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Aston Bloodstock's FANNIE BY GASLIGHT & Franny Norton in splendid isolation


Sunday saw a treble for the yard as the value of experience and our link to Norman Court Stud's Sixties Icon came to the fore in testing conditions at Goodwood.

First up was John Turner's TWO BLONDES who took full advantage of his racecourse experience against his fellow juveniles to take the Class 5 maiden auction over a mile under Franny Norton.

Rated 77 and with five places in seven previous outings under his belt before Sunday, TWO BLONDES took the race by the scruff of the neck in almost zero visability, but from what we could see through the fog, the race was won a long way out and, although his big lead was eaten in to in the closing stages, Franny kept TWO BLONDES together inside the distance to record a length success over Aspire Tower to the delight of his sodden trainer.

"That was what we wanted to see because he's done little wrong and just kept bumping into one or two too good in the first half of the season. We fitted him with a visor for the first time and with the testing ground I knew he'd take a lot of catching if we rode him positively and that's how things turned out.

"It looked a winnable race and off of a rating of 77 this made more sense that throwing him in to a nursery. He's fairly exposed under those conditions but in maiden company, I don't expect his mark to be unduly damaged as a result."

In the next race, it was CAN CAN SIXTY TWO's opportunity to shine in the gloom as a return to the soft ground that saw her win to great effect at Salisbury at the start of the season, she took the Class 3 seller over eleven furlongs.

With Charlie Bishop up, the tactics were exactly the same and they just couldn't catch the three year old daughter of Sixties Icon who hosed up by eleven lengths in a victory that delighted Mick.

"This was only a seller but I expect her to go in again as the autumn ground will give her plenty of opportunities to showcase her liking for a bit of dig in the ground.

"Sixties Icon's offspring go in all types of conditions but they are also very versatile and because they are often very economical in their actions, soft groung gives ours an extra string to their bows. That's the evidence our eyes although Charlie didn't have to win by 11 lengths!"

Indeed, in the Class 3 mile and a half handicap for three year olds and upwards, another Sixties Icon filly FANNIE BY GASLIGHT took the valuable fifteen thousand pound first prize in the colours of Aston Bloodstock by another considerable margin - this time eight lengths.

Franny Norton was up again and it really was a front running ride that left the others very little chance as, having got a breather into FANNIE down the hill, Franny punched her out to record a facile victory that left him somewhat surprised considering the company she took apart.

"Franny just shrugged when he came in because this represented a massive step up for the filly," explained Mick.

"She's destroyed a field of fillies rated in the high 80's and low 90's. She's only raced on fast ground but we knew she'd like the conditions. That said, off of bottom weight and only rated 68, I guess people were justified in thinking this was a flight of fancy.

"She's always had a great attitude though. She's a three year old who only started racing this year and she's backed up her previous victory on firm ground at Salisbury on her handicap debut and now shown she's improved for a further step up in trip and that she relished the ground.

"It all bodes well for another of our fillies from the stud who may well have a good autumn."

On Bank Holiday Monday at Epsom, the Guest family's CHARMING GUEST teamed up with Andrea Atzeni to take the Class 5 six furlong handicap for three year olds in very strong fashion.

This was the daughter of Kodiac's third win of the year and showed that she too might haver a decent end to 2018 as she won convincingly to defeat the favourite Han Solo Berger by two lengths. Mick is hopeful that she can go on from here.

"She's won off of a mark of 71 and although she'll go up for that, she's really found a level of professionalism that suggests that she has more to come.

"After the setback that saw her miss most of her two year old season, she's really come good for us and although we've kept her busy this year we've not had to work her much at home. We've just let her find her feet and sent her out because she's got plenty of ability and I see her as a slow burner who will just keep improving."

Posted By: Wilsley News

William Harrison-Allan's HATS OFF TO LARRY & Scott McCullagh


A four year old on the ascent and a victory showcasing the talent of William Harrison-Allan's HATS OFF TO LARRY as the son of Sixties Icon romped home at Windsor on Monday evening under the in-form Scott McCullagh.

