Hickstead has exciting season ahead

HICKSTEAD has an exciting season ahead, as this year marks 60 years since Douglas Bunn first opened the All England Jumping Course.

It will also be the 60th running of the Al Shira’aa Derby, which was first held in 1961. There are plenty of things in store for this special anniversary year and newsletters will contain more details.

Hickstead has an update on its Arena Polo fixtures and is taking a look at which riders are in action at the Al Shira’aa International Horse Show, There is also a prize giveaway from Equisupplies for everyone to enter.

It may be only January but Hickstead is already counting down the weeks until the start of its international show season.

Shane Breen en route to winning the Hickstead Derby
Photo: www.spidge.co.uk

Tickets for the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting (June 24-28 ) and the Longines Royal International Horse Show (July 21-26 ) are on sale now, with discounts applying on all advance ticket sales.

If you’d like to make your visit truly special, consider booking one of Hickstead’s luxurious hospitality options, including the Al Shira’aa Suite, the Members’ Restaurant or a private box. Bookings for hospitality open on February 3.

For more details contact https://www.hickstead.co.uk/hospitality-events

Champion jockey out of action through injury

Champion jump jockey Richard Johnson is aiming to be back in action at the Cheltenham Festival following a fall at Exeter which has left him with a broken right arm.

The injury came when his mount Westend Story fell during the Dare to Dream Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase at Exeter.  Today it was confirmed he had broken his right arm between the elbow and his hand.

Jockey Richard Johnson Photo: Jeannie Knight

He had been riding Westend Story for trainer Philip Hobbs at Exeter when the horse fell at the sixth fence in a Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase. He is stable jockey for Philip Hobbs, who said the jockey was to have an opertation on the injury and have it plated.

The injury is expected to keep the jockey out of action for several weeks, though Johnson seems hopeful he could return to he saddle in time for Cheltenham. It could give fellow contender for the  Champion Jockey title, Brian Hughes, the chance to move well ahead in the bid for the ttle. Hughes currently leads by three winners.



Good racing at Plumpton’s extra meeting

THE opening race at Plumpton’s extra meeting yesterday ( Monday) saw a good win  for 2-7 favourite Kid Commando, trained by Kim Bailey and ridden by Aiden Coleman. This six-year-old, sent off 2-7 favourite put in a fine performance to win this Mares Maiden Hurdle over just short of two miles.

A major  blunder at the last by runner-up Jack Valentine, trained  by Venetia Williams and ridden by Charlie Deutsch, claiming three pounds, detsroyed hopes of victory for that horse, while Toad, trained  by Georgia Howell and ridden by Tabitha Worsley was a length further back in third place.

Runners from Richard Rowe’s Sullington stables are clearly coming into good form, for he sent out Mister Murchan, 11-4 favourite, to win the handicap hurdle over three and a quarter miles, with Leighton Aspell in the saddle.

Mr Murchan ridden by Leighton Aspell on the way to victory. Photo courtesy of Plumpton Racecourse

It was an impressive victory, with the fine ten-year-old mare Tambura, owned by Mrs A Maundrell, trained by Neil King, and ridden by Zac Baker putting in a good effort to claim runner-up spot with Fortunate George, trained by Emma Lavelle, in third, ridden  by 10 lb claimer Henry Platt.

Harry Fry was also amongst the winning trainers when he sent out Over To Sam ridden by Sean Bowen to win the Novices’ Limited Handicap  ovedr three miles one furlong. Runner up was Virginia Chick, trained by Evan Williams and well ridden by 7lb claimer, Isabel Williams.

Third place in that race went to 4/5 favourite Christmas In April, trained  by Colin TIzzard and ridden by Harry Cobden.

Trainer Seamus Mullins was also in the winner’s enclosure when White Chocolate, well ridden by Daniel Samson won the Mares Novice Hurdle by just over a length from the Venetia Williams-trained Poniente, ridden  by Charlie Deutsch.

The next meeting at Plumpton Racecourse is on Monday January 27.
Gates Open: 11:30am
First Race: 1:30pm
Last Race: 4:00pmPlease call the Racecourse Office for Hospitality bookings on 01273 890383


Extra Plumpton meeting on Monday

Expect competitive racing at Plumpton Photo: Jeannie Knight

The six-race card will begin at 1.40pm with entries closing on Saturday at 12 noon, while the declaration stage will take place on Sunday at 10am.

Race conditions, race times and further fixture information are available via the BHA website.

Newbury double for Henderson and De Boinville

Yesterday’s meeting at Plumpton was abandoned because the course was waterlogged.

Meanwhile racing went ahead at Newbury. There, trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Nico De Boinville teamed up to win the first two races in impressive style.

