Nick Gifford’s horses are in fine form

Runners from Nick Gifford’s Findon stables are in fine fettle at present and one horse at Downs Stables which has firmly booked a place at the Cheltenham Festival this year is the classy Generous Ransome.  Owned and bred by Sir Christopher and Lady Wates, the Generous gelding fulfilled his earlier promise with an outstanding win in the novice handicap chase over two miles five furlongs at the recent Cheltenham meeting, partnered by jockey Daryl Jacob.

Generous Ransome and Daryl Jacob at Doncaster: Photo courtesy of Matty Wiilkinson

Sent off at 6-1 in a highly competitive field, this horse led after the second-last fence and in a gutsy performance held off the challenge of the highly regarded Astigos, trained by Venetia Williams to win by a neck. He had always looked comfortable throughout the race.

Nick told reporters afterwards” He’s still a raw horse. I want to bring him to the Festival in March, so I ran him today to see if he could go left-handed and handle the undulations. It was a test, and also a competitive race which was run at a good pace. I put cheekpieces on to help sharpen up his jumping.”

He added: ” The obvious race for him at the Festival is in the novice handicap on the first day. I’ve also entered him in the RSA Grade One chase at the Festival, but that’s a long shot. We will see what the handicapper does now. He ran off 128 there and will possibly go up 6lb or 7lb. I’ll probably enter him in all the handicaps and he will be an ever better horse on better ground and will get further.”

Meanwhile horses are going well at Downs Stables, where his father Josh trained before him. On the same day as Generous Ransome’s win, Nick’s wife, Ruth, saddled up Prouts Pub, owned by the Nick Gifford Racing Club at Doncaster to finish a close second at 25-1 in a competitive big field in a handicap hurdle with Liam Treadwell on board. This six-year-old is an outstanding jumper and looks to be a great prospect for fences in the future.

Club morning at Downs Stables with old favourite Tullamore Dew leading club horses Cove and Prouts Pub   Photo : Jeannie Knight

Club morning at Downs Stables with old favourite Tullamore Dew leading club horses Prouts Pub and Cove Photo : Jeannie Knight

Fairy Rath, owned by Mrs Jeremy Kyle, also ran ay Doncaster in the Skybet Listed Chasefinishing unplaced, but Ruth explained: “He just did not get the three miles. However he jumped and travelled great up to two miles six furlongs and has come out of the race fine.”

There is strong team of horses at the Findon yard, including Stars Royale which is currrently hurdling for Jeremy Kyle and friends. Although this horse could finish only a poor third at Plumpton recently in a two mile hurdle on heavy ground, he is far better than that performance and cannot be discounted, especially with a couple of potentially useful  horse filling the first two slots in front of him.  Also there are some interesting up and coming horses in the wings.

Nick Gifford Racing Club horses also play a significant part at Downs Stable, which has fine gallops and downland routes immediately on hand. They bring affordable racing for small groups of enthusiasts, who enjoy regular mornings on the gallops. At a recent morning, members saw Leighton Aspell and Tom Cannon school six horses, including Generous Ransome, an exciting new French colt- Surspenders, and  Irish-bred six-year-old Toohighforme. which recently was placed in a National Hunt Flat race.

Consistent Nick Gifford Racing Club horse, Cove Photo: Jeannie Knight

Consistent Nick Gifford Racing Club horse, Cove
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Others put through their paces were  racing club horses Prouts Pub and Cove. Cove is a consistent racing club mare, and has rewarded members with a win and some solid places and will continue to progress. The club mornings are a regular feature at Downs Stables. Members enjoy a great social atmosphere and all the privileges of owning a racehorse without incurring all the costs. Contact Ruth Gifford for more details on  07854 306720 to find out more or email ruth.gifford@btinternet.com.

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