Having really come in to his own this year after previous victories at Beverley and Windsor, HATS OFF TO LARRY underlined his blossoming talent in the Class 4 mile and a quarter affair for four year olds and upward in eyecatching style.

Indeed, having been forced to go wide around the bend, he was caught flat footed as they straightened up and kicked for home up ahead and, although stone last at that point, a cool ride from McCullagh saw him produce his mount in the closing stages, storming to the front in the final half furlong to leave Mick beaming.

"That was a super effort and all credit to the horse. He's come on a ton this year and who knows what lies in store? He's got a bit of everything - size scope and a great attitude which he's shown since first getting his head in front at Beverley.

"He's truly going the right way now and has bags of potential. It wouldn't surprise me if he went on to be a bright prospect this winter as a jumper. He's an absolute smasher who could well go chasing later on." 

Posted By: Wilsley News



A tale of two horses as a long and winding road to the winner's enclosure saw MACHO MOVER clock up two wins in a week whilst CONVERTER took to life on the track with ease as he scored on debut at Nottingham.

For Box 41's MACHO MOVER, he's taken his time to come good but that wasn't exactly a shock as the son of Camacho always looked like he'd need time - he did nothing but grow as a juvenile.

Up until last Monday at Windsor, his race record was that of ten runs but only one placed effort, hardly exciting stuff for the syndicate but Mick knew that it was always going to be a waiting game and with the step up from a mile to middle distances, MACHO MOVER looks to have found his niche.

Piloted by Scott McCullagh last Monday he was a facile winner of the Class 6, extended mile and three furlong handicap, stretching away to record a four length victory off of a mark of 51.

He returned to the track on Saturday evening, taking in the joys of Chepstow against similar company under a penalty with McCullagh again up. With a ride reminiscent of that given to The Night Porter at Goodwood, McCullagh stalked the pack throughout before winding it up in the straight.

It was textbook stuff that saw MACHO MOVER get up well inside the distance to give Mick reason to be cheerful after a long wait for the three year old to come good.

"That was pleasing and with two wins inside a week we've obviously done something right. He was tall and gangly last year, he still is really but we didn't want to hang about for perfection. He's a syndicate horse and we certainly haven't been hard on him at home. 

"He's learnt his trade on the track and we let him find his own level and it seems that he's just coming good now. Stepping him up in trip was always the plan but as long as there's a bit of pace on he can be a threat at this level. He romped home over a mile and a half at Windsor and got a peach of a ride at Chepstow over two furlongs less and I'm chuffed for Box 41.

"It's never easy to have to wait for a horse to come good but they've seen it all before and I'm just glad they've been rewarded. This horse has never shirked the issue and he has a great attitude, it was just a question of waiting for his wave. He's done that now and I think there's more to come."

In between those victories, Abdullateef Al Zeer's CONVERTER took the Class 5, six furlong maiden at Nottingham on Friday in the style of a colt with above average ability.

The son of Swiss Spirit was largely ignored in the market but made great strides in the closing quarter mile having been out the back for much of the contest. With the more experienced Qutob always up with the pace though, CONVERTER had a target to aim at and he rattled home in the final furlong on the stand side rail to record a surprising, yet convincing victory under Franny Norton at 16/1.

CONVERTER has a fancy entry and Mick was encouraged by a likeable debut.

"He's a lovely big unit this lad and we just had to keep him ticking along during the dry spell because we didn't want to jar him up - he clearly enjoyed the rain that fell last week and a bit of dig in the ground.

"We've got him in the Middle Park which may well be an option but he'll need to come on for Friday, and we'll look to get another run in to him and see where we are with him then before making any bold statements.

"He's just a smashing type and has all the tools to be decent."

Posted By: Wilsley News

Scott McCullagh, ICONIC BELLE & Ronnie - A formidable combination


He's only been with us a short time but apprentice Scott McCullagh enjoyed two more winners on Thursday and Saturday, showcasing his talents under two sorts ideally suited to strike in the formative months of a jockey's education in the UK.

