Fine Form Continues With Northumberland Double

The horses have been in fine form over the past 10 days with winners flowing. It has been a real mixture of horses and races, which was proven once again as the 3yo Thundering and 2yo Revision both earned their first career wins at Newcastle’s first day of the Northumberland Plate Meeting.

Thundering has proven to be a real slow burner but had some top quality Novice and Maiden form leading up to his handicap debut. When entered off a mark of 79, it looked very fair, which got better when he was due to go up 2lb following this run. He made no mistake with an emphatic win in the 1m4f Jenningsbet Handicap.

Having made just one start as a 2yr old, Thundering has tracked sterner tests of stamina this season. Stepping up to 1m2f and then 1m4f, he has bumped into some quality individuals. The pick of this form was when he finished behind Eldar Eldarov who subsequently won the Gr 2 Queens Vase at Ascot. With this being on the Tapeta Kevin was certain that he could handle the surface so sent the gelding back to make his handicap debut.

Looking through the 8 runners it did seem as though Thundering held the best form and the punters agreed, making him joint favourite. Having seen him wander around on the his latest run, Kevin Stott was tasked with utilising patient tactics. This looked ideal for the gelding but it was clear early on that the pace was quite sedate. Being drawn wide, Kevin couldn’t risk being stuck 4 wide so he ended up sitting dead last.

Although Newcastle has a long straight, the steady pace was lending itself to a late sprint to the line. Unfortunately the place not to be is way out of the back, just where Thundering found himself. As the field came around the bend and into the straight he still hand to pass the entire field. Kevin wasn’t panicking and now he could angle out to get a clear run.

The race really begun around the 3f marker. This was where the first injection of pace came and the field began to dash for home. It may have been 26* heat but Kevin was the coolest man in Newcastle. Loosen the reins and squeezing his mount, Thundering began to move up menacingly down the centre of the track,.

When these tactics work they are the silliest to watch. Thundering had swooped down the outside to slide past rival after rival. He moved into contention pulling double and Kevin still perched high upon the saddle. At this point it just looked like a matter of when and not if. The when was moving into the final furlong. Quickening up, Thundering pulled clear and proved well named as he thundered clear. Crossing the line with a 1 3/4 length advantage, the 3yr old put on a stunning display.

Thundering had always shown ability and it was nice to see that come to fruition. He has been a little unlucky with some of the rivals he has bumped into. This performance was a very taking one so it will be interesting to see how the handicapper asses’s it. There is still more to come and Thundering could be a nice middle distance prospect moving forward.

Stats do not always paint a full picture and this has been the case with the juveniles so far this season. Despite the low number of winners, there have been some big performances and likely to run up a tally in the coming weeks. Revision was the perfect example of this and after a promising runner up on debut, he earned the maiden win when taking the 6f Pertemps Network Novice Stakes, completing the double.

Ardad has made an unbelievable start to his stallion career and this led Kevin to purchasing a strapping colt at GoffsUK. Revision looked the part and thrived throughout his home work. Although showing promise early on, Revision always looked likely to be a 6f prospect and the extra time did him the world of good.

Making his debut at Haydock, Revision ran a great race, chasing home an experienced and exciting rival. He looked sure to improve for the experience and should take all the beating next time out. With the ground firming up due to the heatwave, Kevin selected the Tapeta as it works the opposite way around. Heat means it rides slower, something that could be more beneficial to a big horse like Revision.

Sent off the 10/11 fav, it was clear that he was the one to beat. Although confidence was high, they are very inexperienced horses so that always has to be taken into account. Jumping on terms, Kevin Stott just allowed him to find his rhythm which Revision did to sit on the leader’s heels. They edged from the centre just nearer to the stands side.

Revision travelled well through the first half of the race. Kevin rode like he was on the best horse in the race and looked to keep everything simple. The pace quickened up over 2f from home and this was where Kevin decided which way he was to go. Simplicity at the core, he just edged out towards the centre of the track, giving him clear daylight. Revision quickened up to challenge for the lead, with no rival hampering his run.

