Bogart Signs Off At His Favourite Place

Although he finished with a very long losing streak, Bogart will still go down as a stable legend with what he produced in his younger days. The burly chestnut had a first season to remember and then proved to be a permanent fixture in the top sprint handicaps. One thing was always certain, he would have to turn out at York whenever possible. It was quite fitting that his final race would come at the track he loved. The 9 year old signs off with 4 wins to his name and over £350,000 in prize money won during his 7 year career. 

Bought from the DBS Premier Yearling sales, Bogart proved to be a cheap purchase when he was knocked down for just £32,000. By the prolific Bahamian Bounty, Bogart everything like a sprinter should, Big, strong and powerful you could almost chuck a saddle on him from day one and he looked like he could go out and gallop. Straight forward from the moment he began working towards his racing career it was clear he would hit the track early on. 

Bogart’s start to his racing career couldn’t have worked out any better. Going for a maiden at Ayr, the same one won by none other than Amadeus Wolf, Bogart was seemingly an outsider on his debut. Not that Kevin and Pete Tingey were worried as they made the long journey up north, confident they had a potentially smart animal. Chasing the leaders Bogart swept past and was pushed out to sprint clear and win by an easy 2 3/4 lengths. Immediately bigger prizes were on the agenda and with it only being May, the big meetings were just around the corner. 

Electing to miss the temptation of Ascot, Bogart was sent to the Group 2 Richmond stakes at Goodwood. It was clear early on that he hated the track and showed this by hanging badly throughout. The only surprise was actually how well he ran giving all the ground away that he did. 

The Ebor meeting would be the next port of call and Kevin would have a decision to make. The Gimcrack was tempting but eventually the huge prize fund of the DBS sales race was the chosen route. Although not a group race it is a race that does require a group like performance to win with so many talented juveniles and weight allowances. Bogart travelled like a dream just behind the leaders before taking the running up going inside the final couple of furlongs. Showing his power, the chestnut kicked clear to win by a comfortable 1 3/4 length, taking down the £136,000 pot. 

Following this win Kevin went for a big double by heading to Doncaster for a similar 6 1/2f race. With just 8st6lb it looked like a great opportunity to land another huge prize. Cruising through the race, he took the lead with just a furlong to run. Looking like the winner he just weakened late on, failing to stay the extra 1/2f. It was another fine effort and set him up for the Redcar 2 year old trophy. Back to 6f, Bogart was one of the leading players and he duly showed why. Showing his natural speed, he once again latched on to the leaders coattails. Travelling well he moved out to challenge 1f from and quickened up with ease. As he had done at York, Bogart put the racer to bed in a matter of strides, going clear to win by 1 1/2 lengths. Unfortunately his next foray into group company would be over in France. The Group 2 Criterium De Maissons Lafitte was a race that Kevin knew well having sent a number of 2yo’s for it. Unfortunately the ground was almost un-raceable as the ground raced hock-deep, causing Bogart to struggle as he rounded off a fine year. 

From two to three he strengthened up and his homework looked every inch a group sprinter in the making. The starting point for his 3yo season would be the Duke Of York, a starting point for many of the best sprinters. Having travelled extremely well throughout the contest, Bogart hit the front with 2f to run and looked like the winner. He kicked clear and didn’t look like being caught but late on he just started to hang. Caught in the final 100yards, he went down by 3/4 length to stablemate Tiddliwinks, finishing a fine fourth. Unfortunately it was before the extensive 3yo programme was brought in for the sprinters. He did head to Haydock for the Sandy Lane (listed at the time) where he would start as favourite. After stumbling leaving the stalls he could not get into the contest and went down to Slade Power, a future champion sprinter. Bogart was assigned some tough tasks throughout his 3yo season with a couple of Group 1 races bookending a conditions run. He couldn’t quite reach those heights and a limited 3yo programme meant he would only run five times. 

2013 would start off with a plan for group racing and Bogart headed to Nottingham for a conditions race to test the waters. Finishing third led Kevin to keep to the Group racing route and the Palace House Stakes was followed by another run in the Duke Of York. Unfortunately he couldn’t make the grade and it seemed evident that handicaps would now be his thing. After a lacklustre display in his first crack at the lower grade, Kevin felt that a gelding would be vital for the chestnut. Following the procedure it seemed as though it had done just what was desired. Unfortunately disaster struck on his first run back. After travelling like a dream he headed past the 2f marker with the lead and still hard on the bridle. As everyone else was working away in the saddle, Amy (Ryan) had yet to move and Bogart seemed to be full of running still. Just as Amy went to go for home the saddled slipped and sent her crashing to the turf. Thankfully both horse and rider were ok but it would mean that Amy would have to sit out for a while due to the crashing fall. 

