but his former guv'nor! Earlier on the same card Mark Johnston's Scott's View had been third in the Weatherbys stallionbook.co.uk Stakes L, unfortunately stablemate Systematic ran a terrible race down at Newbury. The best result from a Yorkshire runner at Newbury came from the Don Enrico Incisa stablestar Cripsey Brook, who was a good third in the valuable Courage Best Handicap. At the local meeting at Catterick Johnston's Bloemfontain finally lost his maiden tag at the third time of asking in the opener, and there was another Middleham winner courtesy of George Moore's Futoo in the nursery. Andy Turnell also had a much needed winner at Catterick when Little Tobias took the staying handicap, Turnell's third flat win of the season, compared with fourteen last year.
19/09/2003 The Ayr meeting continues and there are more winners for the Yorkshire raiders courtesy of Mark Johnston (Tafaahum in the opening maiden, and Gold History in the two-year-old conditions race) and David Nicholls who landed the big race of the day, the 10,660 Ayr Silver Cup Handicap, with Native Title (who ran unplaced here yesterday), Nicholls was also responsible for second placed Blackheath.
18/09/2003 The start of the big Ayr meeting, with a suprisingly low quality of race. However the Yorkshire trainers started the meeting in good form with a 1-2-3 in the first race, albeit only a seller, thanks to Xpressions (Richard Fahey), Jimmy Gee (David Nicholls) and Tancred Imp (David Barker). They also won the next, a Rated sprint handicap thanks to David Nicholls' Brave Burt. In the next race they managed second and third thanks to Suzuka (Mark Johnston) and Lucindi (Chris Thornton). After this things quietened down, but it was an excellent start, especially for Nicholls who hopes to win the Ayr Gold Cup on Saturday for the fourth year in a row. Closer to home saw local winners at Pontefract thanks to Mick Easterby (Emperor's Well in the seller) and Bryan Smart (Atlantic Ace in the stayers conditions race).
17/09/2003 Somewhat bizzarely there were three Yorkshire winners all the way down at Sandown today - and only two close to home at Beverley! The winning trainers at Sandown were David Barron (Racoon in the opener), David Nicholls (Rudi's Pet in the sprint claimer) and Mark Johnston (Duke Of Venice in the two-year-old maiden, his heavily fancied two year old Fort could 'only' manage third in the novice race). Over on the Westwood the successful local handlers were John Wainwright (Mis Chicaf in the maiden) and, with a cross country double, David Nicholls (American Cousin in the sprint handicap).
16/09/2003 Only two Yorkshire trained winners today, and both were close to home at Thirsk. Robin Bastiman's Pepper Road won the mile handicap, to give him his fourth winner of the season, and Lynda Ramsden, following on from yesterday, won the six furlong handicap with Favour, her eighteenth win of the season, an excellent tally given her much reduced string these days, following the decision to train 'for fun' for 'people we like'! Indeed from 24 individual runners this year 13 have now won at least one race, an excellent strike rate, which won't be bettered by many people.
15/09/2003 Mark Johnston today clarified plans for his top two year old colts (Attraction is on course for the fillies only Cheveley Park Stakes) - basically Russian Valour has had a set back in training and won't run again this season, Lucky Story will head for the Dewhurst, and Pearl Of Love (no excuses offered for yesterday) will probably go for the Racing Post trophy, rather than the Grand Criterium. Johnston appropriately won the 'Double Trigger Maiden Stakes' at Redcar today with newcomer Yoshka, and there were also winners for Kevin Ryan (Millkom Elegance) and Lynda Ramsden (Distant Country) at the Teeside track. Up at Musselburgh there were winners for Tim Easterby with Jeepstar in the 10,277 Musselburgh Gold Cup, and for Patrick Haslam with Alpine Special in the mile maiden.
14/09/2003 Today Darryl Holland has the opportunity to compare Pearl Of Love with Lucky Story when Mark Johnston's charge ran in the National Stakes G1 at The Curragh. Unfortunately Pearl Of Love came up short and could 'only' manage third place, and thus denied Johnston his first group one win of the season. There was some compensation at almost exactly the same time however as, over in France, Johnston's Darasim put up a strong front running performance to land the Prix Gladiateur G3, Yorkshire's fourth group win in just over a week, and Johnston's second in three days. At a more mundane level there was a winner in the opener at Hexham for Ferdy Murphy and, on the same card, Chris Fairhurst had a much needed winner when Little Task took the handicap hurdle, all he needs now is a first winner of the year on the flat. Indeed Yorkshire trainers dominated at Hexham as Kate Milligan and George Moore also won the last two races on the card.
13/09/2003 St.Leger day at Doncaster, unfortunately there were no local runners in the great race, which went to Aidan O'Brien's Brian Boru. Although there were good placings from local horses at Doncaster such as Flight Fellow (Tim Easterby) and Arcalis (Lynda Ramsden) we had to wait until the penultimate race today to get a winner when Mark Johnston's Greta d'Argent won the 14,092 Torne Valley Handicap. Up at Musselburgh Tim Etherington had his sixth winner of the season when Feu Duty took the maiden fillies stakes. On the same card Alan Swinbank's Rutters Rebel won the nursery. Nigel Tinkler was another to get on the scoresheet today when Mystery Pips won the closing race at Goodwood, taking the Langton trainers haul to twelve for the year to date. Kate Walton continued her good recent run when Air Of Confusion took the last at Bangor, where earlier Brian Ellison's Torrid Kentavr was a slightly disappointing third in the big race on the card. There was better news over at the Curragh for Tim Easterby when he won yet another group race when Fayr Jag took the Ridgewood Pearl Stakes G3 by a mere head, although his Bollin Eric could only manage fourth in the Irish St Leger G1. Hopefully Mark Johnston's Pearl Of Love will fair better on the same track tomorrow, where he will aim to give his trainer his first group one win since Royal Rebel's Ascot Gold Cup last June.
12/09/2003 Donnie, day three and things start of well for Mark Johnston when Itemise is a good second in the second race, the 21,006 Tote Exacta Mallard Handicap. Things get a lot better for the Kingsley House handler in the next when Lucky Story ("my best two year old since Mister Baileys") wins the Champagne Stakes G2, giving Johnston his tenth group winner of the season. Although Lucky Story sweated up badly at the start (a common trait amongst Kris S horses) and only won by a neck this was actually a very impressive performance as this game colt kept digging into his reserves to find more following two sustained challenges to his lead. He doesn't look like a horse who will ever win races but huge margins, but at the same time he looks very difficult to pass, and is entered in three group one races - the Grand Criterium, the Dewhurst and the Racing Post Trophy. So that's three Yorkshire trained group winners in less than a week; it doesn't seem that long ago that we were lucky to get one a year, in the eighties for example!. The next race was the 27,000 DBS St Leger Yearling Stakes and Tim Easterby's Mrs Moh (having her second outing of the meeting) put up a good performance to be second. The last race of the day on Town Moor was the 6,500 Coal Trade Benevolent Association Raceday Handicap, and there was a 1-2-3-4 for the local horses with John Wainwright's Catch The Cat coming home ahead of Justalord (John Balding), Hiccups (Lynda Ramsden) and Penny Ha'penny (David Barker). There was a jumps winner at Southwell today for Sue Smith, courtesy of April Spirit. Yorkshire's most important Yearling sales, the St.Leger Sale at Doncaster, saw a new record last night when a colt by Xaar fetched 250,000gns, falling to Hamdan Al-Maktoum's agent's bid. Incidently the small number of horses entered in the sale from Yorkshire stud's have sold well, without setting the world alight. The highest price achieved from a Yorkshire stud was the 35,000gns paid to Oaks Farm Stables for a son a Trans Island, with the next best being the 24,000gns that Evelyn Stud's son of Royal Applause made. Yorkshire studs are much better represented in the Tattersall's October Sales, and hopefully they'll raise some good prices in what is undoubtably a very strong market.
11/09/2003 Leger meeting day two, and it seems that the Yorkshire horses are pretty unstoppable at the moment. Middleham trainer Patrick Haslam had his biggest win ever (and his first group win since Pipe Major in the 1995 Criterion Stakes G3) when bargain buy (8,000gns at the Breeze-Ups) Kinnaird comfortably won the opening May Hill Stakes G2 by two lengths at odds of 9-1. The 1,000 Guineas is now on everyone's mind for this lovely filly, who was following up from her Shergar Cup win from last month, she is now beaten only once in six starts. Hopefully Kinnaird can go at least one better than the aforementioned Pipe Major - who was fourth in the 2,000 Guineas G1. Later on there were good placings form David Nicholls' Fire Up The Band and Lynda Ramsden's Bishops Court, who were second and third respectively in the Scarbrough Stakes L. Kevin Ryan's Cardinal Venture was a good second in the last. There was also good news at Epsom today when Bryan Smart's good colt Monsieur Bond finally won a 'black type' race when coming home ahead in the Valliant Fortune S L. Finally Mark Johnston's grand servant Zindabad had his last run today, when fourth in the Doncaster Cup G2. He is now off to stud with wins in the Hardwicke Stakes G2, Yorkshire Cup G2 and John Porter Stakes G3 to his name, as well as a clutch of listed wins and excellent thirds in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth II Stakes G1 (probably his best ever performance) and the Coronation Cup G1.
10/09/2003 The Leger meeting kicks off - and it's a good start for the local trainers. Tim Easterby's Mrs Moh was a good second in the opening 25,002 EBF Carrie Red Fillies Nursery Handicap, beaten only a neck. The next was the 200,000 St Leger Yearling Stakes (won last year by Somnus) and this time the best Yorkshire result came from David Barron's Axis, who picked up a decent 28,480 for third place. The best result of the day however came from Kevin Ryan's marvellous campaigner Halmahera who won the 35,620 Portland Handicap, this was his first victory since winning the same race last year, although he has had some good placings in between. Lynda Ramsden's New Mexican was a decent second in the 7f conditions race, and Mark Johnston's Marinas Charm won her third race from her last four starts when winning the last, the 8,047 Wilfreda Beehive Classified Stakes, by a neck.
09/09/2003 At Leicester today Mark Johnston unveiled yet another potentially top class two year old in the shape of Gold History, a $125,000 son of Seeking The Gold. He duly won his maiden, although only be half a length. Tim Easterby also chalked up yet another winner with Silver Coin in the last at Catterick.
08/09/2003 Winners at Newcastle for the unstoppable David Barron (Flipando in the two year old maiden) and also for Brian Ellison (Proud Western in the older horses maiden). Many trainers appear to be keeping their powder dry for the Leger meeting - and who can blame them!
07/09/2003 Middleham trainer Kate Walton, better known for her jumpers, had one of her best ever flat results today when Queen Charlotte, off the track for 291 days and having his first run for Walton, won the Wholesale Madness Handicap. It was a good day on the Knavesmire for the local trainers, as there were also winners for James Bethell (King Harson in the Quintin Gibley Silver Trophy Handicap) and Richard Fahey (Philharmonic in the two-year-old maiden).Down at Worcester Sue Smith had a double courtesy of Ambry and Rival Bidder, Patrick Haslam also had a jumps winner, this one at Uttoxeter, where Maunby Rocker obliged in the opener. Mark Johnston's Systematic had his first tilt at group one company in Germany this afternoon, and was unplaced.