Moving into the final furlong Revision had the lead. Now clear he looked to stride out to the line. Now he had nothing to run with and just began to edge right towards the stands side rail. Initially it looked like he had put the race to bed but a newcomer was finishing fast. It looked as though Revision was in a little bit of trouble for a second but he was always doing enough. Kevin just got a little more serious, educating his mount for the future. Revision had his head to the ground and galloped all the way to the line to secure a win by a head.

Revision possibly didn’t gain the winning margin most would have thought but he can be marked up for this win. He travelled with ease and quickened up when asked. Revision kicked clear which probably took him by surprise a little. Once he hit the front he thought the job was done and showed greeness. He is a lovely horse with scope to continue improving. Holding an entry in the DBS Sales trace, this could be a big option for him moving forward.

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Washington Hits The Heights For First Win

There is no better feeling than seeing a 2yr old make a promising debut. That can be a winning one or just full of potential but it keeps the dreams alive. What’s even better is when they take a step forward and build on that. Washington Heights had made a fantastic start to his career and then went on to win at the second try when taking the 5f Scaleby Restricted Maiden Stakes at Carlisle.

Washington Heights always looked a real sharp 2yr old, showing the physique that could see him hit the track early. It took a little longer than first expected when he had a growth spurt, something that is obviously very common with young horses. When he did show he was ready, the gelding proved that patience was the right call. Making his debut at Wetherby he showed a professional attitude and was a shade unlucky to finish only fourth. With expected improvement it seemed as though he would be winning before long.

Heading to Carlisle the race was similar on paper but looked a stronger contest on form. He had been vying for favouritism but would end up second fav by the time they entered the stalls. Kevin Stott was once again in the saddle and utilised his good draw of stall 3. Jumping smartly, Washington Heights was straight to the front to dictate the race and snatch the far side rail.

Washington Heights was showing great natural speed and putting his experience to good use. Kevin was going to make it a test for his rivals, never giving them time to relax. He was stalked throughout by the favourite, looking to hit the leader with a late dash and it would be an interesting contest if this was to pan out.

Swinging into the straight, Washington Heights held a 3/4 length lead and Kevin continued to let him stride on. Passing halfway he had many of them at it already, looking to continue to pressure from the front. Having travelled smoothly up to the 2f, Kevin tried to kick from the front, with the rising ground looming in a furlongs time. His move was matched by the favourite who reacted quickly to give chase.

Kicking clear, the front two began to pull away as the lead remained around a length passing the 1f marker. It was a long way up the hill and Washington Heights just began to edge left under pressure. Kevin looked to rectify that move, and did so, but it allowed the fav up the inside. Down the near side there was a fast finishing debutante, so Washington Heights was getting tackled from either side. He was very game in front, showing the same attitude as on debut. The lead was diminishing but the gelding was not going anywhere. It would be close but as his rivals thrust late on, Washington Heights stuck his head out, grabbing the win by a short head.

It was a very brave performance from Washington Heights who did it the hard way by making all. Having shown good speed, he then battled well up the stiff finish. Although he did wander a little bit, this was probably due to being out in front for so long. You could probably mark him up a bit for this win as he did all the donkey work and got a bit lonely out in front. Washington Heights has shown a cracking attitude and it will be interesting to see the route taken now. He does hold an entry in the DBS sales race and possibly a sharp 6f could be ok for him in time.

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Ripon Specialist Bottle Takes The Record

There are some horses and some tracks that just go together. It isn’t always clear why but you can see the horse raise their game every time they visit. Justanotherbottle has always enjoyed the really sharp, downhill tracks. One in particular is Ripon and he won his third race at the track in the past 10 months when taking the Betting.Bet Ripon Races Ladies Day Handicap over 6f.

Justanotherbottle took his time to really show his best when transferred to Hambleton Lodge but over the last year he has taken his form to another level. Winning the Great St Wilfrid last year was the big handicap win he had long deserved but he hasn’t stopped there. Since then he has became a cruising machine, travelling with extreme ease over the sharpest of sprints.

Like every good athlete, Justanotherbottle does have a quirk and his is with the stalls. Every now and then something will go amiss, which is what happened at Epsom in the Dash. It meant that he was a mission to repay owners Steve Ryan and Martin Tedham, which he did emphatically at Ripon.

