Memorable Double As Ana Is Group 1 King

Group 1’s are the hardest races to win but it is why everyone is involved in the sport. Kevin has produced some high class winners of the highest echelonsince breaking his duck with Amadeus Wolf back in 2005. Emaraaty Ana provided the team with their 13th winner at the highest level whilst a potential star had already made a statement earlier in the day as Triple time earned listed honours. The day was certainly one of the most successful few hours in the career of Kevin as he secured listed and Group 1 Honours at Haydock, taking the spotlight on their most prestigious day, The Sprint Cup. 

When looking into breeding there is only one constant every year and that is the dam. If they produce class they will tend to continue that and it is why some of the most famous Dam’s have a list of champions alongside their progeny. Triple Time comes from a very prolific family and he followed in their footsteps when making all in the 1m Betfair Exchange Ascendant Stakes.

Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum has a fine breeding line and sent some of his homebred progeny to Kevin this year. All come with wonderful pedigrees but one that really stood out was a colt by Frankel out of Reem Three. Littered with Group 1, Group and listed winners the page jumped out. It was even more so when Triple Time’s 1/2 brother won a derby trial and then subsequently finished fifth in the blue ribbon event. 

Triple Time showed all the right signs from day one and his work was impressive. Despite being bred to appreciate a little stamina test, Triple Time was also a very quick horse, a trait that all good horses have no matter what trip they require. Having come to hand he needed to get out and gain some experience. Starting over 6f he ran a great race to finish 3rd on debut before stepping up to 7f next time out and going one spot better. Third run would see him step up another furlong once again and this time he made no mistake by destroying the field to win by 9 1/2 lengths at Haydock. 

It was clear from his runs and his homework that Triple Time was well above average. The one thing that Kevin felt his colt would need was experience to mature mentally. Despite being a physically powerful juvenile, with a beautiful stride, Triple Time had shown time to understand the task at hand. Winning on his third start was ideal but with only 3 rivals it wasn’t really too testing and he would not have learnt much from that. He had shown the ability to take a step up in grade and so Kevin opted for the listed Ascendant Stakes. 

Only 4 runners would line up for the race but what it was lacking in numbers it wasn’t in class and potential quality. Andrea Atzeni was in the saddle for his retained ride and immediately set out to utilise his colt’s long stride. Slowly away the Italian allowed Triple Time to stride out and with a sedate pace early the colt galloped his way to the front of the quartet. Coming around the field he tracked over to race along the rail. Quickly on down towards the long sweeping bend that would take them almost 2f to cover, Triple Time was just over a length in front and setting good fractions as he strode out. 

Haydock has a long straight and as the field came around the bend they still had well over half a mile to run as they straightened up. Triple Time was a C&D winner so Andrea had no worries with the trip and seemed happy to allow his colt to do as he pleased in front. Stalked all the way by the favourite, Triple Time had a target on his back from the get go but that didn’t stop the positivity of Andrea. 

Sticking to the rail, Andrea got the field on the stretch a long way from home as he wound it up over 3f from home. The increase in the tempo saw the other got a little lower to match that stride of the leader. This was going to be a real test if they were to start racing here and Andrea had made a committed move to increase the tempo. Between the 3f and 2f markers the favourite and Triple Time got a little break on the other pair as the jockeys matched each other stride  for stride. 

Having pulled upsides, the favourite was unable to ever get close to passing Triple Time so when Andrea asked his mount for more, the colt obliged. Baring down on the final furlong he opened up a decisive length advantage and really set sail for home. The other two had never been in the race really and Triple Time set about turning his advantage into victory. Powering through the final furlong, Andrea only had to nudge his colt along as Triple Time opened up and kicked away from his rival. The further they went the better he was and by the the time they crossed the line Triple Time had earned a 1 1/2 length victory.

This was an impressive display from Triple Time who was not only encountering a step up in grade but also different ground conditions. He set some strong fractions and manage to maintain that gallop all the way to the line. They got racing a long way out and Triple Time showed a great attitude to make all before repelling the challenge of the favourite. He saw the trip out very well and was strongest at the line, suggesting he will get further in time. Triple Time looks like a very promising prospect and his pedigree suggest that he could be a smart horse next year. He is now a listed winner so another step up in grade looks the next step which could include the Group 2 Royal Lodge or even the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Stakes. Obviously it is a long way off but connections will certainly be dreaming that Triple Time could develop into a leading classic contender next year. 

If the start of the day was perfect then it was like the introduction to the main event. Haydock’s biggest flat race of the year was around the corner as 11 of the best sprinters would line up for the Group 1 Sprint Cup. Just 2 weeks on form a career best in the Nunthorpe, Emaraaty Ana went one better to prove any doubters wrong to win in thrilling fashion. 

Winning the Gimcrack at 2, Emaraaty Ana looked destine to bigger and better things. Always a horse who Kevin had huge faith in the son of Shamardal has been some stiff tasks throughout his career. Having been trained for the Guineas at 3yo, which he obviously didn’t stay the trip in, Emaraaty Ana rounded that season off with a win in a 6f Conditions race. 

2020 was the year that Kevin felt his charge could make waves in the sprinting division. Unfortunately he was limited to 3 runs, which were good but not quite what had been expected. Despite this connections kept the faith and made a few tweaks, including a gelding and also a wind op. 

This was it now, 2021 was the year to shine and breakthrough for Emaraaty Ana. This was especially true as his home work was special early on in the year. Kevin was bullish that he had Ana in the best shape ever and it was almost the perfect start. Emaraaty Ana went to Doncaster on the opening weekend, finishing 2nd in the Listed Cammidge Trophy. This was backed up by two more placed efforts in Group 3 company. Unfortunately he couldn’t continue this form when down the field in the Gr 2 Duke Of York and Gr 1 July Cup. 

Kevin needed to get some confidence into Emaraaty Ana and he headed up to Hamilton for the 5f Conditions race. With some rapid horses lining up, there was a change of tactics which would see Emaraaty Ana take a lead for one of the first times. He cruised through the race before sweeping past his rivals with ease, winning by a comfortable 2 1/4 lengths. This run was followed up by a career best result, utilising the same tactics in the Group 1 Nunthorpe. Last one off the bridle, Emaraaty Ana just couldn’t quite reel in the winner but put up a massive display and confirmed what Kevin had believed all along. 