Although it was a horrible moment, everyone could see that Bogart was full of running before the incident and so when he headed to the Ebor meeting there were plenty of punters keen to get on. Neil Callan deputised for Amy who was still recovering. It was just the same as his last run as Bogart jumped out and forced the pace from the outset.He travelled with power and speed, soon heading into the final couple of furlongs again travelling strongly. This time there was no malfunctions and s when Callan went for home the response was emphatic. Kicking clear Bogart had a break on the field with just the final furlong to run. It was up to the late finishers to try and catch the chestnut but he had set sail and there was no way he was stopping. Bogart earned his win the hard way and beat Goldream, a future dual Group 1 winner, by 3/4 length. It was a special result, giving Pete and Ange a winner at their favourite track at the biggest meeting of the year. Amazingly this would be Bogart’s final win of his career but that would not stop him giving everyone plenty more memories. The rest of the year was sub par and it would be another five run season. 

2014 would begin disappointingly but culminate with a pair of fine efforts in top handicaps. Bogart had already shown a liking for the Knavesmire so obviously he had to take in as many races there as possible. His form didn’t stack up as well as his win the year previous but it did set him up well for the end of the season. The Portland handicap will always be a race that holds fond memories for Kevin, as Halmahera made history Winn ing it 3 times in a row. Bogart looked like he had made it a fourth when taking up the lead heading into the final furlong. Although he stayed on well and battled hard he just couldn’t match the winning run of Muthmir (future 3x group 2 winner). He followed this fine effort up with a big run in the 6f Ayr Silver Cup. He showed his usual natural speed and as always he travelled well, but the 6f was just a stretch too far only a week after his effort at Doncaster. 

Unfortunately following this season Bogart started a very steady decline, seeing his handicap mark slipping. He would always turn up on the Knavesmire and it was here that he would produce his best efforts in general. Although he didn’t manage to win another race he did manage some very near misses. It would be a neck here or a head there that kept the chestnut from earning that elusive win. As the losing streak stretched on he started to look like he was dangerously handicapped. This he was but those good runs were never backed up. As he got older the usual little niggles of being a sprinter crept up on him. Years of enjoying quick ground and carrying all that muscle meant the early mornings would be hard, getting out would require a little more time to loosen up. He was still giving it everything and never was anyone disappointed with him. 

Bogart solidified his status as a yard favourite and last year was when connection began to contemplate retirement. Nobody wanted to see him drop to a ridiculous mark and there would be no chance of him ever running in claiming company. The first few runs were below his best but then a great effort at Thirsk showed he was back to form, especially when he was bouncing the next day at home. Kevin, Pete and Ange decided that if he was enjoying himself then he could keep going. Obviously York was the next stop and although it was a mid-division finish it was a good run. His next couple of runs came at Thirsk and would prove to be very harsh on Bogart. Finishing second in both runs he went down by a neck and 1/2 length, just getting collared in the dying strides. He had run his heart out, showing great enthusiasm for the game but was cruelly denied breaking the losing streak. 

The winter was good to Bogart who came back acting more immature than the yearlings we were breaking in. When Kevin saw that he decided that another season would do him no harm but as soon as he had enough then time would be called. After a run at Southwell, Kevin gave Harriett Lees the chance to ride Bogart in an Amateur race. His usual racing style of forcing the pace saw him up at the front before taking over the running 2f from home. He repelled all but one of his rivals and another second placed effort ensued as he went down by a length. This run was followed up by another solid third placed effort and Bogart continued his career with some enthusiastic efforts. Thirsk provided another decent result so it was on to York once again, off a mark of 77. If there was anything left in the rank then this was the race for him. It was a below par run and then once that was followed up by a similar effort, again on the Knavesmire, time was up. It was clear that age had caught up and for the first time Bogart crossed the line looking like it was enough. 

Bogart has been a great servant. He was a favourite throughout the yard but also with many keen racegoers who went to York on a regular basis. Natural speed was his thing and his record doesn’t really reflect just what he achieved. After a great juvenile career he managed to perform in the top sprints week in week out. Owners Peter Tingey and Angie Bailey were always treated to a day out with the chestnut as he ran with his heart on his sleeve. There are probably a couple of big handicaps that he should of won but on the day he bumped into future stars that were very well treated at the time. It’s now time to let him relax and find a lovely home for him. He will always hold a special place at Hambleton Lodge and will give somebody else plenty of memories for the years to come.