The 7 strong field may have been short of numbers but the quality was there. Kevin Stott got the leg up and aimed to utilise his new tactics aboard Justanotherbottle, who now didn’t have to lead. Behaving in the stalls, Justanotherbottle was well away and settled in to track the pace. Sat in third spot, Kevin had a perfect slipstream through the race.

Burning through the first half of the race, the field were quickly down to the 3f marker. With the strong gallop set, there was no let up and the field got racing well over 2 1/2f from home. The leader was under pressure from here and this led Kevin to angle out, ensuring they had a clear run. He was waiting and waiting the try and get a lead for as long as possible but Kevin still had his mount cruising on the bridle.

Decision time came heading towards the 1f marker. Justanotherbottle was vying for the lead but the jockeys postures couldn’t be more different. Kevin, motionless, now asked his mount to go and win the race. Bottle edged into the lead but didn’t immediately accelerate away from his brave adversary. It did look a matter of time and as Kevin asked for full tilt, Justanotherbottle began to pull away. In the space of 100 yards he had moved 1 1/2 lengths clear, allowing his jockey to ease up.

This was one of Justanotherbottle’s most comfortable wins and in doing so he lowered the track record. He looks to have got even better again this year and will see his mark hit a career high. Connections know exactly what races suit but it may be case of having a crack of something a little higher now. Pattern company wouldn’t be out of reach and he may just take his chance now, following an impressive victory.

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New Trip, First Win For Shaladar

Some of the most interesting horses in training are the 3yr olds. You have horses who are still young and have had differing starts to their careers. It is fantastic to see them improve and suddenly reach their potential. Sometimes it can look as though the expectations may have been wrong but just needed a slightly different approach. Shaladar has been exactly that and earned his first career win when stepping up to 1m for the Enjoy VIP Treatment At Hamilton Park Handicap.

The son of Shaala had enjoyed a consistent juvenile season, and whilst he hadn’t got off the mark, that first win looked obvious. Beginning the season over 7f, Shaladar had taken a step forward from first to second run. The third run was better than the bare result but most importantly it gave the impression that a new trip could be the key, having stayed on well over 7f.

Heading to Hamilton, to tackle 1m for the first time, Shaladar was partnered by Tom Eaves. Having stayed on well last time out, the plan was to take their time and try to make the final furlong his best one. This lead Tom to sit towards the rear of the field as they raced uphill for the first couple of furlongs. The front two took each on so it was a decent pace to track.

Swinging right handed around the top turn, the 10 strong field were quickly into the downhill straight and moving towards halfway. Shaladar only had two behind him but was travelling well as they moved past the cutaway. The field got racing a long way from home and over 3f out, Tom just had to get lower in the saddle. Shaladar had travelled fine but could not afford his rivals to get away from him.

Making good progress, Shaladar was picking up well and probably gave Tom a little headache. Knowing that it was a long way up the hill he would have loved to conserve energy but he had committed. Shaladar was rolling around a little as he moved through down the near side but continued to eat into the lead. As they headed into the final furlong he had taken the lead, but this is where the ground rises up for the stiff finish. Shaladar was not stopping but was going to face a stern challenge from the fast finishing favourite. It was going to be close but the favourite came to Shaladar with time left. It allowed the gelding to respond and respond he did. Fighting all the way to the line, Shaladar bravely hung on by a short head, earning his maiden win.

The new trip really seemed to suit Shaladar and he saw out every yard. Tom probably didn’t expect him to pick up initially and this left him with quite a bit of daylight. With that being the case, Shaladar has done very well to win. He could possibly do with getting a lead for longer in the future with an end to end gallop. Now he has the first win, Shaladar can build on this as he is unexposed at this trip.

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Dazzling Double At Thirsk

The start of a big week saw Royal Ascot kick off in glorious fashion but the team’s focus shifted a little closer to home. Just down the road at Thirsk, Kevin sent out a double with Glenlaurel and Rambuso Creek both winning in emphatic style.

