Goodwood’s May Festival starts today

GOODWOOD’S May Festival begins today, Thursday, when there wll be Listed races with more than  £450,000 prize money on offer. There will be a chance to see some exciting horses make their mark at this stunning track.

The May Festival acts as a precursor to the Qatar Goodwood Festival and an opportunity to see top horses back in acion, as well as noteworthy rising stars.

The opening Thursday highlight is the Listed Height of Fashion Stakes (won in 2010 by Oaks winner Snow Fairy), which provides an insight into the fillies to look out for over the season. The stunning back-drop of the South Downs is a permanent feature as a further six races provide more excitement and spectacle.

The first race at 1.50pm is the NJS GROUP EBF NOVICE STAKES with five runners, including Hugo Palmer’s Afandem to be ridden by Ryan Moore. Mark Johnston has William Buick booked to ride the well bred Yalta and other trainers represented in the race are Ralph Beckett ( Pleaseletmewin), Repton ( Richard Hannon) and Brian Meehan ( Son Castello).

The main race of the day is the Veolia Height of Fashion Stakes, a Listed Race for fillies, at 4pm. The field is headed by Dessertoflife, a winner last season, trained by Mark Johnson and ridden by Joe Fanning, and likely to be a 10-1 shot.

Desert of Life Photo courtesy of John Siimpson

Desertoflife Photo courtesy of John Simpson

Skiffle ( Charlie Appelby and William Buick) and The Black Princess ( John Gosden and Frankie Dettori) were ante post favourites yesterday both at 3-1, with The Black Princess having won as a juvenile on the all-weather last season.

Gates open at 11.30am, with the first race of seven races setting off at aproximately 1.50pm, with the last at 5.05pm. Gates will close an hour after the last race. Some good racing is promised throughout the day and some exciting racing is set to follow on Friday and Saturday.

Ticket prices for May Festival start from £20 for the Thursday and Friday (Lennox Enclosure closed) and £10 on the Saturday (Lennox Enclosure open). Accompanied under 18s receive complimentary admission.

Pulborough horse takes Group Three at Newbury

PULBOROUGH trainer Amanda Perrett enjoyed an outstanding win at the weekend when sending out Astronereus to victory in the Group Three I Rayyan Stakes at Newbury over a mile and a half.


Astronereus was sent off as the outsider of the five runners at 14-1 but sped past Ayrad in the closing stages to take the race with Pat Dobbs on board. He was having his first race since his lack lustre performance in the Ebor last year.

Astronereus trained by Amanda Perrett  Photo John Simpson

Astronereus trained by Amanda Perrett Photo John Simpson

Pat Dobbs praised the team at Coombelands Stables for getting Astonereus over problems at the end of last season.

He said: ” He is a horse that needs fast ground and he’s a little fragile leg-wise but they’ve sorted it out for this year. They’ve always thought a lot of him and he has a lot of options.”

Astronereus is owned by John Connolly and Odile Griffith, and Connolly said: “We were thinking he was a two-mile horse, something like the Goodwood Cup, and my heart is still set on going back to the Melbourne Cup but the ground might be a worry out there.”

A step back up in trip is likely for Astronereus next, and his trainer told journalists after the race: “I was hoping he’d run well, but to come and win is fantastic. He could go to Sandown for the Henry II or to France for the Prix Vicomtesse Vigier if we decide to step up in trip.”

Amanda Perrett’s Glaring aimed at Yorkshire Cup

PULBOROUGH trainer Amanda Perrett is hoping that Glaring will show himself to be a leading candidate for staying honours this season in the 1m6f Betway Yorkshire Cup at York tomorrow, Friday.

The race is the first in the Long Distance category of this year’s QIPCO British Champions Series. The five-year-old French import is among six final entries  revealed for the £160,000 feature, which has been a Group 2 event since 1971.

Trainer Amanda Perrett

Trainer Amanda Perrett

Glaring raced prominently for a long way on his British debut in the two-mile Longines Sagaro Stakes at Ascot last month but faded in the closing stages in a race won by Mizzou.

Clever Cookie, Flying Officer (third) and Suegioo (fourth) finished ahead of him on that occasion and are set to re-oppose but Perrett will be disappointed if, at the very least, Glaring, who will be ridden by Stobart Champion Flat Jockey, Silvestre De Sousa, does not finish much closer to them.

