Maidens Give An Impressive Quick Fire Double

The horses are really starting to hit top form and the winners are flowing in. Even the ones that aren’t winning are running well and all looks well at Hambleton Lodge. Plenty of the 2 year olds have now hit the track and the older horses have got back into their race fitness following June’s closure. It was two maidens who gave Kevin a double at Redcar with the juvenile Stormbringer and 3 year old Caridade making all to win their respective maidens.

Stormbringer arrived at Hambleton Lodge via the breeze ups and when Mr Charles Wentworth secured the Dutch Art colt he had parted with £190,000. Kevin was delighted to receive the colt as a new owner/trainer partnership started. It didn’t take long for Stormbringer cement this new relationship as he made all to win the British EBF Novice Stakes at Redcar on just his second career run. 

Having impressed at the breeze ups, Stormbringer continued that at home, taking all his work well and doing so rather easily. Everyone who sat on him had been suitably impressed so Kevin was looking to get him on to the track early on. Unfortunately the yard’s closure enforced a waiting period for the juvenile but he soon made up for lost time. 

Running at Ayr on his debut, Stormbringer showed plenty of promise. Jumping well, he raced strongly, showing a lot of natural speed before just getting a little tired late on to finish a promising and pleasing third. He had done everything asked of him in that run and it was clear that Stormbringer would be winning before much longer. Having come out the race well, Kevin was quickly searching for races so he could get the colt back out again. He found an opportunity for Stormbringer down at Chelmsford but a mechanical fault with the horsebox, whilst travelling down, meant he couldn’t take part. Fortunately the bay was already entered at Redcar so a few days later he headed in the opposite direction to the coast. 

Martin Harley has a an agreement with Charles to ride his horses but due to a busy schedule Tom Eaves got the opportunity to sit on Stormbringer. Feeling he was on the best horse there was only one thing in his mind. The 2 year had shown so much speed on debut that Tom utilised that from the moment the gates opened. Jumping smartly he was immediately into his stride and went forward. He couldn’t quite lead as Miss Mo Brown Bear took that honour but Stormbringer sat close to her as Tom let him stride out. Redcar is a quick track and this seemed to playing to Stormbringer’s strengths. After a fast first furlong Stormbringer took the lead as Tom was keen to let him get on with it, also not wanting to take a pull on the colt. 

Spearheading the field, Stormbringer ensured the field blasted through the early stages and quickly moved past halfway. The pace was already taking it’s toll on the back markers and the distance from first to last grew with every yard they covered. There was not let up from Stormbringer who continued his powerful gallop and began to exert his strength on his rivals. 

Soon they were heading down to the 2f pole and Stormbringer began to dominate. Few of the back markers were making headway as well as Kevin’s other runner, Havana Star who was closing the gap although he was hard at work. Stormbringer was still hard on the bridle and now his closest challenger was coming under the pump. Leading and travelling well Tom could afford a quick look around. This told him he had time to wait, he had the lead and the dangers were now starting to whittle away. Miss Mo Brown Bear was still running well and hadn’t been completely shrugged off but Tom had yet to ask for a final push. Havana Star had moved through to lead the rest of the field but was a good few lengths away. 

Tom sat and waited until the final furlong before he went for his mount. He change his hands, tightened his grip and kicked Stormbringer in the belly. The colt quickened up off his strong pace and put the race to bed. Now he put daylight between himself and Miss Mo Brown Bear and it was game over. The only question was how far and as he had gone clear Tom could quickly apply the brakes again. It was all hands and heels but Stormbringer had galloped his rivals into the ground to win by 2 lengths. 

It was an impressive display from the juvenile and has set him up for bigger targets. Again he showed great speed but this time he quickened up and really saw the race out well. He learnt a lot from his first run and will improve once again. It’s great to get a winner on the board for Mr Charles Wentworth and he looks to have an exciting prospect on his hands. Pattern company could well be on the agenda and a tilt at the Gimcrack, which Charles won with Caspar Netscher, could be on the cards.

Kevin didn’t have to wait long to double up on the day. Just 35 minutes later Caridade lined up as the 13/8 favourite for the 7f Racing UK Club Day Here Today Maiden Stakes and duly obliged by running away with the contest. 

Caridade only arrived at Hambleton Lodge in February having been purchased from Darley without ever seeing a racecourse. Although her previous owners felt she wasn’t up to standard, Kevin sensed early on that there was ability and her new owners, Hambleton Racing & CN Farm, would find plenty of opportunities with the filly. She proved this was true when making a very pleasing debut at Redcar. After showing her inexperience she finally got to grip with racing late on and finished a staying on fourth. Caridade would then go on to fill the same spot at York, over a furlong further and racing over 1 mile. Travelling like the winner throughout she succumbed when the stamina ran out, finding the extra furlong just too much.

With two good runs under her belt and already some proof that 7f looked like her trip, Kevin decided to return to Redcar for her third run. The track and trip would suit and, with no disrespect, a race that looked the easiest for her so far on paper. Kevin Stott was back on board and looked to be positive, feeling like he was on the best horse. 

As  the stalls opened Caridade was quickly out and soon into the lead. It was her market rival Obeya who was sent in pursuit and was sat just on the girth of the fav but everyone was happy to take a lead from Caridade. The 3 year old was quickly up to speed and took them along at a nice even gallop, heading down the centre of the track. The filly was showing her experience and having learnt from her two runs she was showing up a lot more professionally at the head of affairs. 

All the jockeys were happy with the pace and their positions so little changed throughout the first half of the race. Kevin was going a sensible place which meant that there shouldn’t be any hard luck stories. Obeya was never far away from Caridade so she was keeping the favourite honest and any chink in the armour would be capitalised on. Striding out, Caridade travelled smoothly and saw nothing but daylight. Despite hearing the hooves rattle behind her she was going well within herself and Kevin didn’t have to work too much early on. 

Moving on to the 3f marker Caridade still held sway and whilst her closest pursuers travelled just as well, some of the horses further back were beginning to work. They were trying to close the gap but with the leader going well they struggled to make inroads. Kevin still rode with confidence as his filly began to lengthen and there was a small injection of pace. Her moves were matched by Obeya and it looked as though the horses prominent were in the best position as they started to head into the business end of the race. 

For 5f Caridade had had it her own way in front with Kevin never having to ask too much from his mount. As they closed in on the final 2f the challenges were beginning to wind up. With jockeys starting to work and get their horses into top gear the race began to take shape. Unless there was a dramatic late charge it became clear that the winner would be coming from the first 4 or 5. Caridade still had the lead and still travelled well but now she had pressure from both sides. As he rivals moved up the race was now on. It was down to Caridade to respond but at the moment she was still travelling on the bridle and Kevin didn’t look ready to move just yet. 

Caridade was managing to hold her position without being in top gear. Heading towards the final furlong she looked like the winner but what would she find off the bridle. As Kevin lowered himself in the saddle the answer was clear. Caridade quickened up smartly and moved clear passing the 1f marker. The race was now over, barring any disaster, and it was just how far she could put between herself and the rest. Kevin pushed her out hands and heels and the gap just grew with every yard. There was no way of stopping Caridade now and she stretched clear to score by an impressive 6 lengths. 

The win was well deserved and continued Caridade’s improvement and progress. She has been performing well and now earned the all important win. Obviously her best performances have come over 7f but her only try at a mile was at York which does provide a good test. Now she will have to head into handicap company and by the way Caridade galloped through the line she should equally at home over 7f and a mile. It’s great to get that first win but there looks like there is plenty more to come from the 3 year old.