If there is one sire that Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum has had great success with it is the superstar Lope de Vega. So when he sent his own mare to the stallion it was always likely to produce something with great potential. Glenlaurel had certainly been shaping nicely at home but she blew the field away when winning the 6f Vickers.Bet Extra Places At Royal Ascot EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes on debut.

Having come to hand and impressed in her homework the hardest decision was what trip to begin Glenlaurel over. Her pedigree lends itself to slightly further in time but she had shown so much natural ability. Starting at 6f, Kevin was confident she would handle the trip and hopefully do everything the right way round, with the best work coming late on. Kevin Stott was booked to don the famous yellow silks.

Slowly away, Kevin didn’t rush his filly and allowed Glenlaurel to find her feet. This meant she ended up towards the rear of the field early on. There was no panic and the most important thing was allowing the filly to find her feet and get into a nice rhythm, which she did. The leader set a nice even gallop and after the first furlong the filly began to stretch out to race in a thinner line rather than a group.

With the race heating up a long way from home, Glenlaurel really took the eye 2 1/2f from home. As her rivals started their runs, jockeys becoming animated in the saddle, Kevin just had to plot his next move. Yet to ask his filly anything, Kevin was running with a double handful. Searching for a clear run, Glenlaurel was obviously going the best but she and her rivals were inexperienced fillies. This made finding a gap both daunting and a trickier task.

Moving down towards the final furlong, Kevin’s task became easier as a few rivals weakened. This allowed him to edge right and swing around those in front. Glenlaurel did all this with the minimum of fuss, cantering on the bridle. As they hit the 1f marker, Kevin now got hold of his filly and asked her to go and quicken. Glenlaurel responded but showed signs of greeness initially, just trying to find her legs. Once she did, the filly scooted clear and immediately put daylight between herself and the rest. The final furlong was a precession and Glenlaurel bolted up by an impressive 3 1/2 lengths.

Glenlaurel could not have done any more than what she did and certainly looks like a filly with a bright future. Traveling well, she quickened up smartly and it was all done with ease. Her pedigree suggests that she will get further in time but Glenlaurel travelled well against a good gallop so may well stick to this trip for now. It looks likely that pattern company will be the next step and the decision will be about which grade to let her tackle next.

The double had to wait until the final race as the two Kevin’s bookended the meeting with winners. Rambuso Creek had been an unlucky maiden but he finally got that monkey of his back by taking the 5f Follow Vickers.Bet On Facebook And Instagram Handicap.

Having finished last year with two seconds and two thirds, Rambuso Creek was obviously going to be winning races this year, or so it seemed. Gelded over the winter and starting with a mark of 75, connections felt that a win would be a good starting point to build on for the rest of the year. This seemed to be everyone’s thoughts as he was sent off favourite for his return to action at Pontefract. Unfortunately it was a below par effort, his first ever poor run.

Thankfully a small issue was found and following a win op, Rambuso Creek was ready to crack on into handicap company. Heading to Thirsk, Rambuso Creek had been eased a few pounds to 72. If the little procedure had helped then it did look a good opportunity to get his head in front.

Jumping from stall 10, Kevin began with a copybook ride to his first winner. Settled at the rear of the field, Rambuso Creek allowed his rivals to move forward and took a lead through the early stages. Typically over 5f, there was a strong pace on which had the field stretched out. They flew through the first half of the race in the blink of an eye. Throughout, the leader edged towards the stands side, perfect for Kevin who had positioned his mount there from the off.

Going great guns in front, the leader was looking to burn his rivals off. Kevin was getting to work as they moved past the 2f pole and wasn’t getting the initial turn of foot. Although the gap did not close, Kevin was only going hands and heels, a signal that said he had plenty underneath him.

Slowly, slowly Rambuso Creek edged closer to the lead and as he moved into the final furlong he was hitting top gear. Still Kevin was just nudging away and suddenly the pair looked like a huge danger. With all the momentum, Rambuso Creek swept to the lead and despite edging left for a couple of strides, quickened clear. Kevin’s only plan was to keep him straight because the turn of foot had put the race to bed. Checking the big screen, Kevin would have liked what he saw and was able to ease up close to the finish. The 1 3/4 length advantage was impressive but probably the minimum winning distance.