Its as obvious where he would be aimed at next but it would all depend on how Mother Nature acted. Trip wise 6f is his ideal distance but ground wise he needs good or quick going. Despite being in September, the weather was unusually warm and so Emaraaty Ana would line up for the Group Haydock sprint. The race revolved around Starman, the 5/6 favourite but connections were confident of another big run. 

Andrea adapted the same tactics once again and found himself pitched just behind the leaders. There was a very strong gallop set out in front form Art Power and for a few strides Emaraaty Ana wanted to try and match his counterpart. Andrea did his very best to settle the gelding and it took a couple of furlongs, plus some cover to settle him.

The field charged down the first half of the race as the main body of he field were well bunched up. With the leader scorching along in front, they were quickly heading down to halfway. Emaraaty Ana was travelling well, especially after feeling the pace last time out over a furlong shorter. Even this far out there were one or two under pressure due to the strong pace. The favourite had sat on the outer of Andrea throughout but threw some distress signals up early as he came under pressure just inside the 3f marker. 

Emaraaty Ana had travelled like a dream on his last two starts and once again the sprinter came there swinging. With a couple of furlongs to run his rivals were all hard at work whilst Andrea sat motionless. Suddenly he looked to be a huge player and began to inch closer with relative ease. The race in front was just starting to fold and this saw Emaraaty Ana move up to almost join the leaders. The favourite looked in a little trouble but began to respond to pressure, although Ana had begun to move away from him. As Andrea reached the leader he decided it was time to go and he got lower in the saddle. Asking Emaraaty Ana to go and win the race he picked up the lead and set sail. 

Having hit the front the target was now on Ana’s back. Starman was now starting to find his feet and beginning to pass rivals. Entering the final furlong Emaraaty Ana held a narrow advantage but it was the fav who was now looking very threatening. Showing his great attitude, something that has never wained, Emaraaty Ana stuck his head down and aimed for there line. Starman was a length down but finding with every stride. Only 100 yards separated the pair from group 1 glory or commiserations. Emaraaty Ana was brave in front but his lead was being eaten away. The length had been closed to half that and with just strides to go Starman had got to the shoulder of Ana. It was going to be a head bobber and both horses dove for the line, heads stretched out as far as they could, squeezing every sinew to gain the advantage. Photograph was called and with modern technology it is usually a formality. The longer the delay of the result went the closer the finish seemed. After what seemed like forever, Emaraaty Ana was called the winner, a first Group 1 for the 5yr old.

It was a huge result for everyone involved with the horse and one that is richly deserved. Emaraaty Ana has always been held in the very highest regard and this win justifies the faith shown in the horse. Dropping him in and taking a lead has really brought out the best in Emaraaty Ana and he is rejuvenated animal. Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum has been very patient with the horse and it is great to deliver a Group 1 to repay the faith he has shown. It was also a fantastic ride form Andrea who had been waiting for a top level success again after a few quiet years. He has helped find the key to Emaraaty Ana and deserves all the plaudits. Finally it is great credit to the team at Hambleton Lodge who have put in so much time, effort and hard work. Without them these results are simply not possible. As far Emaraaty Ana he has next year planned out but what next? The Champions Sprint would be the obvious but unfortunately the ground at that time of year will simply be too soft. Trips abroad could be on the card for him going forward and Emaraaty Ana may head to Del Mar for this years Breeders’ Cup with the Turf Sprint an ideal option. 

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Double Up For Maidens At Hamilton

It was an evening which saw two maiden’s off the mark for the first time in their careers. Although they were both breaking their ducks, the two individuals couldn’t be more different. The 2yo filly Peggy Sioux was making a winning debut whilst the promising Forza Orta was due a win after some near misses on a beautiful evening at Hamilton. 

Mr Guy Reed not only owned some top class horses but also had one of the most recognisable set of colours within the sport. Kevin has been fortunate to train plenty of winners in these and throughout the years has got to know the families of the progeny he has trained. Peggy Sioux was the third offspring of La Napoule and the filly made the perfect start to her career with a comfortable win in the 5f EBF Novice Stakes.

Sporting a distinctive white blaze, Peggy Sioux arrived early in the year but would take time before making her first appearance. Like her sister Aunt Agatha, Peggy Sioux went through a growth spurt during the late spring months which led Kevin to turning her out to grow a strengthen. It was the correct decision and the filly thrived for a short break, coming back as a much more defined physical. This was proven with her home work and Peggy Sioux came back to hand quite quickly, leaving Kevin searching the entry book for possible starting points. 

Hamilton has been a happy hunting ground for Kevin and even this year he has sent out a good few juvenile winners. Only 5 runners would line up for the contest but Peggy Sioux was the only debutante. With handicap marks of 86, 79 and 77 there was a fair standard set and Peggy Sioux would really need to put in a smart performance on her first appearance if she was to be a winner on debut. Kevin Stott was in the saddle. 

Although jumping reasonably well, Peggy Sioux found herself playing catch up as her experienced rivals were quickly into stride. Kevin just had nudge his filly along through the early stages as he tried to keep tabs with the trio in front. Racing downhill, the pace was strong but the filly was understanding what was being asked of her. Not losing any distance to the leaders, Peggy Sioux was finding her feet as they charged through the first couple of furlongs. 

There was no let up with the pace and the race began to develop a long way form home. Passing the 3f marker the jockeys were starting to become animated in the saddle. Starting to get racing that far from home would make the finish a real test despite this being over the minimum distance. It was at this point where Peggy Sioux was again in contrast to her rivals, suddenly coming really sweet for Kevin. After taking her time to find her feet, she now came back on the bridle. Incredibly she now left Kevin motionless as the pair pulled up to join the leaders passing the 2f marker. 