“He travelled really well at Ascot but lack of a run found him out in the final furlong and a half,” the Pulborough-based trainer said. “He’s a big, stuffy horse who’s quite lazy at home and, with that under his belt, hopefully he will be more competitive with the horses who beat him.

“I’m not 100 per cent sure dropping back in trip is the right thing to do because he’s a powerful galloper but he’s come out of that Ascot race really well and a galloping track like York will suit him down to the ground.”

York Racecourse Photo: John Simpson

York Racecourse
Photo: John Simpson

The going at York is good, good to firm in places after 5.3mm of rain fell from 1pm on Tuesday to 9.45am on Wednesday, but, with dry weather forecast over the next two days it is expected to be on the quick side by Friday’s off-time at 4.05pm.

“Good ground would probably be perfect for Glaring but I’m sure there will be a good covering of grass,” Perrett said. “I don’t think the ground will worry or hinder him.”

Glaring ran ten times in France for Andre Fabre, when owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah, before being purchased by Perrett at Tattersalls in October for 50,000 guineas.

“He had not run for a bit, but he was recommended to me and his form reads really well,” said Perrett, who saddled Bulwark to finish third in the 2007 Yorkshire Cup at 40-1. “He’s an imposing individual with plenty of ability and he has a lovely long stride on him. He was a very competitive Group runner in France last year, being placed on several occasions over a variety of trips.”

Glaring now carries the colours of George Materna, who has enjoyed success with another of the yard’s stayers, Eye Of The Storm. His new recruit could become a regular in QIPCO British Champions Series, with a tilt at the Qatar Goodwood Cup on July 28 definitely on his agenda.

“George loves to have a Goodwood Cup runner; that race has always been his passion,” Perrett said. “I would imagine Glaring will gallop all day and, before that, he could run at Royal Ascot in either the Gold Cup or Queen Alexandra Stakes, which should be right up his street.”



Visit to Gary Moore’s stables

THE British Horse Society, West Sussex committee, is organising a visit to Cisswood Racing Stables, the base of trainer Gary Moore.
The visit, by kind invitation of Gary and Jayne Moore will take place on Wednesday June 29, when there will be an opportunity to watch horses on the gallops and visit the stables afterwards.

Jayne and Gary Mooree with Nebula Photo: Jeannie Knight

Jayne and Gary Moore with Nebula, one of their many winners from Cisswood Racing Stables
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Cisswood Racing Stables are situated in Sandygate Lane, Lower Beeding, near Horsham, West Sussex RH13 6LR.
Numbers will be limited but the cost is just £10 per person with proceeds from the events to be shared between the British Horse Society West Sussex funds and local charity Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre, based at Slinfold, which does such an outstanding job in regtraining ex-racehorses so they can go on to a life outside racing.

For a booking form contact either or ring 07801 599518.

Cowdray’s new polo season opens soon

COWDRAY Park’s 2016 polo season opens on Saturday April 23 with match play commencing in the 8 goal Barrett Cup and the 12 goal Tyro Cup.

With a massive 485 matches played in 2015, in order to satisfy increasing demand the Polo Club is introducing two new tournaments in 2016.  The Petworth 12 goal trophy will be played between June 4 and 12 and the Heyshott 6 goal Cup will be played from June 21 to July 3.

Ranked alongside the Argentine and USA Opens, there will be four weeks of thrilling high goal action in the British Open Polo Championship for the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup when spectators can expect to see the majority of  the world’s 10 goal players in action on Cowdray’s world-class pitches.

Exciting polo action soon atb Cowdray Park Photo:Clive Bennett Photography 20150712

Exciting polo action soon at Cowdray Park
Photo:Clive Bennett Photography 20150712

The Gold Cup was launched in 1956 by the late John Cowdray, 3rd Viscount, and thirteen teams are predicted to be competing in the Diamond Jubilee year of the most coveted trophy in polo, including, for the first time since 2009, a Cowdray team.

The Hon Charles and Lila Pearson are proud to be entering Cowdray Vikings led by their son George, grandson of John Cowdray, who is a talented young 2-goal player and currently a student at Oxford University.

The 2016 Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup tournament starts on June 21  with the King Power side of ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha returning to defend the title of British Open Champions which they won in 2015.