It was great to Rambuso Creek get his head in front after some near misses and also proving that the issue had been resolved. Although he travelled well it was the final furlong where he was strongest, showing a good injection of speed. You wouldn’t go too far away from this type of race again but the 3yr old may get a little further in time. Rambuso Creek has already shown a consistent attitude so hopefully he can go on and improve through the handicap after this win.

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Derby Day Double

Racing’s blue ribboned race is the Derby, it is what everyone wants to win, not just in Britain but around the world. Whilst all the glitz and glam is going on at Epsom, there is an action packed, bumper weekend of racing and Kevin secured a double on the day thanks to Cotai West and Eeh Bah Gum.

It has even a long time coming and a lot of patience shown but Eeh Bah Gum can claim to be a winner once again. The 7yo has been drifting down the handicap but there looked to be a spark of a revival this year which burst into flames when he took the 5f Heineken Silver Apprentice Handicap at Musselburgh.

Only 3 years ago Eeh Bah Gum was competing in the “Dash” at Espom on Derby day. It would be hard to think that he would not win again for 3 years, but horses do not lose ability and there are reasons why they hit a slump. Having arrived at Hambleton late last year, Eeh Bah Gum showed plenty of desire for his work and hopefully a change of scenery was the trick to getting back to form.

After a few efforts on the AW, which started promisingly, a small wind op ensued before campaigning on the turf. It certainly looked to have been beneficial as two placed efforts were followed by another good run when extended to 6f. Back to 5f, on good ground was what the doctor ordered so the apprentice race at Musselburgh looked ideal. This is especially true when you can call on the services of a top young jockey like Oisin McSweeney, based with the yard. The pair would line up against 12 rivals over the minimum trip.

Jumping well from stall 2, Eeh Bah Gum was into his stride allowing Oisin to keep things very simple. Sticking to his draw, the pair raced toward the centre of the track. Showing good speed, Eeh Bah Gum was able to track over once allowed to do so, finding himself in second spot, tracking the lead. As expected there was a frantic gallop and the field blasted past halfway.

The rails just kick out at this stage which would open a gap on the inner of Oisin if there was a rival good enough. Eeh Bah Gum had shown great dash to this point and started to turn the screw moving into the final 2f. As his counterparts were under strong pressure, Oisin was just letting out the reins little by little. This allowed Eeh Bah Gum to lengthen before trying to kick off the front end. He held the lead now and with the rest off the bridle, Oisin was waiting to go for home. Little over 1 1/2f out, the button was pressed and Eeh Bah Gum kicked clear, taking a length out of the field.

Although it seemed he had the field at his mercy, there was one rival able to give chase. Matching the move made, he came along with Eeh Bah Gum to lay down a strong challenge in the final furlong. Now Oisin got serious and the pair settled down for a ding dong battle. With his rival staying on well, Eeh Bah Gum was going to have to dig deep and he did just that. Tasting victory, the 7yo found more and repelled the late charge, winning by a neck.

It was fantastic to see Eeh Bah Gum get his head in front. He has been showing the right signs since joining the yard and showed real tenacity to earn this win. His owners Nick and Lena Rhodes have been very patient with him so to repay their time and faith is very pleasing. Eeh Bah Gum has the confidence now and there is no reason why he can’t go on and build up a sequence of runs, trying to climb back up that handicap to where he belongs.

The double didn’t take too long to be completed as Cotai West was earning her first win 15 minutes later. Placed in all her starts leading up to this, Cotai West shed her maiden tag taking the 5f Free Tips Daily On Novice Stakes at Doncaster.

The 3yo filly made only one start as a juvenile but has been ultra consistent in novice and maiden company. Sticking to the minimum trip initially, she rattled off two Thirds and a runner up spot. It was quite tricky to figure out what would be her ideal trip would be but when stepped up to 6f last time out, she didn’t really look to see out the extra furlong.