Bond’s Lover, a six-year-old owned by Mrs Christopher Hanbury won the opening British EBF Mares ‘National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle over two miles four furlongs on his racing debut under De Boinville by a neck  from Martha Brae, a five-year-old, owned by Mrs R Vaughan,  trained by Warren Greatrex and ridden by A P Heskin.

Jockey Nico De Boinville
Photo courtesy of John Simpson

In the second race, a two mile novices’ hurdle, the same trainer- jockey combination had a more decisive victory with 7-4 joint favourite Shiskin, owned by Mrs J Donnelly. This time the winning margin was 11 lengths over fellow joint favourite, Shakem Up Harry, trained by Ben Pauling, owned by Harry Redknapp and ridden by Daryl Jacob.

Ben Pauling did not go home without a winner though, for he sent out Your Darling at    9-2 to win the National Hunt Flat Race at the end of the meeting, ridden by Nico De Boinville.

Gloucestershire trainer Ben Pauling Photo: John Simpson

It was a good performance by Your Darling and this victory gave jockey Nico De Boinville a treble at the meeting. Favourite Flinteur Sacre finished second in this race, beaten by more than three lengths.




Plumpton’s new racing season starts this week

PLUMPTON Racecourse is looking ahead to another successful year. The racing programme for 2020 has been published, promising another competitive season at the popular Sussex track.

Racing for 2020 begins there on Wednesday this week, January 15. Gates open at 11am. The first race is at 1.05pm and the going is currently soft with heavy places.

Expect plenty of competitive action at Plumpton this year
Photo: Plumpton Racecourse

Full list of 2020 Plumpton Racing Fixtures is:

         Wed, 15th January, 2020

  • Mon, 27th January, 2020
  • Mon, 10th February, 2020
  • Mon, 24th February, 2020
  • Mon, 9th March, 2020
  • Wed, 18th March, 2020
  • Sun, 5th April, 2020
  • Sun, 12th April, 2020
  • Mon, 13th April, 2020
  • Sun, 10th May, 2020
  • Sun, 20th September, 2020
  • Mon, 19th October, 2020
  • Mon, 2nd November, 2020
  • Mon, 16th November, 2020
  • Mon, 7th December, 2020
  • Mon, 14th December, 2020

For more information about fixtures and facilities see: https://www.plumptonracecourse.co.uk/

Good card at Catterick today

Horse racing fixtures have been decimated with Leicester abandoning today’s jump card with the track waterlogged in places.

But there is a good card at Catterick where the first race is at 12.25pm

The  feature race is the Watt Fences North Yorkshire Grand National  at 2.40pm which has a quality seven-race card including novice races, as well as fixtures for handicappers.

Little Bruce in action
Photo courtesy of John Simpson

Last year’s runner-up Little Bruce, to be ridden by Tommy Dowson, has the advantage of a run over hurdles recently and hes should do well on the sharp track which suits front runners.  This horse does well over longer trips, having won ovedr three miles four furlongs in the past, including the former Cambridgeshire National in the past.

The going is currently soft, with good to soft in places.

Meanwhile racing on the all weather is at Newcastle on standard going, while Leicester is abandoned




New native breeds festival at Carmarthen showground

The new Carmarthenshire-based show features full set of Mountain and Moorland HOYS Qualifiers

The Native Breeds Ridden Festival, based in Wales, will welcome 15 new Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) qualifiers in 2020. Organised by the West Wales Horse & Pony Enthusiasts (WWHPE), the event will run at United Counties Showground in Carmarthen on Sunday May 31.

Mountain and Moorland breeds will compete at the Festival

As a recently formed group, the WWHPE’s aim is to appeal to a diverse audienceincluding all breeds and disciplines, ranging from racing to dressage, showing to driving as well as show jumping.

The group welcomes new members and hopes they will enjoy the calendar of equine talks and events. The ambition behind creating the new show is to provide a focused event for the large numbers of riders and ponies in the area to compete at. United Counties Showground offers a great site, that is well located due to the road network, and easy accessibility for exhibitors not only from Wales, but the rest of the UK and Ireland.

Horse of the Year Show Event Director, Emma Williams explained: “The Mountain and Moorland breeds have once again experienced a rise in the numbers contesting qualifiers across the board, resulting in a demand for additional qualifiers.

“Based on feedback, Wales has been identified as an area requiring more HOYS qualifying opportunities. Carmarthenshire encompasses an area not currently covered by other shows offering HOYS Mountain and Moorland classes, with the closest being the Royal Welsh Show 62.5 miles away. This made the Native Breeds Ridden Festival a natural choice for the new 2020 set of HOYS qualifiers.”

Mervyn Davies, Chairman of The Native Breeds Ridden Festival commented: “It is an exciting opportunity for us to launch this unique Festival with the HOYS qualifiers.  We look forward to welcoming exhibitors and their supporters from afar to West Wales”.