Hon Lila Pearson presenting Midhurst Town Cup to winning team Photo: Clive Bennett

Hon Lila Pearson presenting Midhurst Town Cup to winning team last season
Photo: Clive Bennett

Highlights of the tournament include The Midhurst Town Cup taking place on Sunday  June 26 with entry at just £5 per person, under 12s free. The historic local Cup will be contested as the principal match of the afternoon.  The following weekend sees the popular Argentine Ambassadors Cup being played on Sunday July 3 also at just £5 for adult entry.

The Semi Finals of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup will be played on Wednesday July 13 and the high octane Final will take place on Sunday July 17.

The British Ladies Open Championship runs during the final week of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup with its Final on July 16, the Saturday of Gold Cup weekend.
Six tournaments in the highly popular HPA Series, which are open to all-comers and attract large entries, are spread over the season and a full range of domestic tournaments at low and medium goal level complete the calendar with the season closing on 18th September.

The total list of fixtures  and details of membership of Cowdray Park POlo Club is available at


WHW concerns re foal numbers

World Horse Welfare research to find the number of foals born in the UK has revealed that it is almost impossible to quantify just how many join our horse population each year.

As part of its campaign to raise awareness of the world’s ‘invisible horses’, World Horse Welfare contacted 66 equine passport issuing organisations (PIO’s) in the UK to request data on the number of foals recorded by them in 2014. Data received from the 38 PIOs who responded, combined with an estimate on the others who did not respond, would suggest a total of around 25,000 foals were born and recorded in 2014.

Whilst EU legislation requires all horses and ponies to have a valid passport and corresponding microchip by the time they reach six months of age or by December 31 in the year of birth, thousands of foals and youngsters may slip through the net every year as owners may not have them identified and a passport issued.

World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers said:“Our best estimate, based on data received is that something around 25,000 foals were born and recorded with a PIO in 2014.   Based on a total UK equine population of 800,000 the true number is likely to be around 40,000, with thousands of foals born every year that are unrecorded and therefore invisible.

Thousamds of foals are unrecorded each year Photo: World Horse Welfare

Thousamds of foals are unrecorded each year
Photo: World Horse Welfare

“This may be a crude estimation but is based on evidence from both World Horse Welfare and a number of other charities and organisations This failure to apply for a passport in time is not only contrary to current EU regulations but it puts these animals at a much higher risk because they are effectively invisible and not on anyone’s radar.

“Whilst a percentage of them may go on to have careers in sport or become leisure animals loved and pampered by their owners, we know that many are just as likely to face an uncertain future because there are simply not enough homes for the number of horses we are producing each year in the UK.

“Our latest figures show there are more than 4,000 horses at risk in the UK and thousands more already in the care of charities, many of whom are struggling with limited capacity and stretched resources. World Horse Welfare alone took in over 100 horses in just 40 days before Christmas which represents almost one third of the charity’s maximum stocking level.

“Foals born into this market landscape may struggle to find homes.  Those that are on a PIO database are likely to be much better off because their owners are taking responsibility for them by getting them identified but it’s the foals that are not identified who are a greater concern to us.

“They are invisible to the system, and cannot be linked to anyone responsible for their care. In addition no vet can administer a medicinal product to a horse or pony unless it has a passport so this adds to the problems that these animals may face if they become ill.”

World Horse Welfare has named 2016 the year to highlight the world’s invisible horses who often suffer in silence as people either cannot or choose not to see them. The year-long campaign will highlight the plight of these horses, making them ‘visible’ so they can receive the care and protection they so desperately need with the first quarter of the year aimed at highlighting the number of foals born into uncertain futures and the wide-reaching impact this has on horse welfare.

See more about WHW at:



Changes to Olympic eventing

Changes to Olympic eventing have been under discussion  and the British Equestrian Federation, on behalf of British Eventing (BE), has recently submitted a reply to an International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Proposal concerning the future of eventing at the Olympic Games.

BE pulled together a wide range of eventing experts, including competition organisers, riders and owners, to form a working group and lead discussion from a British standpoint. Drawing on a vast wealth of experience the group addressed proposed changes relating to format and presentation of the three phases of the eventing competition, based on Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations.

The working group also embraced opportunities around engagement as the sport strives to uphold a forward-thinking approach to reaching and exciting new, and particularly younger, audiences to boost popularity and exposure worldwide.