Earning a mark of 71 was fair but it also opened up the option of handicap company for future races. Kevin decided that she had shown enough to warrant another crack at a novice race and sent the filly to Doncaster to take on 5 rivals. Shane Gray took the ride and immediately looked to be confident on board.

Quickly away, Cotai West was vying for the early lead, pressing the issue which created a decent pace early on. Settled into her stride, she took the field down towards the centre of the track. The two leaders were side by side whilst the rest kind of found a position behind.

Very little would get into the contest and with the favourite stalking the leaders, it would invariably come down to these three. The market had only been interested in this trio and passing halfway it was clear why. Shane began to loosen his grip on the reins and allowed his filly to open up. Her rivals measured this move and there were three in a line passing the 2f marker.

Although the race has heated up nobody had really thrown down their challenge but 1 1/2f out Shane asked for everything. His filly responded but just began to edge to her right. With the favourite on the inside this did cause the third horse to be squeezed, but it was also weakening at the time.  The leading pair entered the final furlong neck and neck but it was Cotai West who was finding more for pressure. She was never headed and could always just repel the favourites attempts, securing a maiden win by a neck.

She thoroughly deserved a win and Cotai West did so the hard way, making most of the running and being there to be shot at. Again she showed good speed but also a great attitude to fight off the late challenge. The runner up had won a similar race last year so it would seem that the front two could be ok. Cotai West should certainly be better than her mark and handicaps are now in line for the 3yo filly.

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Hambleton And Ryan At It Again

Hambleton Racing’s beige and blue silks have become well known throughout racing, cracking the top level and popping in with many winners. Sweet Glance ensured that the form or both parties continued as she made it three winners from the last three runners for the Ryan/Hambleton combination. Heading down to Leicester she returned with the win in the 6f Watch On Racing TV Fillies’ Handicap.

Sweet Glance was picked up as a foal for, in racing terms, next to nothing. Half sister to Sound Reason, it looked as though that may have been a shrewd move with connections realising that her elder sibling could develop into a fairly useful sprinter. As he slowly worked up the ranks, Sweet Glance was amazingly similar and was a bit of a slow burner herself. Not making her racecourse debut until October of last year. It was a pleasing debut which was followed by a first career win on the AW.

Unfortunately the start to 2022 was not exactly smooth. Having to run in a novice, Sweet Glance headed to Chelmsford where she ran no sort of race, with the filly being totally unsuited. Returning to the turf next time out and stepping up to 6f, Sweet Glance was far more like herself and showed that she should be winning again soon, especially with a mark of 63.

Taking on 7 rivals, Sweet Glance had Kevin Stott partnering her. Jumping on terms, Kevin just dropped his hands on his filly and let her find her stride. She was into a nice rhythm but as the pace increased, Sweet Glance was just shuffled back towards the rear. Racing more down the centre, Sweet Glance would have to pass the whole field, although they were quite well bunched up.

The ground was good to soft but there looked to be plenty of turf kicking up as the field galloped along. At halfway Kevin got a little anxious in the saddle and began to nudge his filly along as the tempo increased. As her rivals started to move forward and stretch out, Sweet Glance was struggling to go with them. She began to get a little detached at the rear but would rectify this soon.

Passing the 2f marker the field were spread right across the track. Coming good down the centre, Sweet Glance had suddenly put herself into contention and actually looked a big danger. Those who had gone great guns on the front end now started to feel the pinch and Kevin Stott now went for home.

Moving into the final furlong the race was between 2 horses. Sweet Glance had moved through to vie for the lead and settled down to tussle for the win. Eye to eye the leading pair were pulling clear of the rest and continued as the ground rose up. As Kevin asked more from her, Sweet Glance responded in kind, really sticking her head down. Stealing the lead away with 100 yards to run, the stiff 6f was proving no issue whatsoever and she ground her rival out. Pulling clear in the final strides, Sweet Glance secured the win by a length, going away.

Trying a stiff 6f on tough ground was certainly a different proposal than she had witnessed before but Sweet Glance thrived for it. She was outpaced early but found plenty for pressure and handled conditions with ease. It could be that this is just what she needs going forward, staying away from fast ground. She won with a little in hand here so it wouldn’t be a surprise for her to go on and potentially put a sequence together now.