The finish stiffens so Kevin just let out a little bit of rein to get Peggy Sioux to lengthen. The filly did as was asked and came to the fore with ease. with 1 1/2f to run she was just about in front and Kevin now asked her to go and finish her race. Once again there were distinct signs of greeness but the filly was showing a great attitude. She was trying for her jockey and although the favourite had come through to join her, it was the big, white blaze out in front. Kevin was educating his mount and with a couple of flicks managed to get changing her lead and quickening up. Inside the final furlong she held sway by just around a length but under the tutelage of Stott the penny was dropping. With just over 100 yards to run, Peggy Sioux found another gear and kicked clear. Opening up with ease she afforded Kevin the luxury of easing down as the pair won by 3 1/4 lengths. 

This was very taking performance from Peggy Sioux who was learning all the while but answering everything being asked of her. Once she found her feet, Peggy Sioux travelled powerfully and managed to quicken off a strong pace. She won with plenty in hand and the margin of victory could easily have been greater. There was a fair benchmark back in second so this was a very taking debut. Peggy Sioux will obviously improve for the experience and looks to have a bright future ahead. 

Later on in the card there was a far more expected winner for the team. When you get a string of second laces it can be disheartening but Forza Orta put all this behind him when he stylishly won the 1m3f Weatherbys Personalised Gifts Novice Stakes. It was a win which gave the team and Kevin Stott a double on the night. 

The son of Fastnet Rock is owned and bred by Highbank Stud, who sent the 3yo into training this year. It was easy to see why the rangy 3yo took time as he was a big, long striding individual. Clearly he could gallop but Forza Orta would need a trip in time which confirmed on his debut run over 1m1f. Having fallen out of the stalls and being very inexperienced throughout the race, Forza Orta stormed home to finish runner up and enter many notebooks. Unfortunately he would fill the same spot on the next 3 occasions as Forza Orta bumped into some nice horses. 

Promising whilst also being slightly frustrated, the handicap route was now open to Forza Orta as he started with a marl of 76. That seemed like a fair mark but Kevin decided to not utilise it and went back to novice company. Not only that but he would trying a new trip, stepping up to 1m3f for the first time have, just a furlong further than his previous few runs. The race revolved around the two individuals who held handicap marks, Forza Orta and Doctor Parnassus who had a matching 76. 

With race seemingly revolving around the market leaders it was quite good that the pair were drawn alongside each other. Jumping on terms, Kevin took Forza Orta just in behind the leading pair, stalking his main rival. Although initially on the heels of the leading pair, Forza Orta was left a couple of lengths off them after a furlong, with a distinct split in the field. It was clear that the pace was strong as the field galloped around the loop. 

Forza Orta ran in snatches for the first few furlongs of the race and lost his pitch, sitting second last as they ran uphill. Kevin just had to roust him along for a few strides, trying to get his mount into a rhythm which he had yet to find. The two fancied runners had raced through the early stages distinctly differently. Forza Orta was giving his rival a good head start which he would need to claw back in the latter stages. 

As they swung off the loop and headed into the home straight the ground goes away from them, letting the field free wheel downhill. Forza Orta was still not travelling great and was needing Kevin to keep him up to his work. Despite this he was closer to the lead then any time before in the race. With 4f left to run the leader began to slow it up, getting a breather to then kick once again. This stacked the field up behind him and Forza Orta was now inching his way to the front. Unfortunately Kevin now had to change tact and just ease his mount as he was all over the back of those in front, which could have led to clipped heels. 

As they raced past the cutaway, Kevin just quickly edged his mount out wide and the 3yo now moved forward with ease. Looming up down the near side Forza Orta pulled his way to the join the lead with his jockey seemingly more confident. One was started to drive away whilst one was motionless. 

Between the 2f and 1f marker Forza Orta was lolloping along with his market rival. Kevin was sitting pretty on top and just waiting to press the button. Passing the 1f mark was the point at which Kevin decided to put the race to bed and Forza Orta quickly moved into the lead. Within strides the gelding had kicked clear and was pushed out with hands and heels. The winning margin was whatever it wanted to be and Forza Orta stretched out to win by a very comfortable 4 lengths.

This seemed like the perfect opportunity for Forza Orta and he duly obliged. It did take a while for the gelding to get going early on but then the race was over a long way from home. It looked as though the extra distance was no issue at all and he may even get further with time. It will be interesting to see if the handicapper takes any notice of this race but handicapping will now be the order and Forza Orta could develop into a nice middle distance prospect. 


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Cairn Island Shows His Best

Early 3yr old handicaps can be some of the most competitive races throughout the entire season. You have horses who are going to improve off their mark or some high class performers who are stepping down from pattern company they competed in during their juvenile season. Cairn Island had only two runs to his name in 2021 but both races were contested but the very best 3yr olds handicappers. It was third time lucky for him as he got back to winning ways at Newmarket in the 6f MansionBet At Newmarket Handicap.

The son of Kodiac had two wins last year, taking the valuable nursery at York’s Ebor meeting. This performance, along with a mid division run in the Doncaster sales race, would see Cairn Island begin 2021 on a mark of 91. It was a nice starting point as a win would promote you into the best 3yo handicaps.

Cairn Island had come to hand early on and the 6f race at Newmarket’s Craven meeting was the obvious starting point for the season ahead. Looking back now, Cairn Island not only bumped into some seriously talented individuals but they were also well handicapped at that stage. Winner Creative Force won the Group3 Jersey at Royal Ascot. Runner up was Significantly who was also a Royal winner and now rated 101. Third place went to Jumbo who would rise to 104. Finishing one place behind Cairn Island was Rohaan, a Group 2 winner and then carrying a huge weight in the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot. So the form was very, very strong. 

Unfortunately Cairn Island didn’t really handle the track on his second run of the year, the tight nature of Chester proving unfavourable. When he headed back to Newmarket, although the July course this time, and dropping back to 6f there was confidence that he could revert back to the form shown early on. The race was a slight drop in grade but it was another competitive race with 5 lining up for the 6f contest. Andrea Atzeni was reunited with the gelding, taking the ride for his boss Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum. 

Small fields can get a little muddling with tactics coming into play. Thankfully Andrea wanted to be positive as too did Adam Kirby on Boogie Time. This led a fair gallop being set which would lead to a true run race. Settled into second place, Cairn Island travelled smoothly throughout the early stages. 

