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Lord Ilsley Racing's SAYESSE & Callum Shepherd return to the winner's enclosure at Lingfield yesterday


After a fruitless three year-old campaign that involved bemusement and plenty of head scratching, SAYESSE finally returned to the winner's enclosure after taking the Class 5 seven furlong handicap at Lingfield yesterday afternoon.

2017 was a season that initially started full of promise for SAYESSE who ran with great credit in decent company off of a mark of 86. From mid-summer onwards though the wheels fell off in quite remarkable fashion with very few of us able to put a finger on the issue.

In short, he just stopped being competitive and was unable to lay up in the early stages of his races. It was only after his final start at Bath in late July that a hamstring issue came to light and it was decided to give the son of Sayif an extended break. Nothing glaringly obvious seemed to be wrong but it's probably fair to say that both physically and mentally all was not well and we were left with the task of building him back up in the hope that his two year old sparkle returned.

And it just might have.

SAYESSE won four races as a juvenile and it's been a long road back to form but, having started back at the end of January, he's gradually began to show his old sparkle as a combination of a return to race fitness and a tumble down the ratings led him to line up in a 0-70 for the first time under Callum Shepherd yesterday.

He did it very nicely as well as he was always in touch with the pacesetter Mansfield and made his challenge as they straightened for home, going on to win like the class horse in the race and prevail by a convincing length. It was a great sight for all of his owners in Lord Ilsley Racing and a great relief to Mick who had set out a plan to prove that SAYESSE has plenty going for him as the turf season beckons.

"That was great to see but he had to win that. He ran very well last Friday finishing third in a 0-80 race at Wolverhampton when this race popped up out of nowhere in the fixtures. He came out of the Wolves run very well and it just looked like the perfect race for him and so it proved.

"He's a real tough cookie who gave everyone a lot of joy in 2016 and I honestly can't say what happened last year. He's probably such a tough bugger that he was carrying a niggle that just wasn't obvious and that in turn affected his confidence. Whatever it was, we were determined to turn things around and you wouldn't find a more willing accomplice.

"Yesterday should really boost his confidence. Callum gave him a smashing ride and he certainly gave him every chance to enjoy the experience. We'll probably give him a little break now to get ready for the turf season.

"SAYESSE took the Lord Ilsley mob to plenty of proper venues at two and we can only hope that he's well handicapped and on the up again after last year's nosedive. If he is, we'll be in for a bit of fun in 2018."

Posted By: Wilsley News


A thrilling victory for John Turner's BUILDMEUPBUTTERCUP saw the four year old daughter of Sixties Icon record her second career win in only three starts when taking the Class 4 two mile mares' bumper at Ascot yesterday afternoon.

A winner on debut at Warwick back in November, BUILDMEUPBUTTERCUP finished second next up at Lingfield, bumping in to the well regarded more experienced Crara Be. Yesterday however, BUILDMEUPBUTTERCUP was the one with experience and she travelled superbly throughout in very testing conditions.

With Brian Hughes up, there was very little panic and BUILDMEUPBUTTERCUP was the last off the bridle and the finish saw her in a protracted duel with Rosy World, the pair pulling a long way clear in the closing stages, with Brian and his willing filly prevailing by a head to the delight of the Boss who is looking forward to the weeks ahead.

"Obviously we'd love to have a go at the bumper at the Cheltenham Festival but I think it's time to be a wee bit realistic and focus on Aintree further down the line."

There's a mares only race that is the logical option so I imagine that will be our target. BUILDMEUPBUTTERCUP is a very genuine and willing filly who showed she can handle any gound - most of Sixties Icon's progeny are very adaptable in terms of the ground but she's got a very economical action and I think she'll be much better on a sounder surface.

"That's usually what you get at Aintree in April and she's shown us she has the professionalism and the attitude to put up a good show, so Liverpool seems like the right target to aim for." 

Posted By: Wilsley News