06/09/2003 Tim Easterby does it again - a Yorkshire trained and bred group one winner for the second season in a row! Following on from Bollin Eric's success in last years St.Leger, Somnus, trained by Easterby, won the Stanley Leisure Sprint Cup G1 in excellent style under Ted Durcan. This grand gelding really came into his own in the soft going (it was still pouring down during the race) and came home clear of of Oasis Dream and Airwave, at odds of 12-1. Somnus was bred by Lady Legard at her Scampston Hall home, and was raised at Sir Tatton Sykes' Sledmere Stud. Indeed Sir Tatton is a part owner of Somnus and intends to use his share of Somnus' burgeoning winnings (now heading towards 425,000) to improve the broodmare band at Sledmere, now that it has stopped taking boarders to concentrate on breeding on it's own account. Unfortunately for Lady Legard Somnus' dam, Midnight's Reward died in 2001, but the Legard's do have her daughter the five year old Pasithea (by Celtic Swing) who won 3 and was placed third in the Aphrodite Stakes L when trained by Tim Easterby. Not to be out done Mark Johnston registered four wins today, three of them in big races. The most important win was that of Gateman in the Superior Mile L at Haydock. Gatemen looked like he would be caught, but just kept battling on and would not be denied. Like Somnus he is effective in the soft, and should be a force to be reckoned with this Autumn. Johnston had a 1-3 in the 32,500 Old Borough Cup Showcase Handicap with The Persuader and Spectrometer respectively, the winner hanging on despite wandering all over the track in the last two furlongs. Still at Haydock Johnston had won the opening 17,654 Freephone Stanley Nursery Handicap with Baileys Dream, and this colt will probably now be aimed at a listed race. Johnston's fourth winner was the Kingmambo debutante Mbosi in the opener at Thirsk. Back at Haydock David Nicholls won the Be Friendly Handicap with Blackheath, and there was a winner at his local track Thirsk for David Barron with Raccoon in the last. Over jumps John Quinn won the Juvenile Novices Hurdle at Stratford with Hilltime. Down to Wolverhampton for the evening racing, where Kevin Ryan's Nimello wins the claimer. Today's good results will have consolidated Mark Johnston's second place in the trainers championship, and Tim Easterby should now have overtaken John Gosden for sixth. Other Yorkshire trainers high up the list are David Nicholls (19th), Richard Fahey (29th) and David Barron who in 33rd is ahead of the likes of Sir Mark Prescott, Alec Stewart and Neville Callaghan and has had an excellent season so far with 57 winners, Johnston remains the only trainer with more than 100 winners, he is currently on 121.
05/09/2003 Although there was a winner at Haydock for Patrick Haslam (King Revo), where Mark Johnston's Coolbythepool was a reasonable third in the big race, the main interest today was over jumps at Sedgefield. The opening race was supposed to have been boycotted as a protest against the reduction in prize money, however, following some mis-communication, two runners went to post and George Moore's Prize Ring came home in front. Perhaps not the most successful protest ever staged. There were three further winners up in the North East for Yorkshire trainers courtesy of Sue Smith (Grate Deel), Micky Hammond (Nandoo) and Alan Swinbank (Virgin Soldier).
04/09/2003 At Carlisle today there were winners for Bryan Smart (Senor Bond) and Mick Easterby (Princes Theatre, having his first run for his new connections). On the other coast Richard Fahey had a winner at Redcar with Marshallspark.
03/09/2003 Things started off well for the local trainers at York with Mick Easterby's Sporting Gesture winning the opening race from Richard Fahey's Jeepstar. In the next, the 15,863 T Mobile Rated Handicap John Quinn's Smart Predator was a good second. Mark Johnston's Itemise, running for the second time in seven days, was a decent enough third in the Garrowby Rated Handicap, and Johnston's Gone West juvenille West Country made a promising debut in the maiden, coming second to Paul Cole's Secretary General, who had the benefit of two previous trips to the races.
02/09/2003 A rare trip to Brighton yields a winner for Wetherby trainer Robin Bastiman when Tuscan Flyer wins the last at the Sussex track.
01/09/2003 Just the one Yorkshire winner today when Mark Johnston's Woody Valentine wins the two-year-old maiden up at Hamilton.
30/08/2003 Four meetings today - and Yorkshire winners at all of them ! This is becoming a bit of a habit. The best result of the day came from Richard Fahey's filly Lady Bear who won the Atalanta Stakes L at Sandown. This fine filly will goto the sales at the end of the season as a broodmare prospect, having won over 200,000 for connections. Chester also saw a big race win for Yorkshire when David Nicholls' True Night won the 14,820 betfair.com Handicap. On the same card Tim Easterby's Bourgeois was a decent enough third in the Chester Rated Stakes Handicap L. The sole Yorkshire winner at Ripon came courtesy of James Hetherton's Swynford Pleasure, winning for the second time in under a week. Finally there was a jumps winner at Market Rasen for Ferdy Murphy when Howaboys Quest won the closing Novices' Hurdle.
29/08/2003 Three meetings today - and Yorkshire winners at all of them. Pride of place goes to Mark Johnston's Chantress who won the 13,689 Business Link NWFA Rated Handicap at Chester by two lengths. Down at Sandown Linda Stubbs' Eastern Pearl won the opening Nursery Handicap. By the sea at Ayr their were winners for David Barron with Imperial Echo and Julie Camacho with Lauro.
28/08/2003 A quiet day's racing from a Yorkshire perspective with most of the action centred on Chester, where there were a handful of runners from God's Own County. There was good Yorkshire representation in the Tote Exacta Showcase Handicap, with Alan Dickman's Inter Vision performing best to take second place. There were also a few Yorkshire runners in the last race, the 7,036 Saffie Joseph & Sons Handicap, where Mick Easterby's Hills Of Gold put up a good performance to win by one and a half lengths.
27/08/2003 Mark Johnston sent four fillies to Brighton today in search of precious black-type in the Virgina Rated Handicap Stakes L and was rewarded when Sheikh Mohammed's Itemise came in a good third, beaten only by two heads. There was a double for David Nicholls at Catterick with Bannister and Ballybunion both scoring over five furlongs.
26/08/2003 The local horses faired much better at Ripon today than they did at Newcastle yesterday, with three Yorkshire winners. The star performance was from Don Enrico Incisa's Cripsey Brook won continues to go from strength to strength and was allowed to set off at the ridiculous odds of 8-1 (I had my first bet in over 2 years and it was one of those 'free bet' opening offers, days don't get much better than that!) when he won the 8,567 City of Ripon Showcase Handicap. Tim Easterby's Mind Alert won the next, the Steve Nebitt Challenge Trophy Handicap, and Bryan Smart's Masterpoint took the claimer.
25/08/2003 The usual pitiful bank holiday card of claimers and low numbers of runners. The best Yorkshire results were at Epsom where Mark Johnston won the opening maiden with the promising Fort, who won despite running green. Later on the same card David Nicholls won the 'Amateur Derby' - the 12,180 Burton & Smith Derby Amateur Riders Handicap - with Eton by a mere neck. At Ripon (where the biggest field had 9 runners, and 2 races only attracted 4 runners each) there were winners for Allan Dickman with Inter Vision in the Billy Nevett Memorial Handicap, and for Tim Easterby with Jeepstar in the closing Pateley Bridge (home of moi!) Handicap. Looking for easy picking Nigel Tinkler and David Nicholls each sent 2 runners each all the way to Folkestone, and were rewarded with a winner apiece from Henry Windsor and Bailiebrough respectively. Alan Swinbank had the sole Yorkshire winner at Newcastle when Red Romeo won the opener. Over jumps there were winners for Sue Smith (Keen To The Last) and Kevin Ryan (Dilsaa) at Cartmel, and Smith doubled up with Lisdante winning at Southwell. Lincolnshire trainer James Given announced today that his star two-year-old of last season Wunders Dream, who has failed to train on, will be retired to her owner John Ellis' Bolton Grange Stud immediately. Lightning fast last season she won the Flying Childers Stakes G2, and the Molecomb Stakes G3 as well as two other races and was placed second in the Weatherbys Super Sprint, but this year she has made no show in five outings.
24/08/2003 A good weekend for Mark Johnston is sealed when he wins his second Group Two race in as many days when the enigmatic Darasim produces a superb display to bolt home in the Prix Kergorlay G2 at Deauville under Joe Fanning. This is Johnston's ninth group winner of the season although somewhat bizarrely he hasn't had a horse even placed in a group one race yet. Partly this can be explained by the fact that many of his best results this year have been in juvenille races, and most of the two year old group ones have not yet been run. On this theme it was reported today that stable star Attraction (currently ante-post favourite for the 1,000 Guineas) has had a minor setback in training and, as a result, will not now be running in next weekends Prix Morny G1, but will instead go for the Cheveley Park Stakes G1. Much closer to home at Beverley David Barron's Dispol Katie won the 13,676 BP Saltend Nursery Handicap from Tim Etherington's Celtic Thunder. Earlier Johnston's Masterpoint had won the opening claimer and later on James Hetherton's Swynford Pleasure took the amusingly named Ferret Rescue Handicap! Down at Goodwood there was a nice winner for Alan Swinbank when the admirable What-A-Dancer took the Seafrance Classified Stakes.
23/08/2003 Today Mark Johnston's Pearl of Love produced a devastating run to crush the opposition in the Futurity Stakes G2 at the Curragh. This colt, who was already one of the favourites for next years 2,000 Guineas looks to be the 'real deal' and is sure to shorten for next seasons classics after winning by 3 1/2 lengths. There was another good result for Johnston at Goodwood when Scott's View continued on the comeback trail when second in the March Stakes L, a great improvement on his run a week ago, he is sure to be winning soon. Also at Goodwood John Quinn's Fantasy Believer was a good second in the 18,847 ladbrokes.com Handicap, and David Nicholls' Winning Venture managed a third in his handicap. There was a second victory in as many days for a Yorkshire horse at 'HQ' when Lynda Ramsden's Arcalis won the 15,469 betfair.com Rated Handicap in good style. Unfortunately John Wainwright was unable to win the 'Will It Be A Wainwright Winner Handicap' at Beverley (although Bobanvi did oblige for him at Cartmel), a race he has won for the last four years, hence the (new) name! However there were winners at the East Yorkshire track for Mick Easterby with Hills Of Gold, Mark Johnston with Penny Cross and Tim Easterby with Ruthie, who was homebred by Lord Halifax at his Garrowby Stud.
22/08/2003 A good day at Newmarket for Tim Easterby when he lands a one-two in the day's feature race the Hopeful Stakes L where Fayr Jag comes home just a neck in front of stablemate Somnus. Many observers felt that if the race was run again the placings could well be reversed as Somnus failed to take his gap immediately when hemmed in on the rails. Patrick Haslam's Alpine Special was second in the nursery. At Thirsk there were local winners for David Barker (Summerise), Karl Burke (Blue Sky Thinking) and Nigel Tinkler with Mary Jane in the closing race. Mary Jane is in-foal to former Tinkler star Sugarfoot and will now be retired to stud, having won over 30,000 for current connections. The first two races at Newcastle's evening meeting were won by Yorkshire horses with John Quinn (Prince Tara) and Patrick Haslam (Good To Go) taking the spoils.
21/08/2003 Yorkshire was again under-represented at York where the best result of the day from a local perspective was the good second place (beaten only a short head) of Bryan Smart's Monsieur Bond in the Roses Stakes L. Patrick Haslam's Moulin de Mougins also filled the runner up berth in the next race, also the final race of the meeting, the 11,310 Bradleys Jewellers Nursery Handicap. Futher afield there were winners for Richard Fahey (Angel Isa) and Robin Bastiman (Tuscan Flyer) at Musselburgh.

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20/08/2003 Not a good day for the Yorkshire horses at York today although, in fairness, with the possible exception of the disappointing Leicester Square, there weren't really that many local runners with chances. However there was some recompense as the winner of the Ebor Handicap itself was Saint Alebie bred adjacent to the A1 at Westwood Farm, and a grand-daughter of the Yorkshire darling Soba. Yorkshire horses did better at Carlisle where there were winners for Lynda Ramsden (Johnny Parkes in the maiden) and David Nicholls (Pax in the 7,118 Weatherbys Handicap). There was good news at Nottingham for Chris Thornton where he registered his first flat winner since Boxing Day when Quicks The Word won the Classified Stakes.
19/08/2003 Day one of York's prestigous Ebor meeting went well for the local horses. In the Lonsdale Stakes G3 Tim Easterby's Bollin Eric put up a sterling performance to win by 2 lengths and a neck, with Mark Johnston's Zindabad back in third. This was the first time these two horses had tackled this distance and both acquited themselves well. The last race of the day was the 19,175 Royal & Sun Alliance Handicap and this also went to a local horse when John Quinn's Smart Predator followed up on his 'Grey Horse' success from Saturday. In between these races Johnston's Delsarte was a slightly disappointing fourth in the Great Voltigeur Stakes G2, and David Barron's Axis was a good second in the Eglinton Nursery Handicap. At the more humble Hamilton Park meeting Richard Fahey's Wuxi Venture narrowly won the feature race, the 11,807 Tote Bookmakers Series Final and there were also winners for Kevin Ryan (Iskander), Mark Johnston (My Daisychain) and Tim Easterby (Phamedic).