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Breaking The Code For Maiden Win

Kodebreaker may well be one of the best names for a racehorse as at times it can feel like you are trying to crack the enigma code to gain a win. It hasn’t taken that long with Kodebreaker, thankfully, but a new variable was added to the equation and it proved to be the missing piece. Stepping up to 7f for the first time, Kodebreaker took the Racing TV Profits Returned To Racing Handicap.

Having made some pleasing progress last year at 2, Kodebreaker seemed like a horse who would appreciate a winter to develop. That he did and heading into the new season off a mark of 63, he looked a 3yo that could progress through the ranks. Starting on the AW, Kodebreaker failed to really get involved over 6f and then took a backward step when transferring to the turf next time out. Rather confused with the performances, connections found that a small wind op could be essential to helping him reach his potential.

Sticking to 6f for his first start after a wind op, Kodebreaker took a step forward to finish third. Doing good late work in that race saw him step up to 7f at Redcar for the first time and it proved to be a great call. Taking on 15 rivals, the gelding had dropped to 58 which was a mark that looked very fair for him. Tom Eaves was booked for the ride and looked to be positive from the off.

Breaking from stall 1 Kodebreaker was away well and Tom kept it very simple. Sticking to his draw, they headed over to the far side rail as the 16 runners were well spread out across the track. The leader set a strong gallop and after the first furlong the field crossed over to form one group along the rail. Settling down Kodebreaker ended up being sat just in behind the pace, and would require some gaps to open later on.

By halfway Kodebreaker had moved into a nice position, stalking the leaders. The strong pace had stretched the field out and the race heated up passing the halfway mark. Between the 3f and 2f Kodebreaker shuffled his way up to get closer to the front end but as they moved into the final 1/4 mile this path was blocked. Tom looked either side and with no gaps appearing he had to sit and suffer, playing the waiting game and being brave.

Kodebreaker was all over the heels of the leader passing the 1f marker and as more rivals faded, the room began to appear. Now Tom could switch his mount out, manoeuvring to his right and finally seeing some daylight. He had been hard on the bridle but this gave away momentum to his rivals so Tom tried to quickly make up for that. He didn’t have time so asked Kodebreaker to skip the middle gears and hit top gear asap. Thankfully the gelding was more than up for it and burst through to join in the fight for the lead. With 100 yards to run he had nudged his head to the front but he had more to give and was keeping on well. Pulling out more Kodebreaker pulled away to secure his first win by 1/2 length.

It was nice to see Kodebreaker thrive over his new trip as well as seeing him finish his race off, owing to the small procedure he had. His handicap mark did seem extremely workable so it was nice for him to go and utilise this, giving Hambleton Racing some repayment for their patience with him. Hopefully now this can be a springboard for him to go on and improve for the future.

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Mas Poder Dominates For First Win

Unfortunately plans do not always work out and there are certainly bumps in the road when training horses. This time last year Mas Poder was gearing up for Royal Ascot after a promising debut run. Winning seemed only a matter of time but connections have had to wait due to setbacks. Thankfully Mas Poder got her head in front when dominating from start to finish in the 5f Melanie Jollif’s 60th Birthday Fillies’ Novice Stakes at Pontefract.

Starting in the listed Marygate Stakes at York, Mas Poder showed huge promise when finishing fourth on her debut. It gave connections the opportunity to head down to the Royal meeting and let her take her chance.  Having struggled to get involved, Mas Poder would not be seen again after a setback would keep her out until this year.

Despite the lay off, Mas Poder was pleasing in her home work and came to hand early on in the season. Stepping up to 6f she never landed a blow but it was a run that she could build confidence from. Next time out she showed far more of her natural speed to lead, before getting a little tired late on and weakening out of it. Having shown her natural speed, Mas Poder would be dropped to the minimum trip next time out.

With just four runs to her name, Mas Poder was still an unexposed filly and connections decided to stick with the novice route instead of stepping into handicap company. The 8 runners who would line up at Pontefract did not provide the strongest field and Mas Poder held the highest rating. She would be the market rival to the favourite and it would seem that if they ran to form then the race should be down to those two.

