More top awards for Enable

EVEN more accolades came the way of outstanding horse  Enable, bred by her owner Khalid Abdulla, at the Racehorse Owners Association awards in London this week, sponsored by Zeus Capital.

Enable and Frankie Dettori
Photo courtesy of Reuters

The ceremony recognised those voted by the 8,000-strong membership of the ROA, which has been promoting the interests of owners in Britain since 1945 and is a shareholder of the BHA.

Khalid Abdullah was named as Owner of the Year, while his amazing filly Enable, who won the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for the second time and followed up with a history-making Breeders’ Cup Turf victory, was Horse of the Year. She also won the Middle Distance and Filly/Mare awards.

Her John Gosden-trained stablemates Roaring Lion (Miler), Stradivarius (Stayer) and Too Darn Hot (Juvenile) were others acknowledged at this prestigious event.

Full awards were:

Outstanding Novice Hurdler Kalashnikov; Outstanding Hurdler Buveur D’Air;

Outstanding Novice Chaser Footpad; Outstanding Chaser Altior;

Outstanding National Hunt Mare Apple’s Jade; Outstanding All-Weather Horse Captain Lars; Outstanding Juvenile Too Darn Hot; Outstanding Filly/Mare Enable; Outstanding Sprinter Mabs Cross; Outstanding Middle Distance Enable; Outstanding Stayer Stradivarius; Outstanding Miler Roaring Lion

National Special Achievement Award Cue Card; Flat Special Achievement Award Roy Rocket

Wetherby Racecourse won ROA Gold Standard for most improved small racecourse

ROA Gold Standard Large Racecourse of the Year Chester; ROA Gold Standard Small Racecourse of the Year Bangor; ROA Gold Standard Most Improved Large Racecourse Newbury; ROA Gold Standard Most Improved Small Racecourse Wetherby

Flaming Spear heads for finals day

Flaming Spear showed a good turn of foot under Robert Winston to win the mile £45,000 Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Hyde Stakes, an All-Weather Championships Fast-Track Qualifier, on Polytrack at Kempton Park recently.

The six-year-old, now successful three times from four All-Weather starts, gained a free and guaranteed start in the £150,000 Sun Racing All-Weather Mile Championship at Lingfield Park on the £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 19, 2019.

Trainer Dean Ivory was thrilled for Flaming Spear, who is owned by Tony Bloom and started the 3/1 favourite in the 11-strong field. He said: “I am delighted – we have overcome issues Flaming Spear had with the stalls and he is a lovely and relaxed horse.

Flaming Spear in action
Photo: John Simpson


“He had a good draw tonight (two), was quite handy from the start and won going away.

“It has been the plan for a while to go for the mile final on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, which is quite a long time away.

“We can now count back from Good Friday and be more laid-back in planning his races.”

Flaming Spear raced in fourth on the outside, a bit keenly initially, as Pactolus (Stuart Williams/Fran Berry, 25/1) took them along.

Winston asked Flaming Spear to move forward after turning into the straight and the son of Lope De Vega came through strongly to hit the from over a furlong out.

Flaming Spear ran on well to beat Hathal (Jamie Osborne/Nicola Currie, 10/1) by three quarters of a length, with outsider Pattie (Mick Channon/Gerald Mosse, 33/1) finishing strongly to take third, a further length and a quarter back.

The 2017/18 All-Weather Horse Of The Year, Victory Bond (William Haggas/James Doyle, 4/1), victorious in the £200,000 Betway Easter Classic over 10 furlongs at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, March 30, had his first start since May and kept on in fourth. The winning time of 1m 37.17s was the fastest on the night comparatively.

Victory Bond in action at Lingfield Park  Photo: John  Simpson

Super tough stayer Watersmeet (Mark Johnston/Joe Fanning, 11/4 favourite) gained his 14th victory – 12 on All-Weather surfaces – when beating Higher Power (James Fanshawe/George Wood, 5/1) by a length in the £25,000 32Red Handicap over two miles.

George Wood gained compensation on 16/1 top-weight Exceeding Power, trained by Martin Bosley, in the last race, the 12-furlong £11.200 Handicap, when just holding 6/5 favourite Landue (Marcus Tregoning/James Doyle) by a short-head.

