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John & Zoe Webster's VEEJAY - Now 2-2 after victory yesterday


A good few days for the yard as YA JAMEEL, INGLEBY MACKENZIE, MILTON ROAD and VEEJAY all returned truimphant over the past few days.

Probably the most notable was John & Zoe Webster's VEEJAY who followed up his debut success at Salisbury with victory at Haydock under both a three pound penalty and Rob Hornby last night.

Stepped up to seven furlong, the two year old son of Approve backed up his growing reputation as something of a dark horse by running out a half length winner against newcomer Al Barg with a previous winner Wasim a further head behind in a protracted tussle in the closing stages.

VEEJAY is a real pleasure to deal with and, as Mick saif after his debut, he's got bags of scope and a great attitude which leads you to wonder what's to come.

"He's a real smasher and he's crept up on us really because you couldn't say he dazzles at home. Not that he works badly either but it's clear that there's plenty to come from him because although there wasn't much separating them yesterday he gives the impression that he won comfortably enough once he hit the front.

"Seven is his trip for now but who knows what he'll get in time. Without tempting fate, he's a horse who I'm fairly laid back about because he's got the sort of attitude that will ensure that he'll fulfil his potential. Let's hope it's at a very high level."

There's was an across the card double on Thursday evening as first YA JAMEEL teamed up with Charlie Bishop to take the mile and a half handicap at Epsom, whilst Silvestre de Sousa was at his best to record a first career victory on board INGLEBY MACKENZIE at Doncaster.

On Friday MILTON ROAD recorded his third career win of his juvenile campaign and Mick's spirits were understandably high - the common denominator between the three winners being that they all carried the trainer's silks to victory.

"Obviously I'm chuffed although I'd honestly prefer other people to own them! They are all little project of mine so to speak but I own far too many!

"YA JAMEEL won off of a rating of 69 and will go up obviously because he bolted up by nearly four lengths under Charlie who is having a great time at the minute. The horse is only just starting to get to grips with what the game is all about and he will improve - it's just a question of when the handicapper finds his measure.

"INGLEBY MACKENZIE is a Sixties Icon homebred of mine who we named after the one and only Colin Ingleby Mackenzie who was a great friend of mine. Colin would have been thrilled to see the horse win and hat's off to Silvestre. He was at his very best and gave the horse an incredible ride.


"The horse has steadily improved for stepping him up in trip and, like YA JAMEEL, I'm hoping to see a bit more from him as the season goes on. He'll handle any ground and will be even better next year."

"MILTON ROAD has been a revelation and is also a horse who is improving all the time despite having had a busy time in his debut season.

George Downing brief's the press after Milton Road's Nottingham success

"He's won a nursery off of 69 now and George Downing gave him a terrific ride. Although I've aimed him at sellers before today I always knew he'd get better as the season progressed - he was only a June foal so he's a better two year old than he was as a yearling on the track!

"A fun horse who doesn't do anything at home. He just responds to racing."

Posted By: Wilsley News

Insignia Racing's AQUADABRA in the winner's enclosure at Bath this afternoon


You get two year olds like this now and then - those who unluckily bump into class acts.

That happened to Insignia Racing's AQUADABRA early on in the season but she finally won on her seventh start today in a brief but admirable career that has seen her do nothing but impress in defeat. Her worst run saw her finish fourth of ten at Carlisle whilst she's finished third on four occasions, was second the last time out at Bath and thankfully returned to the old track to finally get her head in front on her nursery debut under Andrea Atzeni.

She faced some very smart types as we went in search of a win that might put us on the path to Royal Ascot but when you bump in to the likes of Main Desire when fancied on previous form, you're left with a filly who has a high level of form but no real luck in terms of the random opposition juveniles can face early on in the year. Mick was in reflective mood.

"What a **** up I've made of that!

"We've always liked her and she's a smasher. Very tough, just like her mum who we trained but we got caught in a trap early on and every race I entered her in seemed to present us with a decent type or two who would leave us all disappointed.

Scotty & Roz collect the prize

"She really deserved that today. it was only a Class 5 nursery and I'm not saying she's a superstar but they can't hammer her for winning off of a mark of 68 and we're in the Super Sprint on Saturday.

"If we line up the dream goes on and you never know with two year olds."

Posted By: Wilsley News

Sue Bunney & Peter Taplin's KOEMAN - A winner at Salisbury on Saturday night


A great relief on Saturday evening as a horse with no little talent finally got his head in front for his owners Sue Bunney & Peter Taplin by taking the Class 5 mile and a half handicap under John Egan.

KOEMAN had run ten times before Saturday and whilst he's been incredibly consistent, he has always been up against the handicapper since entering that sphere but as Mick explains, there has always been a dangling carrot where the three year old son of Dutch Art has been concerned.