Richard Miller, Heniarth Stud, President of West Wales Horse & Pony Enthusiasts, added “In granting us this fantastic opportunity of qualifying tickets, we, as breeders and exhibitors in West Wales can only thank Grandstand Media for the recognition of the dedicated, consistent and successful enthusiasts from this area who have shown the Horse of the Year Show such a high level of commitment over the years.

“I’m sure this opportunity to gain qualification on Carmarthenshire soil will be valued and enjoyed by many competitors from the principality and beyond.”

The new HOYS qualifying classes will be:

  • Mountain & Moorland Ridden Fell/Dales/New Forest & Highland Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland Ridden Connemara Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland Ridden Welsh C Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland Ridden Welsh D Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland Ridden Dartmoor/ Exmoor/ Shetland Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland Ridden Welsh A Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland Ridden Welsh B Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland First Ridden Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland Lead Rein Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland exc. 143cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland 143cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland 133cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year
  • Mountain & Moorland 122cm Working Hunter Pony of the Year
  • Junior M & M Ridden Small Breed Pony of the Year
  • Junior M & M Ridden Large Breed Pony of the Year


Christmas In April wins Plumpton’s Sussex National

PLUMPTON’S prestigious Sky Sports Racing’s Sussex National race was won yesterday by trainer Colin Tizzard and jockey Harry Cobden with French-bred Chrismas In April.
This horse was sent off as 9-2 joint favourite and a front-running performance saw off any challengers from the 11 strong field which tackled the three miles four furlongs race.
Christmas In April was in front throughout the race and his task was made easier when Hard To Forget blundered at the third fence, unseating his rider.
Sackett continued in the lead, with Vinnie Lewis and Christmas In April the nearest pursuers and then came Uallrightharry. But Christmas in April took up the lead when Sackett made a bad mistake with two circuits to go.
Four from home Sackett made another bad mistake and Christmas In April, with Harry Cobden in board,took advantage and went into the lead, followed by Rathlin Rose and Uallrightharry.

Harry Cobden and Christmas In April en route to victory Photo courtesy of Plumpton Racecourse

They went on to win by two lengths from Uallrightharry, with Rathlin Rose third and then Belle Empress.

The Colin Tizzard stable is currently in top form with Christmas In April’s victory, becoming the second big winner for  the yard another big winner over the weekend, following the success of Fiddlerontheroof in the Grade One Tolworth Hurdle on Saturday.






Don’t miss the Sussex National at Plumpton

EXPECT some top class jump racing at the popular Plumpton track tomorrow, Sunday, when the feature race will be the Sussex National. There will be seven races in all at this meeting, where racegoers have great views of the entire track.

Sussex National Raceday Image courtesy of Plumpton Racecourse

The first race at 12.40 will be the Sky Sports Racing On Sky 415 Novices’ Hurdle over 1 mile seven furlongs, which has attracted six runners. Of these, Highway One O Two, trained by Chris Gordon and ridden by Leighton Aspell, appeals. Having been a course winner this month, this runner comes from a yard which does well at Plumpton.

Leighton Aspell is also booked to ride Vicenzo Mio for Chris Gordon in the later handicap hurdle over two and a half miles. The horse finished second last time out and should be in the shake up there too.

Trainer Chris Gordon

A Novices Chase over two miles three furlongs follows, with five declared to run. Of these,  eight-year-old chestnut gelding, Not Never, makes most appeal. Trained by Gary Moore and ridden by Jamie Moore, this runner has won at both Plumpton and Fontwell Park. He comes from a yard in form, with Gary Moore sending out four winners in the last fortnight.

The handicap hurdle over two miles four furlongs has attracted the maximum of 15 runners and is a competitive affair.

Kent trainer Linda Jewell does well with her occasional runners at this track and sends Royal Concorde for this race, to be ridden by Brendan Powell. Currently priced at 12-1, and carrying bottom weight, this horse could be in the mix at the end.

The feature race of the day- the Sussex National Handicap Chase over three miles four furlongs has attracted 11 runners, headed by Vinnie Lewis, a course and distance winner, ridden by 3lb claimer Page Fuller and trained by Harry Whittington.

West country trainer Colin Tizzard does well with his runners at Plumpton and sends his French-bred Fontwell Park winner, Christmas In April, for this competitive race, to be ridden by Harry Cobden.

Two well-supported races complete the card, with nine runners in the handicap chase over two miles three furlongs, headed by another Chris Gordon runner, Tara Bridge, ridden by Leighton Aspell.

Also catching the eye in this race is the Jack Barber-trained Shintori, to be ridden by Nick Scholfield, a jockey who does well at Plumpton.

The final race is a handicasp hurdle, just under two miles in distance, and with 12 runners entered. The favourite is likely to be Lightly Squeeze, trained by Harry Fry and riddn by 5lb claimer Bryan Carver.