Cowdray Park launches polo Memorial Cup

Following the tragic loss of King Power Chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in a helicopter crash at the King Power football stadium in Leicester on Saturday October 27, Cowdray Park Polo Club has announced the launch of the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Cup in 2019.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha with his sons ‘Top’ and ‘Tal’ alongside Gonzalito Pieres Photograph by Mark Beaumont

The new trophy will be presented for the first time to the winning team of the Quarter Final match in the King Power Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship taking place at 3.00 pm on Sunday July 14 2019, and thereafter annually.

The King Power Foxes polo team won the Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship in 2015, 2016 and 2017, having first entered the Gold Cup in 2014.  In 2018 Cowdray Park Polo Club was delighted to see King Power take over sponsorship of the prestigious 22 goal British Open in a three year contract.

Club Chairman Roderick Vere Nicoll commented:  “We know that Vichai Srivaddhahaprabha loved being at Cowdray Park with his King Power team that included his sons ‘Top’ and ‘Tal’ in alternate years.  We are honoured to be marking his polo legacy by playing for his trophy during the Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship.”

Competitive jump racing at Plumpton

Racegoers were rewarded with competitive jump racing at Plumpton yesterday which started with an impressive win in the opening Maiden Hurdle by 40-1 shot Third Wind.
Trained by Hughie Morrison and well ridden by Tom O’ Brien, the four-year-old gelding, which is owned by Mouse Hamilton-Fairley,  should progress from here and is a decent prospect for the future.

Third Wind with connections following victory in the Maiden Hurdle Photo :Jeannie Knight

Runner-up Fly To Mars, also sent off at 40-1, is another decent prospect for the future. Trained by Colin Tizzard, ridden by Harry Cobden and owned by Brocade Racing, was making his hurdling debut and will undoubtedly progress for the experience. Favourite Acey Milan, sent off at 8-15 was unplaced. Breaking Waves filled third spot for trainer Noel Williams, but should come on for the run.

The Novices Steeplechase over two miles one furlong saw an easy win by Kalashnikov, trained at Newmarket by Amy Murphy and ridden by Jack Quinlan. This brown Kalanisi gelding had three previous wins to his credit and two seconds, prior to this latest victory. His victory came at the expense of runner-up Envoye Special ( Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden).

Kalashnikov, trained by Amy Murphy following his win in the novices steeplechase with connections and jockey Jack Quinlan Photo: Jeannie Knight

Paddy’s Poem, trained at Findon by Nick Gifford, with Leighton Aspell in the saddle, plugged on to take third place on his first outing over larger obstacles and will benefit for the experience.

Trainer Tom Symonds made the trip from Ross-On-Wye pay off when sending out progressive mare Royal Claret with Ben Poste in the saddle to win the Mares Handicap Hurdle over three miles one furlong by an impressive ten lengths. Seaborough trainer Keiran Burke clinched second place with Jully Les Buxy, with Nick Scholfield up. Third place went to Wishicould, trained by Charlie Mann.

In the two mile Novices Hurdle Race Coole Well (pictured below) proved he has the talent to win, having previously unseated his rider on his previous outing. Trained by Jamie Snowden and with 5lb claimer Max Kendrick riding, he came home one and a half lengths clear of Manning Estate, trained by Oliver Sherwood and ridden by Leighton Aspell.

Coole Well trained by Jamie Snowden with jockey Max Kendrick following the victory Photo:Jeannie Knight


The Tin Miner, trained by David Bridgwater and ridden by Tom Cannon, sprang a 20-1 shock when winning the three mile one furlong handicap chase by eight lengths from Clondaw Bisto, trained by Suzy Smith and ridden by Paddy Brennan. Sartorial Elegance ( Colin TIzzard and Tom O’ Brien) was third.

The Tin Miner and Tom Cannon on the way to victory
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Then there was a 25-1 winner of the two mile handicap hurdle, when conditional jockey Sean Houlihan, a 5lb claimer, brought home Legend of France, trained by Pat Phelan to a six-length victory over 9-2 joint favourite, Seaweed, trained by Chris Gordon.