With a good gallop and wide open July course, there would be no hiding place. The field charged downhill with very little change in the order. By the time they hit the halfway stage of the race all 5 runners were separated by just over 3 lengths, promising a good finish to the 3yo sprint. 

It was actually Cairn Island who came under pressure first as Andrea started to work away passing the 3f pole. There had been no let up in the pace throughout so although was first to get lower in the saddle, it did produce a little domino effect. One by one his rival did likewise and they got racing a long way out. With the uphill finish it was set to be a test of stamina and will. 

In to the dip the handicapper will have been a happy man with all five in a line. Quickly hitting the bottom they would rise up again to tackle the final 1 1/2 furlong. Cairn Island was still to the fore and took the lead with his rival Operatic in close contention. The pair race a little away form the rest of them and developed a battle towards the far side of the track. 

Entering the final furlong Cairn Island actually had a 1/2 length deficit to make up. He was responding to pressure and as he went to hunt down the leader, they started to draw away from the third. The stiff finish looked to be favouring Cairn Island who was coming on strong and with 100 yards to go, drew alongside his rival. As soon as he joined, Cairn Island swept past, chasing legs and going away from the leader. Within a heartbeat he put the race to bed and stood out up the hill to win by 1 1/4 lengths. 

Lightly race, Cairn Island had the potential before this race and he enhanced that with this win. The 3yo has been a little bit tricky to work out due to which trip may suit him best as he has tried both 6f and 7f. With all his wins coming over 6f it would be likely that this could be his future but Cairn Island did stay on well up the stiff finish and was doing his best work late on. It could be that he is a versatile horse moving forward which would be great position for him for future options. Winning off a mark he will probably be stepping up in grade once again and there may be more to come from the three time winner. 

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Two In Two For Makalu

Being the first juvenile runner of the year does not always bode well and the Brocklesby Stakes is not always a race that is worth following throughout the season. Makalu was out in action on the opening weekend of the season in what has turned out to be one of the best renewals of the Conditions race. He has managed to improve since then and earned his second win on the bounce when taking the 7f Racing TV Nursery Handicap at Carlisle.

Mehmas has a great debut season as a sire last year and this tempted Kevin to get involved in his progeny. It has paid off with some nice juveniles and Makalu has improved with each run to now see him as a two time winner. Having broken his duck last time over 6f, Makalu had stayed on through the pack, hitting the line powerfully. That performance suggested that a step up to 7f would not be a hindrance but in fact could help him continue his improvement. 

Stepping into handicap company for the first time, with a mark of 73, Makalu lined up against 5 rivals. Oisin McSweeney had earned the win last time out and maintained the partnership with the juvenile. Despite stepping up to 7f for the first time, Makalu was the slowest away and ended up at the rear of the 6 strong field through the early stages. He wasn’t smoothly into stride and did stumble a couple of times as the field raced downhill. It was a strong pace being set up front and they quickly entered the right handed bend that would take the field into the home straight. 

As the field swung right handed they passed the halfway stage of the race. For a couple of strides Oisin nudged his mount along, trying to keep the horse balanced around the bend. Makalu got onto the correct lead and moved up along the rail to relegate his nearest rival to last place. Leaving the band behind them the leader took the field into to the final 3f and set sail for home. Makalu had never really travelled smoothly throughout the race but he was making headway up along the inside. 

The race was truly on as they entered the final 2f. All 6 of the field could win and held chances as the challenges came. Under pressure the leaders just edged away from the far rail. Spotting the gap Oisin quickly grabbed his right rein to divert Makalu toward the rail. As he came under a ride Makalu responded by quickening up and moving closer down the rail. After taking a couple of lengths out of his rival, the 2yr changed his legs and tried to another gear to find the extra length that the leader held over him. 

Makalu had quickened up well and now was in full flight with just the final furlong left to run. He loomed up to draw alongside the leader who was trying to fend off challenges from both sides. With the other 3 rivals weakening out of it, the race was left to the leading trio to battle it out. There was nothing to separate them, with all three giving digging deep. Makalu just proved the strongest as he took the lead with 100 yards to run. Edging into a 1/2 length lead he was finding for pressure but was getting pressed all the way. Looking like he had made the decisive move, Makalu just started to let his rivals back in with a sniff as his stride shortened a little. Thankfully he wasn’t for stopping and galloped through the line to win by a nice 3/4 length advantage. 

It was great to see Makalu off the mark last time out but this win proved that it wasn’t a one time thing and there could still be more to come. Making his debut off a mark of 73 the handicapper will have another look and this will dictate where he might go next. The trip here held no issue at all for the juvenile and 7f looks like it could be his trip now moving forward. There are plenty of options coming up and on his current form Makalu will prove difficult to beat if turning up in the same heart. 

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Smooth Success For Sadmah

Back on track!! It’s a term that mean very different things depending on the horse in question. It is hard to say that a 2yr old with just a couple of runs ever derailed but when they do come back to winning ways it is nice to see them back on track. Sadmah was making just her third career start and she impressively took her record to 2 wins form 3 runs when winning the 6f Grolsch Premier Pilsner EBF Fillies’ Conditions Stakes at Chester.

The daughter of Frankel is a regally bred filly with her dam being the Golden Slipper winner Mossfun. It was fantastic to see her make a winning debut and Sadmah set herself up for a tilt at pattern company immediately following that win. Unfortunately it didn’t quite work out for her as the filly didn’t handle the track or ground when tackling Group 2 company at Newmarket. Far from disheartened, Kevin knew he had a nice filly and was looking for another good race to run her in. 

Although Chester might not be the easiest track to navigate, Sadmah was a little limited with options. She was declared for the conditions race alongside 5 rivals and Tom Eaves headed down to take the ride. Sadmah would line up as one of the market leaders  as she looked to bounce back to winning ways. 

Stall 1 can be a blessing and a curse depending on how your horse jumps. Tom didn’t have much to worry about as Sadmah was quickly away, straight into stride and took the lead from the off. Showing good speed, Sadmah led the field at a fair clip as they immediately began swinging left handed. Tom dropped his hands to let his filly stride on and she did just that, forcing a few of her rivals to come under pressure trying to hold heir pitch. It was the favourite who chased the leader and sat on her girths to the outside.

