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Patrick The Turtle has leapt ahead of his landlady Susan Harding and lifted himself off of the bottom of the Staff's "Five To Follow" league table (See Below). Legendary Guest obliged under Darryl Holland in the opening race at Redcar this afternoon to reward the ecstatic amphibian with his first points of the season, leaving basement dwelling Susan lost for words.

It is unclear if their house-sharing relationship will last after this development, but surely Patrick is a long way from being considered a "Legendary Guest" in the home of West Ilsley's Racing Secretary.

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OUR Goodwood winner CHAMPIONSHIP POINT looks to have run his last race in handicap company. The boss is looking at Listed and group races for the colt and said: "I would think his next race could be the Royal Whip at The Curragh in two weeks."

Mick was not too disappointed with MUTAWAAJID, who weakened out of contention in the Betfair Cup. He added: "He ran too free and couldn't get settled. You can't do that over seven furlongs at Goodwood and the run is best forgotten."

Perhaps the colt needs longer to properly acclimatize. His clock must still be askew, he is actually a three-year-old who is treated as a four-year-old because he was foaled in the southern hemisphere and he has a Group 2 penalty to shoulder. Maybe the best will be seen of him next season.

SILVER TOUCH is in tip top order for the Group 1 Prix Maurive De Gheest at Deauville on Sunday. The filly gave short shrift to MAJESTIC ROI and PRETTY MAJESTIC in her work on Tuesday and obviously confidence will be increased if there is some cut in the ground in France.

Mick continued: "She's been grand since her win in the Criterion Stakes and the plan is to run her at Deauville. We're keeping out fingers crossed the ground is on the easy side." 


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BOX 41's Tim Corby and your correspondent qualify for the 'most embarrassing moment' award following events during the six furlong maiden at Goodwood on Tuesday.

Having perused the field in the paddock Corby, Morrice and Joe Tuite deduced that this wasn't the greatest bunch of colts ever to put their heads through a bridle at the Glorious meeting.

So much so that they scurried to the rails to avail themselves of the 25-1 against Mick's debutant HOUSE, the mount of Hugh Bowman.

Morrice then bumped into Corby on the steps of the Sussex stand and the pair settled down to watch events unfurl. Corby acted as the commentator as Morrice had for a second time in quick succession left his glasses in the Press room.

'Bugger me that's Hugh coming to challenge', announced Corby as a horse with pink colours ranged up on the outside of the eventual winner. The pair then set about shrieking House's name only for the colt to finish an honourable second. But hold on a minute - Corby suddenly uttered those doom-laden words 'Neil I think we've been calling the wrong horse'.

Indeed. Our intrepid owner had mixed up the colours with Richard Hannon's Eastern Gift. 

For the want of a good pair of binoculars Tim......

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Alongside our staff competition, our owners competition is equally as competitive.  Box 41's George Blackwell leads the way on an impressive 39 points with our "BA Boys" Darren Walker and Andy Raymond joining our great friend and the much missed Alan Ball in second on 28.

The Top Ten

George Blackwell    39 Halicarnassus, Heywood, Siberian Tiger, Hatta Fort, Manalito
Darren Walker         28 Halicarnassus, Majestic Roi, Ba Speedbird, Silca Destination, Silver Guest
Alan Ball                 28 Halicarnassus, Youmzain, Aaim to Succeed, Silver Guest, Top Vision
Andy Raymond       28 Silver Touch, Youmzain, Ba Speedbird, Missit, Silver Guest
John Williams         23 Baddam, Youmzain, Ba Speedbird, Aaim to Succeed, Jennifer's Joy
Peter Taplin            22 Halicarnassus, Majuro, Carleton, Barraland, Novas
Nigel Bunter            21 Youmzain, Man of Vision, Atlantic Sport, Siberian Tiger, 05 Red Ransom c ex Frustration
Patrick Trant           19 Halicarnassus, Majuro, Rio Taffeta, Carelton, 05 Hawk Wing f.
Jon Aisbitt              18 Treat, Youmzain, Banquet, Light Sea, Siberian Tiger
Colin Baker             18 Halicarnassus, Baddam, Narmeen, Silver Guest, Silca Destination

There's everything to play for at the top but at the bottom, things aren't so rosy. Our owners are much admired and respected by everyone in the yard, it would be wrong to single out individuals or include their points tally.