18/08/2003 Mark Johnston's Marina's Charm quickly doubled up her victory from last week today when winning the 8,491 Oki Challenge Fillies Rated Handicap at Windsor. Earlier in the day at Nottingham there had been victories for Bryan Smart (Bonne de Fleur) and for John Balding in the 8,671 Weatherby's Bank Conditions Stakes with Absent Friends.
17/08/2003 Racing at Pontefract today where the John Wainwright standard-bearer Vita Spericolata added further black-type to her illustrious career when she finished third in the Slatch Farm Stud Flying Fillies Stakes L. Tim Easterby's Flighty Fellow won the 9,450 Unison Handicap from Richard Whitaker's Nevada Desert, and David Nicholls' Brecongill Lad (who has really blossomed since returning to his former handler) won the closing race. Nicholl's Jabaar was second in the valuable ladies race at Bath, where his Ballybunion was also second and John Balding had a rare Kempton winner when Justalord won the Betfair Handicap.
16/08/2003 A busy Saturday and we start at Newbury where Mark Johnston's top class stayer Systematic was making his long-awaited seasonal debut, following an injury earlier in the year. Under Kevin Darley, Systematic set off at a good pace in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes G2 but looked a little rusty in the last couple of furlongs where he was outpointed by Mubtaker to finish a decent second, he will certainly come on for this race. Later on the same card the David Nicholls trained Proud Native won the 6,890 Stan James Handicap. It was also a good day for Johnston at Newmarket where his Royal Beacon put up a good show to edge out Tim Easterby's Dazzling Bay in the 15,196 National Horseracing Museum Rated Handicap. Easterby had also had a good second in the opening nursery with Louisiade, and John Quinn's Smart Predator won the first running of the innovative 6,825 Grey Horse Handicap, a race restricted to greys. Unfortunately Johnston's other eagerly awaited seasonal debut, Scott's View, finished last in his race at HQ. Closer to home at Ripon is was the usual cavalry charge for the Great St Wilfrid Handicap. As is becoming normal David Nicholls had a massive seven runners but, rather like Goodwood, it was the former Nicholls inmate Undeterred, now trained David Barron, who did the best of the local horses, finishing a good second in a very close finish.
15/08/2003 Eight winners in total for the Yorkshire trainers today. The action started this afternoon at Newcastle where Lynda Ramsden (Prize Ring), Richard Fahey (Opening Ceremony) and Mick Easterby (William's Well) all had winners. The local evening meeting was at Catterick where Lynda Ramsden had another winner (Yarn Spinner) and David Nicholls (Hawk), Bryan Smart (Differential) and Mark Johnston (Victory Ventre) also had wins. Down at his former base Newmarket Karl Burke chalked up another win when Million Percent took the second race.
14/08/2003 Mark Johnston's team seem to be coming back into form just in time for York next week as he struck with a double at Beverley this afternoon, courtesy of Herne Bay and Whispered Promises. There was also a win for John Quinn's Coxmoore in the Novices' Stakes. At the Haydock evening meeting Kevin Ryan's Mirasol Princess won the opener but it was Don Enrico Incica's Crispey Brook who perhaps put up the perfomance of the day when landing the 5,639 Sportsbetcharge Top Bookie Handicap, his fourth win in his last six outings.
13/08/2003 Following an advert in the Racing Post a few weeks ago it was today announced that Alan Dickman has now moved into a part of Lynda Ramsden's Breckenbrough yard and will be training from there, where he is currently occupying around a dozen boxes. Dickman previously operated out of a barn owned by Mel Brittain. At Beverley today there were winners for John Wainwright (Alpine Hideaway), Mark Johnston (Caracara), Tim Easterby (Grey Clouds) and David Nicholls (Captain Clipper). Mark Johnston sent up 8 runners to Hamilton's evening meeting - and was rewarded with 3 wins, 2 seconds and a third. The winners were led by Marina's Charm who won the 12,023 Captain J.C.Stewart Rated Handicap, the other Kingsley House winners were Baileys Dancer and Spectrometer. Kevin Ryan's Poppys Footprint won the Novices' Stakes.
12/08/2003 Only two Yorkshire runners today, both were trained by David Nicholls and both ran at Brighton were Izmail won the closing race under the trainers son Adrian Nicholls.
11/08/2003 Local trainers did well at the Thirsk evening meeting with winners for Richard Whitaker (Lord of Methley), Bryan Smart (Annie Harvey), John Wainwright (Baron Rhodes), Brian Ellison (Altitude Dancer) and David Barron (Blonde Streak). Earlier in the day Sue Smith's April Spirit had won over fences at Southwell.
10/08/2003 The death was announced today of Lord Manton, a Yorkshire landowner and prominent figure on the turf. A former soldier he rode over 130 winners as an amateur including Gay Monarch in the 1955 Kim Muir Chase at Cheltenham. He inherited his title in 1968 and served on many racing institutions including the Jockey Club, the Horserace Betting Levy Board, York Race Committee (Chairman 1985-91) , and the Tattersalls Committee. He also acted as a steward at York, Doncaster and Beverley, and had been a director of Thirsk racecourse since 1970. He was Senior Steward of the Jockey Club 1982-85, during which time he instituted sweeping reforms of the stewarding system and a working party set up to look at Sunday racing, as well as campaigning for the abolition of on-course betting tax. As an owner and/or breeder his best horses were the stallion Pitpan, Combermere, and Silver Stick who, partnered by the eldest of his triplets, won the Horse and Hound Grand Military Gold Cup at Sandown in 1998 which caused Lord Manton to claim that "there were not many people who bred both the horse and the jockey." !
09/08/2003 Shergar Cup day at Ascot today and although the format is starting to look a little strained there was good representation from the Yorkshire trainers. In the Distaff Tim Easterby's Forever Times was a decent enough third, but in the following race Patrick Haslam's Kinnaird put up an excellent performance under Kieron Fallon to win the 20,000 Shergar Cup Juvenille Auction. This was Haslam's biggest win since Pipe Major won the Criterion Stakes G3 back in 1995. In the next, the Stayer's race Mark Johnston's Mana d'Argent who was a hot favourite could only manage third place. In the last race, the Sprint, Johnston's Royal Beacon was a good second, although it has to be said that Tim Easterby's Somnus had a very rough race back in fourth. At Newmarket James Bethell's Mine could only manage third in the Silver Salver Handicap, whilst at Haydock Mick Easterby won the 9,872 James Halstead Handicap with Blue Spinnaker. Up at Redcar Mark Johnston had another big-race second when Penny Cross filled that position in the 22,694 Tetley's Imperial Ale Rated Handicap. David Nicholl's Smirfy's Party won the closing race at the Teeside venue. However the BIG news of the day (announced on the BBC during the Shergar Cup coverage) was that, as widely expected, the 2005 Ascot Royal Meeting will take place at York ! I guess I'd better invest in a morning suit, as that will be one race meeting not to be missed for fans of Yorkshire racing! The Knavesmire is to be specially adapted (a crescent will be added to the current horseshoe shape) to give it a round course to enable it to hold some of the long distance 'Ascot' races such as the Gold Cup and the Queen Alexandra. The meeting will be labelled 'Royal Ascot at York' and is necessary due to the 20 month shut down of Ascot whilst a new grandstand is constructed, should this major project overrun then the 2006 meeting would also be held at York. A decision on Ascot's other major meetings has not yet been made - the King George at Donnie anyone ?!?
08/08/2003 Two winners on the flat today for the Yorkshire trainers; John Balding's Czar Wars at Wolverhampton and Lynda Ramsden's Albany in the last at Haydock's evening meeting. There were a brace of wins over sticks at Sedgefield for a group of trainers usually known for their exploits on the flat viz John Quinn (Hilltime), Alan Swinbank (Virgin Soldier), John Wainwright (Alpine Hideaway) and Patrick Haslam (Onefourseven). Of these the Alpine Hideaway victory was the most newsworthy, mainly due to the conduct of the selling auction after the race. Suffice it to say that after a young man who normally resides at a local, erm, 'institution' walked away after bidding 6,200gns for the winner, the sale was, after some intervention from John Wainwright, declared void.
07/08/2003 Only two winners today; Richard Fahey's Marshallspark all the way down at Brighton, and Sue Smith's Town Crier over hurdles at Uttoxeter.
06/08/2003 Some of the Yorkshire stables seem to be coming down with a dose of 'seconditis' but there were still three Yorkshire trained winners today. At Newcastle James Bethell's King Harson won the last race under Joe Fanning. Meanwhile at Pontefract David Barron's Spitfire Bob won the opener and Mick Easterby's Acomb won the last.
05/08/2003 Again a small number of winners for the Yorkshire based trainers today. David Nicholls' Proud Native won the opening claimer at Bath under Darryl Holland. At Catterick there were winners for Alan Dickman (The Old Soldier in the sprint handicap) and Linda Stubbs (Plutocrat in the closing handicap).
04/08/2003 A number of winners for the Yorkshire trainers today. Close to home at Ripon in the afternoon things kicked off well when Neville Bycroft's charge Petite Mac won the opening seller. David Barron's Mr.Lear won the next and although the locals were not successful in winning the Armstrong Memorial Rated Handicap there were useful local performances in second and third, filled by Tim Easterby's Artie and John Weymes' Brigadore respectively. Racing moved onto Carlisle in the evening where Richard Fahey's Bo McGinty was successful in the two-year-old maiden.
03/08/2003 A lovely sunny day at Chester, where Yorkshire raiders dominated the 10,758 Mail On Sunday Handicap with Tim Easterby's Santisima Trinidad coming home ahead of David Nicholls' True Night and Kevin Ryan's Uhoomagoo. In the Queensferry Stakes L John Wainwright's Vita Spericolta, who has won this race in the past two renewals, could only manage second, although this was her best run of the season to date, and hopefully a sign of better things to come.
02/08/2003 Stewards' Cup Day at Glorious Goodwood, and Yorkshire trainers fielded 14 of the 19 runners, with David Nicholls alone responsible for 6 of those. And it was Nicholl's who faired best of the Yorkshire raiders when Fire Up The Band ran a strong race to be second, albeit some way behind the good winner Patavellian. Later on Patrick Haslam's Alpine Special was third in the nursery, and Lynda Ramsden's Cape Royal was a good second in the last race. There was only one local winner at Doncaster with John Quinn's Winthorpe winning the last. The locals faired a little better at Thirsk with David Nicholls' well travelled Brecongill Lad winning the seller, and Brian Ellison's Conquering Love winning the last race.
01/08/2003 The Yorkshire/Goodwood love affair gets back on course today when the Richard Fahey trained Lady Bear wins the main race of the day, the 58,000 William Hill Mile Showcase Handicap by 1 1/4 lengths. This was especially sweet as this was the first win for Fahey since he moved to the former Musley Bank Stud (which he has purchased from Colin Tinkler, jnr) on the otherside of Malton from his previous location at Butterwick, owned by father-in-law Peter Easterby. In the next race Mark Johnston's Darasim, running for the second time at this meeting, was third in the Glorious Rated Handicap L, and Johnston had another third in the following nursery with Venetian Pride. In the last race, the 12,818 Stewards Sprint Handicap, David Nicholls had no less than twelve runners, but it was the former Nicholl's trained Undeterred, now trained just up the road by David Barron, who won this Stewards Cup consolation race, with Nicholl's pair Zuhair and Sir Don filling the minor places. At Thirsk the Tim Easterby trained Highland Gait won the last, whilst Richard Fahey doubled up when his Kings College Boy won at the Nottingham evening meeting. Other evening successes included Patrick Haslam's Moulin de Mougins at Newmarket, and Mark Johnston's Bessemer at Ayr.
31/07/2003 So much for my prediction of yesterday - no Yorkshire winners at Goodwood today, never mind three for Mark Johnston, although it has to be noted that Zindabad was withdrawn from the Goodwood Cup, reportedly to undergo a pre-sale inspection. The only twinkle of success was the Copgrove Stud bred San Antonio putting up a very sound performance to be second in the opening 26,100 Freephone Stanley Handicap. Meanwhile there was a winner at Newcastle (Grey Clouds) for Tim Easterby and one each at Musselburgh for Brian Ellison (Mr Fortywinks) and David Barron (Baylaw Star).