There wasn't much you could say about ICONIC BELLE's latest victory at Epsom on Thursday - it was merely a case of 'more of the same' as the Sweet Partnership's four year old daughter of Sixties Icon made it three wins and a place in her last four outings under McCullagh when taking the Apprentice handicap at the Esher venue.

The mile and a quarter Class 5 event for four year olds and upwards saw ICONIC BELLE jump smartly and, although she excels at front running, McCullagh was smart enough to track The Lord's Walk who was intent on making it.

That he did until a quarter of a mile from home when ICONIC BELLE was asked to extend and she did so in fine style. Clearly the pace was honest but not excessive as the front two were never bothered by any of their five pursuers, with the West Ilsley filly winning by a comfortable half length to record her fourth win of the campaign.

Two days later in the finale of Glorious Goodwood, the valuable Class 3 Qatar Apprentice Handicap went the way of the ever improving THE NIGHT PORTER who recorded his third victory in his debut season as a three year old in a style completely opposite to that of ICONIC BELLE.

The son of Sixties Icon was stone last for much of it as McCullagh took his time before bringing THE NIGHT PORTER home in thrilling and assured style, sweeping past all of his eleven opponents in the manner of a horse with a bright future.

As THE NIGHT PORTER's owner, Mick was obviously delighted with both horse and jockey.

"That'll do! Scott is clearly loving life at the minute and without being too much of a grump, he needs to be aware of how much he's benefitted from having ICONIC BELLE in the form of her life and the fact that THE NIGHT PORTER is a young horse very much going places.

"He knows that though - he's a bright lad and very much from racing stock. His dad Niall has won Group races galore and came over to make sure he settled in with us here and his lad has a good head on his shoulders.

"Hard work is the way forward and if Scott proves to be as progressive as THE NIGHT PORTER he won't go far wrong. He's a smashing individual with a great attitude and untapped potential.

"He's gone up from his mark of 86 on Saturday to 94 now and I can't see that stopping him. Another two winners from Norman Court Stud and another emerging talent underlining Sixties Icon's reputation for prucing winners. 

"I sometimes wonder where we'd be without him as a stallion."

Posted By: Wilsley News

Jon & Julia Aisbitt's CARAVELA (Nearside) - A winner at Goodwood yesterday afternoon


A very pleasing result from an ever improving filly as Jon & Julia Aisbitt's CARAVELA won in thrilling fashion on day two of Glorious Goodwood.

The last six months has seen the four year old daughter of Henrythenavigator finally find a bit of consistency after a series of frustrating setbacks in the first two years of her career and she's a filly very much on the up after yesterday's performance.

Under a patient ride from Andrea Atzeni, CARAVELA (as is her way) was slowly away from the gate and sat in behind the entire field off of what was something of a muddling pace before making her move in the mile and a quarter Class 2 fillies' handicap for three year olds and upwards.

A winner two starts ago at Newbury, a strange situation emerged on her next start at Salisbury where she was essentially in a match race with three year old Savaanah. Acceding six pounds to her rival that day, CARAVELA went down by a length but the tables were very much turned yesterday as she reopposed Savaanah, this time off of level weights.

The final quarter mile, still with plenty to do, the front running Savaanah was still there but Andrea pulled CARAVELA to the outside and once she found her stride she ran right through the line to record an extending length and three quarter victory to the delight of everyone, including the Boss who believes that everything is now coming right for a filly with plenty of ability.

"I hope so anyway! We had a torrid time of stop-start-stop-start niggles with her. It was mainly muscuar and, as with a lot of fillies, once we thought we'd got her sound, she'd often tie up on us and we just had to wait for her system to come right.

"Fingers crossed I think she has now because she's done nothing but flourish this summer and although she'll go up from her rating of 82, that's not a disaster because Jon & Julia are very much into the breeding side of things with their fillies and obviously black type is the long term aim.

"She's not an imposing filly but she's very athletic and once she gets going in the closing stages she really does find an extra gear. I hope there's plenty more to come." 

Posted By: Wilsley News

Peter Taplin & Sue Bunney's KOEMAN - a winner at Ascot on Saturday


A decent week saw four winners with a raft of hard luck stories and promising performances that made for a consistent period rather than an outstanding one.