As they moved past halfway all 6 runners had closed up and raced closer together. Sadmah still held sway but she had race just off the rail throughout. Tom edged over towards the rail as they headed towards the 2f marker, trying to close the inside route off for his rivals. Sadmah continued to travel sweetly in front and as they came round the home bend she held a 1 1/4 length advantage. Tom got lower in the saddle and tried to kick clear, using their momentum coming off the bend.

Leaving the bend, Sadmah just edged over to her right hand side which Tom immediately tried to counter. Holding a clear lead, Tom had got the edge over his rivals but needed his filly to help out. Sadmah responded to the adjustments and straightened up as they moved into the final furlong. The favourite got a sniff of the win and made some headway. Moving up to the girths of Sadmah, the race was far from over but it was this pressure that helped out Tom. Once Sadmah feel the presence she changed her legs and went again. Always doing enough she strode out to a length lead, the margin which she crossed the line with. 

It was great to see Sadmah back to winning ways and she showed a far more mature performance. From stall one she had to go forwards which is exactly what happened without Tom forcing the issue. Travelling nicely throughout the contest, Sadmah was always doing enough and possibly just got a little lonely in front. Once pressure came from the eventual runner up, she fund extra and won with a bit in hand. Another win to her name, Sadmah will likely be in search for black type once more and with further improvement it will be no surprise to see her picking some up. 


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Smooth Double At Carlisle

Day one of the Ebor got off to a perfect start, although it was before the first race had even got underway. The first two races took place before the opening 5f handicap and provided the team with an impressive double courtesy of Sound Reason and Hala Hala Athmani. 

Sound Reason had been given plenty of time to grow into his frame and got off the mark early in the year on the all-weather. That winning form was transferred to the turf and after a handicap debut win he has been rock solid since. Still on a mark of 75 he did look like a horse that was fairly treated and he certainly made it look that way when swooping from last to first and taking the 5f Racing TV Handicap.

Although looking like a powerhouse, Sound Reason was always going to take a bit of time to really grow into himself and become the finished article. Racing on differing ground conditions over the minus trip, since his wins, the 3yo put up some good performances. There was a small question as to whether he may improve for a step up to 6f. Trying it for he first time at Doncaster Sound Reason just, for no anyway, didn’t get home. Immediately, thanks to the jockey debrief, a stiff 5f race was being planned. 

Carlisle was perfect for Sound Reason and the gelding would line up against 10 rivals. Sent off the 3/1 fav, the chestnut was partnered by Kevin Stott. Although a very straight forward ride the pair reverted to more of a plan B as Sound Reason wasn’t the best away and found himself shuffled back through the field. It wasn’t the worst thing to happen as he was drawn wide but it meant he had all of his rivals in front of him. There was a strong pace on as the field charged downhill and started to swing right handed. 

There were a trio of rivals taking each other on for the lead and this ensured that the pace remained strong. As they came around the right handed bend and past halfway, Sound Reason still sat at the rear of the field but travelled well for Stott. The race was far from over and the latter stages would certainly become a test thanks to a stiffer finish. 

Approaching the final 2f Kevin just angled his mount out and looked for a clear run down the stands side. There were plenty of chances as the field began to bunch up and Sound Reason moved up to loom large. Kevin just nudged him along and the chestnut lengthened to put himself well in contention. This move was all the more impressive when found Reason came back on the bridle passing the 1f marker as he pulled his way to the front to throw down a huge challenge. 

Having moved up through the field with ease, Sound Reason joined the leader with just over a length to spare on the rest. It did look as though it was a matter of time and Kevin just had to push the button. His mount had taken him there and Kevin just worked away without asking for the maximum effort. The leader was bravely fighting on but 100 yards from the line Sound Reason edged his nose in front and, under a hands and heels ride, was full of running. He got to the front and pulled out a little more the further they went. Kevin knew he had the race once he hit the front and the pair came home to win by 3/4 length, with consummate ease. 

This was Sound Reason’s third career win and he looks like an improving sprinter. The stiff 5f is ideal for him and although he gave away ground at the start, he travelled very well and made headway impressively. From a visual standpoint it looked as though Sound Reason wound with plenty in hand. It will be interesting to see how the handicapper assess’s this performance but Sound Reason is an improving sprinter and could be even better again next year. 

It was three years ago when Hello Youmzain travelled up to Carlisle to make an impressive debut. Under the radar thanks to being on the same time as York’s Ebor festival, that was the start of an incredible career. Well his sister had to match him as she made a similarly impressive debut when winning the 6f Watch Racing TV Now Maiden Fillies’ Stakes. 

Owned and Bred by Mr Jaber Abdullah, Hala Hala Athmani arrived at Hambleton Lodge and it was very easy to pick her out. Looking just like her Group 1 winning brother, Hala Hala Athmani was a physical powerhouse. It was almost like deja vu seeing her with the only difference being the sire, as Hala Hala Athmani was the daughter of Dabirism. It was obvious that she would similarly be like Hello Youmzain and would appreciate a little bit of time to fill out into her frame before hitting the track. 

Hala Hala Athmani did well through the summer months and impressed in her work at home. Funnily enough she came to hand just like her brother did and Kevin was ready to give her a debut run. There was no plan to go the same route as before but the race at Carlisle was just perfect. The track would suit and the great factor about Carlisle is that the finish allows jockeys to take their time. 

It was quite obvious that wherever Hala Hala Athmani started she would be well backed just due to her bloodline. Lining up against 11 rivals, the Dabirism filly was sent off the 11/8 fav despite having no previous experience. Kevin Stott had enjoyed his greatest day in the saddle on board Hello Youmzain and was given the ride on his sister. 

Experience was to the fore as the gates burst open. Hala Hala Athmani was slowly into stride but this allowed Kevin to tuck in from their wide draw, although toward the rear of the field. With a trio of runners forcing the pace it stretched the field out a little as they settled down. Kevin decided to keep his filly out of all the hustle and bustle, just towards the outer of the field, giving her a clear sight of things happening in front. Through the first couple of furlong Hala Hala Athmani had moved up to race in midfield, travelling well for Stott. 