30/07/2003 Day two of Glorious Goodwood and two winners for Mark Johnston (does this mean he'll get three tomorrow?!!?) The opening race of the day was the 23,200 Goodwood Handicap and this was actually a Middleham 1-2 as Johnston's Knavesmire Omen with Darryl Holland came home ahead of Patrick Haslam's Positive Profile. This was Johnston's hundreth winner of the season, and marks his fastest ever century. The next race was the Vintage Stakes G2 and in this race Johnston's Lucky Story proved far too good for the Ballydoyle raiders, coming home clear under a hard ride from Keith Dalgleish, and proving yet again the strength in depth Kingsley House in the juvenille department this season. This was Johnston sixth group winner of the season, although he has yet to score at the highest level this season. Unfortunately David Nicholls' Zuhair did not win the last race, the Zuhair Handicap, named after him! Up at Carlisle there were winners for Linda Stubbs (Lunar Leader) and David Barron (Patricia Philomena).
29/07/2003 Day one of Glorious Goodwood and Mark Johnston starts as he means to on when Darasim wins the 29,000 Ladbrokes.com Prestige Handicap, to give Johnston his 99th winner of the season. There were also placings for Richard Fahey's Definite Guest (third in the Bet Direct Summer Showcase Handicap) and David Nicholls' Sawwaah (third in the Tatler Summer Season Handicap). Closer to home there were winners at Beverley for Karl Burke (Victory Sign), John Norton (Red River Rebel), Bryan Smart (Bonne de Fleur) and David Chapman (Paddywack).
27/07/2003 No Yorkshire winners today (but lot's of non-runners at Ascot!). However there were a couple of good placings at Ascot. First up David Nicholls's True Night was a decent third in the Tote Mile Handicap. The next race was the valuable Hong Kong Jockey Club Sprint Handicap and John Wainwright's charge Beyond The Clouds picked up a very useful 15,400 for taking second place. Meawhile on the continent Godolphin's Lateen Sails was an impressive five length winner of the Prix Daphnis G3, his sire Elmaamul stands at Beechwood Grange Stud near York.
26/07/2003 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Stakes G1 day at Ascot and Tim Easterby's Bollin Eric puts up an excellent game performance to finish fourth only just behind Derby winner Kris Kin. This placing brings connections 37,500 and shows that Bollin Eric must surely be upto winning a group one race over the classic distance on the continent. Mark Johnston wins the last race at Ascot, the 10,834 Damtshaa Diamond Handicap with Double Obsession to confirm the good form of the stable.At Newcastle David Chapman records his biggest win since Sully's Choice won the Dowsing Handicap at York in 1989 when Quito triumphs in the 12,055 Beesing Handicap, with David Barker's standard-bearer Celtic Mill in second. It's nearly a big race double for Chapman when his Paddywack is second in the next race, the 10,228 Stanley Handicap, with John Weymes's Brigadore back in third. Tim Easterby's Ground Zero won the opening race on Tyneside, the 10,182 Pimms Classic Handicap, and Chris Thorton's Lets Roll was a pedigree-defying second in the last race, the two year old maiden auction. There were a number of placings for the locally trained horses at Redcar, but strangley no winners.
25/07/2003 The build up to 'King George' day at Ascot sees some good performances from the Northern raiders. Kahyasi Princess (running in claimers earlier in the year) wins the 9,783 Brown Jack Handicap by six lengths for the Mark Johnston stable and she looks like a force to be reckoned with now her optimum trip has been determined. The next race was the 8,688 Weatherbys Bank Rated Handicap and this fell to the John Quinn trained Fantasy Believer, with David Nicholl's Onlytime Will Tell back in second. Perhaps the most promising performance of the day came in defeat when Mark Johnston's Caracara, having her first run, ran very green once in front in the maiden and still only lost by a head. Closer to home at Thirsk the best performance came fromthe Patrick Haslam trained Kinnaird who resumed his winning was in the 8,497 Lewis Geipel Challenge Cup, this takes him to three wins in four starts. There were also wins at Thirsk for David Barron (Summer Magic in the fillies maiden), Richard Fahey (Sharoura in the fillies handicap), Mark Johnston (Suzuka in the middle-distance handicap) and Kevin Ryan (Rockerfella Lad in the seller).
24/07/2003 Oddly there were two Yorkshire winners at Bath today (it must be a long time since that happened) with John Quinn's Winthorpe and Karl Burke's Erracht being the victorious horses. Burke was really on form as he also won the opening and closing races at Hamilton Park with Wares Home and Party Ploy respectively. Micky Hammond also had a winner at the Scottish track with George The Best, but the result of the day went to Middleham trainer George Moore who clocked up his 700th career win when La Sylphide won the Tote Handicap, Moore received a crate of Scotland's finest dram from the racecourse executive to celebrate the occassion, history doesn't record what poor old La Sylphide got! Not to be kept out of the winners Mark Johnston's Great d'Argent won the 9,619 Carling Extra Cold Handicap at Doncaster, and his fine run of recent form must give him high hopes for Goodwood next week.
23/07/2003 Winners at Catterick for Kevin Ryan (Gone To Ground in the seller), Patrick Haslam (Allegedly in the nursery) and Karl Burke (Zarzu in the claimer) who is having an excellent season numerically but is lacking a real stable 'star'. There is another Mark Johnston double at the evening meeting at Leicester with Pantone winning the 9,620 Next Handicap, and Tedeska winning the next race.
22/07/2003 Another day up at Ayr, and two doubles. The in-form Mark Johnston had winners with Munaawashat and Shayadi. The final two races were won by the previously dramatically out of form Andy Turnell with Little Tobias and Gem Bien.
21/07/2003 A busy Monday up at Ayr where Mark Johnston's Delsarte was a reasonable third in the Scottish Derby G2, beaten 3/4 length and a neck. I note that this colt in still in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood next week. Johnston had won the opener with Carte Sauvage, and Kevin Ryan (Uhoomagoo) and Karl Burke (Million Percent) also had winners up in Scotland. Over a Beverley's evening meeting there were winners for Robin Bastiman (Hello Roberto), Bryan Smart (Bond May Day), David Nicholls (Border Artist) and Richard Fahey (Market Avenue).
19/07/2003 Standard mid-summer fayre Saturday - lot's of meetings, lot's of quality. The Easterby family firmly stamped their mark on Newbury this afternoon, Richard Fahey won the second race, the 23,200 ladbrokes.com Handicap by a head with Definite Guest. This was followed by brother-in-law Tim Easterby having a good third in the valuable Weatherby's Super Sprint with Danesmead, picking up 14,850 in the process. Later on in the Hackwood Stakes Easterby's Somnus confirmed that he should be kept to sprint distances by winning the Hackwood Stakes L by a neck. At Ripon David Barron had his sixth winner in three days when Mr.Lear won the Leeds Hospital Handicap. The next race was the 13,618 Ripon Bell-Ringer Handicap and this was won in good style by Brian Ellison's Conquering who came home ahead of Mark Johnston's Pantone by a head, with the third a short head further back. James Bethell won the closing maiden race with Rookwith. At Newmarket Tim Easterby's excellent afternoon continued with Good Girl winning her first race since she triumphed in the Weatherby's Super Sprint almost exactly two years ago to the day when she won the 9,510 Lions Sports Handicap. Easterby also had good third places from Bollin Thomas and Flighty Fellow at Newmarket. Brian Ellison had an across-the-codes double as Gue Au Loup won the 8,190 Gilbert & Molly King Memorial Handicap Chase at Market Rasen. The only evening success was Mark Johnston's Kahyasi Princess at Haydock.
17/07/2003 Again, lots of meetings today, and lot's of Yorkshire winners. At Carlisle's afternoon meeting David Barron continued his fine run of form when Dispol Katie nicely won the maiden and David Nicholl's Blackheath deadheated for the 7,995 Kingmoor Park Properties Handicap. Neville Bycroft won the next race, a sprint handicap, with Efidium and Linda Stubbs won the closing handicap with Lunar Leader. At Southwell Kate Milligan won the closing Novice's Hurdle. Onto the evening meetings and the Yorkshire trainers were again dominant up at Hamilton with David Barron winning both the first two races with opposite ends of the age spectrum Axis (2) and Mallia (10!). The next race was the 19,009 Tennents Scottish Stewards Cup and yet again Celtic Mill provided David Barker with the biggest win of his career for the second time in just over a week, David Barron's Undeterred was an eye-catching runner up. The next race was the 10,478 Velvet Handicap and was won by Mark Johnston's Coolbythepool, quite an apt name given the recent weather! At Pontefract Lynda Ramsden had enlisted the not inconsiderable talents of Johnny Murtagh for the evening and this certainly paid dividends with New Mexican (last seen at Royal Ascot) winning the opening maiden, and Hiccups winning the big race on the card, the 12,412 Antonia Deuters Rated Handicap. Mark Johnston's Investment Force won the last race.
16/07/2003 Lot's of meetings today (why are there so many meetings on Thursdays?!) and a fair number of winners for the Yorkshire trainers. Up at Hamilton Kevin Ryan won the opening maiden race with Poppys Footprint and Richard Fahey won the last race with Neckar Valley. Meanwhile at Leicester there were wins for Nigel Tinkler (Loveisdangerous in the seller) and David Barron (Fiore di Bosco in the Nursery). Evening racing was closer to home at Doncaster and David Barron had his second winner of the day when Baltic Wave won the valuable two year old conditions event. Richard Fahey also used the evening meet to double up when Sualda won the 6,890 Porcelanosa Handicap.
15/07/2003 A nice meeting at Beverley and a good day for the local Malton trainers who won four of the races. Tim Etherington won the second race, a maiden, with Celtic Thunder making the most of his previous racecourse outings. The next race was the 8,044 Tote Exacta Handicap which was nicely won by Richard Fahey's Riska King. In the next Malcolm Jefferson had a good flat result when Clarinch Claymore won the 9,978 Watt Memorial Handicap. Finally the penultimate race of the day, the showcase handicap, was won by John Wainwright's Catch The Cat.
14/07/2003 A good days racing up at Ayr and the Yorkshire trainers did well at the Scottish track. Pride of place goes to John Weymes who scored the biggest win of his short career when Brigadore won the 12,363 Tote Bookmakers Handicap from David Nicholl's Izmail. There was also a win for Patrick Haslam with Moulin de Mougins in the Nursery, whilst Mark Johnston had to make do with two seconds and a third.
13/07/2003 A good day at Haydock for the Yorkshire trainers with 'the females' doing especially well ! In the opener Victoria Haigh chalked up one of the biggest successes of her career when Guns Blazing won the 7,657 Manchester Handicap. Later on Cripsey Brook, trained by Don Enrico Incisa and ridden by Kim Tinkler, won the 10,044 M.E.N.Sport Handicap. This was the geldings fifth win since joining the Middleham stable, and he looks like becoming a stable staple in the manner of McGillycuddy Reeks, a grand servant for the stable. The final race, the 6,052 City Life Handicap was won by Lynda Ramsden's Albany. Overseas Mark Johnston's Leicester maiden winner Leicester Square put up a good performance to be second in the Anglesey Stakes G3, and he will now be aimed at further group races, this further strengthens Johnston's impressive array of two-year-old talent. On the breeding front Risk Seeker won the Prix Berteux G3 at Deauville. He is a son of the Diesis stallion Elmaamul, who now stands at the Beechwood Grange Stud near York.
12/07/2003 Where to start? OK, financially the biggest Yorkshire success of the day was that of Mana D'Argent in the 37,700 Tote Exacta Handicap at Ascot, for trainer Mark Johnston. This was also significant as it was Joe Fanning's first ever victory at the Berkshire track. Across at Chester the Yorkshire raiders completely dominated proceedings, winning the first four races, all worth more than 10,000. Bryan Smart kicked off by the Dee when Monsieur Bond won the 12,557 Road Range Wirral Conditions Stakes, with Kevin Ryan's Halmahera back in second. Ryan went one better in the next, when Gralmano continued his excellent form by winning the 13,926 Road Range Liverpool Handicap, with Mark Johnston's Kahyasi Princess (a first ride for Johnston for David Nicholls' son Adrian, who was strangely not at York where his father had four runners in the first race alone) back in third. In the next it was Richard Fahey's turn when Market Avenue won the 10,530 Road Range Southport Handicap. We've left the best till last from Chester as Lynda Ramsden's Bishop's Court (homebred in Yorkshire by David Brotherton) won (yet again) the City Wall Stakes L in excellent style, this was a fantastic 'spare' ride for Paul Fessey. Unfortunately the local trainers did not dominate to the same extent at the main meeting of the day at York, but there were still some good results. David Nicholls won the opening 11,944 John Smith's Sangton Leisure Handicap, with David Barron's Undettered in second, and Tim Easterby's Forever Times in third. In the next, the 10,738 Talksport Handicap there was a second for Mick Easterby (who has not had a winner at this one of his favourite meetings of the year) with Blue Spinnaker. No result for the Yorkshire trainers in the big race of the day, the Magnet Cup, but Tim Easterby's Boureois was a decent third in the Webster's Silver Cup Rated Stakes L. Tim Easterby's Times Review was second in the Nursery.