The four winners were backed up by six placed horses from fifteen runners.

We'll start then with SOLESMES who scored for the second time in her debut season, taking the six furlong juvenile claimer in the hands of David Egan at Lingfield on Wednesday.

It may have been a modest affair but she travelled well throughout and although she was pressed in the final strides by the fast finishing Capla Gilda, the Boss's homebred did enough.

"She's done nothing wrong and all she does is please. She's tough, straighforward and will keep winning little races. This looked an obvious race to go for because she may not be entirely advantaged in nurseries at present and as a first foal of a mare of ours at Norman Court, we need winners on the board, not a pat on the back."

In the evening it was another Norman Court homebred, ICONIC BELLE who continued her burgeoning relationship with West Ilsley apprentice Scott McCullagh as the pair made it two wins from three runs together to take the Class 5 mile and a quarter handicap for four year olds and upwards.


It was only a three runner contest but that wasn't ICONIC BELLE's fault and in a truly run race, Scott dominated proceedings, setting a generous tempo before stretching his rivals at the three pole.

She was attacked on both sides in the closing stages as first Clenymistra and then Beat By Beat By Beat had their say but it was impressive stuff from both the Sweet Partnership's four year old and her young jockey as Mick admitted.

"Great stuff and it's great for both ICONIC BELLE and Scott who has struck up a good rapport with her.

"He's clearly got plenty of talent and wasn't tempted to go for the kitchen sink approach as they closed in - he held her together and rode her out to good effect.

"As for the filly, this is her third win of the year now and she's become very consistent. Another for Sixties Icon and the stud and great for Clive and Keith who had to wait for a while to see her get her head in front."

It seems absurd that we are only now talking of JAZEEL's second career success but that is indeed the case after he finally returned to the winner's enclosure on Thursday at Sandown.


Abdullatif Al-Abduklrazzaq's three year old son of Roderic O'Connor has always been game and consistent - having won on his second start as a two year old he'd been placed in six of his eleven races to date.

Thankfully, things finally got back on the winning track under Andrea Atzeni in the Class 4 mile and a quarter handicap for three year olds and upwards.

Settled in rear throughout, JAZEEL seemed to relish the opportunity to stalk a very generous pace before being asked to assert two furlongs from home. This he did in convincing fashion, switching to the outside to run out a convincing victor and justify favouritism to the relief of his trainer.

"That's been coming for a while but I must admit it's been very frustrating. That's no reflection on JAZEEL, he's an absolute smasher who has only ever tried his heart out but at this trip and with a decent pace, that might well be the making of him.

"He'll obviously go up from his mark of 80 for that and we'll see where that leaves us but he's only now coming in to his own and I'm a big fan of his."

On Saturday, Peter Taplin & Sue Bunney's KOEMAN took Ascot's finale as he and John Egan took the Class 3 mile and a half handicap in gallant fashion under top weight.

They went a suicidal pace up front that left the field, with Koeman well off the pace, strung out like washing. Gradually though the leaders came back to them as they turned for home and KOEMAN was asked to go and win his race over two furlongs from home.

He certainly got there soon enough and was then asked to fend off challengers from a long way out but he did so admirably, holding off Bajan Gold in the dying strides to the delight of MRC.

"This is a smashing horse who has had his fair share of hard luck stories this season. He's getting better and better and although he's in great nick right now, I can't wait to see him next season.

"I think he'll get further as he gets older and he's the type of horse who makes you dream of a tilt at the Ebor and races like that. There's a hell of a lot of improvement to come and I'm absolutely delighted for Pete and Sue." 

Posted By: Wilsley News

Insignia Racing's JUNGLE JUICE - A winner at Wolverhampton last night


Sunnier climes beckoned last week, hence the lack of word on our winners who, in the last nine days have included CHIKOKO TRAIL, WHY WE DREAM, CHYNNA, FANNIE BY GASLIGHT, and JUNGLE JUICE who prevailed for a debut success at Wolves yesterday evening.