They entered the right handed bend with the leader’s shunning the rail. This saw the field race towards the centre of the track. Hala Hala Athmani  moved well but there were going to be more serious questions coming up for her. Kevin was keen to keep his filly balanced before asking her to lay down a challenge. Those on the front end tried to quicken off the bend and as they approach the final 2f the race heated up. With the increase in tempo, Kevin just nudged his filly along to ask her to lengthen and keep tabs on those in front. He needn’t have worried because Hala Hala Athmani quickened up and within strides she cut through the field to latch on to the leader’s heels. 

Hala Hala Athmani had come through travelling powerfully and whilst his colleagues were hard at work, Kevin was sat patiently. He was keeping her covered up and waiting for the right time but also for a gap, rather than forcing the issue. Around 1 1/2f from him there was a split and Hala Hala Athmani quickened up immediately to join in at the front. Kevin now got lower int he saddle and began to work on his filly, educating her and getting her moving forward

Hala Hala Athmani had got to the front with relative ease but now she experiencing something completely new. Hitting the front moving into the final furlong, she changed her leads a couple of times before the penny started to drop. Opening up a clear lead of just over a length, Hala Hala Athmani began to hit top gear. The ground started to rise up and the filly began to power up the finish. The further they went the bigger the lead grew. Kevin had the opportunity to look around and he would have loved what he saw, clear daylight. Crossing the line in isolation, Hala Hala Athmani made a winning debut by 5 1/2 lengths but in all honesty in could have be far more. 

Hala Hala Athmani could not have been more impressive and she looks a filly with a very bright future. She travelled very well and won with ease. It did take a little time to hit top gear but she got a great ride from Kevin who was able to really educate her. Hala Hala Athmani  did everything the right way round and moving forward this will help her. This performance does suggest pattern company is well within her sights but it may not be straight away. Whatever connections decide is correct for the filly, Hala Hala Athmani is a very exciting prospect. 

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Three Become Two, Double Up For Juveniles

The day started off perfectly but did end on a slightly sour note. With Ryan’s Party and Battyeford Boy gaining their first success’s, a third win for the 2yo team was short lived as King Of York fell foul of the stewards. Despite this unfortunate end, the day was a positive result. 

Ryan’s Party was a breeze up purchase and with a price tag of 200,000 gns he came with a reputation. It didn’t happen immediately but at the fourth attempt the powerful chestnut gained a first career success in the 6f EBF Maiden Stakes at Hamilton. 

Having made a promising debut, finishing runner up at the Scottish track, Ryan’s Party just failed to build on that. He was set a stern test next time out when going for a conditions race but that was won by the same horse who beat him first time out so it was a backwards as the distance increased three fold. When he struggled over 6f on his third start, the decision was made to geld the 2yo as he looked weak and it my help him fill into his powerful frame.

An opening mark of 76 looked fair on potential but Kevin opted to stuck with the maiden  route. He headed into the contest as the only one in the field with a handicap mark, meaning he also held the most experience. There was quite a lot of potential in the race with most of the 6 runners setting good benchmarks in their previous runs. Tom Eaves travelled up for the ride.

Despite his experience Ryan’s Party made a bit of a tardy start but it worked out for Tom as he quickly darted behind the rest of the field to race down toward the stands side, at the rear of the pack. It was the favourite who led the way through the early stages and set a good gallop. Ryan’s Party was giving his rivals a head start but he travelled well at the rear with the field charging downhill. 

Quickly through the first of the race, Ryan’s Party had inched closer and stalked his rivals. With the final furlong stiffening the test, the finish would really ensure the race would have an exciting conclusion. Tom angled his mount out as they moved into the final 2f. Seeing daylight for the first time Ryan’s Party made some smooth headway down the stands side and moved through looking dangerous. The leader was still travelling powerfully in front and this started to apply the pressure with the majority of the field coming under a ride to close the distance. Tom squeezed Ryan’s Party along and the chestnut made smooth headway, lengthening and starting to pick up. 

Ryan’s Party came to fore just before they entered the final furlong and joined the favourite Rosie’s Return. It made a front 3 but quickly it was the two market leaders who took control. The ground started to rise and Ryan’s Party had come through travelling very well but the fav was proving a very game competitor. Knowing his rival would not back down, Tom now asked Ryan’s Party to go and finish his race. He was taking a bit of time to really hit top gear as the leading pair started to pull away. The front two were neck and neck but as the finish began to test the stamina, Ryan’s Party nudged his nose to the front. Despite a very tough rival alongside him, Ryan’s Party took the lead with 100 yards to run and proved to be the stronger of the pair up the hill. He continued to find and moved into a 1/2 length lead to secure a first career win. 

It was nice to see Ryan’s Party get off the mark as he had shown plenty of promise on debut. Geldings are not always the perfect solution but it did seem to be the best option for Ryan’s Party and he did look a stronger individual throughout this contest. He travelled extremely well and saw the trip out well. After the gelding he would be entitled to come on for the run so to win is very pleasing. He should continue to improve and the way he finished the race suggests he may get a little further in time although he travelled like a sprinter. 

Early in the evening the double was secured with another 2yo tasting his first success, taking the season’s tally to 20 individual juvenile winners. Battyeford Boy had failed to make an impression over 6f but stepping up in trip and with first time blinkers he proved very game when taking the 7f Leicester Racecourse Ideal Wedding Venue Nursery Handicap at Leicester. 

The son of Galileo Gold was gelding early on in the year with the chestnut proving a little bit boisterous. He had shown promise at home which meant he began his career at York. Running well whilst also not quite concentrating on the job, Battyeford Boy would do the same at Thirsk next time out. It was his third run that really answered some questions and meant Kevin could hopefully plan a different route moving forward.

Battyeford Boy had shown that he probably wasn’t a sprinter and that his future would lie over 7f and even 1 mile further down the line. With an opening mark of 58 he had been given a chance but he wouldn’t be given too many if he didn’t start to build on it. To ensure he was going to give it every chance, blinkers were fitted to really help him focus on the task in hand. Shane Gray was booked for the ride as he looked to get a tune out of Battyeford Boy. 