Dressage rider Carl Hester competing at the Olympics Photo: Georges Souvier

Dressage rider Carl Hester competing at the Olympics Photo: Georges Souvier

Following the FEI suggestion to allow a maximum of three horse/rider combinations per nation with a reserve, BE proposes keeping a four rider team for each nation with no reserve rider. BE recommendation is for four combinations to compete in the first two phases (Dressage and Cross Country) and, if appropriate, all four to present for the second Horse Inspection.

Based on the current FEI rule whereby at the Olympic Games only a maximum of three riders can qualify for the second round of the show jumping phase (which decides the Individual medals), BE recommends that only three combinations should progress to the show jumping phase in the first instance. Nations would declare which three riders from each team would move forward to the final phase after the second Horse Inspection.

BE felt that this would lower the risk of teams not completing and remove the need for creating a complicated scoring system.

Name change:

Based on Eventing being part of the sport of ‘Equestrian’ at the Olympic Games along with the use of the word ‘Triathlon’ which is defined as ‘an athletic contest consisting of three different events’, BE felt the FEI’s proposed name change from Eventing to Equestrian Triathlon best described the sport and supports a future change of name.

But in order to maintain the inclusion of Eventing in the Olympic programme it says it is extremely important for  to be easily understood and enjoyable for viewers in Rio 2016. Taking this into consideration BE agrees with the FEI’s recommendation to complete all of the dressage competition in one day, along with continuing the current format of one day for both the cross country and show jumping phases.

BE felt much more excitement could be provided by running the cross country in reverse order of dressage results, making the scheduling and reporting of ‘top contenders’ and medal hopefuls easier to broadcast and for consumers to follow. BE also agrees with the FEI suggestion of generating more excitement in the show jumping phase by having each nation’s team members in the arena at the same time along with the team competition being the final event – followed by the medal presentation.



WHW spectacular Olympia display

World Horse Welfare Yogi and Saphire demonstrated their true talents when they took to the Grand Hall at Olympia prior to Christmas. The London International Horse Show as part of the World Horse Welfare Santa vs Scrooge Celebrity Scurry Stakes.

Each pony was accompanied by an experienced driver, plus an equestrian celebrity including Olympic gold medallist and World Horse Welfare Patron, Pippa Funnell and Founding Editor of In-Harness magazine, Fiona Powell who acted as backsteppers to keep the carriages balanced as they twisted and turned around the arena at speed.


Pippa unnell in the WHW display at Olympia Phto: WHW

Pippa unnell in the WHW display at Olympia Phto: WHW

World Horse Welfare Yogi stood victorious, driven by his rehomer Liz Harcombe and backstepper, Fiona Powell. The winning contestants were then invited to celebrate by throwing a bucket of iced water at World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers who said:“It’s been a fantastic evening and wonderful opportunity to showcase the amazing talents of our ponies in front of such a huge audience. I’m immensely proud of what our team has achieved in putting this display together and very grateful to both Pippa and Fiona for taking part – it certainly made the ice bucket worthwhile!

“We are deeply honoured to have been chosen as Charity of the Year for the Olympia London International Horse Show 2015 and hope that the display will encourage more people to think about rehoming when they see the quality of horses and ponies that we have on our rehoming scheme.”


See Video:

Pippa Funnell, MBE said:“If you’re thinking about getting a horse or pony, then why not go to World Horse Welfare? There are all sorts of things these ponies are capable of and that’s what is so exciting. World Horse Welfare have a fantastic range of horses and ponies available for rehoming and a great team of people who are happy to advise you. I’d love to take both Yogi and Saphire home tonight but I’m not too sure William would be very pleased!”

Yogi came into World Horse Welfare’s Hall Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre in 2006 as a completely untouched two year-old. He was very nervous of human contact but thanks to the experienced handling and care of the World Horse Welfare team he matured into a well-mannered pony with lots of potential. He was broken to drive more than five years ago and since then has had fantastic success competing at national level with his rehomer, Liz Harcombe – recently starting tandem work. Yogi will be taking the role of Scrooge on Friday, driven by Liz with Fiona Powell riding pillion.

Saphire came into World Horse Welfare’s Hall Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre three years ago and required intensive physiotherapy to build up her strength. Following the dedication of the team, she is now progressing well in her training and loves showing off her driving skills and stunning good looks. Saphire will be taking the role of Santa on Friday, driven by Amy Last with Pippa Funnell riding pillion.


Appleby sets sights on Wolverhampton

Last season’s champion All-Weather trainer Charlie Appleby is set to well-represented at Wolverhampton on Saturday, December 12, with Anglophile, Festive Fare and Winslow due to run on a valuable eight-race card.