The Bottom Ten

Eileen Breslin Royal Jet, Flashy Wings, Barraland, Banquet, Altantic Sport
Gerald Blackwell Lakshmi, Treat, Barraland, Kiribati King, Silca Destination
Mrs B. Warriner (BA) Baddam, Flashy Wings, Millie's Rock, Silca Destination, Ba Speedbird
Sue Drayton Rocamadour, Massive, Ba Speedbird, Manalito, Flying Time
Willis Frearson & BL Laish Ya Hajar, Rescue, Dellini, Jennifer's Joy, Elzain
Julia Aisibit (Caroline) Heywood, Lunces Lad, Manalito, Nawaaff, Kashmina
Val Beech-Ball South Cape, College Scholar, Mighty Alfred, Missit, Manalito
Carmel Wardley Silca Chiave, Silca Elegance, Silca Destination, Zabeel Tiger, Power Dream
Terry Drayton Go On Be A Tiger, Flashy Wings, Ba Speedbird, Atlantic Sport, Miillie's Rock
James Repard Silca Chiave, Go On Be A Tiger, Artistic License, Leading Edge, Better Hand
Sarah Jones Mango Music, Queen of Narnia, Dubai Land, Light Sea, Millie's Rock

Sarah is our only owner yet to score.


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The annual West Ilsley "Five to Follow" competition has finally kicked into gear as the dry weather has led to a degree of consistency of our runners in the past week. The rules are simple - staff and owners select five horses for the year, two older horses and three two-year-olds and points are gained depending on their performances on the track.

Points System
Classic Winner 50 Points
Other Group 1 Winner 30 Points
Group 2 Winner 20 Points
Group 3 Winner 10 Points
Listed Winner 5 Points
Any other winner 3 Points
Group placed (2,3) 5 Points
Listed placed (2,3) 3 Points

Subsequently, the current top ten as it stands sees Youmzain's lad "Brazilian Peter" and Gill "The Till" Hedley share the lead with 31 points a piece whilst Grandma Bet Channon and Gallop Man and Owner Russel Brown are hot on their heels with 29. Youmzain has certainly played his part in the top ten, with no less than seven of the protagonists including the King George runner up in their selections, whilst Silver Touch and Atlantic Sport have also proved useful inclusions. Poised to pounce 6 points off the lead, Lord Ilsley still has the unraced Millie's Rock and the surely soon-to-score Alfredtheordinary within his armoury. Such astute selections merely add to his endless optimism of ultimate success.

The Top Ten

Peter                    31 Youmzain, Halicarnassus, Aaim to Storm, Atlantic Sport, Menadha                        
Gill Hedley           31 Silver Touch, Youmzain, Atlantic Sport, Aaim to Storm, Kayflaa
Bet Channon          29 Sweet Lilly, Youmzain, Silver Guest, Thunder Bay, Missit
Russell Brown        29 Go On Be A Tiger, Grantley Adams, Hatta Fort, Natmana, Silver Guest
Stanley                  28 Majestic Roi, Halicarnassus, Jennifer's Joy, Missit, Willit
Tom O' Brien          28 Youmzain, Halicarnassus, Menadha, Nahoodh, Green Wadi
Amy Routledge      25 Treat, Halicarnassus, Menadha, Thunder Bay, Silver Guest
Lord Ilsley              25 Silver Touch, Youmzain, Might Alfred, Millie's Rock, Alfredtheordinary
Lesley White          24 Silca Chiave, Youmzain, Dan Tucket, Silca Destination, Silver Guest
Marin Marinov         24 Youmzain, Go On Be A Tiger, Yem Kinn, Aaim to Storm, Atlantic Sport
Dawn Carey           23 Halicarnassus, Silver Touch, Silver Guest, Top Vision, Legendary Guest

At the dullard's end of the table, the stand out wooden spoon candidate is surely Racing Secretary Sue Harding. It's slightly disconcerting that the driving force behind our entries and one of the chief architects of our season long campaign has amassed the frankly pathetic tally of ZERO points.

It looks as though Susan's battle to avoid finishing rock bottom will see her lock horns with Patrick The Turtle which could lead to a hostile atmosphere in the Harding Household as the season reaches it's climax. The equally hapless amphibian resides with Susan in her Hampshire Home and it's currently unclear if the pair advised one another during the selection process.

As for the rest of them, just read it and weep.

The Bottom Ten

Joanne Green          3 Flashy Wings, Silca Chiave, Silver Guest, Bahri Dubai, Top Vision
Michael Cook          3 Pretty Majestic, College Scholar, Jennifer's Joy, Bahri Dubai, Kayflaa
Tracy Young            3 College Scholar, Go On Be A Tiger, Atlantic Sport, Silca Destination, Mganga
Steve Sweet            3 Silca Chiave, Flashy Wings, Atlantic Sport, Millie's Rock, Legendary Guest
Mickey Sweet          3 Silca Chiave, Digital, Wadi Raider, Kayflaa, Atlantic Sport
Lesley Twigden        3 Silca Chiave, Flashy Wings, Atlantic Sport, Look to the Star, Silca Destination
Sarah Watkins         3 Go On Be A Tiger, Lakshmi, Silca Destination, Legendary Guest, Atlantic Sport
Arthur Cawley          0 Silca Chiave, Go On Be A Tiger, W'ere Delighted, Zabeel Tiger, Shatter Resistant
Noel Reid (Farrier)    0 Flashy Wings, Silca Chiave, Yassbog, Manalito, Candle Sahara
Sue Harding             0 Go On Be A Tiger, Lakshmi, Silca Destination, Missit, Kayflaa
Patrick the Turtle      0 Go On Be A Tiger, Silca Chiave, Silca Destination, Legendary Guest, Missit

For the record, the boss is in 14th place on 21 points.