Immediately the blinkers showed their affect as Battyeford Boy jumped smartly and was into his stride. Shane had wanted to be positive enough so he let the gelding bowl along as he liked. Tracking over from his draw, Battyeford Boy was to the fore and sat on the leader’s girths through the early stages. Part one of the task was done, Battyeford Boy had jumped well and put himself into the race but what would unfold at the business end?

It was a nice, even gallop throughout the contest which really suited all the 7 runners. Some were experienced at the trip whilst others were stepping up so it was a sensible pace.  As they raced up to the 4f pole the field veered over towards the stands side running rail and all seven runners were well bunched at this stage. Still pressing the leader Shane just had to nudge his mount for a couple of strides as the tempo did seem to increase as the field had tracked over. 

The race began to heat up at the 3f marker and the field got racing very early. The favourite had led from the off and tried to see off the rest. Due to having experience over 7f the fav wanted to test the rest of them and see if they had the stamina to challenge. Shane had covered this move and suddenly his mount came through to share the lead travelling much the sweeter. 

Neck and neck passing the 2f marker, the front two were looking to pull away and they began to, but the duo were soon to be joined. They had got into a battle some way out but with only one rival coming from out of the pack it looked as though the race had been run to suit. Battyeford Boy was proving very game in the first time headgear and responded to every urging he received. Shane was asking him to lengthen and put the race to bed. The chestnut did just that as he struck the front 1 1/2f from home, breaking the will of the favourite. 

Unfortunately the work was far from over and as soon as Battyeford Boy took the lead he was joined once more down the outer by Galileo Glass. The Pair locked horns and this was to be the real acid test for Battyeford Boy. He showed a great attitude and once he sensed his rival draw alongside the gelding changed legs and went again. Within strides he pulled away from his rival and took that momentum with him all the way to line, seeing out every yard of the trip to win by 1 1/2 lengths. 

Blinkers and the step up in trip have really seen Battyeford Boy put his best foot forward. It was very positive form the start and he proved to be very tough seeing off a couple of challenges. He saw out the new trip with no issue and looked as though an extra furlong may well be even more suitable. Winning off a mark of 58, Kevin may look to bounce him out again quickly under a penalty and utilise a fair mark because he won’t be staying on it for very much longer. 

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Cottam Lane Back To Winning Ways

Promise can quickly turn to disappointment when plans don’t quite work out. Cottam Lane had finished his 2yr old campaign with 3 good runs but started this season below that level of form. Thankfully he bounced back to his best when making all in the 6f Sunpak Potatoes Handicap at Pontefract.

Starting the season with a mark of 82, it felt as though there was plenty of wiggle room as Cottam Lane looked better than that. Initially running over the minimum trip, Cottam Lane ran ok but immediately suggested he needed a shade further. When he stepped up to 6f for the first time at York he ran a great race in a competitive handicap and looked like a winner waiting. Unfortunately that did not pan out and he took a step backwards next time out at Catterick. 

Varying ground and trips hadn’t seemed to unlock the potential so the next run would be a question as to where his career was heading. Dropping down in grade, Cottam Lane had his easiest assignment to date and with Oisin McSweeney taking 7lb off his back, the 3yr old had a perfect opportunity taking on exposed sprinters. 

With a good draw in stall 3 Oisin looked to be aggressive from the start. Cottam Lane jumped well and was straight to the lead showing good speed. There was a short lived fight at the front but Cottam Lane quickly asserted with his rivals unable to match his speed and certainly not trying to go any faster. It was a strong pace through the early stages but Oisin could dictate on the front end. For a few strides Oisin just had to tussle a little bit with his mount, trying to get him on the correct lead with the left handed bend coming up. 

The field were coming under pressure well before the halfway point with Cottam Lane continuing to free wheel along the back straight. He could never quite get right across to the rail and as he entered the bend, his rival General Sago nipped up hi inner to join for the lead. With much of the field weakening out of it, the pair had a break on the rest with just Lezardrieux attempting to join in. Swinging into the straight they slingshot off the bend and Cottam Lane quickened up the better, taking the lead once again. 

Moving into the final 2f the run in was going to sap all the energy reserves they may have had. Cottam Lane had shown blistering speed throughout but now he needed to dig in and see out his race. Just wandering for a few strides, Cottam Lane was joined by Lezardrieux and the pair began to draw away to fight it out. Reaching the final furlong there was only 1/2 length separating the pair but that was as close as he would get. Cottam Lane found again for pressure, chaining his legs and pulling out a bit more. Despite the rising ground, Cottam Lane powered through the final 1/2f and drew away from his closest pursuer, gaining his first win of the year by 1 length. 

Before this race there plenty of questions hanging above his head but Cottam Lane showed a great attitude to win the hard way. He showed blistering speed but then found more under pressure and won nicely in the end. Having a target on his back from the start, he was there to be shot at and despite his rivals getting close, Cottam Lane was brave when he needed to be. Owner Steve Ryan has enjoyed a fruitful season and has some nice prospects going forward, sharing Cottam Lane with The Racing Emporium they have plenty of supporters whenever they have a runner. Hopefully this is just what the doctor ordered and Cottam Lane can build on this win. 

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Justanotherbottle Takes Historic Great St Wlifrid

Top sprints litter the honours board at Hambleton Lodge, ranging form the heritage handicaps to the highest Group 1 level. Kevin has long been a dominant force in this division but there was one historic race eluding him. Ripon is just down the road and hosts the Great St Wilfrid handicap, which surprisingly took 22 years before the trophy finally found it’s way to Hambleton Lodge courtesy of Justanotherbottle.

Having moved to Kevin last year, Justanotherbottle had a career which had already seen him compete in the top handicaps, peaking in a rating of 105. Arriving as a 6yr old, it was clear to see that the team were gaining a talented sprinter but there would be a transitional stage for the gelding. Fortunately Justanotherbottle did manage to get his head in front when scoring in the Catterick dash on his final start of 2020. It was a win which boosted the excitement for the following season, with the top sprints in his sights. 

