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David Hudd, Chris Wright & Ann Black's IZZER - Successful again at Bath yesterday


A good day yesterday as West Ilsley recorded a double at Bath with IZZER maintaining his 100% record in a career that only spans 6 days whilst DAN'S DREAM broke her maiden at the second time of asking with promise of plenty more to come.

DAN'S DREAM was one of the standout fillies amongst the two year olds of 2017 and although she showed up well on her sole start last season at Chepstow - a race that has worked out very well - she was constantly troubled by a series of niggling setbacks which led the Boss to down tools and wait for her to come right.

On yesterday's evidence, the daughter of Cityscape may well prove to be worth waiting for as she scooted home in the five furlong Class 4 novice stakes to win by almost five lengths under Franny Norton in very testing ground. Mick was relieved that she's proved what he always suspected.

"She's above average this one and last year was just a season of frustration. We had her in all the top juvenile races but we never had a straight run at her. She'd go wrong behind, we'd give her time off, then she'd wrap a joint and it became a recurring theme.

"That's how it goes though and although we missed out on seeing too much of her last year, I'd like to think she can build on this and be a Saturday horse that takes us places."

It was only last Saturday that David Hudd, Chris Wright and now Ann Black's IZZER landed the Brocklesby at Doncaster and Mick was keen to give him another go yesterday under a penalty, such was his recovery after his first ever racecourse appearance.

As we've said before, IZZER is an unflappable natural and after a few trots to loosen him up at the start of the week and some very light canters, he headed to Bath to see if he could make his experience count against eight unraced rivals.

That he did as Franny Norton completed a double by keeping things simple near the head of affairs before staying on strongly to prevail by a length ahead of John Betjamin, with the highly thought of Deep Intrigue a further length and a half back. Mick was delighted with the precociously willing IZZER, although he's at a loss to know where to head next.

"There's not many options now - he'd have to shoulder a double penalty and there aren't many conditions races for him but I suippose he deserves a bit of a break, not that the last week has taken much out of him.

"He's a smasher and has taken very little tuition or guidance. I'll take all the praise if it comes but he just does what he does and loves the job. He's paid for himself inside six days so you can't be much happier with him.

"A real pleasure to train and great for David, Chris & Ann."

Posted By: Wilsley News

David Hudd & Chris Wright's IZZER storms to victory under Charlie Bishop yesterday afternoon


The first day of the turf campaign and the very first two year old race of the season saw David Hudd & Christ Wright's IZZER take the Brocklesby Stakes in eyecatching fashion at Doncaster.

With Charlie Bishop up, IZZER jumped smartly and then got a tow into the race before being asked to extend two furlongs from home. For a short while it looked as though they may have gone too soon but he rallied again inside the distance to prevail by three parts of a length ahead of Broken Spear and Wasntexpectingthat.

A son of Clodovil, IZZER has always shown plenty at home on the gallops and although Mick has never targetted the Brocklesby with hell-bent fervour, he's delighted to have taken what has always been a major event as the juvenile curtain raiser.

"That was great and to be honest, we just thought we'd throw him in because he's been the most straightforward of our babies from day one. He's handled everything we've asked of him and although it was soft ground, he's kept coming back for more and has always gone on the ground at home during what has been a very sodden winter.

"He just kept showing us something and that's why we were there. You never know what is amongst the others in the Brocklesby for obvious reasons but it's certainly a boost to our confidence because he's got a few around him that have shown us a bit as well, but at this stage of the season, he was the standout.

"I was at Cheltenham with David and Chris and mentioned I had one and they were keen to get on board. I'd already named him IZZER because it was always a joke I shared with Peter Osgood about footballers; 'He Izzer good player, he Wazzer good player and that bloke Neverwazza good player!' That was how we'd rate them.

"Like I say, I've not forced this lad to do anything and he's just a natural. Some two year olds can be all fired up for this one event and fade quickly but we always like ours to improve from their first runs whether they win, lose or draw and hopefully that will be the case with IZZER.