"He won at last and I blame myself for him taking so long because I tried to get him going last year and he carried plenty of weight for a maiden who always tries but never had things his own way.

"We've got plenty of those about but he's such a good looker and always tries to please that you think the next day is the one. That happened on ten previous occasions prior to Saturday but I'm relieved more than pleased to have got his head in front.

"Sue & Pete are my best mates and I've been through the mill telling them to keep the faith - luckily for me they always do and I couldn't be happier for them to have a winner at Salisbury. That and Goodwood are their locals and we'll look to build from here."

Posted By: Wilsley News

Mick's KIRUNA PEAK & Charlie Bishop on their way to Windsor success on Monday evening


It took a drop into claiming territory but Mick's own KIRUNA PEAK finally got back in to the winner's enclosure on Monday night after taking the mile and a quarter Class 5 claimer under Charlie Bishop on at Windsor.

It's been a while in coming - the three year old Arcano filly took a Newmarket maiden on only her second start last year and, if truth be told, she'd not fared well in her eight subsequent contests up until Monday.

That sometimes comes with the territory and a Newmarket maiden can often be overrated by the handicapper and, whilst KIRUNA PEAK's attitude cannot be faulted, she was saddled with an opening mark of 75 and has struggled ever since.

Therefore it's been a rebuilding exercise and Monday saw a very positive front running performance from a true galloping filly who more or less made all to record a length and three quarter victory under top weight. 

Mick was delighted and hopes that the rebuiding can continue.

"She's done that well and I just hope that she can come in again now. She found things very tough off of her opening handicap mark and having now come down to 61 from 75, I'm glad I own her!

"Racing can be demoralising for owners when they win at a top track in maiden company only to face a year of losing and I guess I got what I deserved by winning with a filly who was always going to feel her way into the game at three when middle distances came along.

"She's a really spirited character with plenty of heart and a sweet nature but losing can become a habit for young horses and that's what has happened to her.

"There's plenty to like about her though and I'm just hoping she can start going the right way again from here on in."

Posted By: Wilsley News

Mick's MILTON ROAD (Blue Jacket) - A winner at Leicester on Saturday


A good day at Leicester on Saturday as John Egan rode a double for the yard with 'Old Campaigner' MILTON ROAD recording his second career victory and three year old AMELIA DREAM getting her head in front at the ninth time of asking for owner-breeder Mervyn Stewkesbury.

But we'll start with Mick's own MILTON ROAD - an absolute topper of a horse who represents everything his owner loves about racing; Winning at whatever level, regardless of the opposition.

If truth be known, MILTON ROAD is far better than a selling plater but as the late John Forsyth would always say, 'The little fish taste sweeter' and in taking yesterday's seller in convincing fashion by almost two lengths, Mick was cock-ahoop that the juvenile son of Mazameer recorded his second win in a hectic yet pleasing ninth course outing.

This is a smashing colt. He was a late foal but all he does is turn up and try. I'll be honest, I thought he'd get a bit sore and need time to strengthen because he's not had many days off but he's tough as teak.

"The Bishop boys bred him out of an old mare I know by Piccolo called Blakeshall Girl so I have a real soft spot for MILTON ROAD.

"The mare has just been scanned in foal to Sixties Icon down at Norman Court so there's another one on the way and if her next one is as game as this lad, there will be sport to be had there as well. The Bastian family have Blakeshall Girl's half sister Blakeshall Rose who is responsible for Effie B and therefore Neola - our oustanding juvenile filly so it's a good family.

"That's where the fun lies as far as I'm concerned whether they are selling platers or not."

Another owner-breeder, Mervyn Stewkesbury has also had a good weekend as AMELIA DREAM took the mile and a half Class 5 handicap for three year olds later on in the card with Egan yet again at his best to record a win that has been a long time in coming.

AMELIA DREAM, named after the owner's granddaughter has been consistent, willing and game from day one, although she has needed time to mature. 


She's always been sound though and that in itself can lead to problems because when results are everything, backing off of a fit and happy horse when your eyes tell you differently can often be the hardest thing to do.

That's exactly the position Mick found himself in at the back end of last year.

"I've seen fillies like her and she kept improving last year without really threatening. That puts you on a bit of a sticky wicket because from Mervyn's point of view, I wanted her to win as a two year old but she has always been about this year.

"That's common sense but you are always on a knife-edge because horses can go wrong at any time and then all the effort turns to dust if you get a problem.

"There's no way she should have taken this long to finally get a win under her belt - especially off of a rating of 68 but that's a boost for Mervyn's mare and we have AMELIA DREAM's half sister in training. She's alright as well - so I guess from a breeding perspective, yesterday was a positive all round."

Posted By: Wilsley News