Although the form book read very well there was one factor that stood out. With 7 career wins, 6 of those came at the minimum trip and the other was over 1/2f further. Despite running over 6f he had never managed to get his head in front. Natural speed is a big asset to Justanotherbottle so he would begin this season tackling the minimum 5f. It was an up and down first half fo the season with some good efforts and some below par ones in between. When he didn’t perform in the Stewards Cup at Goodwood, a track where he has good history at, Kevin knew a different angle would need to be looked at. 

Dropping to a mark of 92, his lowest mark in 3 years, Justanotherbottle could still get into the Great St Wilfrid. He did look well handicapped but would need something to spark a return to form. The blinkers were turned to, a first in his 5 year career, as Justanotherbottle lined up in the feature race. Kevin Stott had been the last man to win on the gelding and he was back on board to try and rejuvenate the partnership. 

Drawn in stall 19 there was only one thought on Kevin’s mind as the gates burst open. With Justanotherbottle quickly away he immediately headed to the stands side rail as the 20 strong field split into two groups to race on either side. It was a fairly level split and as Justanotherbottle helped force the issue down the stands side, the other group looked to be on terms through the first couple of furlongs. Despite showing good speed, Justanotherbottle was travelling in Kevin’s hands, showing that he was doing just the right amount of work through the early stages. 

By halfway Justanotherbottle had edged to the front on his side and did seem to have the overall lead. Kevin wasn’t worrying about the trip and allowed his mount to stride on. Passing the 3f and already he seemed to have a few at it, trying to remain in contention. It started to seem as though the near side group held an advantage as the challenges began to wind up. Kevin had yet to move and Justanotherbottle continued to pour it on from the front. Sticking as close to the rail as he could, Kevin just began to wind his mount up moving into the final couple of furlongs. 

Justanotherbottle had seen clear daylight throughout and when he was asked to go and finish his race, he did just that. With 1 1/2f to run the chestnut kicked on and opened up a clear 2 length advantage. Suddenly there was a distinct advantage and Kevin now had sights set on the finish line. Underneath him was a very willing partner and all he had to do was see out the final furlong. If there were any doubts about the 6f trip they were quickly dispelled with Justanotherbottle continuing to open up his lead and staying on powerfully. Challenges did come and the biggest dangers were from the near side group but the margin was unassailable. With the leader not for catching the result was done with the final 100 yards to run. Kevin had time to start easing his mount down as Justanotherbottle cruised home to a 1 3/4 length win the Great St Wilfrid Handicap. 

It was a very nice moment for Kevin to secure this race for the first time and Justanotherbottle proved that there is still plenty left in the tank. Although he had never won over the trip he had some top form at it. He looked as enthusiastic as ever, which probably is down to the blinkers just giving a little kick up the backside. From a long way out the race looked to be comfortable and Justanotherbottlewon with a bit in hand. Owners Mr Martin Tedham and Steve Ryan have deserved a big win with this horse and it is fantastic to deliver that for them. 

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Ballet Steps Dances To Debut Win

One of the season’s highlights has been the form of the 2yr olds. With around half of the yard in the juvenile category it was always going to be important that they could tally up the wins. Ballet Steps took the season’s total to 18 individual 2yr old winners, the second highest number in Britain when she made a winning debut at Beverley in the 5f Pure Broadband EBF Restricted Maiden Stakes. 

The daughter of Dabirism is the first progeny of Savannah’s Dream and is a home bred from owner Steve Parkin, Clipper Logistics. She was a little later to arrive at Hambleton Lodge but having been in pre training it was clear that she would ‘t take too long to come to hand. Having shown plenty of speed at home Kevin decided to start the filly off at the minimum trip. 

Declared alongside 10 rivals, Ballet Steps was well supported for her first run and was sent off the 5/4 fav. This was partly due to the strength of form in the race and also the attractive pedigree of Ballet Steps. Danny Tudhope was on board for his retained owner. 

Drawn 3 was a nice pitch to come from but when she was a little slowly away that good position was given away. Danny gave the filly time to find her feet and with a strong gallop set, Ballet Steps found herself at the rear of the field. Strong pace up front saw the field blitz through the first half of the race, swing round the right handed bend and downhill. 

When they straightened up for home, with just over 2f from home, Ballet Steps saw a wall of horses in front of her. Danny is not one to panic and he remained patient at the rear, keeping the filly balanced and travelling nicely. The race heated up passing the 2f marker and as her rivals threw down their challenges, Ballet Steps still had over 5/6 lengths to make up. Danny was angling for a gap but on a couple of attempts he found his route blocked. As the leaders moved clear there was a small break to some weakening rivals which opened a door to Ballet Steps. Switching towards the outer, Danny now gathered his reins and asked the filly to go and pick up. 

Still having ground to make up, Ballet Steps was starting to make her challenge down the middle of the track as the ground raised up for the final furlong. Danny was cajoling his filly and gently getting her to lengthen. Slowly but surely she was picking up but it did seem as though she may not be doing it quite quickly enough. Deep inside the final furlong and with the winning line in view, Ballet Steps was starting to hit top gear but it was baby steps. Now Bollin May had taken control and held the lead, along with the rail to help. Suddenly Ballet Steps found her stride and despite there being just over 75 yards to go she started to fly. Within strides she had overtaken a handful of rivals to grab second and it was in the dying yards of the line that she threw down the final challenge. Momentum had swung in her favour and Ballet Steps flashed past the line alongside Bollin May with the width of the track splitting the pair. At full speed it was a close call but once the replay came up it was a clear neck win for Ballet Steps. 

Everything that could have gone wrong for Ballet Steps did from the off and she did very well to overcome the adversity. She showed plenty of greeness early on but Danny gave her a fantastic ride, educating Ballet Steps all the while. It did take a bit of time to fins her feet but once the penny dropped, Ballet Steps quickened up smartly and finished powerfully. The manner in which she finished her race off signals talent but it looks as though she would get further in time and could be as effective over 6f. Ballet Steps will have learnt a lot from the experience and will come on for it so wherever she goes next she is an exciting filly for the future. 


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