More than £100,000 prize money is on offer throughout the evening, with Anglophile having been declared for the £20,000 32Red Conditions Stakes (8.45pm) over an extended two miles.

Trainer Chalie Appleby Photo: John Simpson

Trainer Charlie Appleby Photo: John Simpson

The Tapeta contest is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £150,000 32Red All-Weather Marathon Championships over two miles on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, March 25.

Anglophile (Adam Kirby) was first or second on all six of his appearances during the 2014/2015 All-Weather Championships, with three victories including a facile success in a two-mile conditions race at Lingfield Park in January.

The four-year-old was beaten a head in the 32Red All-Weather Marathon Championships on Good Friday and also filled the runner-up spot on his only subsequent start, when finding Famous Kid (Saeed bin Suroor/Oisin Murphy) six lengths too strong in a 14-furlong handicap at Chelmsford City on November 6.

Anglophile in action: Photo John Simpson

Anglophile in action: Photo John Simpson

Godolphin trainer Appleby commented: “We purposely gave Anglophile the summer off and were pleased with his re-appearance at Chelmsford City.
“We have 8lb to find on the ratings with Famous Kid, who won very well that day, but Anglophile has certainly stepped forward since that run. We have a fair bridge to gap but I am confident that our horse will put up a good performance again.

“He is a typical Dubawi in that he is getting better with age. He is definitely a stronger individual compared to last season’s championships and is a hardened campaigner now. The trip and conditions will be no problem and I feel that we head to Wolverhampton with a good chance.”

A field of eight for the 32Red Conditions Stakes also includes recent Kempton Park handicap winner Moonrise Landing (Ralph Beckett/Graham Gibbons) and The Twisler (Jane Chapple-Hyam/Jamie Spencer), who captured a Listed race at Goodwood in August.
Entihaa (Alan Swinbank/Ben Curtis) and Sunblazer (Kim Bailey/George Baker) have both scored over the course and distance, with Percy Veer (Sylvester Kirk/Jack Mitchell) and Longshadow (Jason Ward/Luke Morris) also set to line up.

Three-year-olds Festive Fare (Adam Kirby) and Winslow (Martin Lane) are due to run in the richest race of the night, the £45,000 Coral Handicap (7.45pm) over an extended nine furlongs, which has attracted a high-class field of nine.Festive Fare is unbeaten in two appearances on the All-Weather, having posted a pair of wins over a mile at Kempton Park and Lingfield Park at the start of 2015, and was beaten two and a half lengths by Golden Horn when coming home fourth in a Newmarket Listed race in April.

Fstive Fare winning a handicap at Kempton Photo: John Simpson

Festive Fare winning a handicap at Kempton
Photo: John Simpson

The son of Teofilo was fifth in the Group Two King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and is set to make his first appearance since finishing fourth in a Haydock Park handicap over 10 and a half furlongs on August 8. Winslow readily beat subsequent Norfolk Stakes winner Baitha Alga in a Haydock Park maiden in May, 2014, but the son of Distorted Humor has been restricted to just two starts since.He stayed on well to take fourth in an extended mile handicap at Wolverhampton on his first outing for more than 15 months on November 28.

Appleby added: “Festive Fare was two from two on the All-Weather last winter, when he looked that he was going the right way, but his turf form has left a little bit to be desired. He has been gelded and I have been pleased with his work. He is a horse that we thought a lot of during the spring and, hopefully, a switch back to the All-Weather will see him return to the horse that we thought he could be.

“Once we realised that it wasn’t happening for Festive Fare on the turf, we gave him a good break and structured his training for a winter campaign. It could be a big shout now, but we are hoping that he might be a horse for the Winter Derby and the Easter Classic.
“Time will tell whether he is up to that level but those are the sort of targets we are looking at as things stand. He is fit enough to run well on Saturday – he will find a couple of pounds for the run – and we will be disappointed if he is not in the first three.

“We were delighted with Winslow’s reappearance at Wolverhampton. We liked him as a two-year-old but he has had his setbacks. He has come on for his first run for more than a year but the step up in distance is a bit of an unknown. We are hoping that we might see further improvement with the step up to this trip.

“Generally, I wouldn’t run two horses in a race like this but they have completely different running styles. Festive Fare will be ridden positively and Winslow will be ridden conservatively to get the trip.”