11/07/2003 A busy day's racing and lot's of success for the Yorkshire runners, and no where more so than at York. Things started well when Nigel Tinkler's Henry Hall was narrowly beaten for second place in the opening 10,238 Mr.Kipling Exceedingly Good Handicap, at will be little consolation to connections that his place prize money now takes Henry Hall over the 100,000 mark. The next race was the 11,261 Hearthstead Homes Handicap and Richard Fahey won this with Definite Guest. In the next race the Summer Stakes G3 the winner, Torosay Spring finished two lengths clear, but the next five finished in a heap. When the photo was examined, and re-examined, a dead-heat was declared for second place with Tim Easterby's Golden Nun sharing the spoils. The next race (yes, we're still at York!) saw the Mark Johnston trained Morson Boy get back on the winning trail by leading from the front, and staying their when it mattered, in the 12,389 John West Tuna Rated Handicap. Mark Johnston's Nuit Sombre was second in the next race, the 12,574 Danepak Classic Rated Handicap. Johnston was also on form at Ascot where Double Obsession won the 9,607 O2 Handicap. When we switched to evening racing Johnston and Richard Fahey also had wins at Hamilton, where John Quinn's Winthorpe was also a winner. Lynda Ramsden's Cape Royal was a good second in the 10,498 Kathleen B.Corbett Memorial Handicap at Chester. Phew, and tomorrow's going to be even busier, and hopefully just as successfull !
10/07/2003 No Yorkshire winners at Newmarket today, but some much better performances in the big races. Leading the way was the Mark Johnston trained Chester Le Street who was only beaten a head when second in the Superlative Stakes G3. This Sheikh Mohammed owned colt will now possibly go for the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster's Leger Meeting. Two races later we saw the James Bethell trained Mine narrowly lose the 45,500 Bunbury Cup, a race he won last year, by the even shorter margin of a short head, Tim Easterby's Tough Love was a decent third. David Nicholl's Border Artist won the final race at Epsom.
09/07/2003 Some disappointing runs from some of the Yorkshire contenders at Newmarket's July meeting today, although David Nicholl's grand servant Proud Native won the closing 8,241 NGK Spark Plugs Rated Handicap to confirm he is back in fine form. Despite there being five meetings today the only other Yorkshire trained winner was Karl Burke's Playtime Blue at Kempton.
08/07/2003 The first day of Newmarket's prestigous July meeting and a good day for the Yorkshire trainers. Highlight of the day was the complete destruction of the (admittedly unproven) opposition by Mark Johnston's speedy filly Attraction in the Cherry Hinton Stakes G2. After a bad start and a far from perfect run she came home clear by a startling five lengths, with Tim Easterby's nice filly Birthday Suit (homebred at Garrowby Stud), who again ran rather green, a further length back in third. As he has already achieved the 1m mark, and is well on-course for 100 winners again this the season Johnston will be looking to this filly to provide him with a group one winner with the most obvious targets in this respect being the Moyglare, Prix Morny, Cheveley Park or even the Nunthorpe or Abbaye, with the first historically the easiest to win and the last two traditionally the hardest! Another Johnston performer with a possible Group One date on his immediate agenda is Bandari who ran his best race of the season to be a good second in the Princess of Wales's Stakes G2, with Tim Easterby's Bollin Eric (who started favourite) a slightly disappointing fourth. Bandari may now be aimed at a Group One race on the continent. The opening race of the meeting, the H&K Commissions Bookmakers Handicap, had also seen Yorkshire horses feature prominently with Brian Ellison's Everest second, and David Nicholl's Arpeggio third. Up at Pontefract there was only one local winner but it was an important one as Richmond trainer David Barker won the 14,235 St.Giles Handicap with the consistent Celtic Mill (owned and bred by former Wetherby trainer Peter Asquith), and thus gained one of his most important training victories to date. John Quinn's Fantasy Believer was second in the same race, with Karl Burke's Million Percent back in third.
07/07/2003 One of Yorkshire most respected and prominent racing figures, The Brigadier Lord Grimthorpe, died on Sunday. Born in 1915, Lord Grimthorpe was a member of the Jockey Club (elected in 1979) and was a steward at Doncaster and Aintree. He had also been a director of Thirsk racecourse since 1972. He farmed from Westow Hall, where he re-established a stud, and is best known for breeding Mrs.McArdy, who won the 1,000 Guineas G1 and the Free Handicap L when trained by Mick Easterby. In his earlier days he had ridden in point-to-points and miltary races, and his best horses as an owner were probably Port Corsair (Won 7 inc.Liverpool Summer Cup) and Minho (Northern Free Handicap). His father owned the great Fortina, winner of the 1947 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Lord Grimthorpe is the father of Teddy Beckett, racing manager to Khalid Abdullah and heir to the peerage, and uncle of trainer Ralph Beckett.
05/07/2003 Although there wasn't much success at the main meeting at Sandown there were nevertheless some nice results for Yorkshire trainers today at some of the supporting meetings. Alan Swinbank landed the win of his career at Haydock when Collier Hill won the 34,800 Old Newton Cup Handicap, which is an excellent result considering he only got his training licence a little over two years ago. Tim Easterby will also have been pleased by proceedings at Haydock when two of his charges managed to win for the first time this season - first up was last years prolific scorer Somnus who won the 9,715 conditions race and the next race, a 10,000 handicap, was won by the Habton Grange filly Bollin Janet. Tim Etherington, who is having a fairly quiet season with only three winners before today, and non since the end of May, enjoyed his best result for some years when Regal Song won the 13,884 Mondi Hypac Handicap at Beverley, with stable companion Karminskey Park in second place, to cap it all a former Etherington charge Sharp Hat (now trained by David Chapman) was third!. This will be a valuable fillip for Etherington, at the moment the main part of his Wold House stables are for sale due to decling numbers. Tim Easterby (Flighty Fellow), Mark Johnston (Kahyasi Princess) and Richard Fahey (Haze Babybear) also had winners at Beverley.
04/07/2003 A nice double at Sandown today for Mark Johnston with Nuit Sombre winning the feature race of the day, the 23,200 Sandown Summer Handicap, and Mister Monet nicely winning the two-year-old maiden. Unfortunately there were disappointing runs in the two listed races for the Kingsley House representatives Great Scott and Leo's Luckyman. Tim Easterby was also on the mark at Sandown with My American Beauty taking the opener. Johnston also had a winner at Beverley when My Daisychain took the closing race, Fight The Feeling having won the opener for James Hetherton and Tap the seller for David Nicholls, who also had a winner at Warwick courtesy of Mystical Charm. Over jumps both Ferdy Murphy and Kate Milligan were successful at Southwell.
01/07/2003 Long-time Mark Johnston servant Mana d'Argent scored in listed company today when taking the Grosser Tenovis-Preis '135 Langer Hamburger' L at Hamburg.
30/06/2003 The big race of the day was the 13,943 Park Suite Fillies Handicap at Pontefract as it was won byDavid Brotherton's homebred Amused, trained by Richard Fahey, in second placed was Tim Easterby's On The Brink. Also winning at Pontefract were Micky Hammond (George The Best) and Mark Johnston (Lucky Story). Up at Musselburgh Karl Burke won the opener with Tell Nothing.
29/06/2003 After a moderate day yesterday (the highlight of which was probably John Quinn's second in the Tote Scoop6 Handicap at Newcastle with Smart Predator) the Yorkshire trainers do much better today. Down at Goodwood the David Nicholls trained Sawaah won the 12,673 Mail On Sunday Handicap, and in the next race the John Quinn trained Fantasy Believer was a decent second in the Vodafone Handicap. Closer to home at Doncaster Mark Johnston's Leo's Luckyman beat Richard Fahey's Vintage Premium in a match-race for the 12,772 'Sunday Is Fun' Conditions Stakes. In the previous race Nigel Tinkler's tough Henry Hall had put up his usual game effort to be second in the Savoyard Handicap.
26/06/2003 All three current members of the Easterby training clan had winners at Thirsk today headed by Richard Fahey's win in the Jack Calvert Handicap with the durable Sir Sandrovitch. Brother-in-law Tim Easterby won the next race, the fillies handicap, with Cheeky Girl and his uncle Mick Easterby won the last with We'll Meet Again. Tim Easterby was also successful at Hamilton Park with My American Beauty. Patrick Haslam had another winner on the same card when Kinnaird maintained his unbeaten record in the Novice's race.There was less success for the Yorkshire trainers acorss at Carlisle, where Mick Easterby narrowly missed out on a big race meeting double when Sporting Gesture was second in the 14,300 Cumberland Plate Handicap, but Lynda Ramsden managed to win the last with Hiccups.
25/06/2003 Yorkshire dominate in Carlisle's premier race of the season the 15,048 Carlisle Bell Handicap with the Mick Easterby trained Top Dirham coming home ahead of Richard Fahey's Definite Guest and Mark Johnston's Investment Affair. Earlier on the same card Patrick Haslam's So Sure won the seller.
22/06/2003 A relatively quiet Sunday on the flat, but a good result over jumps for Ferdy Murphy when Dominikus wins the 18,267 City Of Perth Gold Cup Handicap Chase. He won by an incredible 13, 9 and 18 lengths and now heads for the Kerry National at Listowel.
21/06/2003 After 'Mark Johnston's' Royal Ascot week it was time for Tim Easterby to tip the scales in his direction a bit, and this he managed in fine style. In the Hardwicke Stakes G2 Easterby's Bollin Eric put up a game performance to finish second in front on Johnston's pair of Zindabad and Bandari, who were third and fourth respectively. Then two races later we saw the finish of the meeting when Easterby's Fayr Jag dead-heated for the Wokingham Handicap, and in the process took his career earnings over the 100,000 mark. Mark Johnston had a double at Ayr with Chester Le Street and Atlantic Quest, and Karl Burke also had a winner here with High Voltage in the last. At Redcar John Quinn won the 10,147 Tote Scoop6 Handicap with Smart Predator and David Barron had a double with Patricia Philomena and Oscar Pepper. At Market Rasen there were good jumps placings for Tim Easterby (third with Edmo Heights) and Patrick Haslam (second with Fiori). Phew, what a week!
20/06/2003 Although not quite scaling the heights of the last couple of days it was still an excellent day at Royal Ascot for Mark Johnston. First up Delsarte ran an extremely game race to be second in the King Edward VII Stakes G2, and connections were afterwards contemplating an ambitious tilt at the Eclipse and King George. Later on Johnston produced his fifth winner of the meeting when Shanty Star (a Gold Cup winner in the making) took the Queen's Vase G3. In the last race Johnston's runner Takes Tutu was fourth in the Buckingham Palace Handicap, just behind James Bethell's Mine who put up a strong effort under a heavy weight. Elsewhere there was not quite the deluge of winners that we saw yesterday, but there were still wins for Mark Johnston (Lucky Story at Ayr), David Chapman (Ipledgeallegiance at Ayr), David Barron (Tyne at Redcar), Nigel Tinkler (Santiburi Lad at Redcar), Alan Swinbank (Classy Lassie at Redcar) and Mick Easterby (Wilson Bluebottle at Redcar).