"I'm chuffed though and we can now look forward with our other juveniles with real optimism."

Posted By: Wilsley News

Peter Taplin & Sue Bunney's KOEMAN returns with a beaming Charlie Bishop after victory on Friday afternoon


A very pleasing victory for Peter Taplin & Sue Bunney's KOEMAN who showed the benefits of a very pleasing return at Kempton last month to follow up with victory in the Class 3, mile and a half handicap for four year olds and up at Lingfield on Friday afternoon.

The four year old son of Dutch Art showed plenty towards the end of 2017 to suggest that he'd truly come into his own this time around and he took this event in commanding fashion, overcoming a bump inside the distance to score by half a length over Island Brave, Amazing Red & Fearsome who finished in close order in behind.

This was KOEMAN's fourth career victory and the previous three all came in the second half of last season, seeing him rise in the weights from a rating of 71 to Friday's mark of 85. That obviously looks set to rise again and Mick is very much looking forward to the season proper with a very promising type.

"He's been a slow burner this lad and it's easy to see why because he's very rangey and always had the scope to improve with time and a step up in trip. He's certainly done that and he sees the mile and a half trip out really well.

"He was caught for a bit of toe as they quickened for home but Charlie (Bishop) didn't panic and although he recieved a bump in the closing stages, he'd already got into gear and saw it out nicely.

"Pete and Sue might have a lot of fun this season. They've been very patient but he's always shown promise and he might well get further and turn into a staying type.

"We all want to go to the big venues and Goodwood is a real favourite of Pete's so we'll see what we can do."

Posted By: Wilsley News

Tim Radford, Brian Hughes, MISTER WHITAKER & his Lass Lenka return in triumph yesterday afternoon


There's 'thrilling' and there's 'THRILLING' and yesterday on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival, the Radford Family's MISTER WHITAKER took the closer, winning the two and a half mile Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase (Listed) by a mere whisker.

It was enthralling, exciting, nail-bitingly dramatic and utterly brilliant as Brian Hughes danced with perfection to deliver a foot perfect ride on a very promising young horse to win by a head on the line to deny Rather Be.

These days seldom come along and seldom are they so exhillarating in their execution but yesterday was as close to perfect as you could get for all connections - having watched the replay countless times, it's difficult to see there being a ride this week that might rival the one given to MISTER WHITAKER.

I think everyone is still on cloud nine and will be for quite some time.

Brian and Mister Whitaker

For the Radford family, this was the culmination of almost twenty years of plotting, planning and praying for a winner at the Festival and the scenes in the winner's enclosure reflected that. They certainly don't have a vast fleet of horses in training but they are usually well selected and represent value. They've had plenty of winners along the way and a few near misses but for Mick, it was a great day that will be difficult to top. Not that he's not already looking to do so.

"That was a real thrill and the way he did it was quite something. We learnt from his victory on trials day that he can idle in front so we told Brian not to hit the front too soon - he certainly did that! A brilliant ride from a tremendous jockey.

"It's been a real team effort; from Hen buying him from the Costellos, to Tim having patience because we had a few irritating setbacks early on but this year MISTER WHITAKER has just flourished.

"We had to hold our nerve, he only just crept in and was bottom of the handicap but you can't help but look forward with him and you'd hope this isn't the last time he's successful at the festival.

"He's a real athlete, not overly big but he's got a touch of class about him. The ground was very hard work but he'll be better on a sounder surface. He'll probably get three miles and with his jumping you'd hope that he's better than a handicapper - I can't wait to see what he becomes - next year, if he goes on and stays sound, we could very well shake them up again.

"We've only got four jumpers so this makes it extra special and seeing Tim and the whole Radford team celebrate like they did meant everything to me. They lost a wife and a mother in Camilla, who loved her jumping, and she was in everyones' thoughts today. It was quite emotional to be honest. 


"Boy though, was there some celebration! Even the 'Windmill' came out!

It was a truly great day."

Posted By: Wilsley News