The next meeting at Plumpton will be a Christmas Raceday on Monday December 17

More than £7,000 raised at Hickstead Ball

More than £7,000 was raised at Hickstead’s recent annual Showtime Ball , with all profits from the night going towards improving the showing facilities at the showground.

Around 150 guests from the showing community attended the glittering black tie event, which takes place in the Members’ Restaurant overlooking the famous International Arena. The Ball has been held each year since 2015 and has raised in excess of £25,000 since it started, allowing Hickstead to make a number of beneficial changes to the showing arenas at its international shows.

One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the Roger Stack Award. Named after Hickstead’s former Showing Director Roger Stack, who sadly died in December 2016, the award is presented for the showing performance of the year.

This year’s recipient was top show producer Jayne Ross, who has won countless titles at Hickstead including five British Horse Society Supreme Horse titles.

“It was such a special treat to receive the Roger Stack Award, winning it is definitely one of the highlights of my showing career and it’s a real honour to be selected,” said Jayne. “Hickstead is one of my favourite shows of the year, if not my favourite, and to win in that main ring is always so special.”

Jayne Ross receives the Roger Stack Award from Hickstead Director Edward Bunn Photo: Craig Payne

Presenting the award, Hickstead Director Edward Bunn said: “If we listed everything Jayne has won, we’d be here for hours. She has won numerous championships and -supremes, and she’s one of our biggest supporters. She is a very worthy winner of the Roger Stack award.

“We would also like to thank all the people who donated auction prizes, and everyone who came to the Ball and made it such a success,” Edward added.

Boxing Day racing at Fontwell Park

Don’t miss Fontwell Park’s Boxing Day meeting this year. This festive event is one of the most popular fixtures on this racecourse’s calendar.

There is always top class jump racing at this popular fixture, which has seven races scheduled.

Last year the opening Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle, run over two miles three furlongs set the standard for the day with a thrilling finale, in which only a neck separated the first two home.

In the final stages Ben Hicks and Michael Heard fought out the finish in fine style with Michael Heard going on to bring 6-4 favourite Oskar Denarius home to win by a neck for trainer Jennifer Mason from 13-2 shot River Dun, trained by David Pipe.

Last year’s winner of the conditional jockeys’ race, Oscar Denarius  ridden  by Michael HeardPhoto: Fontwell Park Racecourse

Again this year, the racecourse will be transformed into a winter wonderland with reindeers, an Ice Rink and festive food and beverages, as well as plenty of games stalls for family entertainment.

The atmosphere and cheers will continue throughout the day and one of the most prestigious races in England, The King George VI Chase at Kempton Park will be relayed on the big screen for everyone to see.

And at Fontwell Park itself, some top quality jump racing is guaranteed at this popular fixture.

Tickets start from £19 when booked in advanced. The Premier admission tickets are likely to sell out so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Centre course parking on this fixture is FREE of charge, so it is operated on a first come, first serve basis. Be aware that the centre course is all grass, so please ensure you wear the appropriate footwear.

The meeting is sponsored by Southern Cranes and Access Ltd- a locally -owned company which is now a leading provider of mobile crane hire, contract lifting services and powered access hire in London and the South East.


Nick Gifford’s string in top form

Runners from historic Downs Stables at Findon are coming into good form, with trainer Nick Gifford, assisted by his wife Ruth, currently having their string in top condition.

Downs Stables gateway
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Recent successes include an impressive win at Kempton when Fairway Freddy secured another victory, well ridden by Rex Dingle. Owned by The Gold Dream Partnership, and led up by Andrew Tony Veale,  this progressive young horse continues to improve and is a star for the future.

He benefits from being ridden at home by not only Andrew Tony Veale but also former jockey Gerry Enright, whose vast experience will benefit this rising stable star. He is clearly heading to be a stable star for the future.

Fairway Freddy being led in by Andrew Tony Veale
Photo: Ruth Gifford

Other runners from the yard have also been in the limelight.  Another horse to note is Notre Ami, owned by the Morpheus Partnership.  The seven-year-old had an unfortunate fall in a novice handicap chase at Huntingdon in early October, but has put that behind him.