19/06/2003 Another day, another Royal Ascot double for Mark Johnston. Again the juvenilles led the way with Russian Valour winning the opening Norfolk Stakes G3 in good style. Not to be outdone three-year-old Fantastic Love put up a good effort to narrowly win the 34,800 King George V Handicap under Keith Dalgleish (who had been replaced on Russian Valour, Attraction and Pearl Of Love). Finally, after I maligned him yesterday, Helm Bank put up his best performance since winning at this meeting last year when second in the closing Britannia Handicap. Away from sunny Berkshire there was a plethora of Yorkshire winners for the following trainers; more for Mark Johnston (Nuit Sombre and Coolbythepool at Ripon) to take his total for the day to four, David Nicholls (Burkees Graw at Ayr and Boisdale and Tap at Southwell), Tim Easterby (Birthday Suit and Raphael at Beverley and Mrs Moh at Southwell), David Barron (Palace Theatre at Ripon and Katiypour at Southwell), David Chapman (Torrent at Ripon), George Moore (Emerging Star at Ripon), James Hetherton (Dash of Magic at Beverley), Patrick Haslam (Moulin de Mougins at Beverley), Kevin Ryan (Loughlorien in the main race at Beverley) and David Barker (Tancred Arms at Ayr). So that's 18 Yorkshire winners from only 31 races in the whole country!
18/06/2003 The second day of Royal Ascot and, after a blank yesterday, the Yorkshire trainers faired much better. Specifically Mark Johnston had a good day with a juvenille double. First up was the speedy unbeaten filly Attraction who easily won the Queen Mary Stakes G3 in a style which suggested she will be hard to beat for the rest of the season, coming home three lengths clear. In the last race Johnston was also successful with Pearl Of Love in the Chesham Stakes L who won by one and a half lengths, not bad for a colt who should do better over longer distances, it is to be hoped that he doesn't go the same way as Johnston's winner of the same race last year, Helm Bank. Lynda Ramsden's New Mexican was a promising fourth in Pearl Of Love's race, and Tim Easterby's Tough Love picked up 13,750 for finishing third big handicap of the day, the Royal Hunt Cup.
15/06/2003 Mark Johnston wins Derby shock .............. OK, so it was only the Davidoff Swiss Derby but Kingsley House resident Financial Future picked up a cool 21,429 for his efforts! On a more mundane domestic level there were winners for Johnston (Chantress & Penny Cross), David Nicholls (Skyharbour), Richard Fahey (Chevin) and a coming-into-form David Barker (Chairman Bobby) at Carlisle and for Nigel Tinkler with Cryfield at Leicester.
14/06/2003 Local trainers dominated today's big card at York. Pride of place goes to Tim Easterby's Dazzling Bay who was a strong winner of the 57,525 William Hill Trophy Handicap. In the previous race the 13,455 Queen Mother's Cup Handicap Mick Easterby's Sporting Gesture had prevailed under a good ride for local amateur rider Serena Brotherton. The last two races were won by David Nicholls and Mark Johnston with Time To Remember and Wessex respectively and in addition there were good placing for Tim Easterby (Tedstale), Mark Johnston (Albuhera, Nuit Sombre and Mister Monet), Mick Easterby (Blue Spinnaker) and Kevin Ryan (CD Europe)
13/06/2003 A good result at York for Tim Easterby when Fayr Jag won the 12,574 Sportingoptions.co.uk Rated Showcase Handicap. There was also a relatively rare two-year-old winner for Dandy Nicholls when Dellagio won the maiden.
12/06/2003 Plenty of winners up at Hamilton Park for David Barron (Baylaw Star), Patrick Haslam (Kinnaird), Richard Fahey (Cyclonic Storm), Tom Tate (Dr.Sharp) and David Barker (Chairman Bobby) but perhaps the best Yorkshire 'result' was from a horse trained in Newmarket! The Jeremy Noseda trained Flying Wanda was a neck second in the Lord Weinstock Memorial Stakes L at Newbury. This filly is owned by Sir Robert Ogden and was bred by him at his Sicklinghall Stud.
09/06/2003 A good day for the local trainers at Pontfract's evening meeting with Patrick Haslam winning the 8,210 Tony Bethell Memorial Handicap with Bustling Rio and Lynda Ramsden winning the 10,582 Oak Handicap (in which James Bethell's Sir Night was second) with Arcalis.
07/06/2003 With Ballydoyle and Godolphin not in their usual form I had vaguely harboured hopes that one of the less well known trainers might have won the Derby and thus given Mark Johnston an outside shot at the trainers championship. However as Sir Michael Stoute (currently leading the championship) won with Kris Kin it looks likely that barring a miracle he will probably win the trainers championship. Still, musn't grumble, the Yorkshire trainers had an excellent day at Epson, winning four of the supporting races on the Derby card. Johnston had a red letter day with his home bred Parkview Love (by Mister Baileys) winning Johnston his third black-type two-year-old race of the season (and his second this week) by taking the Woodcote Stakes L. This was followed up in the next race by the Kingsley House team taking the Diomed Stakes G3 with the tough Gateman, who may now be aimed at the Arlington Million. David Nicholls was also in good form, taking the Vodafone Dash L with Atlantic Viking and the last race, the 29,000 Vodafone Handicap with Loyal Tycoon, Nicholls also had the runner-up in this race with Onlytime Will Tell. At a lesser level Tim Easterby also had a good day with two winners at Haydock, including Tough Love in the 10,075 Ladbrokes Handicap, and a winner at Doncaster, where uncle Mick also scored.
06/06/2003 Oaks day at Epsom today and no Yorkshire involvement. However the Mark Johnston pair of Bandari and Zindabad ran promisingly to claim fourth and fifth places respectively in the Coronation Cup G1 in a manner that suggested that both of them should be winning in group company soon. Also at Epsom there was a good second for the Richard Fahey trained Danelor in the 29,000 Vodafone Newbury Handicap. Closer to home there were winners for Mark Johnston (Financial Future) and Julie Camacho (Lauro) at Haydock. Let's not forget that Julie Camacho has allegedly retired from training .........! Over at Catterick there were winners for Tim Easterby (Gladys Aylward), David Nicholls (Ballybunion and Jubilee Street) and Don Enrico Incisa (the ever young McGillycuddy Reeks).
04/06/2003 There's no stopping the Yorkshire trainers this week! Two days on from Monday's tally and Yorkshire trainers managed a total of ten wins today! Pride of place must go to Mark Johnston who won an incredible four races at Beverley the most important of which was the victory of the unbeaten Attraction in the Hilary Needler Trophy L, Johnston's second juvenille listed winner of the season. Johnston also scored with Coolbythepool in the opener, Great Scott in the 11,653 Brian Yeardley Continental Trophy and Penny Cross in the closing race. Unfortunately Johnston's Pantone found one too good in the third race or Yorkshire trainers would have goen right through the card as also successful at Beverley was Richard Whitaker with Nevada Desert. Up at Newcastle it was the Easterby family leading the way with Tim Easterby winning the first two races on the card with Times Review and Ground Zero and brother-in-law Richard Fahey winning with Blythe Spirit and Turn Of Phrase. Lynda Ramsden supplied the other Yorkshire winner of the day with Cape Royal winning the opener at Nottingham.
02/06/2003 Phew! Yorkshire trainers were really knocking in the winners today with a grand total of eleven wins across three meetings! The successful trainers were Mark Johnston (the promising Leicester Square, appropriately at Leicester and Kahyasi Princess at Carlisle), Kevin Ryan (Crewes Miss Isle and Allegrina, both at Thirsk), Lynda Ramsden (Arcalis at Leicester), Nigel Tinkler (Henry Windsor at Carlisle), David Nicholls (Victoria Park at Carlisle), John Wainwright (Rock Concert at Carisle), David Chapman (Quito at Thirsk), Mick Easterby (Top Dirham at Thirsk) and James Bethell (Mitsuki at Thirsk). It must be something in the air!
31/05/2003 Your usual pre-Derby week fayre, with a smattering of listed races and three major sprint handicaps. The good news is that two of those sprint handicap came to Yorkshire, and 'we' were second and third in the other! Pride of place must go to John Balding's Matty Tun who (again) gave the trainer one of his best ever results by winning the 29,000 Scottish Sprint Cup Handicap at Musselburgh. At the same meeting there were also wins for David Barron (a double), Mark Johnston and David Chapman, with the later winning the opening 10,082 easibet.net Sprint Handicap with Soaked, who was bred by his sister Muriel Hills at her Westwood Farm. Down at Newmarket it was Tim Easterby who walked away with the major honours when Dazzling Bay won the 26,000 Coral Handicap. The other major sprint handicap was at Windsor where John Wainwright's Beyond The Clouds (who loves the track) was second and Nigel Tinkler's Henry Wall was third in the 29,000 Gala Casinos Handicap. Not to be outdone the jumpers also had a good result when Karl Burke's Arctic Challenge and Brian Ellison's Batswing were first and second respectively in the 11,728 George Jones Memorial Handicap Chase at Stratford.
27/05/2003 A good evening's work for Mark Johnston at Sandown where Russian Valour won Johnston his first two-year-old 'black type' race of the season by taking the National Stakes L under Kevin Darley. Johnston and Darley had won the previous race, the 9,750 Betting At Betfair Handicap with Jebal Suraaj.
24/05/2003 A good day's racing, but Yorkshire trainers didn't really get a look in on any of the really big races. The best result of the day fell to James Bethell who's stable star Mine put up a strong performance at Doncaster to land the 10,657 L.J.Monks Ltd Handicap, his first win since the Bunbury cup last July. Perhaps the run with the most promise also came at Donnie where the Mark Johnston trained Pearl Of Love won the two-year-old maiden in good style by five lengths. Despite being by the Arc winner Peintre Celebre Pearl Of Love now heads for the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot. Completing a good day for the Middleham trainers Karl Burke's filly Imperialistic lost her maiden tag at Haydock.
23/05/2003 Yorkshire trainers dominated proceedings 'over the border' in Lancashire today where they won six of the seven races at Haydock Park. Leading the way was the Mark Johnston / Joe Fanning partnership who had three wins with Great Scott (2yo Maiden), Fisio Therapy (3yo Maiden) and Cake It Easy (Fillies Maiden). Fellow Middleham resident Karl Burke won the principle race of the day the 10,173 Fauls Green Showcase Handicap with Soller Bay. The Ryedale trainers were not to be out done with Tim Easterby winning the 9,564 Golborne Rated Handicap with Kentucky Blue and brother-in-law Richard Fahey winning the sprint handicap with Fonthill Road, who now has three wins from four starts. Later in the day the Copgrove Stud had yet another decent homebred winner when Guy Reed's San Antonio won the 8,541 Micklegate Handicap at Pontefract's evening meeting..
21/05/2003 Welburn near York trainer Bob Woodhouse scored one of the biggest wins of his career when stable star Sir Norman won the 12,203 Isle Of Skye Blended Scotch Whisky Handicap Chase at Kelso today.
18/05/2003 As widely anticipated Mark Johnston announced today that young jockey Keith Dalgleish will be given a larger slice of the Kingsley House runners in the future. This follows Kevin Darley's decision over the last week or so to pilot horses such as Bollin Eric and Where Or When in favour of Johnston runners (Zindabad and Desert Deer) in the same group races. Johnston was at pains to point out that this didn't mean that Darley would no longer be riding for him, just that it might be less frequently than, for example, last season. Johnston has had associations with a number of jockeys in his career specifically Bobby Elliot (later a Johnston lieutenant but announced this month that he would commence a training career at the age of 62), Dean McKeown, Jason Weaver, Darryl Holland and Kevin Darley. In addition Joe Fanning gets a large number of the lesser runners at the minor meetings in the North and Royston Ffrench fulfills a similar role in the south. This development will presumably benefit Tim Easterby who's preferred jockey Robert Winston is taking a short break at the moment due to 'personal problems'. Johnston has a fairly good record at continuing to use former main jockeys, as witnessed by Darryl Holland continuing to ride some of the stables runners, neither Holland or Darley had retainers with Kingsley House. The Johnston/Dalgleish partnership was on show in Italy later in the day when Gateman put up a decent enough performance to be third in the Premio Emilio Turati G2 at San Siro.
17/05/2003 Another middling day for Yorkshire trainers with the potential highlight turning into a major disappointment when Mark Johnston's Desert Deer refused to go into the stalls for the Lockinge Stakes G1 which was eventually won in devastating fashion by Hawk Wing. David Barron had a good result at his local track when Paradise Eve won the 10,192 Rectangle Handicap at Thirsk. At the same track John Weymes so nearly had a big winner when Spiritual Air found one to good for her in the 13,065 Boltby Classified Stakes, and Mark Johnston won the opener with Attraction, winning her second race in as many starts. Up at Hamilton Richard Fahey won the 9,906 Variety Club of Scotland Classified Stakes with Lady Bear and his Uncle-in-Law Mick Easterby won the one mile five furlong handicap with Nowell House.