We'll start chronologically though as last Tuesday saw Dave & Gill Hedley's homebred CHIKOKO TRAIL deliver at the fifth time of asking under Graham Lee at Pontefract. 

It was a game showing as the son of Sixties Icon relished the fast ground to confirm he's steadily becoming a major force in his grade as his three year old career blossoms after two introductory efforts as a juvenile.

The Class 5 one mile handicap saw CHIKOKO TRAIL emerge as a victor off of a mark of 64 and there's clearly more to come as he's only just coming in to his own - he travelled comfortably in midfield before they turned for home and he ran away a ready winner to score by a length and three quarters at odds of 16/1.

Mick was obviously pleased and although the price wouldn't suggest he'd win so convincingly, he's the type that the Boss expected to deliver sooner rather than later.

"That was impressive and he's clearly coming on in leaps and bounds. We got him going at the back end of last year for experience more than anything because he was never a precocious two year old and his two runs were needed to set him up for this year.

"He was fourth on his reappearance in May and ran well in an apprentice hands and heels event at Salisbury last month to finish third. He's been allowed to enjoy himself and has flourished as a result. Graham got the job done and I reckon there's a lot more to come this season."

On the same card, it's worth mentioning PATTIE's third in the Listed Pipalong Stakes. Yet another from our Sixties Icon production line, she's done us proud and continues to run well at a high level.

Two days later at Carlisle, Jon & Julia Aisbitt's WHY WE DREAM also entered the winner's enclosure for the first time after a string of game efforts.


Another individual who benefitted from dipping her toe in the water at the track as a juvenile, the daughter of Al Kazeem has certainly knuckled down in 2018, finishing second at Newbury, following that up with two third placed efforts at Lingfield and Goodwood. She then ran with great credit to finish midfield in the Sandringham at Royal Ascot before confirming that she was a winner in waiting under Ben Curtis on Thursday.

It was a battling effort as well as she took the Class 5 extended seven furlong novice event for three and four year olds by only a neck, holding off the concerted efforts of Bin Makfi. This looked a golden opportuity to get her head in front and with the others, including the odds on favourite Algaffaal well in arrears, Mick can look forward to a filly with a future.

"She's was only rated 79 but she's better than that and has gone up to 81 now. She's a homebred of Jon & Julia's and we trained the dam Sandreamer who was very talented. Because of that, our job is to maximise her potential and see how high we can go with her - black type is obviously the aim."

Indeed, the breeding theme resonates throughout this update as it was Mick's very own CHYNNA who also broke her maiden tag last Friday as Franny Norton delivered the juvenile daughter of Gregorian to take the five and a half furlong novice stakes at York.

This was a decent victory from CHYNNA who was bang on the bridle at the two pole and travelled into the race superbly. On her fourth start, she was then asked to battle all the way to the line as Flawless Jewel pestered her every inch of the way - CHYNNA prevailling by a neck.

Mick was delighted that she's stepped forward after returning to the track last month following a break after early season efforts.

"We got her going real early on in the season and she showed up well at Newmarket and Kempton but it was clear that she was a filly who was growing on us so we just stepped off the pedal for a few weeks to let her get over two solid runs. 

"She came back to finish third at Windsor two weeks ago and that probably put her spot on for the York win.

"She was worth giving time to and, seeing as the owner agreed that's what we did and she's a filly with a great attitude and a high cruising speed who will flourish from here on in. Again, she's a homebred so there's only one thing in mind."

Yet another homebred, Aston Bloodstock's FANNIE BY GASLIGHT made her first return to the winner's enclosure as Silvestre de Sousa brought home the daughter of Sixties Icon on her handicap debut at Salisbury on Saturday evening.


Having failed to land a blow in maiden company on her previous three starts, FANNIE BY GASLIGHT found the Class 6 mile and a quarter handicap for three year olds far more to her liking and she stormed home off of a rating of 65, coming from last to first to take the race comfortably by three parts of a length.

Mick was pleased that one of his homebreds has come good again.