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WE got off to the perfect start when Darryll Holland brought CHAMPIONSHIP POINT from last to first in the final quarter mile of the Bank Of Scotland Investment Service Handicap at Goodwood this afternoon.

Holland handled John Livock's colt with the poker-cool confidence of a man holding a royal flush at poker, the combination successfully bearing down on Lake Poet to score by threequarters of a length. The success means that amazingly John's last six runners split between Mick, Roger Charlton and Richard Gibson in France have all won.

Mick revealed that Jimmy Tarbuck recently bought into the 8-1 winner, saying: "I'm delighted for John and for Jimmy who now has a leg in the horse.

"He's always been a decent colt and is effective at Goodwood, having won the Predominate Stakes here last season. He has a touch of class and that showed itself today, though I must admit I was worried when Darryll was sat last with just two furlongs left."

Mick praised Ted Durcan for 'looking after' Championship Point in the Derby. He added: "If it wasn't for Ted, who looked after him on that quick ground in the Derby, the horse wouldn't be racing today because he was an absolute cripple when he got home."

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BADEN BADEN looks like being the next port of call for YOUMZAIN following the colt's cracking run in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Mick is to target him at the Grosser Preis Von Baden, the richest race run in Germany and one in which the boss hasn't been represented before.

Mick says: "It's the obvious race to go for. It's a Group 1 and one I feel he can win if he's in the same form he was at Ascot.

"Then we would obviously look to run him in the Arc and a rematch with Dylan Thomas. Looking to the end of the year I wouldn't be averse to running him in the Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin on December 9."

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I suppose I'd best mention that Friday's gallops are online. Much of the work took place on the Winter Gallops 7 Furlong loop which is far from ideal from a filming point of view. However, it's worth a look if only to see Hugh Bowman's gallop on Meeriss.

It might be that Hugh is looking to prolong his spell in the UK as a jump jockey. It would appear he decided to school Meeriss over our cones, presumably to alert Paul Nicholls of his abilities.

Cheltenham here we come?

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OUR best chance of a first day winner at Glorious Goodwood probably lies with 
MUTAWAAJID in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes (3.25).
The gigantic colt has come on in leaps and bounds for his first run for us in the
July Cup, according to Mick. He said:"Obviously we're very hopeful as he's in great
form and has improved for his run at Newmarket. The one problem is that as he was 
foaled in the southern hemisphere he is in fact a three-year-old running as a
four-year-old in Britain. He's actually only three and a half and has a Group 2
penalty to shoulder. Nevertheless, he's entitled to go well and this race made for
appeal than the alternative in France."
CHAMPIONSHIP POINT will get the best of the ground in the opening Bank Of Scotland
Investment Service Heritage Handicap and the boss observed: "He's in good heart and
the ground should be perfect for him. The handicapper has probably got hold of him
but the alternative was going either Listed or Group."
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MICK has strong feelings about preserving what is best in British racing and this morning delivered a blistering attack on the Press for its open criticism of the field for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

The Racing Post led one of its editions with the headline 'Is The King George In Decline?' while several of the dailies crabbed the Ascot race for its lack of a Derby winner or indeed a single three-year-old.

Our own Youmzain finished a creditable second to Dylan Thomas, confirming their running in the Tattersalls Gold Cup, with the gallant Maraahel three and a half lengths back in third, half a length clear of Laverock.

Mick commented: "It's about time the media realized they are earning a living from the sport and have a responsibility to ensure we protect what is ours, otherwise all the best horses will end up abroad.

"It's true we didn't have Authorized or Andre Fabre's horse (Manduro) but it was no-one's fault that the Derby winner wasn't in the race. I'm not saying that great champions were there but the best horses turned out on the day. Trainers are working their arses off to put on a show and i'm very critical of the Racing Post for running its article."

Youmzain is owned by Jaber Abdullah and Mick continued: "We have to be careful we don't end up watering down the quality of the bloodstock industry and I can't believe what people were saying about it being a sub-standard race. We need to preserve the horses rated 116 to 120. It would be easy for the likes of Jaber to sell them to go to Hong Kong or the USA. We must be careful not to piss off valued owners like him who could become disillusioned  if they keep reading how much races like the King George have declined.

"Thank God for Jaber and Sheikh Hamdan who kept Maraahel in training and provided a benchmark. Okay we didn't have Authorized but you have to consider that in recent times many Epsom winners are never sighted after the Derby. And if you ask Aidan O'Brien why he didn't run Soldier Of Fortune the answer is because he couldn't have beaten Dylan Thomas."


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