Tom Eaves was booked for the ride and took control of the race from the off. Using his filly’s speed, Mas Poder was sent to the front after leaving the stalls. She showed blistering speed to move over to the rail and lead the runners down into the left handed bend.

It was around the bend where Tom could just slow it down a little to give his mount a breather. Having grabbed the rail they were taking the shorted route, forcing their rivals to go around if they wanted to challenge. Holding a length lead into the home straight, Mas Poder continued to travel well. Tom was waiting to kick, knowing full well the finish can be energy sapping and costly for the win.

Mas Poder had put herself into a winning position moving towards the final furlong and it was now the button was pressed. She had burnt off the majority of the field and quickened from the front. There was only the favourite who could land a blow and was giving chase as the ground rises up. Moving into second with 1/2 furlong to run, it looked as though Mas Poder may be a sitting duck in the final strides. Although the lead was dwindling, Mas Poder was brave and kept finding for Tom. Hearing the hooves rattle behind, Mas Poder found a little more in reserve to repel the favourite by 3/4 length.

It was fantastic to see Mas Poder take her first career win. This seemed like something which would have been a given but racing isn’t always straight forward. Everyone at Nick Bradley Racing had to be patient and it is nice to ready this with a winner. The handicapper probably won’t do anything following this win so she should be competitive going forward. Confidence is now key and Mas Poder will have been given a massive boost with this win.

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Sound Reason Continues His Rise

Horses develop at different rates, some will be sharp juveniles who hit the ground running whilst others will slowly build up through the ranks. Sound Reason has gradually been rising through the handicap, gaining wins and setting himself up for a crack at bigger prizes. His latest win was a new career high as he took the 5f Betfred Good Luck To Wigan Warriors Handicap at Haydock.

The burly 4yr old has been a work in progress and seems to have taken a step forward in almost every race since he shed his maiden tag. Finishing  last season with a mark of 81, Sound Reason had already gone up 12lbs but looked open to more when he returned the following year.

Like his Sire, Hot Streak, Sound Reason enjoys a little ease in the ground. This preference led to a slight hold up for his return due to a warm April. When he did get back on track, Sound Reason ran a race full of promise to finish fourth at Hamilton. Racing on the wrong side of the track, he travelled well before just getting tired up the hill. He was sure to come on for the run and when he lined up at Haydock, Sound Reason would be sent off favourite.

Ground conditions were in his favour and this saw Sound Reason being sent of favourite for the contest. Kevin Stott has ridden the gelding on all his wins and was in the saddle once more. Although dwelling at the start, this actually helped him as Kevin wanted to take a lead into the contest. Held up in the rear of the field, Sound Reason was waiting patiently and settled well as the free going leader set a strong gallop.

By halfway you could see that Sound Reason was comfortable underneath Stott and was thriving on the ground. The leader had been going great guns in front and heading into the final 2f the challenges began. As those in behind came off the bridle the race heated up and this included Kevin aboard Sound Reason. Although travelling well to this point, it was clear that the leader was kicking off the front and Kevin knew he had to go and give chase.

Sound Reason picked up well down the near side and flew past his rivals, but the leader was not stopping. Deep inside the final furlong the lead was diminishing but there was not far to go. The race was between the front two and it was going to go down to the line. Sound Reason was in full flow and was eating into the lead with every stride. With Stott asking for everything, the chestnut was finding more and drew up to the leader in the final strides. Momentum took the gelding past and into the lead, pulling out a little more to score by a neck.

Last season saw Sound Reason come from off the pace to win and it would seem that this tactic is now what he enjoys having pulled it off once again. He travelled well and picked up, to quicken and make up a lot of ground late on. Sound Reason looks like he has still got more to come and is a sprinter to keep on the right side of. Although he has tried 6f only once, there would be no reason why he couldn’t try it again. It would seem as though a stiff 5f could be his ideal trip and with this in mind it would be fantastic if he could develop into something like a Portland contender. Whatever happens, Hambleton Racing have a progressive horse and should enjoy more days out with Sound Reason.

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