"Whatever you say about her, you can't knock her heart. She's struggled this year but it was a question of getting her a mark and letting her find her feet at her level and she certainly did that nicely. She's gone up to 69 as a result and it'll be interesting to see what that has done for her confidence because she clearly relished the drop into that company."

Last but by no mans least is Insignia Racing's JUNGLE JUICE who won on only her third ever start at Wolverhampton last night to yet again highlight the remarkable freshman year being enjoyed by her sire Bungle Inthejungle.

This may well have only been a seven furlong median auction maiden on the all-weather but there's a lot to like about JUNGLE JUICE, a filly who ran out convincingly in a fast run event under Franny Norton.

She was only beaten a head on debut at Goodwood in the middle of June and she did nothing wrong in finishing third at Wetherby only a week later but she stamped her authority on yesterday's race by jumping spritely from her handy draw and quickened up nicely to tag the long time leader Al Motajaz as they straightened for home.

Mick was pleased for everyone concerned.

"It's always a worry when a syndicate has a filly run so well but get chinned like she did on debut and then finish as a beaten favorite next time up. You just want them to get a win on the board!

"We did that last night though and I'm delighted for Tina Dawson and her syndicate in Insignia. This filly isn't a typical Bungle in that she's got a bit of stamina on her dam's side and she may well get a mile later on.

"It doesn't really matter right now because she's got a great temperament and, just like her dad, she's a proper type - a racehorse with a great attitude.

So, there you go - again, apologies for this tardy and time demanding update. It's probably wrong to take any time off in the middle of the flat season but I'll leave you with an image that might explain things. 

We're all homebreds you see and Gramdma went to the exotic climes of Bournemouth this week and enjoyed a gin & tonic or two at a beach hut. 

I'm sure you'll understand. To paraphrase Barry Davies, "Look at her face - Just look at her face!"

Posted By: Wilsley News

Jon & Julia Aisbitt's CARAVELA (Left) - A winner at Newbury last night


It's been an in and out period but the winners are still there - it's just been a bit patchy of late.

There's still plenty of cheer though as CARAVELA won a thriller at Newbury last night whilst HATS OFF TO LARRY continued his consistent performances and Scott McCullagh rode his first winner for the yard.

We'll start with Jon & Julia Aisbitt's CARAVELA last night though and a smashing ride from Silvestre de Sousa, although it was a close run thing as the long time leader was only collared in the shadow of the post.

Having lost her maiden tag in September at three, the daughter of Henrythenavidator has made a promising start to her 2018 campaign and got off the mark on her third start this season as SDS had to sit and suffer before bringing the top weight home.

Dropping back in both grade and trip, CARAVELA was slowly in to stride in the Class 5, mile and a quarter handicap for four year olds and upwards.

She was clearly travelling within herself all the way round but it was a question of when the gaps would appear in the closing stages and just when it seemed everything was working out to perfection, a gap closed as soon as it opened at the furlong marker meaning that the last 200 yards were all she had to reel in Jean Genie have been switched inside.

But she got there - just - leaving Mick relieved and delighted.

"This filly doesn't help herself at times as she often struggles to find her stride out of the gate, but having said that, she also needs to be allowed time to get into a rhythm and relax in her races.

"Silvestre didn't panic, although I did when the door closed with a furlong to go and she only just got there on the nod!

"She's done everything we've asked of her this year, inproving on her Brighton reappearance in May to finish third at Lingfield three weeks ago.

"The Jean Genie was only a short head behind us on that occasion and they've finished, stride for stride exactly the same this time around in a lesser grade.

"She's got plenty to build on after that and she will go in again. Fillies like her can blossom in the second half of the season and I see no reason why she can't because she's got a lot going for her.

On Monday evening at Windsor, HATS OFF TO LARRY continued his upward curve with victory under Charlie Bishop at Windsor.

He recorded his first career victory at Beverley two runs ago and ran creditably at Chester last time up finishing fourth in a blanket finish. Monday only saw three runners line up but his victory confirmed the notion that the son of Sixties Icon has become a reliable competitor who is now coming intro his own.