16/05/2003 A quick diversion to the nascent summer jumps scene when the Tim Easterby trained Edmo Heights wins the 9,593 Samantha Holdsworth Handicap Hurdle at Aintree today. A good day on the flat for Easterby as well when Bourgeois is a decent second in the new Braveheart Rated Handicap L at Hamilton. Perhaps the most siginficant result from a Yorkshire perspective however may turn out to be that of La Cucaracha at Newbury. Trained by Barry Hills at Lambourn this filly has now won both her first two races and may next head to Royal Ascot for the Queen Mary Stakes. La Cucaracha is homebred by Guy Reed at his Copgrove Stud, and is yet another good horse for him this season.
15/05/2003 The final day of the Ebor meeting sees a slight upturn in the performances of the Yorkshire trainers. Tim Easterby's Bollin Eric was a decent enough third in the Yorkshire Cup G2, but Mark Johnston's Zindabad had another disappointing run to finish 'only' fourth in the same race. The maiden fillies race saw a 1-2-3 for Yorkshire trainers with Tim Easterby's Birthday Suit coming home ahead of Richard Fahey's Sioux Ryder and David Barron's Firebird Rising. Birthday Suit is homebred by Lady Halifax at the Garrowby Stud and is very well bred being by Daylami out of Wanton, she may now be aimed for the listed Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley. Mark Johnston won the final race with The Persuader who seems to be on the upgrade.
14/05/2003 Doncaster trainer John Balding had the biggest success of his career since the days of Blyton Lad when Matty Tun won the opening 18,200 Tote Bookmakers Handicap at York's Dante meeting today. It was a close run thing as he only prevailed by a neck at the line. There was little else for Yorkshire trainers to cheer about with Helm Bank running badly in the Dante Stakes G2, although there was some consolation for the Mark Johnston team with Pearl Of Love impressing on his racecourse debut by finishing second in the maiden.
13/05/2003 Not much success for the local trainers on the first day of York's Dante meeting although there were decent second places for John Quinn (Bigalothegigalo in the big handicap) and Mick Easterby (Sporting Gesture in the mile and a half handicap).
10/05/2003 Mark Johnston's Shanty Star put up a decent performance today to finish third (albeit some distance away from the winners) in the Lingfield Derby Trial Stakes G3. Back in Yorkshire at Beverley, where James Bethell won the opener, David Nicholls won the big race of the meeting the 12,110 Coachman Caravans Conditions Stakes. Later the evening meeting at Thirsk sees local winners of both the big races with David Barker winning the 8,288 Dick Peacock Sprint Handicap with Tancred Times, and Kevin Ryan winning the 10,075 Skybet Handicap with Gralmano.
08/05/2003 The final day of the Chester meeting and Brian Ellison's Court Of Appeal wins the closing 8,892 Bryant Homes Handicap for Yorkshire, with Mick Easterby's Sporting Gesture in second place. Kevin Ryan's Halmahera and Tim Easterby's Santisima Trinidad were also second in their respective races.
07/05/2003 Second day of the Chester meet and although there are no Yorkshire victories the Mark Johnston trained Knavesmire Omen puts up a good display to be third by half a length and a neck in the feature race of the day, the Tote Chester Cup. Earlier James Bethell's Crathorne had finished second in the opening Bank Of Scotland Handicap. Up at Kelso there is a good result for Alan Swinbank when Far Pavilions wins the 9,451 M&J Ballantyne Hurdle.
06/05/2003 The first day of the Chester meeting see a victory for Kevin Ryan when Petrula takes the 11,839 Walker Smith & Way Rated Handicap. Earlier Richard Fahey's stable star Vintage Premium was a three-quarters of a length second in the Huxley Stakes L.
03/05/2003 The jumps season may have just ended, but someone obviously forgot to tell Richard Fahey who produced a excellent result in winning the 40,600 Swinton Handicap Hurdle at Haydock today with stable stalwart Altay ! Later on the same card Tom Tate, better known as a jumps trainer, had a good flat result when Welsh Emperor was third in the Spring Trophy Stakes L. Down at Newmarket it was Dandy Nicholls leading the way with Fire Up The Bands victory in the 29,000 Ladbrokes Handicap coming just after a strong finishing run from Bahamian Pirate to be second in the Palace House Stakes G3. Bryan Smart's Monsieur Bond was not placed in the 2,000 Guineas G1 but put up a strong performance to finish in the chasing pack. Meanwhile Mark Johnston had a rare runner at Brighton where his Stunning Force won the 13,702 Doug Wood Handicap.Finally at Thirsk there was no Yorkshire winner in the Thirsk Hunt Cup with Mick Easterby's Cat's Whiskers coming second, but Kevin Ryan did win the principle supporting race, the 10,231 Tote Exacta Handicap, with Cardinal Venture.
02/05/2003 A good start to the Newmarket Guineas meeting for the Yorkshire trainers with Mark Johnston leading the way when Delsarte, having only his second race, ran out a comfortable winner of the Newmarket Stakes L. Later the same stables Bandari could only manage fourth in the Jockey Club Stakes G2, although it was later revealed that the horse was well below his optimum weight. Not to be outdone the Richard Fahey trained Lady Bear was a good second in the Dahlia Stakes L, lifting her career winnings over the 100,000 mark. Up at Musselburgh David Barron who has made an excellent start to the season won the opening two races with Lualua and Paradise Eve.
30/04/2003 Mark Johnston, who's had a winner on each of the last two days, confirmed his stables good form at Pontefract today when Russian Valour, Greta d'Argent and Morson Boy chalked up a treble. Meanwhile at Ascot Tim Easterby's Somnus made a disappointing seasonal debut when only fifth in the Pavilion Stakes L, although there was some consolation for Easterby as Coranglais won back up at Pontefract.
26/04/2003 The Mark Johnston team really hit top form today with the progressive and lightly raced Desert Deer leading the way with a start-to-finish two and a half length victory in the Bet Attheraces Mile G2 at Sandown, the first group win of the season for a Yorkshire trainer. The last race on the Sandown card was a charity Flat v NH Jockey's race and was won by the Brian Ellison trained Everest, a victory for the 'flat' as he was ridden by Dane O'Neil. The Johnston team very nearly made it a Group race double at Leicester where Gateman, under Keith Dalgleish, narrowly lost out to Tillerman by a short-head in the Leicestershire Stakes G3. There was some compensation for the Johnston/Dalgleish pairing when the well bred Delsarte won the three-year-old maiden on his debut.
23/04/2003 Today the Lynda Ramsden trained Lingo won his second 'major' race of the season when capturing the historic City & Suburban Handicap at Epsom, with the Richard Fahey trained Danelor following him home. There was also a win for Mark Johnston on the same card with Theorist and Johnston also had a double at Catterick with Stunning Force and Shanty Star, it looks like the Kingsley House team has caught up with the opposition after Johnston admitted a few weeks ago that the string was generally a little bit behind. Meanwhile up at the charming Perth festival the big race of the day the 12,505 Ladbrokes.com Handicap Chase was won by the Peter Beaumont trained Hunters Tweed.
21/04/2003 The usual busy, but low quality, Bank Holiday fayre. Although we're now well into the flat season the best Yorkshire result of the day was over jumps and close to home at Wetherby. Here the Sue Smith trained Tonoco won the 11,362 Family Day Chase Handicap, to further consolidate her high position in the trainers standings. Up at Newcastle meanwhile there was a decent win for Tim Easterby when Tedstale won the 7,046 Back The Buzz Handicap, uncle Mick had a winner in the last with William's Well.
19/04/2003 Another good result for Tim Easterby who's had an excellent week, this time Bourgeois won the 14,170 Fordsham Handicap over at Haydock. At the same track Brian Ellison has first and third in the 10,498 bet365 Classified Stakes with Miss Opulence and Medallist respectively.Over jumps Sue Smith continues her excellent run of form with Tomenoso winning the 7,183 Robert Elliot Handicap Hurdle up at Carlisle, and Bushido coming third in the 12,122 gg.com Novices' Hurdle Final down at Stratford.
18/04/2003 Good Friday means no racing and Middleham Open Day. Unseasonably warm weather led to a bumper crowd with several thousand turning up to see the fifteen yards open to the public. The star attraction with last weeks Scottish National hero Ryalux, up at Andy Crook's small yard on the Tupgill Estate. Ferdy Murhpy's Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Trucker's Tavern was also a big draw along with the usual attractions of Mark Johnston's all-conquering yard and the Equine pool, which is now run as a joint venture between Ferdy Murphy and Stirks Equine Vets.
17/04/2003 A good result at Cheltenham today for Ferdy Murphy when Tribal Venture wins the 12,818 Cheltenham Business Handicap Hurdle. There were also winners at Ripon for David Barron and Ann Duffield, but the best performance at Yorkshire's 'Garden' track came from the Tim Easterby trained Golden Nun who was a good second in the Ripon Silver Bowl Fillies Stakes L a new listed race for Ripon this season.
16/04/2003 Mark Johnston, who team haven't made as strong a start as last season, will be pleased by the performance of Desert Deer who, having his first run in group company, was a good second in the Earl of Sefton Stakes G3 at Newmarket today. The Kingsley house handler had a winner at Beverley today with Hans Christian, and Mick Easterby also had a winner at the East Yorkshire track when Trouble Mountain took the 9 furlong handicap. Further afield at Cheltenham there were a couple of goods places for Sue Smith with Little Big Horse finishing third in the 17,400 Telectronics Systems Nursery Handicap, and Nickel Sun filling the same spot in the 11,194 Lynx Express Handicap Hurdle.
14/04/2003 More good news for Guy Reed of the Copgrove Stud when his homebred Farwell To Arms confirms the promise of her debut run by winning the opening maiden at Pontefract by a strong seven lengths. There was an 'Easterby' double at the West Yorkshire track with Tim Easterby winning the seller with Cheeky Girl, and uncle Mick winning the final handicap with stable stalwart Sporting Gesture.
12/04/2003 An excellent day of racing for the Yorkshire runners today. Pride of place must goto Ryalux who fought out the finish of the day to win the 63,800 Scottish National for second season Middleham trainer Andy Crook. Crook will be especially pleased as this horse was formerly trained by Crook's ex Guvnor Micky Hammond, but the owner insisted that Ryalux stayed with Crook when Hammond unexpectedly returned to training (and the Oakwood Stables that Crook had been occupying) last year. Ryalux is one of only 15 horses trained by Crook, making this a good result for the smaller trainers. Also up at Ayr the Ferdy Murphy trained Ichi Beau (who was second yesterday) was a good second in the Gala Casinos Daily Record Handicap Chase. Down at Newbury Tim Easterby's classic winner Bollin Eric could only manage fourth on his seasonal reappearance in the John Porter Stakes G3 but he was carrying a Group One winning penalty, and will probably come on for the race. The next race did see a Yorkshire victory however when the Kevin Ryan trained Mystic Man won the 23,200 Spring Cup Handicap under Paul Fessey. Finally closer to home at Thirsk Bryan Smart registered his first 'black type' performance since moving to his native Yorkshire to train when Monsieur Bond was third in the Thirsk Classic Trial Stakes L.
08/04/2003 A couple of good wins today at Pontefract. Tim Easterby kicked things of when Tough Love won the 9,767 Ponefract Park Showcase Handicap under Robert Winston, who is picking up an increasing number of rides from the master of Habton Grange. This was followed by the victory of the Lynda Ramsden trained Lingo in the 12,122 High-Rise Classified Stakes later on the card.
05/04/2003 No victory in the big race at Aintree today for Yorkshire trainers, but there is yet another second at the festival when the Richard Fahey trained Altay fills the runner-up slot in the opening Cordon Bleu Handicap Hurdle.
04/04/2003 The second day of the National Festival at Aintree and a couple of good Yorkshire performances. The Sue Smith trained Royal Emperor put up a good show to be second in the grade one Martell Cognac Sefton Novices Hurdle and in the last race of the day the Kevin Ryan trained Gralmano, who is also a good performer on the flat, was second in the listed Clark's Brewery Handicap Hurdle.