Notre Ami went on to finish second in a confidence-building handicap hurdle at Lingfield, ridden by Nick Scholfield in mid November. Then on November 26 he ran in the Beginners Steeple Chase over two miles two furlongs on good ground at Kempton finishing third under Leighton Aspell over fences. He was led up by Andrew Tony Veale, who also rides him a lot at home.

Don’t miss Plumpton’s top class festive meetings

PLUMPTON Racecourse offers the chance to get into a festive mood with a racing fixture over jumps at this popular Sussex track on Monday December 3.

There will be live music and top class jump racing in a very special atmosphere with more than £50,000 of prize money on offer. This is bound to attract quality fields again.

At the same fixture last year, Jester Jet was a ready winner of the Class 3 Mares’ Handicap- and went on from that to land a Grade 3 race at the Aintree Festival.

Solomon Grey, Harry Skelton up, was a December Plumpton winner last year. Photo Jeannie Knight

Another good victory was when Frank N Fair,  a firm local favourite from the Zoe Davison yard, landed the Tysers Handicap Chase.

Monday 17th December – Christmas Raceday

The racecourse has more than £50,000 prize money on offer at the fixture on December 17. Trainers and horses come from afar to try and get one final win at Plumpton before the year comes to a close.

And what better way to start 2019 being at Plumpton for the Sky Sports Racing Sussex National on Sunday January 6? Blow away those Christmas Blues and be at Plumpton for this flagship race and fixtures with more than £80k of Prize Money.

The big race itself is worth more than £35,000 and always attracts a good turn out of runners.

Niall Donnelly takes over at Hickstead Polo Club

Irish international polo player Niall Donnelly has taken over the running of the All England Polo Club at Hickstead.

He takes over from Sarah Wiseman from Aspect Polo, who will be focusing on playing international polo on the Women’s Tour.

“Niall has been closely involved with the club for several years, and we are looking forward to a fantastic 2018/19 winter season under Niall’s stewardship,” said AEPC Chairman, John Bunn.

International Arena Test Match action at Hickstead

Niall began his polo career at the age of 14 and has gone on to play all over the world, including Australia, New Zealand, India and most recently, Barbados. He currently plays off an outdoor handicap of 4 goals and an Arena handicap of 6.

Niall Donnelly
Photo courtesy of Images of Polo which holds the copyright

He is a regular on the International Irish team and has won several best playing pony prizes while representing his country. As well as playing, Niall spends his time training polo ponies and coaching players.

“I am looking forward to the upcoming season at Hickstead, and I am hoping to introduce lots of new players to the excitement of Arena Polo, as well as coaching some of the talented young players in the area,” said Niall.

The All England Polo Club has a full-sized 100m x 50m arena, a popular clubhouse and stabling for more than 80 horses. Polo livery is available, as well as rental horses and lessons.

The Hickstead season gets underway with an open weekend of chukkas, followed by regular Club chukkas and tournaments most weekends throughout the winter. The season culminates with the Arena Polo International Test Match on Saturday March 2.

Tickets for the Test Match go on sale later this year, and will cost just £5 per ticket. Admission and parking for all the other tournaments is free of charge, and spectators are always welcome.

New fixtures for eventing in 2019

The 2019 British Eventing fixtures list for next season brings new venues and classes to the calendar, along with changes to international class codes.

Stapleton Manor in County Durham will host its first BE event on August 17-18 with classes up to novice.

Ten regular venues will hold new classes next year. Bicton, in April, will host a new CCI2*-S class , Warwick Hall, will hold four- and five-year-old championship qualifiers in July, and Burnham Market,will add an intermediate class.

Changes for Scotland include a new venue.Glamis Castle in Angus will run in August, following the loss of Hendersyde Park and Aswanley this year. Eglinton in June will be hosting a novice regional final, while Forgandenny in July will host a four- and five-year-old championship qualifier. Kirriemuir which previously ran twice will now run only on  May 4.

West Sussex event rider Gemma Tattersall competing with Arctic Soul
Photo: British Eventing

Other changes riders can look forward to include a new BE90Ou18 class, a BE90 exclusively for riders under the age of 18, andthe introduction of the BE80(T) regional finals for riders competing at grassroots levels, with the championship being hosted by Kelsall Hill, Cheshire on September 27-29.