Off of a mark of 73, three pounds higher than his maiden victory, HATS OFF TO LARRY took the Class 4 mile and a quarter contest in convincing fashion, staying on strongly to account for Oh It's Saucepot and the favourite Bid Adieu to please the Boss who has always had a soft spot for William Harrison-Allan's four year old gelding.

"He's a lovely sort this with a big frame and he's always been willing. He was consistent last year and was always thereabouts but having him gelded and getting another winter behind him has seen him come good.

"He looked like a stayer to start with but bringing him back to an extended mile and a mile and a quarter - that looks like his trip because he can grind it out if there's a decent pace on.

"That was a worry with only two to race against but they went a good clip and that played into his hands."

Lastly, mention must go to Scott McCullagh who rode his first winner for West Ilsley last week at Nottingham as ICONIC BELLE took the hands and heels apprentice race in fine style.

This went unreported on these pages, mainly because our intrepid reporter needed a break from Coventry and sent himself to Warsaw on an ambassadorial role to take in the delights of the Polish Derby.

The delights of the Sweet Partnership's ICONIC BELLE have only just been realised in 2018 as the daughter of Sixties Icon took until her four year old campaign to break her maiden tag but she's up and running now, that being her second win in five outings.


"Good for Scott to get off the mark for us and ICONIC BELLE is a willing partner. He's ridden winners in Ireland and is more than competent and he'll hopefully improve for a change of scenery with us.

"He didn't get it right yesterday in a similar contest at Yarmouth but ICONIC BELLE was carrying a penalty for her Nottingham win, so let's just say he's got plenty of ability but plenty to learn.

"He will though because he's got a good head on his shoulders and is willing to work hard. The rest will look after itself."

Posted By: Wilsley News

THE NIGHT PORTER - A good shift at Beverley last night


A smashing performance from the Boss's very own THE NIGHT PORTER last night saw yet another of Sixties Icon's progeny break his maiden tag by taking the Class 5 mile and a quarter maiden for three year olds and upwards convincingly under John Egan.

Unraced as a juvenile, THE NIGHT PORTER was returning to Beverley where he finished fourth over seven and a half furlongs only ten days ago and the step up in trip certainly proved to be to his liking as he stretched clear of his five opponents to record victory three lengths ahead of Le Maharajah and Roddy with the rest a long way in arrears.

This was a very satisfying performance for an individual who only made his racecourse debut at the end of May and Mick is looking forward to what's in store.

"We had to give this lad time because he was a very scopey and gangly juvenile who was all over the shop last year and, I'll be honest, I didn't know what to expect when the new year came.

"To our delight, he thrived and once we got him going in the spring you could tell that he had a bit about him and his third placed finish on debut at Brighton was very encouraging.

"He'll do well from here and he's got a lot going for him. He's another from Norman Court Stud - his dam was tough and won six for us but, interestingly, she's a half sister to Samitar, so you could say THE NIGHT PORTER has plenty going for him after a promising start to his career."

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Box 41's KNOCKABOUT QUEEN and David Egan surge home last night


A pleasing win for Box 41's KNOCKABOUT QUEEN who took the juvenile six furlong seller at Windsor last night to get the syndicate off the mark for 2018, the daughter of Sixties Icon being bought in at the ensuing auction for 10,500 guineas.

This was the fourth time of asking for KNOCKABOUT QUEEN who finished down the field on debut in a very green showing before stepping up on that with a third placed effort at Brighton.

She again showed promise next up at Beverley but the Boss was keen to get her on the winning trail and she did that convincingly under David Egan last night.

She stalked the leaders before asserting pressure at halfway and emerged from the pack in the final quarter mile and ran away to win by over three lengths. Mick was delighted with that and is looking forward to more.

"She did that very nicely and having trained the mother, this is a filly who I was keen to get going because she's tailor made for racing, it's was just a matter of getting her head in front.

"The dam, Rough Courte was tough and hardy and KNOCKABOUT QUEEN is yet another to come from Norman Court Stud and although she's only won a seller, she much better than that and it'll be interesting to see how she develops with such a confidence boosting win behind her."

Posted By: Wilsley News