01/04/2003 The first 'black type' performance of the season for a Yorkshire trained horse comes when the Mark Johnston trained Darasim, giving weight all round, puts up a good performance to be second in the Further Flight Stakes L at Nottingham. This is one of the many new listed races we will be seeing in the UK this season.
29/03/2003 No luck for the three Mark Johnston runners (Love Regardless, Rahaf and Zindabad) in Dubai, with Zindabad especially getting badly hampered. Closer to home David Nicholls had a better day with Fire Up The Band winning the 9,805 Tote Handicap down at Ascot to give 'Dandy' his first turf win of the season. In the big race of the day, the tote.co.uk Showcase Sprint Handicap, Nicholls' runner Rectangle picked up a cool 11,000 for finishing second, with the Brian Ellison trained Ronnie From Donny back in third place.
27/03/2003 A second winner in as many days for Tim Easterby when Shin Paradise wins up at Musselburgh, where Kevin Ryan gets his turf season under way with a good win in the opener from Mirasol Princess, having her first trip to the racecourse.
26/03/2003 Three of Yorkshire most prominent trainers all registered their first winners of the new turf season today up at Catterick. Richard Fahey, Mark Johnston and Tim Easterby each had winners courtesy of Fonthill Road (who also won his first ever race on the all-weather two weeks ago), Shanook and Certa Cito respectively.
22/03/2003 Whilst Thursday's performance from Farewell To Arms will have been pleasant for Copgrove Stud owner Guy Reed, today's victory by his hombred Pablo (also trained by Barry Hills) in the 65,000 Lincoln Handicap will bring immense pleasure and satisfaction. Both horses are descended from his foundation mare Ardneasken (indeed they are both by Efisio and out of Kris mares, and Pablo's dam is a 1/2 sister to Farewell To Arms grandam) and this victory for Pablo cements the rennaisance for Copgrove Stud, following the good results for homebred Flossy in the recent past. Pablo won two major races last season and certainly seems to have come on over the winter.
20/03/2003 The opening day of the 'proper' flat season on the turf at Doncaster and the opening race is won by the John Quinn trained Archie Babe. Later on the card the Copgrove Stud homebred Farewell To Arms (trained by Barry Hills) is a close second in the Brocklesby Stakes after a hampered run, this is first two year old race of the turf season.
15/03/2003 Not much luck in the big races today, the sole exception being the Sue Smith trained After Me Boys who won the 10,121 Cantor Index Financial Spreadbetting Handicap Hurdle up at Newcastle. On the all-weather there was a good placing for John Balding when his Justalord was third in the 17,400 ladbrokes.com Sprint Stakes at Lingfield.
13/03/2003 No Cheltenham winners for Yorkshire this year, however today saw the best Yorkshire result of the week (arguably the best Yorkshire performance of the whole jumps season) when the Ferdy Murphy trained Truckers Tavern came home second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, albeit ten lengths behind the runaway winner Best Mate. He seemed stay on well up the hill, clearly enjoying the extra trip, and will now be aimed at one of the big races at either Punchestown or Fairyhouse. Meanwhile in the Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup the Robin Tate trained Last Option ran his usual good race under Fiona Needham to finish third. In the last race of the Festival the Edwin Tuer trained Through The Rye also had a good race when third in the Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle. At a less exaulted level James Bethell had his first winner since September when Sir Night won the seller at Southwell, where there were also winners for Richard Fahey and David Nicholls.
12/03/2003 The middle day of the Cheltenham Festival, and even fewer Yorkshire runners than yesterday. No places today, although incredibly the Brian Ellison trained Latalomne, who seems to run a lot better at Cheltenham, fell two out whilst leading the big race of the day, the Queen Mother Champion Chase, which is exactly what he did in this race last year!
11/03/2003 The opening day at Cheltenham and there are only a handful of Yorkshire representatives, however this doesn't stop Royal Emperor, trained by Sue Smith, and Tribal Venture, trained by Ferdy Murphy, from picking up second and third respectively in the closing race, the 34,800 Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle.
08/03/2003 Only a short way into the 'Yorkshire' phase of his training career the new Hambleton House resident Bryan Smart had a good result today when his Creskeld picked up 7,000 for finishing second in the Lincoln Trial Handicap at Wolverhampton.
01/03/2003 Although Yorkshire didn't win any of the really major prizes on offer today there was still a string of good results with Sue Smith leading the way, as is increasingly becoming the case. At Haydock Smith won the 17,039 Favourites Racing Handicap Chase with Goguenard, and also had a good third with Mister McGoldrick in the 15,065 Mark Watson Birthday Handicap Hurdle. Alan Swinbank also had a worthwhile trip to the Lancashire course with Far Pavilions winning the 10,166 Victor Ludorum Juvenile Novices' Hurdle. Over at Doncaster the Tom Tate trained Europa, who is developing into a nice prospect, defied top weight to win the 10,101 Auckley Handicap Chase. In the next race Brian Ellison managed third with Fatehalkhair in the Grimthorpe Handicap Chase. Finally up at Kelso George Moore's Scotmail Lad was second in the 11,482 Weatherbys Travel Handicap Chase.
28/02/2003 Today is legendary trainer Jimmy Fitzgerald's last as a licenced trainer, as tomorrow he hands over his Norton Grange stables in Malton to his son Tim. Jimmy, 67, has saddled over 1200 winners since commencing his training career in 1969. Prior to that he was a successful jockey, winning the 1965 Scottish Grand National on Brasher. Amongst his best winners were Forgive n'Forget (Cheltenham Gold Cup), Androma (Scottish Grand National twice), Sapience (Princess of Wales's S, Tote Ebor) and his two Cesarewitch winners Trainglot and Kayudee.
26/02/2003 George Moore's progressive chaser Jungle Jinks wins the 8,841 Green Hammerton Novices' Chase at Wetherby today by a massive 23 lengths! He has now won 4 of his 5 starts over fences this season, but will probably be given a break once the ground dries up.
22/02/2003 A couple of good third places for some of the young Middleham trainers at Kempton today. Andy Crook's stable star Ryalux defies his recent rise in the handicap to claim a place in the 58,000 Racing Post Handicap Chase. Later in the afternoon the Karl Burke trained Arctic Challenge is third in the 12,760 Portlane Handicap Chase.
21/02/2003 A quiet week perks up a little when the Tim Easterby trained Turgeonev is second in the 12,436 Betfair.com Chase at Kempton.
14/02/2003 A good day for David Barron today who not only won the feature 10,166 Littlewoods Bet Direct Handicap with Massey, with the David Chapman trained Quito back in second, but followed up in the next race with old campaigner White Plains, who is ten years young. Barron has now accrued twelve wins already in 2003 and, as usual, is high up on the all-weather trainers championship.
08/02/2003 The day's big meeting was down at Newbury, where the best Yorkshire trainers could manage was a slightly disappointing third for the Ferdy Murphy trained Truckers Tavern in the AON Chase. Across at Haydock however Sue Smith had a very good day to continue her fine run with Royal Emperor winning the 12,652 Pertemps Handicap Hurdle and Tonoco and Simply Supreme occupying the runner-up slot in the Mere House Handicap Chase and the Red Square Vodka Novices' Hurdle Final respectively.
04/02/2003 Yorkshire trainers dominated proceeding at Southwell today with David Barron (a double), Patrick Haslam, Kevin Ryan and Richard Whitaker all chalking up winners.Best result was the Barron trained Massey who won the opening 7,633 Littlewoods Bet Direct Stakes.
01/02/2003 Top class jumps racing at three different meetings today. The best Yorkshire trained win came from Micky Hammond with Militaire in the relatively lowly Eurotel Handicap Hurdle at Wetherby. However Yorkshire trainers did achieve some good placing in the major races of the day, lead by Sue Smith's Ardent Scout coming home in second, just ahead of Ferdy Murphy's Historg, in the Singer & Freidlander National Trial Chase at Uttoxeter, hopefully both horses will be bound for Aintree. Tim Easterby's Barton ran third, under top-weight, in the Tote Exacta Handicap Chase at Wetherby to continue his comeback, which will hopefully come to fruition at Cheltenham. Also at Wetherby the George Moore trained Jungle Jinks was an excellent second in the Towton Novices' Chase and the Brian Rothwell trained Always Rainbows was an equally promising second in the next race, the Rossington Main Novices Hurdle, both these races are Grade Two events.
26/01/2003 People with Yorkshire connections in the Racing Post '100 Racing Greats Series';
Phil Bull, the only Yorkshireman in the Top 12 (which you can vote on at the above site). Founder of Timeform in 1948; writer, educator, punter, owner, breeder and bloodstock adviser .
14.Henry Cecil, 9 times Champion Trainer, a Newmarket man through and through, but took over the Cliff Stud from his father-in-law Sir Noel Murless (see below).
15.Sir Noel Murless, born in Cheshire, and famous as a Newmarket trainer, but trained in Yorkshire in the early part of his career, and owned Cliff Stud.
17.Michael Dickinson. Champion NH trainer in 3 of his 4 seasons at Dunkeswick, near Leeds. Trainer of the 'Famous Five'
25.17th Earl Of Derby. Won 19 classics as a breeder between 1910 and 1945 when he owned a number of studs including Thornton Stud.
28.Marquess of Hartington. Former Senior Steward of the Jockey Club, and founding Chairman of the BHB. Lives at Beamsley Hall, Bolton Abbey.
48.Peter Easterby. Trainer of more than 2,500 races under both codes. Won 2 Gold Cups and 5 Champion Hurdles.
51.John Scott. Trainer of 40 Classics from his base in Malton in the 1800's.
97.Kieren Fallon. Champion Jockey, formerly based with Jimmy Fitzgerald and Lynda Ramsden in Yorkshire.
25/01/2003 No major wins today for Yorkshire trainers, despite them being well represented at Cheltenham and Ayr. The best results came closer to home at Doncaster with some goods placing in the top races. In the River Don Novice's Hurdle the Ferdy Murphy trained five year old Tribal Venture put up a very good performance to finish second. The next race was the Great Yorkshire Handicap Chase and here the Andy Crook trained Ryalux was a decent second, with the Sue Smith trained Tonoco filling the next position.
18/01/2003 The Peter Marsh Handicap Chase at Haydock today sees a one-two-three for Yorkshire stables. The race was won the Ferdy Murphy trained Truckers Tavern, after that horse jumped into the lead at the last fence. Long time leader Hussard Collonges trained by Peter Beaumont ran an excellent race under top weight to finish second, with the Sue Smith trained Goguenard coming third. Truckers Tavern will now go for the AON Chase next month before a decision is made about Cheltenham. In the same race there was no fairytale return for the Tim Easterby trained Barton, who faded quickly when the pace was turned up. There was some small consolation for Easterby when his Edmo Heights won the main race at Catterick today.
10/01/2003 The biggest win of the new year so far for Yorkshire today when Loyal Tycoon, trained by David Nicholls, wins the 10,244 Bet Direct Showcase Handicap at Southwell. It's also a good day for Nicholls' near neighbour David Barron who wins the seven furlong handicap with Neven, and just misses out on a double when Oscar Pepper is second in the conditions race.
02/01/2003 Good and bad news on two Yorkshire stars. Tim Easterby's Barton could make his seasonal debut within a couple of weeks. After suffering a foot problem in the Autumn it is to be hoped that this grand horse is firing on all cylinders by the time Cheltenham comes along. On a sadder note Mark Johnston's dual Ascot Gold Cup G1 winner Royal Rebel will be out for the whole of 2003, due to a leg problem. The seven-year-old gelding is currently at Peter Savill's Irish stud, where he has been joined by the prolific Nigel Tinkler trained gelding Goretski, who has been retired after a career which saw him win 19 races for Savill and Tinkler. It is hoped by connections that Royal Rebel will be able to comeback in 2004.
01/01/2003 Having won the last big race of 2002 with Historg yesterday, Ferdy Murphy follows up by winning the first major race of 2003 when Ballinclay King wins the 23,200 Unicorn Homes Chase at Cheltenham! Let's hope that's a good omen for the rest of the Yorkshire racing year! Other Yorkshire trainers to start 2003 with winners included Richard Fahey (Mr Pertemps at Southwell) and Karl Burke (Queen G at Southwell), who actually went one better and won the first race of the year!

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